Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Signs you are Incontrovertible Whitesauce

10) You drive a Mini or want one really bad
9) You like Indie music
8) You believe blessed is he who carts the reusable bag (and have before it was sheik)
7) Tea isn't a drink, its a way of life
6) You think overalls are more of a personality assessment than a fashion statement
5) If the concept of awkward isn't awkward
4) Will Ferrell is your hero or dreamboat
3) You think cheese is more than a food, less than a god
2) You cried when Ikea came to your town or because it hasn't yet

and the # one incontrovertible sign you are of the Anglo persuasion and there is NO going back....

if one of your euphoria inducers is A-Ha sing-a-longs

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year in Review

Tis the season and its been a doozie of a 12 month so here I go :)

in 2008 I:

* Attended a 12th Night feast
* Threw my brother's California wedding reception
* Moved out of my adorable apartment
* Visited my best friend in Kansas
* Saw Mellowdrone in concert (x2)
* celebrated my 7th year home from my mission
* Saw Wicked (x4)
* Attended a drunken Asian St. Patrick's Day extravaganza
* Didn't get in to the Grad School program I wanted
* Sang in the Sunrise Easter Service at Forest Lawn
* Chaperoned a Youth Conference
* Went to the Hotel Cafe Tour at the Music Box and was changed forever
* Taught at a stake Inservice (this scared me SO much more than anything I'd done before)
* Visited my cousin in DC and saw the cherry blossoms
* Saw Lady Sinatra in concert at the Viper Room (x2)
* Attended a Syttende Mai celebration
* Visited the cousins in Phoenix (x2)
* Saw Greg Laswell at the Hotel Cafe (x4)
* Saw Raining Jane at the Hotel Cafe
* Saw Rogue Wave at the Hotel Cafe
* Saw Mandy Moore at the Hotel Cafe
* Saw Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers at the Hotel Cafe
* Saw Ingrid Michaelson at the House of Blues
* Saw Snow Patrol at the House of Blues and fell in love. Like REALLY in love.
* Saw The Swell Season at the Greek and was forever changed
* Went to The Magic Castle - Best. Steak. Ever
* Dated a louse of a guy for a stint
* Went to the midnight party for Breaking Dawn
* Was bitterly let down by Breaking Dawn
* Giggle-snorted and scoffed through entire Twilight movie
* Saw Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare in the Park
* Visited the brother in Salt Lake
* Went back to the Single's ward
* Watched a meteor shower (and still have Hannah's blanket in my trunk)
* Got lied to by the Chinese about many things including fireworks and birthdays
* Got grafted into my couch from watching the Olympics nonstop
* Planned my wedding to Michael Phelps (I've loved ya from the start babe!)
* Felt compelled to put an Egyptian sterility curse on Chinese gymnastic officials
* Walked in my college graduation commencment
* Turned 30
* Moved NaToya to San Diego and discovered what the definition of "sweating"
* Learned how and made 100s of beautiful paper flowers for a Wendy-bird's wedding
* Threw a cocktail/garden party for a friend's birthday
* Got called to be the Ward Music Chairman (for the 3rd time)
* Dyed my hair red finally, after 20 years of going back and forth on the idea
* Took a weekend of elegant leisure at a Palm Spring's resort and practiced extravagant lounging
* Played Rockband for the first time and didn't totally suck
* Was failed by Jet Blue for the first time ever
* Got courted and chased by a monster at a haunted house
* Went back to DC and saw the autumn awesome and Mt. Vernon
* Hosted a Roman Murder Mystery party
* Went to Wendy's fabulous outdoor wedding reception complete with a being rained on adventure
* Campaigned my little heart out for Obama and Prop 8
* Cried for joy when both came to pass
* Had my faith in American Government and the American (and Californian) people refurbished
* Almost got caught at the temple both times it went into lock down because of No on 8ers
* Attempted to write a novel (again)
* Got laid off (and couldn't be happier)
* Saw Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Total books read: 47
Total concerts attended: 20
Total trips to The Huntington: 9
Total trips to The Getty: 7
Total trips to Disneyland: 5
Total temple trips: 30
Total life-changing films seen: 5
Total other fun movies seen: 75
Total times being sick: 2
Total migraines: 3
Total total freeway blowouts: 1
Total heartbreaks: 2
New restaurants I tried: 15
Foods I learned to like: 9
Total laugh fits resulting in face numbing and brain cell loss: 785
Total # of things I've left in other states on trips: 32
Total theater expeditions: 12
Things I want to change for next year: 378
Things I wouldn't change for anything: 308,876
New friends made: 24
Old friends reconnected with: 36
Friends I don't deserve: 89
new phones I've had to buy: 0 *high 5*
Speeding tickets I've gotten out of: 3
States visited: 3
Pedicures: 12
Nails broken: 14
Times I've fallen in love with California: 365
Mountain excursions: 6
Beach excursions: 5
Desert excursions: 4
Miles traveled: 20,000+
Ideas for next year: 2,396

Yay for unabashedly living life and yay for another year to do the same.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Thoughts

I try to imagine what living in Jerusalem must be like right now. Being there with all those different kinds of people feeling SO strongly about the city for totally different reasons and being caught in those emotional riptides running down the streets and having it all be trumped by the majesty of the presence of the city and the the history it holds. I would like to think that I would be educated and humbled everyday by the amplitude that the people there live their lives and practiced their faith. How could anyone living is such a city do any different?

I would imagine that I would keenly watch the women there. I can see them hurrying up and down the streets with their respective loads for their respective households and practically hearing the running list of things to do and see to before tomorrow and seeing that grace that is always in an honest and hard working woman's eyes. My eyes would soften a bit if I saw a woman with child. I'd stop for a second and turn my eyes to the ground when she walked by hoping she wouldn't see me welling up.

I would be more attuned to the sound of a fussing baby or the sight of an open horse's stall. The incense coming out of doorways I was passing would wake up images of Solomon's temple and the synagouges that pepper the city. I would catch different refrains of prayers being sung in different languages but all equal in fervor.

I would wonder at every cobble stone I stood on.

Was he here? Did he stand here? Did someone he loved stand here? Where they here when they saw the star? Did it move them to pray? To sing? Did they see a woman with child earlier that day that made them wonder?

Someone was here and someone saw and for a moment everyone heard a baby cry.

Let Earth receiver her King.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Reasons Why Oprah Should Make Me Her New Best Friend
10) I freak out really well and can do the head/hair shake as good as she can
9) I can down as much red velvet cake as Gayle can any day
8) I love trying new beauty products
7) I don't jump on couches
6) I love to travel so I could check up on the Girls School in Africa more often. Make sure no more funny business goes down.
5) She'll be the skinny one
4) BOOKS! We both love them. It's her thing, they're my thing. Its meant to be.
3) I could have warned her about the Dr. Phil investment before it came out he was a lying, cheatin', cold, dead-beatin', two time double-dealin', mean mistreating loving heart (I never liked him).
2) I live in California - I'm just down the road from her. I could look in on the dogs when she's filming.
1) I'm a super cook and can't find a man that isn't terrified of me either. We have a lot to talk about

Top 10 Things I Have Found a New Appreciation for in 2008
10) Haircuts - I never really had one before now. Hair was mom's thing so I ran away from it screaming but I've learned the power of a good hair day.
9) Crying - I've done a lot of it this year and I've realized the sooner I let myself do it, the easier it is to move on
8) The Economist - It's the next best thing to a crystal ball or the webbernet.
7) Institute - I kind of faded into the woodwork these last few years on the YSA front but I wouldn't trade my time at Institute this year for anything.
6) My US Citizenship - I really felt like I did something to deserve it this year and that I made a difference. Even if it was a little one.
5) Music - Its played a vital role in keeping me going this year and in relationships and elevating my thinking. I would really be lost without it.
4) Free time - its a disappearing animal
3) really tall heals - me and tall shoes have gradually been mending our relationship. I put the moratorium on them for about a decade while I was coming to terms with my height but we're doing well now.
2) Friendship - the real kind. I've seen faces of support and forgiveness this year that I didn't know were possible.
1) Love - the agape kind. I've been able to see just a little bit more clearly how truly surrounded by it I am and how much I desperatly need it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Images from the Valley of Wrong

My thoughts on this gem:
- Yoda does not look like Winston Churchill
- Yoda doesn't even celebrate Christmas - he celebrates Life Day. Everyone knows that. Am I the only one on the planet who has seen the Star Wars Holiday Special?
- Yoda's cane is sacred. Substituting a candy cane for it is near heresy.
- Yoda wouldn't be caught dead in a Santa hat.
- Pleased with Disney for bastardizing his image he would not be. Walking on thin ice they are.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is What I Do

So I have a lot of non-LDS friends and as part of the other 99.5% of the rest of the world, they drink.

I was at my buddy from work's place last night. His girlfriend (that is also a friend of mine) was throwing a party for her best friend's birthday. His roommate was there too and his roommate's on-again-off again-hang-around-like-a-disease-ex-boyfriend who he has never gotten along with and for good reason was also there. I don't really like him either. He's like the gay, petty version of the short, angry, mean chef from Ratatouille. They've been squaring off for a while and were getting ready to blow. I honestly was a bit worried about this party and what might happen when both of them got a little alcohol in them, and I was right to worry.

I was at Disneyland for the beginning of the night so everyone was like 4 rounds in by the time I got there. At my buddy's place there is this game room with a pool table and stuff upstairs but the rest of the party was downstairs. I was having a lovely chat in the kitchen with the dude with neck tattoos that was a very interesting and conversational guy. There's one of those at every party I've found. They weren't prison tattoos or anything crazy, they were Celtic stuff which was double impressive. We were talking about how much I wasn't drinking and he was like "you're the kind of person that keeps the world together..." etc.

So right then we both see a scuffle type thing going on upstairs and we look at each other like "Is that real or are they screwing around?" and then we say "Is that real or are they screwing around?" but then I hear the Douche Baggy Ex Boyfriend Man starting to yell so loud I can hear him above the music (which was considerably loud) and me and Nice Tattoo Guy look at each other like "damn" and without a word he puts his glass down and calmly goes upstairs like hes changing a light bulb or reaching the top shelf or something to 1) break it up or 2) throw the Ratty Boy out or both. It was pretty hot, I'm not going to lie. If he hadn't been there with a girl I would have given him my phone #.

Why are the only true specimens of non-related masculinity I've ever found very non-Mormon guys??!! It almost makes me cry but that's a whiny blog post for another day....


So there is still a bundle of scuffling feet on the landing up stairs that I can see from down stairs and the yelling died down so I started to go upstairs to see if they needed help and as I start going up Ratboy and his group come barreling down the stairs. I got out of the way just in time to see Roommate following them and yelling at him to get out so he left after a lot of screaming and arm flailing dramatic jacket grabbing and expletives.

I didn't know the fight was between my buddy and Ratboy at this point so I go upstairs to see if everything is OK because everyone has frozen into drink clutching pairs of big eyes downstairs.

It turns out Ratboy got buttered about something in the pool game, Roommate jumped in between him and my buddy and Ratboy sucker punched my buddy over Roommate's shoulder.

Now let me explain some things about my buddy; you don't punch him much less sucker punch him. The dude is an ice hockey player and a man's man type bada$$. He doesn't try to, he just is. He's a bundle of gentlemanly but unapologetic, barely mitigated testosterone. He's a softy but once he clicks over to his Hulk side its over. He would turn a guy into burger, dust off his shirt, pick up his pool cue and keep playing without turning the music down and ask you if you wanted another drink.

So I get upstairs and see my buddy pacing in the game room with a torn shirt and berserker eyes with a few people blocking the door so he couldn't get out.

Since Ratboy has "left" we let my buddy downstairs and hes still pacing around and screaming how "if he ever comes back here I'm going to kill him" and all that other chest slapping rhetoric boys do. I get him an ice pack for his eye but his adrenaline is pumping too fast.

A few ornaments got broken with Ratboys descent down the stairs and there was glass everywhere so I was sweeping things up and we heard something from outside and it turns out Ratboy left the house but he was still outside in the street with his peeps so my buddy, still pacing mad, just darts for the door faster than anyone can grab him.

Rule #1 with drunk fights is keep them as far appart as possible right? Well everyone failed. They hadn't morphed back from being giant pairs of frozen eyes. So I drop my broom and caught him in the drive way. Ratboy was still in the street. Some more yelling ensued and my buddy was flailing so bad I had to grab him around the waist to keep him from doing anything stupid. We were all about a minute away from the police station or the hospital or both. So I let him blow off as much steam as he could before I thought the neighbors might call the cops and then got him back in the house.

Ratboy left for real that time but came back about 20 min later with a knife and just walked in the house like an idiot. I was helping Roommate clean up spilled cranberry drink off of the beige velour carpet upstairs at the top of the landing and I saw him right when he walked in and Roommate was looking up the stairs at me and saw me see him and turn into a big pair of eyes looking down the stairs at Ratboy. Roommate turned around and started to chase Ratboy out again and Nice Tattoo Guy wasn't far behind. He held back during the first scuffle apparently but he charged out this time ready to regulate. Thank goodness. I stayed where I was because my buddy was in his room upstairs with his girlfriend still calming down so I look in the open door to his room at him to see if he realizes Ratboy is back. He does and starts the pacing mad let-me-at-him stuff again and his sweet bulldog Daisy is popping around and hes worried Ratboy would stab his dog so we get her back safely upstairs.

Ratboy finally takes off for real. We lock the door, debrief while we finish cleaning up more broken ornaments and spilled drinks and carpet, and once I'm satisfied everyone is sobering up and its over I say my goodbyes and head out, being grateful for The Gospel and that I could do some good. And that no one landed in the ICU (even though it might have taught Ratboy something and I wouldn't have been too sad). And that I didn't have to give a statement.

*hands in for no statements*

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Awesome

This blew me away - I really wish I knew this when I worked at Disneyland and folded 100's of shirts a day....

Fast Folding:How To Fold A T-Shirt In 2 Seconds - Explained

Thursday Thoughts

So I think that I find, like most thinker-type people (and I like to fancy myself as such), me and my faults tragically fascinating. Much like a train wreck or an MTV Reality show. You just can’t stop looking and seeing how base you really are.

I think I’m in this section of head space for a few reasons. One being that this year has also been a particular education in people who have the amazing ability to aggressively construct their own realities and operate in them and expect me to get that and jig with them to their own lofty music. In response I am VERY determined to ground myself and eschew any and all kinds of pretense, no matter how entertaining or charming. I think that I get carried away enough that a constant effort to keep my feet on the ground will result in a toe or two making it there.

Two, the mahvelous Hannah and I got around to seeing the new Danny Boyle film Slumdog Millionaire and I left the theater very changed.

Danny Boyle films usually leave me stunned in my seat for a good 3 minutes. After Patrick, Nick and I got out of Sunshine we went to debrief at the Bourgeois Pig and even 30 min later we were all still in stunned silence. It takes me DAYS to digest one of his films and this one really blew me away.

I had an interesting day. I had spent the morning working at the Bishop’s Storehouse* getting Christmas dinner together for those that are in need. Then that afternoon I went into this film not really knowing what to expect. Just that it was Danny Boyle and it involves India two things I adore.

In a teary conversation to Lauren shortly after I got out of the film, the sweet thing listened to go on for 20 min as I burbled on about how I think in the US we have no idea what poverty is. Like – NONE – at all. Perhaps in some parts of the remote and rural South things could get a little third world but the sheer magnitude of the slums of Mumbai just floored me. There are over 1 billion people in India and over 25% of their population live in abject-sleeping-on-the-street-digging-through-the-garbage-for-food-and-shelter-no-running-water-plumbing-or privacy kind of poverty. That’s over 250 MILLION people living like animals. That’s nearly the entire population of the United States. So out of these difficult and dehumanizing circumstances comes one of the most beautiful stories I’ve seen in a long time. These characters, these magnificent humans, didn’t let their world sink past their skin and infect how they felt about themselves. They didn’t have anything, any reason to keep up any kind of appearance. No reason to want people to think more of them than what they were. In a way, I almost envy them for that. They got to live that kind of pure life. They lived on their will to live and belief that something better would come for them.

It was so interesting to me to see that, knowing it’s a true story and juxtaposed it with my experience at the Storehouse that morning. I was in the front helping the patrons who were picking up orders and it was so fascinating to me to see the different reactions people had to being in need, being vulnerable. Some were deliriously grateful, some were distracted, almost desperate and erratic, and some were just grumpy, short and hostile. They were mad. Mad at their circumstances or mad at their choices, mad that they had to ask for help and there were people there to see them asking and it left me wondering why and wondering how I would react in the same situation. Would I be embarrassed? Would I be angry? Would I be grateful? When I really though about it I realized that I would eat every scrap of food that I had in my house and make do with dollar store accoutrements before I would ask for a food order. I didn’t even have enough humility to get myself there in the first place so even the mad guy I had to help was WAY ahead of me in the humility game. He also had a family of 6 to feed and from his paper I saw that he lived in a pretty affluent area so this must have been triply hard.

But I think all that angst and our horrible American tendency to not be even remotely aware of the gross need that the rest of the world has all comes from an unhealthy sense of entitlement. I think all Americans suffer from it to a degree, and (sadly) its more clearly visible in some LDS people I’ve known.

After seeing that movie I was ashamed that I wasn’t overcome with gratitude every day of my life for the simple fact that I had a family, blankets, maggot free food, running water, a steady supply of soap, an education, a bed – all those things that I don’t even notice everyday because they’re there everyday. And because they’re just there and I assume everyone has them because I do and the rest of the world isn’t any different than me right? Wrong. Very wrong.

I felt so jarred and so moved. I wanted to do something. I looked up volunteer programs that night. I have no idea what I could do. Go there and teach the munchkins English? I don’t know. But I felt like I had to do something. I still do and when I figure it out I’ll let you know.

So this oblivion to the working reality around me that is my world and my circumstance is the first thing in my LONG list of faults that I’m going to chisel away at. The next being this sense of entitlement that I seem to carg around like it’s the newest Louis Voutton. Once on my mission my Mission President pointed this out to a group of missionaries I was with. He was a entrepreneurial multi-millionaire. He was one of the founders of Franklin Quest and designed the merger with Stephen Covey before it was Franklin Covey. The man had bought every single one of his missionaries a Franklin planner and drove an S class Mercedes. He didn’t need money at all. But one time he was taking us out to dinner and there was a penny on the ground and he had opened the door for us and we and the Elders we were with walked right by it. It was just a penny on the ground, but he chuckled to himself, bent over, picked it up, held it up to our eye level and asked “You’re too good? Are you too good?” We were too stunned by the sudden rebuke from an otherwise congenial man so we didn’t say anything. We just shook our heads and looked around for other pennies to pick up but he just shook his head and put it in his pocket, shooed us inside and bought us all dinner.

There are layers to that lesson. Are we too good to talk to “the one”, are we afraid to get our hands dirty etc, but for today that is the lesson I’m choosing to take. I’m not too good an I need to start living by that principle because there are a lot of pennies to pick up, 250,000,000 of them in India alone. I’m not too good. If anything, they’re too good for me.

*Mormon jargon translation: The Bishop Storehouse is part of the Church’s Welfare program. It’s essentially a free grocery store that provides food and supplies to families that are in need. It’s mostly self-supplied by the Church’s canneries and dairy farms but they have everything else one would need from soap to brooms to produce to Christmas candy. The whole program is volunteer run and it’s a really awesome to do a lot of good for those people that need it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Giggles

I am not really a college football buff. I love my Bruins of course but I don't really keep up. And I could honestly care less about BYU or their football team much less the rivalry with the U of U but I found this absolutely hilarious.

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Weird Things I Do

10) When I'm using a pen with a cap I have to line up the prong of the cap with the writing on the pen. If they're out of line It bugs me. Or if its a highlighter I line it up with the tip of the highlighter.
9) If I'm driving and listening to the radio and it's the 3rd of 4th time I've heard a song and I'm bored with it I make up different parts to it and do my own harmonies.
8) I get more excited about a movie if a favorite writer I love is working on it than one of my favorite actors
7) I have a Mary Poppins purse. The typical items I carry are; a pocket knife, lotion, gum, dental floss, band aids, neosporin, tea, pain killers, a toothbrush, toothpaste, dayquil, Clorox wipes, baby wipes, alcohol swabs, aloe, hand sanitizer, sewing kit, a handkerchief, Kleenex, a camera, an iPod, and all that on top of a wallet, planner, phone and make up.
6) In my iTunes whenever I get a new song or upload something I have to find the artwork to go with it and if I can't I put something else up, like a random picture. I just needs something visual.
5) I like doing laundry but I hate putting it away. It drives me nuts.
4) The noise that those cards of gum makes drives me crazy too. I buy gum in the little buckets to avoid the foil and plastic cards.
3) I don't like driving the same route home that I took to get somewhere. I'll purposefully take another route.
2) I typically practice the remnants of my ballet training when I'm waiting for the microwave
1) If my feet are cold its impossible for me to relax, be in a good mood or sleep.

Top 10 Things I LOVE about Christmas Time

10) the Christmas around the world stuff; Christmas crackers, luminarias etc
9) The Music; bell choirs, boy choirs, classical choirs. people randomly bursting into song and it being acceptable, The Hanukkah song back on the radio
8) The Special Treats; shortbread, eggnog, candy cane Joe-Joe's, peppermint hot chocolate...
7) the smell of pine, candle wax and wrapping paper. All mixed up
6) Disneyland
5) people thinking about each other and things that are bigger than them for more than a moment that comes out in random "Merry Christmas"s on the street
4) Christmas lights walks clutching hot coco
3) A Charlie Brown Christmas on a near constant loop
2) How hopeful everything feels
1) Having a whole season, not just a day, to celebrate Christ and how much I love the people in my life and reach out for new ones to bring in

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Report

My weekend report. No SNL cast members wandering around... sorry.

My weekend got started a little early when I got called into the Conference room at work on Friday morning and got laid off.

I'm OK. I'm super OK actually. I've been needing to leave this job for a while. It was eating my soul one tedious hour and mouse click at a time. I wasn't happy and it showed. It was a pleasant job in all the exterior ways; I liked my coworkers, my immediate supervisor was cool, it was a fairly healthy environment, they pay was fair. I was just trapped in a cell gray cubicle starring at a computer screen all day and it was killing me. I should have left a while ago and I had plans to start looking for a job in my field in Jan, I just get this two week vacation till then.

The only way I can think of describing the situation is like being in a relationship with a guy that's not bad, hes just boring and doesn't make you happy, he doesn't make you mad either but you're just not happy, but hes a decent guy so there's not justifiable reason to break up with him so you don't and then one day he breaks up with you and its all you can do to not give him a high 5. That's about where I'm at.

And to celebrate that night my awesome friend Molly and I went to Disneyland. We had actually planned it for a while, it just fell that way and it was perfect.

Disneyland at Christmas is one of my all time favorite things. Ever. Seriously. I know I'm a bit prone to hyperbole but I mean this. Fewer things bring me more joy than snow on Main Street, peppermint bark from the Candy Palace, the fireworks and a mickey eared Santa hat. It's the stuff of dreams.

I'm attempting to be a better record keeper so here are some pics of the night. I hadn't seen the castle with all the Christmas lights before and it took my breath away. Its the centerpiece of the whole park and it was amazing.

We came in on the monorail from Downtown Disney and swooped by this and I was a bunch of smashed cheeks and a nose pressed against the window. I can't get over how the sight of Small World at Christmas never ceases to amaze me. I've worked at Disneyland and been there as a guest more times that I think I could possibly remember and it still knocks me over. Every single time.

I adore this mammoth tree. It always reminds me of Mickey's Christmas Carol, all of Main Street does, but this tree is the perfect size to make you feel like a kid again.

The presents are huge. The ornaments are huge. This was my attempt at a scale shot. The ornaments are seriously as big as my head. It didn't quite work but I think I look pretty dang cute.

The moon was super close that night and this was a shot I took looking straight up. I thought it was pretty fancy. Maybe there's a photographer in my yet.

And this is me being and ABSOLUTE DORK watching the fireworks and thinking I can sing, watch fireworks, film, and stay warm all at the same time. I failed at a few of them, guess which ones....

Saturday was a trip down to San Diego to visit my friend NaToya and meet Patrick for the Snow Patrol concert that night at the House of Blues. The drive down the 5 was epic. The storm was blowing in so we actually had weather. Amazing! I know. I was so distracted by the sky the whole way down I think it bordered on a driving hazard. At one point there was this cloud break over the ocean and a few brilliant circles of light landed on the water and it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I had to pull over and snap some real pics. It was so strangely hopeful to me. My mind was weighing down a bit with what was coming in the next few weeks and then I saw this and immediately felt better. It was a lovely Christmas present from Heavenly Father.

At the concert that night after we stood in line for nearly 2 hours we got in and the crowd that had gathered was some the the biggest mix of people I've seen any place ever. There were middle aged business men and over caffeinated and annoying 18 year old blonds like the one seen here. She would have given Tigger a run for his money with how she was bouncing every which way and flagrantly flapping this silly sign that said "I sang with you last time" like the band would recognize and/or remember her... honestly. At one point she ended up directly in front of Patrick and he politely said "What does your sign say?" so that she would put it down to show him but it didn't work for very long.

This band is amazing. I fully endorse and recommend their new album and any concert of theirs that you can get into. Yay for Northern Ireland Celtic men. They're just these instinctual artists and performers. I fell in love about 8 times that night with both Gary and Nathan, like every girl at a concert should.

Here's a snippet of Crack the Shutters *swoon*.
This song is so amazingly romantic I can barely stand it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mom Moments

Scene: Saturday morning. Mom's bedroom. Its overcast outside. Everyone in the house is up and starting their days. Mom and Dad have made plans to run errands and wanted to leave by 9. Its 10 AM and mom is still in still curled up in bed.

Dad: (softly and cautiously) Honey... wakey wakey...
Mom: (in full voice without a hint of grogginess) WHY??!! I want to listen to the rain.

It wasn't raining.

It still isnt.

I love my mother.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Real Ms. Stacy

There are a lot of things I need to remember more. One being that despite being of the Land of Bonkers, that my mother is magical and two, that I am very lucky to have her.

We have this adorable family that comes and takes care of our yard. The father and mother and kids all show up every week and roar their horrid leaf blowers to life and prune and pluck and all that jazz. One of the members of this family is this sweet 13 year old girl. None of them really speak English too well but you can tell from just meeting them that they’re good honest souls. They even bring their little dog to help work. It’s serious ohana on Saturdays at our place.

Mom has a little garden that she loves a lot. It’s this random hodge-podge of potted this and thats put around the outside of the house in about the same order that they would go in her brain, which is in circular order from the door on out of which one is prettiest and makes her the happiest. That day. A garden in a distinctly sectioned off patch of earth with rows of things??! Please – that is for the common folk… And we all know that that is not my mother.

So, though mom loves piddling in her garden getting to it and getting everything watered regularly is a bit of a challenge, she’s befriended this little girl (they’re about the same age I think) and she helps her with her garden. Well amongst a Saturday chat it came out that this girl likes to read (she goes to school and speaks good English, it’s just the parents that don’t) and mom started chirping about Twilight and the girl said that she’d love to read it but her family has no extra money for books and she has no time to get to the library because she works when she’s not in school.

So mom went directly into the house and got the book, handed it to this adorable 13 year old girl and she almost started crying and gave my mom a tearful and silent hug. Mom said she could bring it back whenever she was finished and the girl was so excited she didn’t let it go the rest of the time she was there. The whole family sleeps in the same room so she had to stay up at night reading in the bathroom so the light wouldn’t wake everybody else and she finished it in days with nothing but smiles. She brought it back and mom gave her New Moon but couldn’t find her copy of Eclipse so she snuck into my room and gave her my copy.

So when I came home from AZ on Sunday night mom had that busted kid look on her face and I knew exactly what it meant. She only gets that way about stuff that she’s messed with that I truly care about which is usually my books. She has a bad habit of not asking about stuff and an even worse habit of being super hard on books. So I said “Which book did you borrow mom?” and she explained the story to me and swore on Odin’s eye patch that if anything happened to it she’d replace it and throw in some chocolate as well but the last thing on my mind was the safety and structural integrity of my book. I was floored and humbled.

Humbled that I don’t have to stay up late sitting on a cold bathroom floor to be able to read, humbled that I have a mother who is so capable of touching and giving the magic of books to the exact person who needs it the most, humbled that that magic lady down the street that dresses funny but changes your world is my mother. Like this little girl will never forget my mom because of her kindness and because of her ability to see people as people, that she was an honest friend, that she was concerned about this little girl’s mind and heart insomuch that she gave her a book to read, a book that she’ll love.

I complain more than I should about my insane mother, but she is some of the best kind of people that does the best kind of things and I consider myself truly blessed to have her and for the mental and emotional freedoms she’s given me by reading to me and handing me a book. By seeing my mind and my heart and knowing how to affect both. Mom truly understands Christmas. She truly understands a lot of things.

I need to get a set of Twilight for that sweet girl for Christmas. And a reading light, or a pillow. Or both. Who’s with me?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Giggles

There is a faint possibility that this will offend some of you.

However, for me, having gone through the emotional meat grinder that was Prop 8 firsthand;
- Having walked neighborhoods every weekend from August to November polling the issue
- Having walked in Yes on 8 rallies
- Having made more calls than I think I can remember
- Understanding that both sides are speaking two different languages, one is Civil Rights, the other Morality so there is little possibility that one can effectively communicate with the other and knowing this fact breaks my heart a bit
- Having made my Prop 8 stance as crystal clear as I can make it
- Being horrified and damaged by the abject and brutal discrimination and harassment that has been going on from the "Tolerant Community" towards my faith since the election
- and I am still actively supporting the voter's decision passing Prop 8

That being said - I find this hysterical.

Ladies and Gentleman - I give you Prop 8 - THE MUSICAL!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Top 10 Tuesday

It just sounds so fun huh?
I've decided I should do a silly list and a serious list to keep the balance in the force ya know?
So firstly - some imperative information we all can't do without:

My Top 10 Funny Movie Characters of All time
10) Ruby Rod from The 5th Element
“Why I always gotta get the broke one?”

9) Agador Spartacus from The Birdcage
“But wait! I’ve got shrimps!”

8) Bartok the Bat from Anastasia
“I’ll give her a wahhhh! And a high-yah! And then I kick her sir!”

7) Brick from Anchorman

6) Dr. Evil from Austen Powers
“I’m the boss! Need the info.”

5) Jeremy the Crow from The Secret of NIMH
“Ohhhhhh!!! You’ve got a sparkly!"

4) The Ghost of Christmas Present from Mickey’s Christmas Carol
“With pistascheeeoo …. With pistachuooe…. With yogurt”

3) Carl the Friar from Van Helsing
“Actually, I'm still just a friar. I can curse all I want, dammit.”

2) Louis Tully from Ghostbusters
“OK, who brought the dog?!”

1) Emmanuel Goldstein aka Cereal Killer from Hackers
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. What? It's Corinthians one, chapter thirteen verse eleven. nnnn-duh”

Top 10 Things that have Irrevocably Changed my Life
(aside of the influence of my friends and family who change and enrich my life everyday)

10) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
9) Cell phones
8) Morten Lauridsen’s music and the album Lux Aeterna
7) The movie Braveheart
6) Dr. Alison Baker and Dr. Rocklin from the Cal Poly English Department
5) Learning how to sing
4) My Mission to Washington DC
3) Growing up as I did in Pasadena and that social education
2) The Gospel of Jesus Christ and my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon
1) My temple endowment

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This isn't Happening

It really isn't...

Top 10 Tuesday

Yes - I know its Thursday. I just had the idea yesterday but I don't want to miss a week. I love top 10's and they seem appropriate at years end to recap things and changes and stuff.

Also, recently Facebook has put me in touch with a number good old friends from high school. Some I didn't recognize AT ALL they're so different. But they were good friends to me then and those warm fuzzies have shoved me tripping and stumbling down high school memory lane. I don't know why. Yesterday I went on the school's website just to poke around and half my teachers are still there. One of my choir buddies is teaching Chemistry now... Its awesome but its a bit strange too. Like I've been gravitationally pulled into a Pasadena High School memory vortex this week.

So I thought to kick things off -

10 Things that Always Remind me of High School

10. any song by They Might Be Giants
9. The term “taco snack”
8. Flannel shirts, Doc Martins, and red Chucks
7. The smell of backstage
6. White out pens
5. Lunch box purses, the ones with the KROQ stickers on them. ( Yeah – I was that girl.)
4. the song “Who Let the Dogs out”
3. Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail
2. Hot Dogs and Nachos at the Rose Bowl
1. Tiny hair braids, mood rings and thrift stores

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Giggles (part duex)

These are some offerings of email hilarity from my amazing cousin Rich that peppered my day yesterday.

Too good not to share -

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wednesday Giggles

It's been a ridiculous week for me so here are some ridiculous (and hilarious) moments that you can watch a 100 times and still laugh

The Post

Dear Christmas,
I’ve been a bit annoyed with you this year; I’m not going to lie. I’ve put my time in with the retail penal colony so we are intimately acquainted, it’s true. But every year you seem to get worse and worse about waiting your turn in line with the other holidays. There is an order to things. The Seasons never push their way to the front of the drinking fountain line do they? NO! They wait in line in their proper order but it seems that you have this NASTY habit of cutting in line in front of Thanksgiving and now you’re edging in on Halloween too. Sweet Christmas, we know you’re the star, we know that you’re the reason people hit the gym for the first half of the next year and what keeps most families talking. We know this, just wait your turn all right? Thanksgiving is a nice kid, he doesn’t complain too much and requires fairly little in comparison, let him have his turn and stop shoving your way to the front. It’s downright wrong.

Happily wrapping (post giving thanks),

Dear Firefighters of the Nation,
Firstly, I love you. How can I not? You’re the closest things we’ve got to superheroes and your stories make fantastic movies. I’m a fan. Truly. We just have to talk about one little thing… What is up with the Yosemite Sam Mustache trend? Is it part of all that fraternal initiation stuff? Because they’re just ridiculous. You’d think that you would want to minimize flammable parts of your person when you’re working so closely with, ya know, fire. So logistically they don’t’ make sense so I’m only left to assume that it’s a uniform or fashion thing. Now I’ve been reading vogue since I was 17 and let me tell ya, I can’t remember the last time I saw a mustache on ANY one of those models so it’s definitely NOT a fashion thing. Gentleman, they’re just silly. When Chino Hills was on fire and I was driving home from church and I saw a convoy of 6 fire engines the damsel in me thrilled a bit with the chance to gawk at 6 engines worth of lifesaving manliness but when EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU was mustache clad I wiped a tear from my eye and drove on. It was a bigger loss than the charred landscape. Please call a meeting and address this silliness at once. And pass out the razors at the door. I’ll get them donated if you need me to.

Eagerly yours,

Dear Google Wizards,
Thank you so much for the new Gmail themes. My ninja setup brings me joy every time I open an email. It’s like a two-fer of happiness, an email and an entertaining ninja to enjoy it with. Every time. You make the world a better place. Seriously. I’m making you toffee as we speak. Love laced toffee.

Domestically yours,

Dear Makers of the Twilight movie,
You tried. I really see that. You had fun. I see that too. It was horrible. Did you grow up in rural Utah and have nothing but Roadshow experience to call on for ambiance? Did you watch one too many After School Specials? Worship at the alters of You Can’t Do That on Television and The Mickey Mouse Club? Because ALL of those came to mind during my viewing. It’s a kid’s book yes, but a timeless story, you could have treated it with a bit more respect. Recast Jasper at least for New Moon. Incremental improvements are better than none at all.

Still getting the bad taste out of my brain,

Dear Hugh Jackman,
I know you’re happily married and an amazing father and one of the single most talented and genuinely pleasant people in Hollywood, but will you marry me? Australia just cast into bronze my cemented devotion to every strand of your DNA. There truly is no other man for me. I know all the songs in Oklahoma too.

Awaiting your call,