Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tell Me How You Really Feel

I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter.   I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter.  I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter.    I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter. I hate winter.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

Kay, let me clarify first off that the previous post was meant to be funny. Sorry if it bummed a few people out. I suppose after re-reading it there were a few requests that were downers- but really it was meant to be silly and impossible. (Amy- I was at work so I couldn't take a nap- and I'm afraid if I show too much initiative with the Single Adults, I'll land myself in a calling I really, Really, REALLY don't want).

Anyway, I am more blessed than I deserve. Santa found me and -boy howdy- did he leave a stash! Hooo-ee! I wasn't expecting any of it (because I've told Santa several times not to get me anything because "he's" already done too much for me. I won't make a list of what I got because that would just be bragging.  But look for higher production of cakes from the Baker kitchen.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My (selfish) Grown Up Christmas List

Yeah yeah... I wish for world peace and all that crap, but if we're really gonna talk about things we *want* we gotta get real.

I want:
  • a car that isn't about to fall off it's wheels
  • a full time job with insurance
  • my own place
  • enough money to live far away but still come home to visit when I want to
  • the library to have the audio books I want *when* I want them
  • tropical temperatures
  • Disneyland to move to wherever I'm living
  • my bills paid off
  • my travel account to generate 1000% interest
  • my *whole* family here for Christmas
  • someone to organize a weekly (I'd settle for monthly) volleyball night
  • to get out of Idaho- even if it's only for a little while
  • a better work schedule so I can have a life
  • people at work who will talk to me and not make me feel like a moron
  • to not have to work Christmas day for the first time in my life (major bummer)
  • to not have to work New Year's Day at 5 a.m.
  • a haircut/color that doesn't make me want to wear a bag on my head like the last/current monstrosity did (I miss Kara)
  • a happy place
  • hip hop and rap to die
  • to see all the places in the world I've ever wondered about
  • people to appreciate How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the live action one) instead of trashing it
  • a "George Bailey" experience
  • my self confidence back
  • a publisher to knock on my door and say, "Hey, I hear you've written an awesome book. Can I publish it?"
  • a nap
  • a lunch date with Jimmy Fallon
  • Richard Armitage to be my first kiss
  • for my friend to meet Alan Rickman (my one unselfish wish...?) but I want to be there too to laugh at her when she slobbers all over him (ahh... there it is)
  • my DVD player to get fixed
  • a time machine (I forgot the crystals)
  • my own Netflix account so I don't have to wait for my sister to get lame kid movies
  • someone to stop me- this list is ridiculous

Friday, December 17, 2010

Inspoken Christmas Concert 2009

When I lived in Denver I was in an acapella (mostly) quartet called Inspoken with some friends.  I signed us up for the Littleton Stake Celebrate Christ which was for the whole community, all faiths and groups who wanted to perform for Christmas.  We practiced and practiced. We could hit every note and we sounded great in rehearsal.  Game Day came and I woke up with a sore throat- not good when you're supposed to be hitting a B flat above High C.  One girl went to the wrong church and so wasn't there for warm-ups. She walked in just as we were walking on stage.  We were a little discombobulated.  We'd performed together several times one song at a time- but it was our first (and only cuz I moved) concert.  So here it is for your enjoyment (or whatever)- warts, flat notes and all.

Oh, and a BIG FAT THANK YOU to Matthew Witt for recording and posting these on YouTube.

Inspoken in order of appearance-

Moi- on Soprano
Desiree Banka- on Alto
Dianne Nelson- on Bass (an octave up) and Descant
Kimberly Nuttall- on Tenor

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Non-Contest Winner: Cami

Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

The beginning of this story is kind of embarrassing for me.  Let me give you a little background. When I was a kid I was so good at remembering names.  I could meet someone and know they're name from then on and never forget it. Somewhere along the line I lost that talent. I have a really hard time remembering names.  Cami is a prime example of my old age setting in.

I'd been home from my mission about a year, trying to get involved in a new singles ward (trying to memorize the names of a bunch of people who, quite frankly, all looked the same to me and were far too young for me to want to be friends with).  I was in the Relief Society Presidency when Cami first came to the ward.  She'd just graduated from high school.  She was there with two of her cousins who I only knew as "The Lemmon Girls." She was another Lemmon. They were all blond and all back row dwellers. That's all I could tell you about them. 

Over time we got our ward involved in stake volleyball. I love volleyball. I suck at it, but I love to play it. We had a ward that was... hard to play with. Some were really good and some were those who would move when the ball came near them and didn't even try.  Despite our lack of skill and teamwork, I continued to go to volleyball.  Cami came too. It was the ideal opportunity for me to get to know her beyond being "another Lemmon". But I could never remember her name.  It took me a few weeks but I finally got it down. I'm a very vocal player. I cheer people on- and sometimes make noise to distract the other team. But that's how I learned Cami's name, by yelling out "Cammmmaaaaaayyyyyy" every time she hit the ball.  She'll never let me live it down that it took me so long to remember her name.

Another thing she'll never let me live down is the fact that once *once* I forgot her birthday. Well, I didn't forget it, I said the wrong month. You have to know, sometimes I say January when I mean July.  I said May instead of March. Sorry. I'll never forget her birthday again- even if I try.

 Along with volleyball, Cami and I were both avid FHE attenders.  Once I started to get to know more people in the ward (and got over the age difference [yes, I really have age issues]) I started hanging out with them more.  Every Monday after FHE we would go and descend upon Denny's.  I always ordered a "giraffe" of water.

Sometimes Cami and I would go for walks.  I'd walk towards her house and she'd walk towards mine and we'd meet in the middle. Or she'd drive to my house and we'd walk around the park.  We never ran out of things to talk about.  I don't remember many of the conversations in detail, but it was nice to have someone to talk to.  A real kindred spirit who understood me.

Cami and I started the institution of Thursday lunch at Bamboo. It was a rare Thursday that was missed.  Sometimes Cam had to work but we'd carry on still.  The incident that stands out the most vivid for all involved was the "Mexican Sucker from German Class." It still makes me gag just thinking about it so I won't go there. If she wants to tell it on her blog, so be it.

me with Melissa and Cami at Bamboo

One of my favorite memories with Cami was Sunday night sing along.  A few of us would pick someones house (usually mine) and sing along with Ryan playing at the piano.  We sang church stuff. We sang Broadway stuff. We sang contemporary stuff. It was the funnest time ever.  I really really miss that.  My favorite moment of all those times was when Cami hit the high note at the end of "Phantom of the Opera." and I mean that *H.I.G.H*  note. She closed her eyes, she clinched anything that would clinch and she totally nailed that note! (Wiki says it's an E6 if that means anything to you) It was amazing. You don't even know.

Cami wasn't the person to introduce me to Wicked but she helped me love it.  We would sing the songs together all the time, especially "For Good." She took the Elphaba part and I would take Glinda.  The best ever was when we were singing at the ward talent show. Our bishopric had just been released and we dedicated the song to them. Both of us nearly cried through the whole thing. It was awesome.

There was even a time, at the end of a near perfect day, that a few of us were in the Park down the street from Ryan's house.  It was night time and Cami and I were playing on the swings and singing together. You may think it sounds super cheesy, and maybe it is, but it was so fun.

When Cami went on her mission I was living in Colorado. I was home long enough at Christmastime to go to her farewell. I remember it was a miserable snowy day and I almost got stuck on the un-plowed roads. But I made it.  While she was on her mission I wrote Sister Lemmon a lot. I wrote her more that I've written any other missionary- and that includes my brother. I attribute it to Dear Elder dot com. It was too easy to write her a letter, almost like an email, but she would get a paper letter in the mail- which being a former missionary myself, I know missionaries love getting actual mail. She wrote me back a few times, which to be honest was more than I expected. I knew she was busy and had a lot of people to write so it made me feel special that she took the time to write to me.

Since she's been home and I've been home our paths haven't crossed as much. She's got like, eight jobs and I have my crazy hour job. But it's still fun when we can squeeze moments in for Chinese food or game night. There's probably so much more I could talk about. But my brain is fried from staring at this screen.
Want to enter the Non-Contest? Enter here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Non-Contest Winner: Dede

They're Cousins- Identical Cousins....

Ok, we're not really identical... We don't even really resemble each other at all. But we *are* cousins.  I've known Dede for ages and ages. I don't remember when I met her. I imagine we were both pretty young.  She always lived far, far away so it was a rare occasion for me to see her.  When we did get to see each other it was at family reunion type functions in Salt Lake. All I remember about little Dede was that she looooved horses. If it had a horse on it, she loved it.

My first real memory of Dede was when I was 11.  She was... 9? (Crap Dede, how much younger than me are you?) Our entire family took a road trip to Disneyland.  Her family piled in their MM (Mormon Mover) and our family piled (quite literally) in our BMW (Big Mormon Wagon).  We stayed in the Jolly Roger Hotel near Disneyland.  I remember we would go swimming in the pool in the evenings. 

Back in those days it was safe to let your kids roam freely at Disneyland.  We all had these H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. yellow shirts with our names on them.  They said "We finally made it!" (because the trip had been postponed a few times).  All over the park people would recognize us and say, "Hey! We just saw some other people from your group at Mr. Toad's!"

Dede and I decided to ditch the family and do our own thing. We made our way to Tomorrowland, where we stayed. And stayed.  We didn't know where anything was, any rides or anything. So we just wandered. Finally we found the People Mover, a ride that no longer exists. It was a slow train ride around Tommorrowland. It kind of took you... forget it. If you don't know what it is and want to learn about it, go here.

We would get off the ride, run around and get on again.  We were the only ones on the ride. Finally the worker just asked if we wanted to stay on instead of going through the line again. So we just kept going in very slow moving circles.  We wasted the whole day doing that.  My sisters were aghast when they found out I'd not been on any real rides and forbade Dede and I to go off alone again.

We were always pretty good at being pen pals. Years later, when email became the new rage we got even better at it. She was at School (Dixie?) and I was living at home and working (sounds familiar).  We were email buddies when she met her future husband, Joey. I got to hear all the twitterpated silliness that goes along with new love.  I lived vicariously through her. That was my boy craziest time so I had lots of stories to tell her too- but nothing *nothing* as exciting as a real live boyfriend.

When Dede got married I made one of my rare trips down to Orderville. I'd only been there once before, for here sister's wedding.  After marriage we lost contact a little (it happens) but she wrote me while I was on my mission. She sent me pictures of her new baby while I was gone.

Now Dede is this *ridiculously* talented designer. She works from home in Orem and makes digital scrapbook pages. 

We got to have a repeat of our Disneyland vacation a couple of years ago but with her own kids- and no more People Mover we weren't able to completely recreate it. She had a hand though in our family of matching shirts. At least this time they were a lovely red instead of smack-you-in-the-face-yellow.  We went to Seaworld and stopped ever so briefly at the beach.  It was a good trip. Instead of our own vehicles we rented a big red bus (lovingly christened Mushu) so that we could spend more time together. It was funner than it sounds, seriously.

Dede is the closest cousin to my age so naturally we gravitated together. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful cousin-friend. I just wish we had more time to see each other.

Want to enter the Non-Contest? Enter here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Face Lift

It started out as a simple change of music to my Christmas playlist.  Then I decided to add the link to Amy and Paul.  Then... I don't know what happened. It all snowballed from there. I was moving things around, changing colors, adding links, it was crazy!

The one thing I *hate* is that big black box next to my title and picture. But I don't know how to center the picture and I don't have any panorama-ish pictures to place in there. Opinions? Tell me if you totally hate the new look.  I'm not so sure I'm sold on it myself. But I've never been a big fan of change.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Non-Contest Winner: Catherine

We Can Laugh About it Now

Casebolt, Kotter, Me, Meyers

I was going to give a lot of pointless back story to this edition of my Non-Contest winner.  But that really has nothing to do with her, so I'll get right to the point. I met Catherine (or as I knew her then, Sister Meyers) my first day in New Jersey.  She was asked to be the trainer of my MTC companion, Sis Casebolt.

We called her the Dancing Frog.  I never really did get the whole story behind that. I guess she'll have to tell that story on her own blog.  But what I do remember about her is that she was... let's say dedicated.  I couldn't believe some of the stories the pair of them would come home with at the end of the day.  I still have visions of a drunk guy yelling at them about reading the book! the blue book and going to Church on Sip! Sip Avenue!

I can't recall the particulars, but Sister Meyers drove me crazy- and she wasn't even my companion.  I was overjoyed the day she got transferred.  Then, six weeks later I got a phone call that I was to be transferred- to be her companion for the last six weeks of her mission.  I was really nervous- to put it mildly.

She was a go-getter. She was all about pounding the pavement and getting work done. One thing that- to this day- makes me laugh when I think of it, was her eating and exercise habits.  She would eat a can of tuna fish and a glass of milk for breakfast.  Or she would make a batch of rice crispy or cornflake treats and eat those for breakfast or a snack in the car.  She had a pepper plant that she grew in a pot on our apartment fire escape.  We were not allowed to have exercise equipment as missionaries so she fashioned herself a barbell by tying gallon milk jugs filled with water to the ends of a broomstick.  She would lift weights in the morning with it.  Except for tuna she was trying her hand at vegetarianism.  There was one time we went to Hermione's (an investigator- pronounced Her-me-Own) house for a dinner appointment.  Hermione was from Jamaica so she served some meat sauce thing and boiled plantains.  I could not stomach the plantains and Catherine would not eat the meat, so when Hermione had left the room, we hurried and traded. She ate my boiled plantains and I ate her meat concoction (which, by the way, was really good).

We didn't always get along. One time during an argument she tried to kick me out of the car. We had very clashing personalities.  I think the one thing that can be attributed to keeping us from killing each other is Harry Potter. Well, Harry Potter and a few movies.

Sis Meyers had never read the books (neither had I if you want to be technical, I'd listened to them as audio books).  I started at the beginning and re-told them in sickeningly perfect detail.  It took about a week to retell one book.  At that time only the first four books were out.  So for four weeks, while we drove, while we walked, during lunch breaks, whenever there was a free minute, I was telling her the stories. Looking back, I honestly think (of all the lame things) that it was inspiration. There is no way I could recall them now in such detail. She even called me after she'd gone home to Utah.  She said she read the books and was surprised that I had remembered them and left absolutely nothing out.

There were also a few movies that we would quote and laugh about together.  The one that springs most vividly to mind is The Princess Bride.  We would spend hours quoting that movie.  There was even one time we had our roommates in the car with us, Sis Meyers and I were quoting the scene where Buttercup pushes Wesley down the hill. We were bouncing around in the car making the sound effects of them rolling down the side of the hill.  I'm pretty sure Sisters Casebolt and Kotter thought were were certifiably insane.

The last few days before she was to go home, Sister Meyers decided she wanted to get her hair braided with extensions. Hermione was a hair dresser so we spent the day at her house.  Catherine's hair was so fine that it took hours and hours and Hermione was still only able to get half of her hair done.  That night we took a few pictures of it. I think she slept with it like that and then the next morning, it was already fraying so badly that she just took them out. It was very frizzy.

Oh well, it was a valiant effort.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not a Contest

Sometimes I have a hard time thinking what to write about. I want to be clever and un-boring and, well let's face it, I live a less than exciting life. Last night I had a stroke (of genius!) and decided to do something fun on my blog. But it involves audience participation.  I want to write about YOU!

If you'd like to be the soul center of a blog by me- just comment on this post.  I may not get to it that same day- depending on how many people comment (all three of you who read this)- but within a reasonable amount of time you will see a lovely blog about yourself.  It will be my memories of you and what kinds of things remind me of you and that kind of stuff. If a stranger decides to post- then I may have to get creative.

It's not a contest because EVERYONE WINS!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In My Head

There is a whole mess of crap going on in my head.  It's dangerous territory and I don't recommend you tread long in the zone.

First of all. I probably should have thought more than once about my decision to stay up till 4 am watching The Best of Jimmy Fallon (for whom I harbor a small crush).  I had forgotten that I traded shifts to work today so I got a phone call ten minutes after my shift started. I was still in bed.  Oopsy.  I was super late. Idiot.

Speaking of crushes. I also kind of have a crush on Brendan Fraser. I really really hope that he's a nice person in real life. Cuz if I ever meet him and find out he's a creep it will be a real let down.

I'm thinking about stopping my blog.  No one reads it anyway. I read it more than anyone else I think.  Nights when I'm bored at work I'll get on it and read some of my back posts.  I think I'm amusing but I don't know if it's worth it.  I probably won't stop. I have just thought about it.

How do people get ahead financially? I feel like I'm going to be living from paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my life. Living with my parents doesn't help my positive outlook on that so much either.

I am really grateful to the person who decided that reading aloud and recording audio books would be a good idea. More than once a good book has kept me awake on my monotonous commute. (plus the next book I"m starting is read by Brendan. Squeeeee!!!!)

I have my older brother's name for Christmas this year and I have absolutely no idea what to get him. Nor do I know what to get the kids... well, that's not true. I'll get them the same thing this year that I've gotten them the last few years.  It's easy and fun. I'll tell you after Christmas.  I doubt they read my blog. But just in case, you know.

I hear the horror stories that people have with their teenagers and see the kids who come into the hospital who have suicidal thoughts and stuff, it makes me so glad I'm not a mom. Isn't that horrible?  I'm so selfish.

A few nights ago I had a dream about frog people. They were being attacked by Viking/Huns.  The frog people got in ships to get away from the attackers.  They sailed to a land that used to be a thriving metropolis only to find it a desert ruin.  They saw a Viking/Hun ship and tried to sail around it unseen.  Not so.  They were caught by the V/Hs and a battle ensued.  Climbing over a hot dusty mountain, everyone saw the skeleton of an old city.  The V/Hs hated anything that had to do with electricity and therefore hated the city.  As they tried to attack it, the inhabitants came running out ready to fight. They were strange zombie looking humans who all had mutated right arms.  The arms were elongated almost to the length of their bodies and the hand made into a permanent overlarge fist.  They would hold them out and use them as a ramrod as they ran at the attackers.  As I flew over the battle, I was knocked several times by the fists and continued to bounce over the battle like a beach ball.  When the V/Hs gave up, the zombie fist people took in the frog people refugees.  There was a girl frog and she was sad because she thought her boyfriend had been lost in the battle. In the end, he walked past her and she caught his webbed hand. They kissed and all I could think of was... Wow, that would be kind of a rubbery kiss.

My DVD player is on the fritz.  I don't know how I'm going to watch all my Christmas movies.  I have watched a few on my computer. But usually I like to play on the computer while I watch a movie. I know, my life is so tough.

When I was in England I bought some earrings.  One of them broke last week (not the ones from a few posts ago).  They were my favorites. Sigh...

I tried flirting today and after the guy had left I felt like such an idiot.  I sounded so stupid. And he wasn't even worth flirting with. Totally wasted. Oh well.

I miss not having my bedroom.  At this moment my clothes are all draped over the ironing board as opposed to hanging in my closet. But since the flood incident I've been displaced and I'm kind of spread out over three rooms in the house.

There was a spider in my bed today.  I feel violated.

I miss not being able to cook.  I used to have time to cook a lot but since I've started working I don't think I've cooked anything more difficult than boxed mac and cheese.

My friend sent me the following videos.  Watch this one first.  And then this one.  I nearly peed my pants laughing.  Some people have too much time on their hands.  But I'm glad they put their time to entertaining uses.

See, I told you it was a mess in here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My First Tutorial

I like reading other blogs and seeing the crafty cutesy things that others can do. I by no means feel that I am crafty or cutesy,  but I tried out a new cake technique and it turned out pretty awesome, so I thought I'd share my secret.

Shayla's zebra cake. Pretty simple, really.

For the zebra effect, take small rolled out snakes of black fondant and lay out a pattern over an unrolled slab of white fondant. (make sure you put in little "y's" because zebras don't have perfect stripes.)

Carefully roll out the fondant and the black wormy parts will moosh in with the white. If it doesn't stick it's because you have too much powdered sugar in between them. Just wipe it lightly with a wet paper towel to get it to glue together then roll it a little more.

To make the bow just cut out strips of fondant about an inch wide and 5 or 6 inches long. Curl them over and "glue" the ends with water. Pinch them off a little so they are tapered.  Let them dry out a little overnight and then use melted white chocolate as a glue to put your bow together.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Snow Day

Let's get this out in the open first. I loath winter. Especially now that I have a 45 minute commute across wind swept farm land and blows snow around creating treacherous conditions.

But today- today was awesome. It was snowing snowballs. I mean it- the flakes were all stuck together and it was coming down in preformed snowballs. My sister brought her kids over to hang out while she helped my mom. Dallin wanted to play in the snow... I thought for the first time in *years* that I wanted to too! I put on my snow boots and a sweatshirt (my coat is still in a box somewhere).  Sadie even got in on the action and came up with some snow gear. I haven't had that much fun playing in the snow in forever.

We built a snowman and made snow angels.  I dragged Dallin around on the sled and he *tried* to drag me. I knew he wouldn't be able to- but he insisted so I let him try. It was hilarious.  We even had a good old fashioned snowball fight.  (Sadie can only hit about one in ten- but she always makes that one count.  She got me in the head almost every time she hit me.) 

Then it was inside for homemade soup and hot homemade bread!  Not a bad beginning to winter.

It got worse. I sang Christmas songs all day and even popped in the Grinch for the kids (right, the kids- not me.) Our tree is up but not decorated. If I'm not careful I may start getting in the Holiday mood before Thanksgiving this year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Good News Bad News

I always like to do the bad news first. I don't know why.  I guess I'd rather end on a slightly higher note than the one I began with.  A few days ago I was rummaging around barefoot in my room and *sloshed* my foot in a puddle.  That's never good.  We found that there is a long crack in the foundation of the house.  The smell of the old wet carpet pad would make your toes curl.  I have subsequently moved out of my bedroom- hopefully temporarily.  I'm sort of half in the room next door and half living at my sisters.  One sister is out of town for work so I'll sleep in her comfy bed while she's gone.  We'll see what happens when she gets back. There are plenty of spare beds at my parents house. But I've been spoiled with how awesome- and how big- my bed is. I forgot what it's like to sleep with my feet hanging off the end of the bed because I'm too tall for it.

You ready for the good news?

All this means that the wall has to get torn out and *that* means

That's right! The killer corn husk dolls are going to be but a memory... or recurring nightmare.

Pulling down the panelling on the wall also revealed the former occupant's taste (my big brother had the room originally) so for your viewing pleasure, and as a respectful farewell to the decorating taste of siblings past:

I think I prefer the sports wallpaper.

Monday, November 8, 2010

.0003 Seconds of Fame

Dear Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,

Hi, I don't know if you remember me, but I was one of the zillions of Pocatello-ans standing in a crowded, sun-stroked group of screaming idiots on your visit to my hometown (area).  If you don't remember me by name, then perhaps you can re-watch tonight's episode. About 45 minutes into the show, just after the family pulls up to the house in the limo, you scanned the crowd.  I'm the gigantic fuzzy blob of white that's waving (but not looking at the camera because I was forbidden and threatened that if I did, I would not be on the show).

I would like to thank you for my first Hollywood exposure tonight (as well as a possible exposure to skin cancer).  I waited long and terrible hours for that split second of TV time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

That's a Nice Story, Grandma: Halloween Edition

My dad. This would be my first Halloween. I am a little less than a month old. Awww...

I have always loved Halloween. It's not like it was when I was a kid though.  I loved going to school and anticipating all day that when lunch time came, mom would be there to pick me up and take me home to eat and change into my costume.  Then back to school and the rest of the day would be a party.  Chubbuck Elementary knows how to do Halloween right (and from what I understand they are the *only* elementary in the district that still allows Halloween parties. Sad).  We would have individual classroom parties with things like cookie decorating or bobbing for apples. I think one year we carved pumpkins and I'm pretty sure that's where I memorized the movie "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

My sister Valeri is the clown. I'm the poor gingerbread man.

Throughout the day the grades would take turns parading through the school around to all the other classrooms to show off costumes.  I loved watching what costumes other people came up with. I always thought the kids who wore plastic store bought costumes were cheating. Mine were all homemade (hand-me-downs yes, but still homemade) For the longest time I was always a witch. My mom made a black nightgown-y costume for my oldest sister and it got passed down through all the girls and finally to me. I wore it at least three or four times. There was also a clown costume that got passed around the family and the little kids wore a gingerbread man suit.  In fourth grade I dressed up like a Cabbage Patch doll. My mom made me a yarn wig and a dress to match my homemade Cabbage Patch baby.  One year the sixth graders turned their "team" classroom into a haunted house.  They had different booths where you would put your hand in and feel something gross. One thing was like, peeled grapes and they called them eyeballs- or cooked spaghetti noodles and said it was brains. Eeeew.... The next year I was in sixth grade and we did it again. My job was to jump out and scare kids.

After school we'd get home to the house smelling of awful homemade chili (sorry mom).  It was tradition in our house to eat chili on Halloween and we could not go trick or treating until we ate some.  To this day I am not a fan of Chili (but I ate some today- canned- just for tradition sake).

Dressed appropriatly, no?

It was/is usually cold this time of year in Idaho- so more often than not we had to wear a coat while trick or treating.  *Had* to. The choice was "wear a coat, or don't go." No one wanted to cover their costume, so we'd wear our coats under our costumes. I was always a skinny kid- but on Halloween night I turned into a very fat little witch.

We would take pillowcases and head out with Dad to do the neighborhood rounds.  None of this Trunk or Treat, or trick or treating at the mall crap- Halloween was an actual community event. If the porch light wasn't on- then we knew not to go to that house. But everyone else was fair game.  It was awesome when the Fosters moved into town because they gave away full size candy bars. SCORE! When our Pillowcases were about... oh... half full (these are standard size pillowcases, people, not those lame little pumpkins they use these days) we'd go home.  We'd pick a corner and spread our loot out on the floor. Mom got first dibs at the Bit o Honeys (which was no loss in my book), those gross peanut butter nougat-y thingies that are wrapped in black and orange paper (do they still make those? bleh)  and the Tootsie Rolls (we had to negotiate those ones).  Then we would barter amongst ourselves. "I'll give you two Pixie Stix for a Kit Kat."  Then we'd put our stuff in a bowl and usually mine would end up "hidden" under my bed where it would stay till Christmas then get pulled out to share with everyone else.

Dad always took us trick or treating. I remember the first year he couldn't. He was sick.  We came home at the end of the night and he was sitting on the porch with a bowl of candy and a headband of bobbly stars on his head looking more forlorn than I've ever seen. It was sad. Honestly.
Move over, Elphaba. Here I come!

I have many more Halloween memories, but I should have started recounting them earlier. I'm weird about celebrating holidays that are past. Now it's time to start thinking of Thanksgiving stories.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You Can't Take It With You

I had a scare tonight.  It's Halloween time, you'd expect that, right? Well, different kind of scare. I don't like to think of myself as materialistic, but maybe I am.  Five years ago while I was in England I purchased a few jewelry pieces. I wear them allllll the time. There is one set I particularly love.  They are a shimmery brown stone. I have no idea what they are- but they're awesome. It's a necklace and earring set. 

Tonight while surfing the web in my rocking chair, I happened to glance at the spot the jewelry was precariously laid (I've been telling myself for a month to put them away).  I noticed one of the earrings was missing.  There was also an el cheap-o set I bought at Claire's sitting with them.   It  couldn't have been the replaceable cheap earring that was missing, but one of my favorite because-I-bought-them-in-England-not-because-they're-worth-anything earrings was gone. I scoured the floor, shook out clothes that were lying nearby. The trash can was close so I emptied it of it's few tissues to see if it was in the bottom.  No dice.  I remembered that just last week I emptied my trash into the larger bin. I mentally crossed my fingers and toes hoping that my dad hadn't taken out the trash yet.

I emptied out the full size trash bin looking for my earring.  Candy wrappers, empty Sonic cups, used Q-tips, you name it, I rooted through it.  I pulled everything out because I knew if it was there it would have fallen to the very bottom. Ridiculously, I prayed I would find it.  But still trying to tell myself- in case it wasn't findable- that "You can't take it with you when you go." "You can't keep everything forever." "It's just an earring. Don't get upset."

It wasn't in the bin.  I washed my hands -thoroughly- and decided to look once more in my room. I crawled on the floor, putting my hands under furniture hoping to high heaven not to meet a spider and found nothing. Then, like the end of all good stories, there was a glint of light in the most unlikely of places: my Q-tip box.  How the earring got in there I'll never know. But after a quick prayer of gratitude, the earring, it's mate and the matching necklace (as well as the cheap-o crap necklace set) is put away and hopefully safe.

Again, not to sound materialistic, what would *you* crawl through a garbage bin to find?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Like I've said in posts past, the Baker grandchildren have no lack of imagination.  The other day they were playing "Adoption Agency."

I have *no* clue where the got the idea for this game. But it was very serious stuff. There were background checks, and interviews.  This was the official form.

My niecephews are the funniest.  At least it was ten minutes we didn't have to hear about Thomas the Train or Justin Bieber. *shudder*

Monday, October 18, 2010


I looked out the window and what did I see? Not popcorn popping on the apricot tree, that's for sure. I saw what looked to be a ritual pumpkin sacrifice. If I didn't know my niecephews were playing with the pumpkins last night I may have been a tad freaked out.  It looks like the real pumpkins are ganging up on the fake Jack-o-lantern in the middle.

Then I laughed. The way the light was hitting it it looked like a small, orange Stonehenge.

PS- the other night I had a dream that I was an elf, flying around in the summertime with Santa and only one reindeer.  We were discussing how children these days have no imaginations. I don't think this applied to the kids related to me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Last night I came in contact with the man who is quite possibly the hottest guy I've ever seen.  I wish I could say I was witty and funny and made a good impression.  But all I could do was stare.

And I'm pretty sure I drooled a little.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Funny Things

The other day I put gas in my car and I couldn't get the gas to stop pumping. I was freaking out and it flustered me so, that once I got it turned off I apparently forgot to put the gas cap back on and close the cover.  I noticed two days later when I stopped for gas again.  Funny thing: I just commented on a friend's blog and had to write in a code for my comment to appear.  The code word?
HAHAHAHA!!!! How does it know?

I have found myself a new hobby.  I've been practicing cake decorating.  I need occasions to make cakes. It's birthday season in the Baker family- but I don't make my own cake (we don't do cake for my birthday) my brother got a fun football referee cake from me. My sister, Kim doesn't do cake either (we're both birthday pie girls; she's Cherry and I'm French Silk).  The next birthday isn't for a month. I'm dying to make another cake and I'm just looking for a reason... time... and money. I want to get my name out there for people to order cakes, but I'm not confident enough to charge what I think fondant cakes should go for- but I don't want to get hosed on money because though they look simple, fondant cakes are time consuming. Plus I don't think people in this town are willing to pay what a cake like that *should* go for. Are we cheap or frugal? Hmmm...  Funny thing: we don't eat a ton of cake around this place so I can't really make a cake just for the sake of making one.

I actually have almost a year's worth of cakes planned out for my family birthdays. I can't wait to make them! I hope birthdays come fast! I wish we liked cake more. I have several cute ideas for holiday cakes as well- pick holiday, I have a cake to make for it... well, not Columbus day.

Speaking of Columbus Day, Funny thing: did you ever stop to think that we celebrate every year just because a guy got lost and didn't ask for directions? What kind of behavior are we condoning here?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thank Heaven for Little Boys

I am having the ugliest day ever! I woke up twice last night- once with a splitting-I-wish-I-could-just-die-now headache, and once with an undeserved charlie horse in my left calf. Ugh...

I was showered and dressed but still red eyed and pock marked like a greasy teenager.  Dallin, who is possibly the world's sweetest (although chatterbox-iest) little boy, climbed on my lap and threw his arms around me and said, "Heaboo, you're so pretty."

I love this boy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Book and the Rose

I saw this short film in between conference sessions today. I loved 99% of it and then the last five minutes made me so mad that I never want to see it again.  Here is the trailer for your enjoyment- It is good, so if you want to watch it without spoilers (though it's pretty predictable) don't continue reading the rest of this post.

The Book and the Rose (Trailer) from Jeff Bemiss on Vimeo.

***Here there be spoilers***

I love the basic romance of the story. Isn't it funny how it seems so romantic to meet someone and fall in love through letters, but people who meet on the internet are totally judged? You'd think it was the same thing, but I think snail mail is soooo much more romantic and if I can't meet someone the organic way, I'd want it to be through letters- not email.

Anyway, the thing that bugged me to no end about this movie- is at the very end, he shows up in the train station and sees a beautiful girl- he assumes it's her- but she's not wearing a rose.  Then he sees a lovely, yet bigger lady wearing the red rose that he's looking for.  He has second thoughts about meeting her. She's not "beautiful" like his imagined and therefore he thinks he can slip away without her knowing. To his credit he decides that no matter what she looks like, he loves her and he approaches the woman.  He finds out she's there to test him.  The woman directs him where to go to meet his pen pal- who is totally gorgeous, skinny and blond.  Fine.  I have nothing against skinny blonds, but why was the big lady used as a test? Who does that skinny freak think she is?  Thinking, "well if he is willing to love a fat lady then he must be a good guy"? That's total crap.  So any guy who is willing to overlook physical appearance is all the sudden worthy of a "more beautiful" woman? He'll be rewarded for his kindness? Nice message. Girls like me don't stand a chance.  We're a consolation prize.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When I grow up I want to be a zebra

Today is my day off. It was wonderful to stay up till two in the morning reading- ahh... the good old days... I emerged from my basement tomb and found myself home alone! I sat on the couch in the sunshine to enjoy my book.  It's a gorgeous day outside.  The sun was shining through- but the blinds were pulled.  Open, but still across the window, creating striped shadows all over me.  No biggie, right? Not until one falls asleep in that light for an hour.  I think I now have a striped tan. Is that better than no tan at all? I'm not so sure.

Oh, it also doesn't help that my roots are starting to show through on this horrible hair color I am sporting. Sigh... Maybe I should just stay in my room, blogging and eating Holland Mints.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Little Pick Me Up

The breaks just went out on Kermit- which means I have to drive Stanley (mom's cruddy van) to work tomorrow, which means no cruise control or Harry Potter- which means it's going to be a very long hour drive to Idaho Falls.  Plus, I have no money, I'm not getting any hours at work so the prospect of money is dim at this moment. I just got summoned for Jury Duty (I was JUST summoned in Colorado before  I moved- Welcome to Idaho)  I think it's time for a list to come to the rescue!

Things I love about my job:

  • The simple fact that I actually *have* a job
  • It's busy so the time flies by
  • Whenever a baby is born they play Brahm's Lullaby over the sound system
  • It's challenging
  • I am picking it up quickly
  • the people are nice (for the most part)
  • I get to use my brain (it's rusty)
  • The drive is pleasant (with HP for company and nice weather- once those things change that commute will totally suck)
  • It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning
  • The awesome ice!
  • I'm not glued to a desk
  • The NO TOBACCO campus (smokers have to take a two block hike to light a cancer stick)

I'm sure a lot of it will change in time, but for now, I really like it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Uninvited Guests

An idiosyncrasy about me you may not know:  I hate bugs, spiders, creepy crawly critters, etc.  When I am in my house and a creepy crawly crosses my path, it dies.  No questions asked  (well, I will ask someone else to kill it if there is another person's shoes available,*  but if not, I do the deed myself- which grosses me out to no end). But when I am outside, I do not harm the little bugs. I figure, I'm in their home so I am the intruder.  I don't barge into their home and kill them (mosquitoes are another story. Yes, I am in their home, but I am there peacefully and they are the ones picking the fight.  If they get caught poking their noses into my business, they die) and generally when we are out of doors we can coexist.

I think my fear of creepy crawlies dates back to the time- shortly after Halloween- when I was helping my mom deliver a wedding cake to the church across the street. There had been a party there the night before with all kinds of spooky-ish decorations. As I walked into the church behind my mom, I spied a plastic spider on the ground. I thought it would be funny to put it somewhere where someone would see it and freak out. Turned out the joke was on me. It was real- and alive.

Then there was the time I was living in Provo. A HUGE spider was in our living room and being the silly girls that we were- we went next door to get a boy to come get it. This big guy comes over, I mean, he's 6'4 and 200- something pounds. He leaned to hit the spider with a shoe- and missed. The spider jumped- and when it landed it reared back in fighting position- four legs in the air on the defensive. Have you ever seen a 6'4, 200- something pound guy jump up on a couch and scream like a girl? I have.

Spiders are all well and good when they are used in decoration.  Like my friend's purple glittery spiders. Super cute and the perfect finishing touch.  I was in the "lowest level of hell" tonight (aka Walmart) and they had some fancy shmancy spider decorations too.  I wouldn't have minded them. But why do the for real ones feel like they need to move in with me? Do they come as an accessory to the creepy corn husk doll wall paper? Is it punishment for all the innocent spiders I killed outdoors as a child? Is it revenge for that spiders nest I wiped out several years ago? (it was in my closet! What was I supposed to do? Eeeyuch!) Why? Why do they think my room is the most hospitable room in the house? If it's not my bedroom it's my bathroom. They're not even pretty spiders. They are gross brown ones the size of a fifty cent piece (do any of you know what those look like? You're not ~that~ young are you?). And they leave juicy messes when you pound them with a flip flop.  Why can't they just die when I spot them and let me vacuum them up?  At least this year (knock on particle board) there are no Hobos.

*sidenote-  I can NOT be wearing the shoes being used to kill thecreepy crawly.  I have to hit it with a shoe I am not wearing.  I absolutely under no circumstances can step on a critter.  I felt the crunch once and I've never been the same since.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ABBA Mania

Who out there can think of a better cure for eight hours of mind numbing computer tutorials- than an evening with ABBA? (well, it was close, since the original group has no plans to get back together as far as I know). 

Tonight my sisters and a  bunch of friends had front and center seats to the ABBA Mania concert.  It was so stinking fun.  The only drawback was the geriatric crowd that was surrounding us.  Why people 70 and older thought they needed tickets to ABBA is beyond me.  They were so lame.  No one would clap or dance.  I got the look of death from one grandma when the guitarist (who looked suspiciously like David Spade) took the stage and I cheered for him.  I decided I didn't care.  We whooped and hollered and sang along with almost all of the songs. They sang a few I didn't know, but that was fun too.  The people behind us were glad to be sitting near fun people.  The two main singers were good.  The back-up girl reminded me strongly of someone I know.  (Vern, do you sometimes sport black spandex and sing ABBA tunes? I swear it was you I saw tonight)  It wasn't the most amazing concert I've ever been to.  They kept forgetting the words to the songs- probably not everyone noticed, but because I know the words- and could see their faces when they messed up- I could tell it wasn't on purpose.  But it was certainly the funnest concert I've ever been to. 

Yup, it out did all those house parties with local bands that I frequented every weekend in Provo. Now I just want to listen to the Mama Mia soundtrack and dance in my room... but sadly I'm now a working girl and have a bedtime.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Running of the Rats

This week has two significant dates for me.  Thursday the 16th will be my one year anniversary of the date I got... fired (sigh, every time I say it, it makes me die inside a little bit- but there is no getting around it).  I remember thinking how happy I was that I finally got fired from a job I was too chicken to quit.  I was hoping that I'd qualify for unemployment but because of the nature of my termination, I didn't.  That day sucked when I found that out.

Anyway, that day is also my Sister in Law's birthday and we're going to see ABBA.  I don't think it's actually ABBA, I think it's a cover band, but who cares? It should be enormous amounts of fun!

Wednesday however, is going to be... um... interesting to say the least. I start my new job tomorrow. I'm still hugely nervous.  I have no idea what to expect. I am trying to train myself to go to bed at a decent hour. I don't do mornings very well and would hate to nod off at the wheel.  I have Harry Potter to keep me company so that should help a tad.  It will be nice to have some sort of income again- no matter how sporadic it may be for a while.  I've never really enjoyed sponging off of others so it will be nice to pay my own way again. 

The previous days in this week have been eventful as well. Sunday I was put in as a new primary teacher.  I have a kid in my class who is the son of a guy I went to primary with. He looks *exactly* like his dad which is creepy; besides the fact that his dad is the one who christened me "whale maid" and "quarter tonner".  He's a good kid though.  All my my primary kids are. I'm going to have to be on my game to keep up with those little crazies.

Monday I spent FIVE hours getting my hair done- and it still doesn't look that great. I miss my Denver stylist. I trusted her to the point I'd just say, "do your thing, I don't care cuz I trust you." I'm much too blonde for my taste and I'm not so sure about the cut. It cost me two arms and part of a leg to get a hairdo that I'm not fond of.  Lesson learned.  Let's hope the rest of the week smooths out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dear Universe,

Those pictures of you at the Idaho Falls Visitors Center were awesome! You're lookin pretty good these days. Keep up the good work. My sisters were so impressed with you that they are hanging a mural of you on thier wall.  Really, you are beautiful.

I have a new job now, I don't know if you've heard. It's weird though, because I don't go to work and I don't get paid. I'm not sure how that all works out. The only thing that has changed is the fact that I can honestly say I have a job. Next week is the 1 year anniversary for when I lost my job... ok, got fired. *shudder* I thought it would be funny if they made me wait till that day to start. Just one of life's cruel ironies. This waiting around is a drag.

They made me go in last week and pee in a cup.  They stole some of my blood and made me do a Breathalyzer test (I hope I pass. Shouldn't have had that bottle of Jack just before I went in). Now I just have to sit at home and wait for them to tell me if I am immunized enough to get started.  My background check is also underway.  That shouldn't be a problem though, I live the most squeaky clean, boring life ever.  Sometimes I go 35 in a 25 just for some thrills, but other than that, I'm pretty low key.

I want the job to start, but I'm not gonna lie, I'm nervous. I'm nervous about the commute in winter (45 minutes across wind swept farm land in a white out at midnight? no thanks). I'm nervous I won't like or be good at the job.  I start in the ER for crying out loud!  This is a serious job where if I screw up, it could really mess up people's finances and no one wants their medical paperwork messed up. I'm anxious about the people.  What if they don't like me? What if I don't like them? The majority of a job's likability depends on co-workers. Scary.

Anyway, I know you've been wondering what's going on with me and my "job" so I just wanted to drop you this little note.  I hope you had a great labor day.  I did. I played Zuma all day - that really takes it out of you. Today should be slightly more exciting. I get to hang out at the farmers market with a friend and my niece has her first volleyball game this afternoon.  I'd rather play than watch, but there don't seem to be enough people around here who would be willing to play... the way I play.  I could probably find some people willing to just bump the ball around or be silly. But I want to play for reals! Like, bump, set, spike.  I miss that more than almost anything about Denver. 

Until next time, I am as always,


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't Go There

One of my nieces asked me today if I thought I would ever get married and have kids.  I sat and thought about a nice way of saying, "heck no"  (I try to filter for the G rated crowd) but there was no way to put it nicely.  I try to be a good example to my littles, but I also feel that honesty is the best policy.  I have no idea whatsoever how to be in a healthy, functioning relationship.

When she asked me why, I told her I couldn't imagine wanting to be around someone everyday forever.   I honestly can't get my mind around the concept.  She told me I should get online and look.  HA! That idea got shot down before she'd even put the period on her sentence.  It's all well and good for those who choose to do it, but it's not my style.  I have no interest whatsoever in finding a mate via technology *shudder*.

***this is just a musing- not a cry for help or fishing for encouragement.  I promise.***

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big Big News!

Hey! I have great news AND it's not April Fool's so you can trust it this time!

Last week I had a job interview at the Idaho Falls hospital (ERMAC).  My sister works there and she got a me an interview. I just got the phone call about five minutes ago that they want to offer me the job! I'm soooo excited! You don't even know. It's been almost a year since I've worked and I just can't wait to be back in the workforce. Sure the time off has been nice, but you lose your sense of purpose after a while.

Anyway, I still have to do the background check and all that fun stuff so I don't know when I'll actually start- but it will be soon. I'll laugh really hard if I start the anniversary of when I was let go from the bank.  Irony runs thick in my blood.

I'll work in admissions and I'll start in ER (not gonna lie, kinda freaks me out). I'll start out per diem, but I hope to soon get on a regular-ish schedule.  I might be pulling the graveyard shifts for a while (good thing I've been practicing by staying up till 4 am reading).
It will be a commute to Idaho Falls, but I'm hoping as the job becomes more stable I'll be able to move to I.F. That is one hell of a commute in the winter and I really don't wanna do it if I can avoid it.

As I find out more- I'll let you know more- but for now, it's enough to know I have a job!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Big City Life

Who says Pocatello isn't a happenin' place? Oh, it was me... yeah, well, I was wrong I guess.  A lot of really exciting things have happened since I moved here.

First thing- the stairway light burned out.  No really, this is an exciting thing. For years the light was burned out.  Occasionally I would replace the bulb; A. because I was the only one in the family who could reach it- I'm related to a bunch of runts- and B. there was no fixture cover on it so it was easy.  Anyway, so the thing that makes this all exciting, is the fact that my parent's recently remodeled and in that remodel they covered that light fixture and it's worked just fine.  I move in and Poof! Two days later the bulb burns out. I'm still the only one tall enough to fix it, but now I can't get to it without taking off the fixture and I'm afraid I'll break it. So I get to descend in the dark every night, fearing for my life.

Second thing- I got 97% of my clothes in my closet. This is quite a feat considering for the last three years I've had a walk in closet that was full to the brim. Of course, I still have stuff in my laundry bags, but if I just ignore it, then I'll be fine.

Third thing- I have picked right up where I left off when I moved away from Idaho- with my addiction to Project Runway.  Don't call me on Thursday nights.  I'm busy.

Fourth thing- I get here and shortly after, it's announced that Extreme Makeover Home Edition is coming to town.  I had slight inside information from a very reliable source as to which lucky family was going to get a new house so I forgot to act surprised when it was officially announced.  Now I hear reports of Ty Pennington sightings and friends trying to break through security (She was just trying to do her visiting teaching.  She just happens to visit teach the lady who lives two houses away from the project). And one has to wonder why ISU's orchestra showed up to play while the house was bulldozed.  Why not the marching band or the drum line? Who bulldozes a house to an orchestra?

Fifth thing- I just heard that there are rumors that the Twilight cast is going to visit the home makeover sight! *SQUEEEEEEEE!!!* Oh... sorry, I forgot for a moment that I'm 32 years old.  Ahem... yeah, if that rumor is true then I really wish I could be there. Not for me of course, but to see the reaction of all the 45 year old male construction workers.  Are they really going to give a rat's rear that Edward Cullen is in the house (hyuck, I'm hilarious)?  Maybe he could use his vampire super speed to help them get done faster.  And wouldn't it be fun to see RPatz standing next to Ty Pennington and  watch the ego struggle that will inevitibly ensue?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets

Tomorrow (well, today actually... I have insomnia these days) our proud town has its yearly celebration of Chubbuck Days! (cue the handful of confetti and tell the toilet papered trucks to head down the road to start the parade. Local cheerleaders? check.  Classic Car Club? check. City Council in the back of a hay truck? check. Pooper Scoopers? check. Salt Water taffy to throw to the adoring crowd? check. What's this? Bit o Honey? Get out of the parade!)

Every time Chubbuck Days rolls around, I can't help but feel the tinglings of guilt for a sin committed long ago.  And now, I confess to the universe.  To my wide (ahem) array of readers who so anxiously sit on the edge of their seats wondering, "What will that comic and philosophical genius come up with next?"

Ok... Maybe not.

Anyway, I always feel a little guilty.  I had a partner in crime (don't worry Wendy, your secret's safe with me still. I'll take it to the grave). 

For the life of me I can not remember what lead up to these events, or how two twelve year old girls were left in charge of such an important part of the cities celebration, but a friend (see Wendy, wink wink. It's all good) and I were put in charge of the raffle.  If I recall correctly, we were at the main celebration for a good part of the day.  Every hour or so we would draw a name out of the bucket to award some donated prize to the lucky winner.  We tried really hard to ration it out so the prizes would last all day. Apparently we were too good at that because by the end of the day there were still several prizes remaining.  We gathered them up and took them to my friend's house (you know, the one I'm not mentioning) and were told to just draw names and put them with the prizes and the winners would receive them later.

Our names were in the bucket several times... or maybe just once each. I can't remember.  But there were some prizes that we both hoped we'd be lucky enough to win.  it was a miracle when my name was drawn for the little glass and brass shadowbox house (which yes, I still have) that I wanted so badly.  I can't remember what Wen... I mean, my friend won.  But then there was a little denim purse that we both wanted.  It's a shame we both couldn't win it... but wasn't it odd that the ticket we pulled out had BOTH our names on it? Wow.  We decided to share the denim purse... but I think I ended up with it. I wouldn't be surprised if it too was still in the depths of my childhood boxes.  But can you imagine the LUCK? that we were able to win exactly the prizes that we had our eyes on?

Ummm... ok, It was actually harder for me to admit that than I thought it would be.  I'm not sure if it was therapeutic or not.  Maybe I should keep going and come totally clean... but... I think the story of the Rose Park, Utah 4th of July celebration and the stuffed unicorn dolls can wait for another blog.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Do Birds Gamble?

Today I had the funniest thing happen (and by funniest I mean a little funny and a whole lotta gross).  I was driving down the road, minding my own business admiring the beauty of the half sunny half drizzly day.  I decided to make my thoughts known and said, "it's such a beautiful d..." my sentence got cut off because right then, I ended up with a hand full of bird kaka (or in Jona's immortal words, "AGH! I just got shat upon!").

My first reaction was to be utterly grossed out.  Then I laughed till I nearly ran off the road.  Then I started to be extraordinarily impressed with the bird.  I was moving in a car, moving my hand around, and still the bird managed to aim exactly and hit the top third of my middle finger. (the bird hit me on the bird...HAHAHAHA)

I hope that bird flew to the gas station and bought a lottery ticket- because that was a shot in a zillion and it was obviously lucky today.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dream Companions

I've been in Idaho a week. One solid week.  I wish I had exciting anecdotes to share, but mostly it's been spent with family and little else. I'm not ready to come out of my solitude just yet.  Church is going to take some getting used to, but that's all me.  They were very friendly and quite happy when I said I would be living here for a while and that I was just not here for a quick visit (they're used to those).  But it was my pride that couldn't take it when people asked what had made me move home, "Are you finally sick of that Denver?"

No... trust me. I would rather be there, but I am here and that's that.  How do I explain... Yeah, I moved home because I'm a loser single childless and now unemployed college graduate that couldn't support herself...?

That is not the purpose of this post, however.  Each night since I've been home I have had the craziest dreams. Not all of them do I remember, and the ones I do remember I wish I hadn't.  Last night there was something involving chocolate salsa and trying to prove that I knew how to cook. I think I need to lay off the food network challenge shows. 

Sitting in my room I've been trying to think of a cause of these odd dreams.  I think I have narrowed it down to one thing.  It's the creepy and- to be frank- downright ugly wallpaper in this room.

I think it's enough to give anyone nightmares. *shudder*

Creepy little corn-husk dolls with scythes and hoes.  Looking all, "Oh, I'm just bringing in the sheaves, don't mind me..." Then WHAM! They jump off the wall and kill you in your sleep.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movin' On

Allrighty.  I have left a lot of people in confusion over the last few weeks. Let me explain myself.

I made a deal with myself (and a few other people) that if I did not have a job by the end of June, that I would move home in July.  I tried and tried to find something- anything.  I mean, I applied at places that I would never have applied had I not been so desperate.  No matter though, because it seems no one wanted me as an employee; over-qualified or not. So I made plans to move back to Idaho.  I gave my notice to my landlord, and started to mentally prepare myself for a move I absolutely I didn't want to make.

Did I start packing and actually preparing to leave? No. Why?  Because I secretly hoped that a last minute miracle would come my way.  I was in denial.  I admit it.  Time ticked ever onward.  My little brother and his family came to visit me.  They wanted to come while they still had a free place to stay. 

My parents had purchased their tickets and the date for my move was set. The plan was for them to fly out and to rent a truck and drive home. After my brother's visit, I faced the inevitability of moving home and slowly (any by slowly I mean packing one box a day). I hate packing. I loath packing.  Packing is an abomination in my eyes.  I bragged to people whenever I completed another box.

Thursday night before I was to leave, my friend, Julie, called me with a job opportunity.  Her boss was desperate for an assistant so she wanted my resume to forward on to him.  I got it to her that night, he called me the next day and we set up an appointment for Monday.  This threw a minor wrinkle in the plans because I had two farewell parties being held in my honor...  I would have felt pretty stupid having the parties and then not actually leaving.  But the parties were fun either way.

I was having a difficult time deciding what to do.  Move home and save money? Or stay in Colorado and enjoy my independence and a new, good paying job?  I set some requirements for the job and decided that if it did not meet them that I would not accept it if offered.  The interview was Monday morning and my parents flew in shortly after.  I dislike interviewing. I always come off an incompetent moron.  No wonder I can't find a job. 

Anyway, the job did not meet my requirements so after a lot of thought, prayed and other ingredients that go into making giant life changing decisions, I decided that moving to Idaho, though not my ideal, would be the best choice.  I threw myself (and my parents) into the remaining packing.  We got it all done, and the truck loaded- with the help of my beloved Dianne.  I am out of the house and nearing the road- staying in a hotel with my parents before we hit the road tomorrow morning.

It turns out that my stress and indecision was unnecessary.  I got a phone call back from the interviewer and they decided to go a different direction (work place code for, "You suck and we don't want to burden ourselves with your obvious lack of know-how.")

So, Westward Ho, the wagons! I'll be in Eye-dee-hoe for an undetermined amount of time- but hopefully not an overly extended stay.  Oh dear Colorado, how I will miss thee.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Greatest Frienemy

Lately, I have been spending a lot of time with this one girl I know.  We've known each other all our lives (we even have the same birthday), yet we are still learning about each other.  We have almost everything in common.  We like the same things, She loves Italian food and chocolate- As. Do. I.  She also dislikes all the same things I do.  We are interested in the same things and can have conversations that go on for hours.  We read books together and discuss them.  We are the best book club and we are very, Very exclusive.  Sometimes when I don't know how to explain what I mean, She gets it and I don't have to try to find the right words.  It's very convenient.

Once in a while though, we fight- and she can be meeeeean.  But so can I.  She calls me "fat" and "ugly" but I tell her that she's "stupid" and "disgusting." A lot of times she's the one who is there when I'm trying to decide, "should I eat that whole pie?"  "Sure," she replies, "it doesn't matter what you look like, no one will ever want you anyway, so go crazy." Usually, I listen.

See? Sometimes she's not nice.  But really, in general, we get along most of the time.  There are times when I look at her I think, "good heavens, she is so pretty." But no one sees her the same way I see her,  People (other girls- never guys) say they do, but I don't buy it.  But she has her bad days too and she has the kind of face that should break a mirror... ghastly, honestly.

There are few wrinkles that we're still trying to work out.  She likes to be spontaneous, and I am a planner.  She likes to spend, spend, spend and I try to be more frugal.  She likes to sit and do nothing while I would rather get up and go for a walk.  She's more stubborn that I am though, so she usually wins.

My Frienemy is my biggest critic- and the one that I listen to the most.  I can get compliments from 20 different people- but if she says one bad thing- I believe her over all the others.  I shouldn't.  But I do.

She's not the same person she was a few years ago.  We've sat and talked together about what it would be like to be married and have kids and all the things that we always said we wanted.  But she's glad... and I guess I am too... that it never happened.  We have seen and done so much that we wouldn't have been able to do if we were tied down to a family.  We spend a lot of time, probably too much, talking about lost "loves" from the past.  Neither of us has ever been in love, but for some reason we like to pick at old wounds and make each other miserable playing the "what if" game.  We have a distinctly different taste in men.  She likes bad boys, I like the "Peter Priesthood" type.

Neither of us know what to do with our future.  But, we'll stick by each other and hopefully one of us will come out on top and drag the other up with her.

I like spending time with her. It's a good thing too because we have been much thrown together in the last couple of weeks and probably will be for the forseeable future.  Tonight? We're going to the opera.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lessons Learned

Remember when you were a teenager and thought you knew everything? Yeah... me neither, but apparently we all go through it.  This post is to prove to you that I still have things to learn.  Some you might think are pretty no-brainer, as they should be, but it's still nice to get the reminders every now and again.
  • Fireworks can be fun when watched from a car in the pouring rain whilst surrounded by friends and a Yellow Lab named Louie.
  • Playing car games while hiding under a tarp in the rain can be a source of more laughter than you can imagine.
  • When one flicks a burning cigarette into a wicker handbag, fire is a natural result.
  • If you are going to get a tattoo on your arm, make sure people can tell who it is, so they are not squinting at you to determine if it's Bruce Willis or Bela Lugosi that is etched into your skin
  • The phrase, "If I'm going to live through this, I'll need another beer," applies to torrential downpours in the middle of a park.
  • Bands can play, "like on the Titanic; until she goes down."
  • When it's "gonna rain like hell, [you] need to put a shirt on."
  • Hurling is a sport.
  • Kilts are always acceptable.
  • If there are not bagpipes in Heaven, I don't want to go.
  • Irish dancers wear curly wigs.
  • If you leave unattended papers sitting around and the wind picks up, you'd better hope two silly women are willing to run around chasing them for you.
  • Anything said with an Irish accent is automatically ten times funnier than it was meant to be.
  • Everyday is a great day to be Irish.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Life in Stand Up and Song

This is absolutely the funniest thing I've ever seen.  Funny because it's SO TRUE! Please watch it and tell me you laughed as hard as I did.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Michael Palascak - Video -

Also, This song really hits home.

And this song... says it all!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nothing to Say

What can I say? The date is practically set. My parents will be in Colorado in a few short weeks to pack me up and move me home.  I'm not excited. I'm not happy, but I am resigned.  I keep hoping for some amazing miracle job to swoop in and keep me here. But no such miracle for me... yet. I'll not give up hope.

I have pretty much given up looking for jobs. At this point, it would need to be a pretty amazing job to keep me here. None of these just-work-there-till-you-find-something-better type of jobs.  I'm all set to wither away in my parent's basement.

It will be nice to be nearer my family... and I suppose there are a few friends it will be nice to be closer to- but... it's Idaho.  Worse, it's Pocatello. bleh.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Toy Story

Having recently watched Toy Story 3 (which ROCKS by the way), it's made me home sick for my toys. I come from a family that never throws things away so I still have most of the stuff I played with as a kid. It is all boxed up in my parent's basement, or the more sentimental things are tucked away in my cedar chest.

The dolly I miss the most and want to hug- and will next time I visit home- is Beanzy. She was my first dolly. She was a gift from Santa for my first Christmas. Beanzy was my "Woody." She went everywhere with me. I mean Everywhere. I remember one time hiking the rocks at Ross Park and dropping Beanzy. She never did get clean after that. Then there was the time I gave her a peanut butter facial. I don't know where I got that idea from. No one in my family ever did facials as far as I know. I must have gotten it off TV. I even made her matching pajamas one year. My mom would make our Christmas jammies and once I took the left over fabric and I made some for Beanzy. I think that's what she's wearing whilst tucked away.

I also played Barbies a LOT (I may or may not have still played with them into my mid teens... you'll never know- and neither Wendy nor I will ever tell). My sisters and I would take all the boards out of the games and set them up on end. They would be the walls of a fabulous house. We had milk crates and boxes stacked on each other. Seriously, who needed a Barbie Dream House when you had imagination? Our basement was unfinished so we would string a rope over one one of the rafters and put it through a box to make an elevator. Our Barbies lived well. I think we had a gold corvette and a red jeep. We used my dad's massaging foot bath as a hot tub, and the little attachment that goes in the dishwasher (to put small things in) as a laundry machine. Our Barbies always looked fabulous. We'd spend almost as much time doing hair and changing clothes as we did actually playing. And it was always a soap opera.

Along with Beanzy when I was really small, I had a teddy bear with a wind up music box. His name was Beary. I loved him. I don't know what ever happened to him. Sad really.

Beanzy, from the box was called "Baby Beans" which became Beanzy. My bear was Beary. We were not totally hip on naming our toys. Certain Barbies had certain names.  You can't have ten different characters all with the same name.  Often, if they already came named, they kept their names. Like Valeri's Barbie-esque dolls, Shawn and Star (gymnastic dolls with flexible joints, unlike Barbie and Ken). But mostly, the description of the toy is where its name came from. My Grandma made me a crocheted doll. She was pink. Her name? Pinky. She made my sister one just like it, but blue. Her name? You guessed it. Bluey (which is funny, cuz i have actually recently met someone named Bluey... who knew it was a real name?).

I had such a happy childhood. What I wouldn't give to go back and do it more... but this time really appreciate it. And I would treat my toys much better. My apologies go out to Malibu Barbie for the whole "barbershop incident."