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.