Monday, September 23, 2013

The Kind Stranger sees the bigger picture

I had an interesting experience today. Well- I may be playing fast and loose with the word interesting- but here we go.

You know the Christmas Shoes song? The sappy blah blah blah buying shoes, kind stranger helps blah blah blah... (you'll find I don't particularly care for that song- heartless wench that I am).

Well today I had the opportunity to be that kind stranger. I was at WinCo and the kid in front of me had a pudding pack, squeezy drink, some Mike & Ikes and two bubble gums. Awww cute. She was with her grandma and had all the stuff spread out on the conveyor belt. It all came to about $4.24. I was only a teeny bit annoyed when she pulled out a handful of change and spread it on the counter. But I just laughed it off and let her count. I was in no big hurry. I was starving- but that's no big deal.

Her grandma was bagging her own groceries as this kid (I wanna say probably about 8 years old) was counting her nickles and dimes. She only had like, two dollars. Her grandma came back around and here I thought, "Ah, ok, grandma to the rescue." but no- she was going through and trying to help count the change. She had to put her pudding back (that was the most expensive thing) and she was pretty sad. She had to put back her Mike & Ikes and that was almost a deal breaker- she tried to negotiate the bubblegum- but that was only about ten cents.

I knew I had a couple of bucks in my purse but I thought I'd sit back and let them work it out till it became necessary to step in.

Then I rethought it and decided not to step in at all. Here was my chance to be the kind stranger- do a service for someone, for a child and get some brownie points in heaven. But I didn't do it. And I don't feel guilty. After two sacrament meeting talks, and two lessons (one that I myself taught) about service at church yesterday, I still didn't do it. Why?

I'd like to think it's not because I'm a heartless jerk. But because I think that kid needs to learn. If she was buying medicine- or a gift for a dying family member, then maybe it would be a different story. But so many people these days need to learn the lesson that you can't always rely on people (or government) to bail you out when you exceed your limits. It's actually more of a dis-service because people stop even trying when they know someone else will clean up the mess.

I have to live within my means- it's not an easy lesson to learn- but it is a necessary one. I can't say I like it one bit. I have a lot of room on my credit card. I could very easily take that dream trip to the UK that I've been talking about for years. But I can't do it because no one will step in and pay it off for me. Sure- I have a lot of help and I have it easier than a lot of people. I'm very lucky to have someone kind enough to let me sponge for free while I try to catch up on bills- but I have learned that sometimes you just can't follow your dreams. Especially if your dreams are expensive.

My weekend according to Pinterest

I did absolutely nothing worth while this weekend. I could have gone home- I SHOULD have gone to the Scottish Festival in Boise. But instead, I stayed home and did nothing. Absolutely nothing. I *hate* weekends like this- but I came across a few pins on my Pinterest boards that describe my weekend to a tee- and they gave me a pretty good laugh. I guess that means I'm not the only person out there who has days like this.

The only activity I engaged in was eating. And I had to get creative because I didn't want to have to go grocery shopping.

In my defense, it was only half a sleeve.

Any activity that I would have gone outside the house to engage in, cost money. And I just don't have much of that crap laying around.

So I spent a lot of time on Netflix.

15 seconds isn't enough time... so I had a Star Trek marathon because I couldn't bring myself to turn it off.

I literally made this face today when someone at church complimented me.

Yesterday I thought I'd experiment with my hair and see if I could do something zazzy.

But the end result was not pretty.

What it all boiled down to was sheer, unadulterated laziness.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Soooo Bored

I am not a normal person. There is no one out there who will debate that- but just for now let me give you one of the many reasons.

Most people look forward to having time off work. Right now, I am not one of those people. I don't usually look forward to my weekends off. Isn't that crazy? I mean- I HATE working the weekends- but at least on those weekends I have something to do. On my weekends off, when I don't go out of town (and trust me, it gets expensive even just going home for a few days) I have absolutely nothing to do. Everything I want to do either involves eating or spending money. Mostly spending money on eating. I have no interesting hobbies- because everything I would be interested in doing costs money! and (dare I say it?) even after a while sitting around reading gets old (it's because I'm not reading anything interesting right now- there are times where all I do is eat and read and do without sleep for days on end).

Four days off in a row for most people would be a blessing. But for someone who has no life- it's a reaaaaaaaaally long time to sit around and do nothing. So many people tell me how lucky I am to have all this down time- and I am always telling them how much I hate it. Sure, if I had kids to chase and a house to keep up, it might be different to have some down time to myself. But when your whole LIFE is downtime... it gets a little tedious.

There isn't anything interesting enough to write about on my blog. I'm completely uninspired to write when I have time- and when I don't have time to write I have all the most amazing ideas for the perfect American Novel that is going to win me all kinds of prizes, be a best seller and make me a millionaire.

Pinterest has occupied me for more hours than I care to admit. My room needs to be mucked up- but that doesn't sound interesting. I have a lesson to teach tomorrow that I should probably plan. But that doesn't sound interesting either.

Half a carton of goldfish has already been consumed. I bought a big bag of M&Ms (for emergencies only) and it's gone. And now I really want to make the cinnamon roll waffles I saw on Pinterest. But that would A. require me to put a face on to go out into public. B. go out into public. and C. spend money.

The original plan was to go to Boise this weekend and attend the Scottish festival- but that didn't happen for well... reasons. I should have gone anyway. My cute babies are there. I could have gone home I guess- but I'm going home in a couple of weeks anyway- plus taking a road trip next week and that's just a lot of time in the car alone. Plus I'd already said I'd teach this stupid lesson for Sunday School. sigh...

So don't mind me. I'm just going to sit here and pout. I don't know what I'm pouting about. I'm pouting because I'm bored. And poor. but mostly bored.

Monday, September 16, 2013

You get what you pay for

It's no surprise that for the last few years I've been hunting for a cave. A dwelling. A home- be it a house or an apartment- something I can call my own, walk around in my skivvies if I so choose, invite people over without asking permission, decorating however the heck I want and stocking the fridge and freezer full of things like fudgesicles, chocolate milk and frozen pizzas without anyone judging me.

The last few months I have kind of redoubled my efforts. I wasn't supposed to live here two years. A few months maybe, but not two years.

I tried the buying route- but everything that was within my budget was a total dump- and I don't want to buy just for the sake of buying. If it's not somewhere I could comfortably live and invite people over without being embarrassed- I don't want to buy. So I've been looking at renting.

The thing there though- is that I'm just so damn broke! I can't freaking afford anything in this city! I have called on every add in the classifieds. I have driven up and down the streets calling on any For Rent sign that I could see. Nothing. I can't afford anything that isn't a cardboard box.  And it's not like I'm being super picky. I've lived in Jersey. I know ghetto. Trust me.

At first my demands were Two bedrooms and a washer and dryer in the unit- no roommates.

I still would prefer not to have roommates. I don't think that at 35 years of age that is an unreasonable request. Actually, I don't think any of those are unreasonable. But I lowered my standards and said- Ok, it can be one bedroom and I can do a laundromat if I have to. I've done it before- I can do it again. So I started looking at those.

I haven't gotten anyone from a complex to call me back. Fine. A few of the basement apartments looked really promising so I checked out a few. Am I just being too picky? seriously. I don't know how people in this city get away with charging so freaking much for SO little! There was one- it was so small you couldn't swing a flea and it was totally out of my price range. They'd fixed it up nicely- mostly. You'd have to put your feet in the bathtub if you wanted to sit on the toilet- but maybe that's just me being snobbish.

There was one that looked really really nice, but the bedroom was so small you'd have to step on the bed to get to the closet. It literally ONLY fit a bed, and I would have had to suck in my gut to turn around in the kitchen (fat people need not apply for that place).

The next one was decent enough- but you'd have to put your dryer in the living room and the washer in the bathroom behind the door (so it wouldn't open all the way) that one was also outside my budget. That's ridiculous! Who designs these places and thinks that people are going to want a freaking dryer in the their living room? AND then charges a buttload for them?

The one I looked at tonight I thought was really promising. The pictures online looked awesome! And it was not only in my budget- it was UNDER budget so I could afford crap like, food and gas! Plus it was close to work. They advertised for a single, quite, professional with no pets, no smoking, no life- Totally me, right?!

So I checked it out. It's huge. It's a really good price for the size of it. It's only one room- but whateves. The bathroom was a good size- although I could have done without the neon yellow counter tops- but even that, I thought would be perfect for a Mickey Mouse bathroom. The closet was almost as big as the bedroom and even though it was as ugly as sin, I could have made it cute.


It was a basement apartment. The laundry room is the room you would walk into as you come through the side door (my door). It's shared with the upstairs people. No biggie. It's not like I am a mom who has to do laundry every day- but the laundry room was also my kitchen. It was slightly partitioned off by a room divider, but the lock to my apartment would have been at the living room door- the kitchen was fair game to anyone. I don't like that. I have a lot of nifty gadgets in my kitchen collection and I'm not all for leaving them where any schmo could get at them. Even if the people upstairs are reliable- they still have friends that will come over and who knows about them? She said the upstairs people were college students in their early 20s and that the utilities would be put in MY name and we'd have to split them between us. Yeah. So if the  20 year olds (and it's been proven that ALL 20 year olds are completely responsible) decide not to pay their utilities... I get stuck with them. We're also in charge of keeping the yard clean. I'm fine with that. I can mow a tiny lawn and rake a few leaves- whateves. But... I don't know. It's just not what I need. The price was right- but I just can't do it. I still wouldn't have the privacy I want. If I'm in the kitchen, and they're there throwing their laundry in... I just don't like that.

I'm not a 20 year old college student who is just looking for a place to sleep on the weekdays. I want a home. A place I can invite people over for game nights and dinner. I want it to be a refuge away from the world. Not a place where I have to move laundry baskets so I can eat on my kitchen table, or have to set up a kitchen table in my living room to eat dinner.

I don't think I'm being totally unreasonable. And I just can NOT believe that there is nothing in this whole freaking town. It's so discouraging. I just don't know what to do.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The New Roommate

I told you the bad news about the dog. He found is proper owners and had to be returned. There was some sadness, a few tears (uhhh... not on my part) but we all knew it might happen so it wasn't as hard as I thought.

Not long after he was returned, the household kid decided she wanted another pet- but this time a cat. I am totally a cat person so I was on board with that from the get go. I only had to wonder what took them so long!

Last week I came home to this face.

How could anyone resist it?!? His name is Toby (I actually really like the name- and it suits him- but I wouldn't have chosen it because I have a cousin by that name and it's a little weird)

He's already found his happy place.

What? can't see him?

There he is!

Say Hello, Toby!

I'd forgotten what it's like- love at first site. Oh my goodness I love him. He purrs the second I touch him and gives the best cuddles. Sigh... I have missed having a kitty.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Not my Arch Enemy

I know I'm not a hiker. YOU know I'm not a hiker- so the fact that I was excited to go to Moab and hike around Arches National Park comes as a wee bit of a surprise.

I don't even know if these can count as real hikes- they weren't very far, weren't very hard, didn't take very long and the car was almost never completely out of our view but I count it! For someone who has sat on her fanny all summer, I'm going to count it as hiking arches!

What post is complete without the gratuitous selfie?  This was our only hike on the first day- to the Windows and Turret Arches.

We got there as the sun was setting so we got some really nice sunset pics

(I think this is a good place to note that I am NOT a photographer- nor do I pretend to be. I wish I was and that's a whole different thing. I don't really know how to utilize the camera that I have so these are just point and click. If any of these are any good- it's because I was lucky- not talented)

These are the penguins- aptly named but not well photographed (I'm hoping Desiree with her ginormous fancy camera and several lenses got much better pictures than me).

While taking pictures, I noticed that they weren't turning out as colorful in the picture as I was seeing them in real life.

Then I realized it was because I was wearing sunglasses and my glasses were giving a better tint to the rocks. So being the freaking genius that I am- I put my sunglasses over the lens of the camera to get the color I wanted. It also made the sky more interesting, don't you think?

The second day was our real day in the park. We all packed water bottles and wore good shoes.

I probably shouldn't have sat like that. Not at all flattering- but oh well. It was a nice German family who took the photo for us- then we took theirs for them. All over the park there were accents. There were more foreigners than there were American citizens... and it seemed that anyone we did meet that was American, was from Southern California.

These are the Gossips. I think it's funny that they had a "call it like you see it" philosophy when naming some of these formations. I didn't take a picture of Ham Rock. I probably should have- because it totally looked like a slab of ham.

Our first- and biggest- hike of the day was to the Delicate Arch viewpoint. It's not right up to the arch. Far from it, actually- but it was good enough for pictures.

Look- I'm a giant!!! Nice little arch...

Ahem... anyway... I was pretty proud of myself for making it up that hill.

I would further like to point out that I'd just had my hair cut and I was still trying to figure out how to do it. I look like a freaking bush woolie!!!

There are like 2,300 or something arches in the park. We didn't see anywhere near that many- but it was still pretty neat. I like the whole geology thing so I find it all rather fascinating.

Do you know what a fun game is though? Think of really simple questions to ask the "rangers" at the visitors center and then watch them flounder as they try to answer it. The little 12 year old working there tried to tell me that fissures and fins are the same thing. Ummm... sorry sweetheart, back to freshman geology for you.

At one point my camera actually died so I took a few pictures with my phone. It's funny because the coloring turned out much more what I planned on- without the use of the sunglasses.

It was a perfectly beautiful day. I drank about three gallons of water over two days. It was so HOT but it was nice to be outside and doing some kind of physical activity. I mean- I'm all for movie marathons and book reading on the deck- but sometimes it actually is nice to get your heart rate up- especially if the view at the end is so fantastic that it brings you to tears.

We didn't get to see everything there is to see. I need to go back when it's not so freaking hot- and when I have more time and do some of the bigger hikes. It's ok- it gives me a reason to go again, right?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

In which Tina gets her own post... sort of

This week someone that I love dearly made a big decision and a BIG commitment.

I met Tina while living in Denver. She was post Singles Ward but still friends with everyone there so I got to hang out with her a lot. I liked her instantly. She's very snarky and sarcastic (sound familiar?) and very, very funny. She dances to her own drummer and I just think she's a kick in the pants (how many 30 somethings do you know that bring their knitting to dinner? or to a game night? or bowling?).

Here is a photo journal of our friendship:

We met not long before this. This was Relay for Life 2007- in fact, this might have been when I first officially met her. Awwww... July 2007

This was our first group trip to Colorado Springs for the Hot Air Balloons. 
Labor Day September 2007

You can't truly say you've lived in Denver until you eat at Casa Bonita. 
August 2008

Our friend, Carol wanted everyone to try an authentic Chinese lunch- so she took us to her favorite place. Tina was very brave and tried the chicken feet...

I think she liked it- what do you think? She said it was like biting off baby fingers. umm... eww. 
September 2008

She helped me turn 31!!  Look at those TARTS!
October 2008

And was one of my wing men at my first Single Adult activity.
March 2009

Hey! here we are again- another Labor Day! 
September 2009

We got into fisticuffs at the Coors Factory. 
March 2010

It wasn't long after this that I moved to Idaho- and then to Utah so I didn't get to see her very much. But a couple of years ago she and Desiree came to see me in Salt Lake.

They came for Halloween so I bought them costume gift packs.

and we got locked in the Salt Lake City Cemetery
October 2011

Not long after that, she HAD to go and meet this guy:

and he stole her heart away and they decided that marriage was the way to go.

This week was the week. We all met in Moab for the big event. I got to spend a little time just me and the bride before all the wedding chaos took over. We went for wedding manicures.

Hers are nude and mine are clear- but trust me, they looked good. 

We hung out at her parent's house and played wedding hair practice.

... that was, of course after Andrew left- making sure to give a smooch without peeking at the dress.

She worked on her knitting... knitting his wedding socks. She had to hurry because they weren't done and the wedding was only hours away!

But we made her go out for a drink anyway. We walked in right as the Brewery closed- but we told them she was getting married. The root beer was good- but the attitude of the server was not. I guess I can't blame her. When it's closing time, I want to go home too. But still... You can't see it- but she was also knitting at the table.

The next day... well, that's the first day of the rest of her life!

Ugh. They're so cute it's rather disgusting. But I couldn't be happier for her. She really did find an awesome guy. I'm sure they'll both be extremely happy.

then again...

No- ok, they probably will.

Congratulations Tina and Andrew!