Thursday, May 31, 2007

...And We're Gone Again

I know what you're thinking and if the planets had aligned and the moon was in the third phase of Jupiter than it would have worked out that while I was in Middleton two weeks ago my entire family could have been there as well for the blessing (LDS ordinance of formally giving a newborn a name - like christening in a way...though not as heavy) for my niece BabyR and we could have killed two eagles with one jet engine if you will. Alas, it was not to be. So here we are packing to take a second trip to Middleton in as many weeks. A road trip this time. Why drive you ask? The gas will be as expensive as the plane tickets would have been and goodness knows the grandparents would do better with more time with the kids and less wear and tear. The answer is: I don't know. I have inquired but no response is forthcoming. So we drive. 12 hours. To spend a bit of an evening, a whole day and then another 12 hour drive. 12 hours. Yay. And because I'm nervous (about what I don't know - it's Tarzan, my parents and my two youngest brothers - nothing big here Jane ol' girl) I have purchased all the road trip food in the greater Jungle area. I've got Granola bars, fruit roll-ups, string cheese, apples, water, juice boxes, crackers, nuts, Twizzlers...Oh the Twizzlers!! There's enough food to satisfy an entire Scout Troop.
(I am just the tiniest bit obsessive compulsive I think. I ALSO think I'm a compulsive liar. Not in private conversations of course, not with friends and family, but in public. While shopping for all this road trip junk food the clerk looked at me kinda funny and said, "That's a lot of sugar." Rather than tell her the real reason, or ignore the comment I felt the need to excuse myself and I said "Big party." There's no big party. Similar thing a few months ago; I was buying a number of frozen pizzas to restock the freezer: the clerk commented "You bought a lot of pizza, is that all you eat?" Not that it's any of her business if that IS all I eat, but rather than just laugh it off, I told her, "Kids." I don't have kids. A few months before that I bought a large quantity of items at one store and the lady behind me commented on the bill. I told her it was because I only shop once a month. That is absolutely not true. There are weeks I'm at the store every day. Why do I say untrue things? Is it to make the conversation stop? Do I not want to talk to other people? Is it because I don't want these people who I have never seen before and will never see again to think well of me? Is it something about retail environments? Maybe I'm just lie compulsively in the grocery store...)
In other news - I joined Facebook and Tobey's right: it IS totally addictive! All these friends from elementary school and across the globe. One girl's in CHINA right now. Lots of kids for those people who I still think of as kids. Plus it's so easy to post pictures and share and label and send and and and...

This is me addicted to the Internet.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weird Dream #18

All that resting and vacationing has allowed my subconscious to dream freaky stuff again...
I was at work, but it was really the back of a big assembly room filled with people. I managed to find a single seat, facing the back of the room. A guy I used to work with (HG) arrived and I was trying to convince him that he should work for us, but he had to go find his seat for the graduation exercises. (This was Harvard you know.) As I turned to watch him go to his seat I saw a guy I dated in college (WS) a few rows up. He waved at me but I pretended not to see him and waved to someone over the other direction. Then the procession started and all the graduates walked through the room. As they passed the row where their family was sitting the family got to go out with them to the "real" graduation hall. The rest of us were left to file in after and we had to walk over across the grass. There was a dog that belonged to a friend of mine from elementary school (KB) running around the grounds and I was trying to take pictures of it climb a tree but then we had to hurry to our places. WS and I ended up in an ordinary classroom where we couldn't even hear the speakers along with a couple of girls I knew from college but I didn't remember their names. We went back to one of the girls houses and we were cooking dinner in the kitchen when I made a comment about how our wedding rings (we were all married to someone who wasn't here) changed the size of our fingers. One of the girls got all quiet and seemed sad but no one else noticed. Then I needed to mix up the batter for the thing we were making and once it was done it had to sit in the garage for a while. The sink swung out from in front of the door so I could go in the backyard but there were so many buildings I didn't know which was the garage. I heard animals and then WS was out there trying to get me to put the bowl in the garage but I couldn't find it. Then all the other girls were outside too and WS asked if we had sweaters because it was cold and we all did, except one girl lied and said she didn't so WS would put his arms around her.
There was a little more but I don't recall it very well.

This is me rested?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Really People?

SO disappointed by the American voting public today...I mean I GUESS I could see how they MIGHT be dazzled by the youth and flashy teeth of Apolo Ohno and his partner Julianne Hough, but in the end I thought reason and logic (hahahahahahahaha) would prevail and Joey or Laila would win Dancing With The Stars. I have been a Laila supporter this whole season but after the freestyle numbers on Monday night my vote was leaning in the Joey direction. I've been kinda ambiguous about Apolo but I just could not get behind Julianne. Maybe it's because she's 19 but when she talks you know she thinks she is the greatest thing to wear trunks and the others just might as well go home now. Even if the other professionals are lying through their teeth when they say "all the competitors here deserve to win," "everyone puts a lot of effort into this competition" at least they say it. Julianne's comments consist of how good she is and how Apolo should win because he's dancing with her. Especially as she danced around him in a lot of the early numbers. Yeah, yeah, youth and immaturity and all but I didn't like it when Tara Lipinski behaved like a spoiled twerp at the 1998 Olympics and I didn't like it from Julianne this season. (And yes, of course I think the Olympics and DWTS are comparable in serious-ness) It was amusing to see how relaxed Ian was for his returning-celebrity dance...after all the judges' comments on his tenseness. Irony thy name is all over this show...I totally would not watch it except for the professionals
Exciting new thing discovered on the trip to Middleton...Ninja Warrior!! OMG - it is the most addicting show I have ever been addicted to. 100 competitors start at Stage One, running over an obstacle course in a set amount of time. About 95-99% of the people fail the first level, but the ones who go on have four stages to pass and the physical skills required get harder. Part of the fascination is that the station G4 (145 in The Jungle) is in English but the show is narrated in Japanese, so there are long portions of unintelligable excitement with the name of the stunt in the middle...imagine: @#$^%$%^#$%-Spider Walk-#$$%%^@&*^* This is the great stuff that you will find on TV in Middleton on a Sunday at 2am. Awesome.
This is what my birthdate means...
Your Birthdate: October 15
You take life as it is, and you find happiness in a variety of things.You tend to be close to family and friends. But it's hard to get into your inner circle.Making the little things wonderful is important to you, and you probably have an inviting home.You seek harmony with others, but occasionally you have a very stubborn streak.
Your strength: Your intense optimism
Your weakness: You shy away from exploring your talents
Your power color: Jade
Your power symbol: Flower
Your power month: June

You Are Lemon Meringue Pie
You're the perfect combo of sassy and sweetThose who like you have well refined tastes

This is me according to

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Picture This (#4) - Cogent's Graduation

Be prepared - this could be (IS) long...
Fleighund's girlfriend SGE dropped he and I off at the airport Thursday around noon where we flew in a fairly small plane (no movies, no TV, no radio, barely one flight attendant) to the International Sunport. Why you ask, when we were going to Middleton? Because it'd cost almost twice as much to fly into the Middleton Airport and there's only 50 miles between the two towns. We rented a Toyota Corolla that drove like a "quadriplegic mule" (thank you for that image Fleig) and sailed into town with much oohing and aahing. (Not so much.) We checked into the very quaint America's Best Value Inn - Lamplighter Inn (if you know what HSIA stands let me in the club):
It was a really nice room and not at all expensive. I give you Fleighund unpacking:
We then proceeded downtown to meet up with the boy for who all events centered this trip. (He was graduating, what did you expect?) As architects will, we noticed the buildings and how this town (unlike a lot of places) has a very distinct vernacular. Here are some buildings that caught my eye (after the first 50,000 however, one does not take so many pictures):
We ate some dinner (at the Ore House) while Cogent was in his last class [seminar] ever, Fleig-y spent a whole lot of money, we walked around downtown, met up with the soon-to-be-graduated and stayed up way too late for old fogeys like ourselves. Friday morning Fleighund and I had some time to ourselves so we decided to visit Las Vegas.
--Funny story, on our way from the airport we passed a lot of signs for streets with the same name as in The Jungle; Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Alameda, etc. Then we started passing signs for cities with the same name as around The Jungle; Valencia, San Jose...then we passed signs for CUBA and MADRID. (The aliens could not have chosen a better state) When we saw the sign for Las Vegas - 61 miles...we knew we had to go--
We were hoping there was going to be a big WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS sign, but this is the best we could do:The main drag of Las Vegas. I had heard the Strip was flashier:Local police in action:Court House:And the bank of Las Vegas: And that was Vegas baby! It looked like a storm was coming in on our way back; we heard thunder and saw lightening but it didn't rain much, a few sprinkles here and there. Awesome cloud formations though:We met up for lunch (at 3pm - so Jungle-y), were introduced to Cogent's family and a got a tour of the campus. It is really a gorgeous place.
Entry sign:Cogent's dorm from across the arroyo (you can't see the Christmas lights in this photo but they will show up later):A pavilion between the road and a parking lot:
Student Center:
Fish Pond & Bell Tower (each senior rings the bell once for every page of their senior paper when they turn it in. 25 was not the longest paper this semester - no wonder the campus is up in the hills...):
Cogent giving us a mini seminar on Euclid:
Cogent's dorm room from the inside:
The view from Cogent's balcony (nice - and there are the Christmas lights):
We surprised Cogent in his dorm by arriving before he got out of the shower. (It is an oddly trusting place - people leave purses, laptops, phones on tables or floors and come back to them hours later...doors are routinely left unlocked, even houses not on the campus...) To avoid the screaming and fainting I will not be posting the image I snapped so you'll have to use your imagination for the rest:
There was a reception at 5pm for family and friends to meet the dean and faculty:
Dean saying thanks for coming:
Totally unrelated to me, Cogent's niece was so adorable I must have taken hundreds of pictures of her:
Jon Robert (OMG I totally have a crush on this guy) and his mom:
A crowd of friends, Fleighund, Jessie, sister-in-law:
Some people whose names I don't remember but are important to Cogent:
He is a really personable guy and so there were lots of friends (particularly of the female variety) to say hello to:
That evening was the Commencement Waltz party. I didn't know youngin's (these kids are mostly 18-22) still danced the waltz. And not just the waltz - I happened upon a couple doing a west coast swing to a rap! (Not an easy thing) Where was Tarzan when I needed him? Oh yeah, back in The Jungle earning the bacon that let me come to this shin-dig...fortunately for me Fleig and Cogent can also dance. This is us Viennese-ing:
Jon was sweet enough to take this photo of us and Cogent's girl Jessie:
Again we stayed up way too late talking. And then came the moment we were all there for, Commencement!
Cogent puts on his tie:
Looking pretty by the pool: The processional leader:
Cogent before:
The Dean welcomes us all and thanks the parents:
The keynote speaker N. Scott Momaday (a surprisingly self depreciating poet):
Cogent from The Jungle, hooded:
As a Bachelor of the Arts:
Cogent, B.A. after: Family at lunch:
Congratulations sugar!:
The afternoon was for family stuff and moving out of the dorm. Fleighund and I escaped the manual labor by going downtown. It was Community Day with tons of activities and performances:
We met up with his family for dinner and then searched for the requisite party. I now remember why I never went to fraternity parties in college...if you aren't drinking or smoking there is little to do. We met some people we will never see again and let Cogent say good-bye.
Sunday it was time to go home. We shopped some more at Jackalope, got to spend some singular time with the graduate and got a nice man to take a picture of the three of us:
Tarzan met us at the airport and was I glad to see him!! Fun as the trip was, as happy as I was for Cogent and as glad as I was to be there, it stinks to go places without Tarzan.

This is is me glad to be back and also really glad I went.
(P.S. It's 6:27pm now)

Monday, May 21, 2007

She's Back!

Fear not, there will be many pictures indeed from the very excellent trip to Middleton - just as soon as I download them all from my camera...there are A LOT.
In the meantime, check out the groovy montage from my SIL of the AKSR:

This is me, back.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Picture This (#3) - AKSR#1

The Rockies. May, 2007. The weather was perfect for the inaugural celebration of the Annual O'Grady Sibling Reunion (AKSR for short.) Sunny and bright, warm but with a nice breeze. The Rockies were at their best with the grass all green and the freaky ski people gone.
We left Wednesday afternoon. This is a picture of us packed for a four day weekend. The basket to the left of the suitcase has the alternate clothes we washed and then couldn't fit in:
Truth be told, Tarzan would be content with his loincloth and his laptop. The rest of the stuff is mine - how did I know if I would need the black pants or the charcoal pants? What about the many top options? Sweater? Jacket? Take both just in case. One must be prepared for all contingencies.
The flight was uneventful except for the part where I thought we were getting the movie for free - it had flashed the little sign that I had to swipe my credit card in the next 15 minutes and I was going to keep watching until the very last second thankyouverymuch - and it kept playing...score! Then Tarzan explained that the whole plane was getting the movie and I felt a little let down. We were putting nothing over on anyone. It was a welcome diversion however - Bridge to Terabithia was not too terrible - and we got to keep the headphones so when we fly Delta this week and they try and charge to watch the movie I might appear prepared.
Thursday started with a play group in the park. MQ and Teaq go every week and Rocketgirl, Sunshine and I were invited to join them:
This is me taking Sunshine down the slide - I love the "are you crazy woman?" face:
Teaq was hiding in the grass, and then couldn't decide how to get out of the jungle:
I was showing Teaq how to use the camera and he snapped this one of Aunt Rocketgirl and cousin Sunshine (not bad for a kid who's only 18 months old):
The afternoon I spent hanging out, bonding, with Rocketgirl and Sunshine. Tarzan was with his brothers. QC made dinner for us all at his and MQ's place before we left for Wicked! (There was a bit of a kerfuffle with the tickets. We had seven, six of us were going (Tarzan and QC staying to babysit) and the seventh was MQ's mom who bought two additional tickets so her husband could go too and then we needed another person. QC decided to go in the end and Tarzan sat both babies.) I think it's safe to say I converted a few to the land of Oz. Rocketgirl was through the roof - she and I are more alike than I thought - but everyone enjoyed it. I hadn't imagined that everyone would own green attire but it worked out especially with PFiddle wearing Tarzan's Wicked tie. We are a snazzy looking group:
Here's Uncle Tarzan all set for the night:
**As an aside, the show was FANTASTIC. Victoria Matlock was exceptional as Elphaba and Christina DeCicco was a really nice Glinda. I thought Cliffton Hall was weak as Fiyero - not strong enough vocally to keep up, DeeDee Magno Hall (yes they ARE married) was a great - really great - Nessarose and P.J. Benjamin made a decent wizard - though they cut the waltz AGAIN from "Wonderful" - so not amused. Josh Lamon was a good Boq which is more important than it seems initially. Madame Morrible, perhaps because the character doesn't sing hardly at all, is almost a constant no matter who plays her and therefore very good. Other than the production with Stephanie J. Block, my first show in The Jungle summer of 2005, this was the best performance I have ever seen. I am SO glad that I got to go and SO glad that I got to share it.** Friday we went to the Museum of Natural History (though I carried my camera with me all day I didn't take a single picture) to see the Benjamin Franklin exhibit and the Cosmic Collisions show in the planetarium which was awesome. We went to the LDS temple in the afternoon:and then out to dinner at the Macaroni Grill (I was sitting to the left of Tarzan there and had the camera stretched out to my left trying to keep it candid and unobtrusive okay?): It was an early night because we were all up at 6 the next morning to surprise QC with breakfast for his 30th birthday. There are some great pictures of that - especially the first "SURPRISE" moment:
This is almost as good:
Yes, I DID make the crown AND I made him wear it:
Super cool party people:
The food was delicious, waffles, eggs, fruit etc...:
We went to Heritage Square that afternoon - I having never been on the Alpine Slide. They had neglected to mention to me that it involved a chair lift ride, one where my feet dangled out over the forest and a single rusty piece of metal my only safeguard:
I did, however, make it unscathed to the summit:
After the ride up, down was not going to be a problem:
This is the sweetest guy on earth (MQ's dad) taking his grandson down the slide (that is love for you; BTM is 6'-9" and those sleds are all the same size...):
This is a great photo because MQ's mom is threatening me with bodily harm AND leaving me off the invitation list to her funeral if I take it. Taken and posted D34! Whoo-hoo, I am a wild woman!:The cousins taking a gander at each other:
Nothing like a hamburger when one is hungry:
The four siblings, and the second generation:
Those holes are not made for normal sized heads:
Then we did some Go-Karts. (I wonder if Teaq will grow to love speed as much as his parents do?) :
After all the fun and games we grabbed some dinner to-go and headed out to Lion's Park for a picnic. Again, no pictures because I was running with Teaq all over the playground. (Rocketgirl has many pictures and she promised to make up a montage and set it to music. She's so talented that way.) We were pretty tuckered out after - though Tarzan and I found some time to teach MQ and QC some East Coast Swing moves.
Sunday was quiet, as it should be, but being Mother's Day, Rocketgirl and PFiddle played their violins and Sssssshhh don't tell anyone but I took pictures: They are so freakishly talented. Here's a video on YouTube that I shot of them just messing around:
It was decided that next year's party should be in The Jungle so I guess Tarzan and I are hosting. Where are we going to put them all?

This is me planning next year already.

From Whence You Cometh