Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Benefit Of My iPhone

At the risk of going backward in my narrative I relate that ATL and I went to see Celtic Thunder in concert last Wednesday night. (It was more of a companion thing on my regard, like when she went to see Wicked for the 133rd time with me.)Mistake me not, those boys can sing and they are surely amusing, but it's her thing and I am the ride.
But speaking of the ride, I met ATL about halfway between our house and the theater because of where Aunt Richie's house is relative to the other two places. I had to traverse one of the most famous streets of the Jungle and while waiting for a red light these fine gentlemen wandered on by my car:

No one else even seemed to notice, let alone care. There was no apparent reason for a horse to be walking down the street, it's not like it's normal here or anything. And I appreciated that I was stopped and that I had an iPhone to take a discernible picture with.

This is me and that was worth the price of admission.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

USC vs Stanford

That was not the shut-out I had expected it to be.
And that's a good thing.
After last week's tromping of the University of Washington by Stanford (65-21, ouch) I did not hold out great hopes for our game tonight. We're a young team, sanctions, lots of penalties, blah, blah, blah.
But it was a really good game. We didn't make a lot of mistakes - that taunting penalty was dumb but not hurtful really - and we looked solid. The interception in the fourth was just beautiful.
We were doing really well until that last Stanford drive and the personal foul penalty. So, try as we might to stop it, overtime.
We don't, however, do well in overtime. And we had to play three of them. That's right, three overtimes.
It was a valiant effort but we got tired first and fumbled the ball. Which resulted in a touch back and that was the end of that.
Final score,
USC: 48
Stanford: 56

This is me and my random realization of the game; every team appears to have a dude who is much smaller and littler than the others. I call them the team midget.

Friday, October 28, 2011

On The Bulletin Board For Sure

Tonight was our ward Halloween party. It was planned sort of last minute because *I* didn't want to be in charge of it - October is a hard month for me; every single year there is SO. MUCH. STUFF. PLANNED. - but a delegation of parents came to me two weeks ago - I'm the Primary President remember - and begged me to have party so their kids would stop begging them about when it was going to be.

(Between school parties, stake parties and the actual Trick-or-Treating I figured they'd be good. I love me some chocolate no question, but how much candy do kids need?)

So a party date was set, decorations purchased, refreshments brought. We thought it'd be easier to have just desserts - because there wasn't enough sugar going around - AND other than the costume contest, the raffle - which was planned and executed by someone else and I didn't understand the purpose of it - and the trunk-or-treating we had only one game. It's one of Tarzan's favorites and I have to bless him for planning, buying and running it.

(Working at Aunt Richie's makes it so I can't get anywhere anymore. The party was half over by the time I got there. Thankfully it was a half day for Tarzan's school or he wouldn't have made it either.)

Anyway, it's the donut-on-a-string contest if you haven't heard of it. Sort of like bobbing for apples, but a lot less heavy and messy. Anywhere from 2 to 100 people can be lined up - it all depends on the strength of your string and distance to cover - the donut is tied at mouth height-ish and then whoever eats their donut first wins. No hands allowed but all else is legal:

The missionaries really like this game:

These pictures are from my iPhone so they aren't what I'm used to but it conveys the spirit of the evening I think:

For the first time possibly ever - I was coming straight from work - I did not dress up for the party. And because I usually have to make Tarzan do it, he didn't either, so no fun pictures of us.

Maybe next year, if October doesn't try and kill me again.

This is me and only three days left.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

USC vs Notre Dame

I think I've figured it out.
When watching football - or other sports, though I don't watch anything religiously other than college ball - I root for the opposite team from the announcers. I've noticed before that my allegiance can change mid-game when watching non-USC teams. I couldn't figure out why until today. It's because the announcers are so annoying that I want to be on the opposite side from where they are.
Now USC gets a lot of crap from the sportscasters - and I love my team - so it's not hard to keep rooting for them but today...while watching the game, the voices in the TV were really ragging on the Irish quarterback for allowing that fumble run back for a touchdown - it was cool - and I found myself feeling sorry for the guy and cheering when he made a good pass. And then his coach started yelling at him too.
[And I do not cheer for Notre Dame. (One should not pray to win games. Pray for a clean game, for good weather, for no injuries, but do not pray to kill your opponent. God does not care who wins at football, I guarantee it.)]
Otherwise, it was still a good game. When we play clean - as in no turnovers and stupid penalties - we do pretty well. We seem well placed and mature. Our quarterback got a lot of praise tonight and he was solid. I like it when that happens.
USC: 31
Notre Dame: 19

This is me at odds with myself because I don't like the sports announcer guys.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween In My Car

And there was no chocolate. So it's not the good kind of Halloween.
I kid you not, it was just like one of those cheesy horror movies.
I left work late and because it's October the light was already fading. I was discussing dinner and weekend scheduling with Tarzan on the phone - brand new hands-free earphones and microphone in place - as I came down the side of the hills and right into a bank of fog. The wind was blowing and things were scratching, the lights from on-coming cars were glowing. The sun went down and it got super dark just as my earphone fell out, another call came in and traffic got extra congested. Somehow I put Tarzan on hold, answered the other call, made the left hand turn, started a text message to I don't know who and didn't get in an accident.
Don't ask me how.
These iPhones (yes, I got an iPhone for my birthday! That's a whole other post.) are not as stupid-proof as they claim to be. It is possible to butt-dial from an iPhone.
So, rather than tempt fate any more, I pulled over to cancel the text, hang up on the telemarketer, finish Tarzan's call and turn my lights on. Just as a dude knocked on my window and scared me out of my mind. He wanted to know if I wanted him to repair the paint on my bumper.
I said no, I liked it that way. He then got all rude and I left.
I drove the rest of the way home without further incident, other than it being 7:30 before I got there.

This is me and the only thing that kept it from being a real horror flick was that I was totally clothed the entire time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ode To A Fabulous Chick

I'm a little nervous to try an ode now...Rocketgirl posted this yesterday - and it actually rhymes, with iambic pentameter and EVERYTHING. I don't know if what I do can be called an ode. Maybe a tribute is better?

Here we go then, a tribute to Rocketgirl, my first sister-in-law and a very fabulous person. Beauty, brains, talent, gorgeous, genius children, a great house and a killer personality. She's charming and fearless and I wish I could be more like her.

For your viewing pleasure:

I get to hang out with her regularly. It's amazing.

This is me and she's as awesome and fun as she looks.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Plus Five

Gah, now I sound old even in the fake terms I use to describe it on this blog. Having to explain to a 10-year old I was "two times fifteen plus five" didn't improve my mood about it either.
I begin to see why adults say birthdays don't matter. When I was younger I thought they were being modest or dwelling too much on the age thing. It's more a matter of time. Who has enough to spare? I was running around all day with errands and getting stuff ready for church tomorrow and returning mail to and collecting mail from neighbors since our postman can't seem to get it right. I nearly forgot what day it was. Besides, I'll always be 24 in my head.
Still it can be a good time to reflect on one's life and accomplishments.
These are the highlights of my last twelve months:

  • Opened a business with my parents. THAT's been an adventure.

  • Learned to drive a fork lift.

  • Celebrated 10 YEARS of marriage with a romantic get-away.

  • Got my thumb cut open to fix the tendonitis. It appears to have worked. I can bend my thumb with no problems anymore AND I don't have a scar at all which I had not expected.

  • Had three, 3! new nephews born into the family. There's going to be some testosterone flying when they all reach teenager-dome at the same time.

  • Traded in my Saturn for a convertible!

  • Improved my skills with my new knives so I don't cut my fingers anymore.

  • My blackberry vines blossomed, got cut by accident and grew out again. We actually harvested some.

  • Saw Celtic Thunder live in concert.

  • We had our house tented for termites and didn't lose a single cat to the process.

  • Learned the importance of proper attire when leaving the house.

  • I found the swimsuit I thought I had lost four years ago.

  • My second youngest brother left on his mission.

  • Tarzan's father came for a very memorable week.

  • Celebrated four years of blogging. I can't tell if I'm getting better or worse.

  • Had and am still having formatting issues with the blog engine.

  • I totally flaked on the second contest of the blog. Maybe we can make that up in the coming weeks. There was only two entries so they'll likely both win. I'm easy like that.

  • Canned a few dozen bottles of applesauce and pie filling.

  • Spent a lot of time commuting back and forth between my house and my parents' house.

  • Replaced our water heater, right before it broke and flooded the laundry room.

  • Almost got called to serve on the jury for a death penalty case.

  • Started working for Tarzan's Aunt Richie.

  • Attended QC's college graduation in Salt Lake City.

  • Walked on the bottom of the ocean.

  • Attended the county fair.

  • Of the class I was helping teach for the Academic Decathlon team at Tarzan's high school, one of the kids won a medal at the regional competition. It was a proud moment for her, for me and for the school.

Is that a longer list than I've made for other birthdays? I forgot I did most of that in the last year. I suppose it could explain why I can't remember April.

This is me, 35.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

USC vs Cal

It is very odd to be playing on a Thursday evening. Our team is out of favor with the TV gods because of the sanctions and new coach and young team and all that, so they aren't giving us good slots to play in. Plus the other team's field is being renovated so we had to borrow from a third team and they wanted to play on Saturday or something. Whatever.
It wasn't a bad game - we won - but it wasn't as much due to our team as it was to theirs. We intercepted the ball 4 times. That's a lot.
USC: 30
Cal: 9
As a side note, the pretzels with caramel were a random and excellent combination.

This is me and it's a sad day when the refreshments are more exciting than the game.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ode To The Sunshine

Not that Sunshine has a lot of spare time to read my blog, but her mother sometimes does and I just wanted to say how happy I was when she was born because I only had nephews at that point and so a girl was super cool. She is sweet and happy and always excited for everything and as a fellow Libra I totally get her desire that things be fair. I truly do.

This is me wishing Sunshine a super duper HUGE Happy 5th Birthday!

Weird Dream #39

I have to wonder if some of my dreaming near waking - thus enabling me to remember my dreams - comes from the amount of sleep I am getting. When I was working full time with long hours I didn't dream as much as I did when not. Then, since I started at Aunt Richie's house I haven't had as many weird dreams and few that I remember completely.
But I had one this morning.
I was back at school - where I haven't been in over eleven years - the same school as my brother - who is 12 years younger than me and away on a mission right now - and I was taking some random "out of the box" kind of class where we were looking for irregular solutions to problems - kind of like in Ender's Game - only in a medieval kind of setting, sand and castles and horses, rather than space. The class was taught by Matthew Morrison - now starring as Mr. Schuester on Glee and the teacher's assistant was Ashley Fink, also from Glee. I was sharing a dorm room with a girl named Ava - who came to the first class and then we never saw her again but on the day of the test - after doing an exercise where we had to tie things together with a rope that was too short - I heard my mother calling me from down the hall and I had to run to my room to get a pencil, only to find my father sitting on my bed putting his shoes on and saying my roommate was evicting me because I was never in the room, all the while David Blue - from Stargate Universe - was sitting at the piano in the corner of my room trying to play a song he'd heard. (He actually reminded me a lot of a boyfriend from high school, who WAS a talented pianist.)
Then I woke up.
I'm not sure if I should be concerned with the amount of television I watch or be impressed with my recall skills...

This is me maybe wishing I lived where they write my lines for me?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ode To The MIL

Her birthday is not for two months but her thoughtfulness and sweetness deserves an ode right now.
There are a lot of jokes about mothers-in-law, especially regarding the relationship between the wife and his mother, but Tarzan's mom does not embody the stereotype at all, at all. No resentment for "taking her firstborn," no judgements on my housekeeping - or lack thereof. She has welcomed me into the family and never looked back. She takes an interest in my likes and dislikes, she tries to accommodate my needs - more than Tarzan in some cases - and be helpful. I am very thankful for her and her talents, she has helped me out of a tight spot a number of times and two things in particular in the last week need to be shared.
I got a call from Gamma earlier this weekend inviting me to a performance of Wicked this holiday season when she -and it - is in town. Awesome! On so many levels. She remembered that I love the show, is coming to me to see it and thought to invite me.
Then, she called today to let me know she, Tarzan's father and assorted other family will be in town over Christmas to assist with family matters - two cousins are getting married - not to each other you weird people, but the same week - and house stuff. She did not call to tell me that though. She called to offer everyone's talents and services for the Christmas program in our ward which I am in charge of each year. (Partially because I'm the only one who wants to spend the time harassing everyone into rehearsals.) The first Christmas we were in the ward - nine or so years ago - Tarzan's family helped with the program - Christmas was a Sunday that year too - and it was lovely. I've had people ask me every year since if they are coming back to play again, and this year I can say YES! YES! They are. It's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. They will come and it will be awesome. I am so grateful that she remembered and is so thoughtful to spend the time with us in a ward with people they don't even know when they could be elsewhere with Tarzan's other uncles and cousins.
And that's just been this week.

This is me, thinking that THANK YOU GAMMA! is woefully inadequate.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


A lot of people post about General Conference. And while I agree totally with their reasons for loving to watch Conference - the Spirit, the messages that seem personalized, getting to see/hear the prophet and all the General Authorities - none of those is my favorite part.
Let's back up a little bit. When Conference time comes around - every April and October - some one stands at the pulpit on a Sunday and reminds us even though there aren't meetings in the usual place we should not consider Conference as a vacation from church but find a way to see or hear it, TV, radio, Internet or the big screens at local stake centers.
All well and good, and I know what the point they're making is, but for me, Conference weekends ARE a vacation.
If we look up vacation, the online dictionary tells us it means:

  1. a period of suspension of work, study or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday

  2. a part of the year, regularly set aside, when normal activities of law courts, legislatures, etc. are suspended

  3. freedom or release from duty, business, or activity
And that is just what Conference is for me. A day set aside, for rest and complete freedom from regular Sunday duties, business and activities. No early morning meetings, no lessons to prepare, no teachers to find substitutes for, no rushing from one place to the next, no talks to give, no music to plan and conduct. No stress.
Just peace and the calm words of 70+ G.A.s who know what it's all about.

This is me and Conference is a total vacation. Sorry Bishop.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

USC vs Arizona

Although it started off with a bang, that was not the ending I could have wished for. We won, yes, but not by the margin it looked like it might have been. Which is really the story of the team right now, would-a, could-a, should-a. We need some consistency and the offense needs to let the defense rest a little between shots.
USC: 48
Arizona: 41

This is me and I miss being a second half team.

From Whence You Cometh