Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Could Be Worse

It's still a little unsettling for me to have Thanksgiving and Christmas in the warm with the green grass but it could be a worse life than living here where it's 76 degrees on December 31st.

This is me and it's a shift I can live with.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Always The Same Trouble

One morning, two weeks before Christmas, I woke up, got dressed and after brushing my hair out, this is what I had going on in the bangs area:
I tried with the fine toothed comb:
And it sprang right back:
I had needed one for a while but I decided it was time for a hair cut.
That same day.
I went to a place that allowed walk-ins, wasn't too expensive - it was a cosmetology school actually - and explained my dilemma. I have pictures from the last time I was happy with my hair, which was when PhatFiddle got married - he has two kids now - and try to get hair stylists to copy it. I have tried this the last four times I got my hair done.
This time, I came out with something a little different than what I asked for:
But I really like it.
A lot.
The trouble is, I can't recreate it on my own. I ignore the back and let it dry as it will. I don't have time every day to blow dry my whole head and doing the back is annoying anyway and I don't care if it's a little less straight.
My bangs, however, I take more time with. I don't let them air dry, or pin them down, I use a styling serum, I blow them straight out and then up, for volume, and then over in a wave. I do it everyday and they won't go the way they are supposed to.
Anyone? Thoughts?

This is me and I can't get it right at home.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

This is me and:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Every Year

Another Facebook classic:

This is me and it's true.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Minute

There are people who can shop on Christmas Eve and not go completely insane, yelling and punching others.
This is not me.
It is Tarzan though. (He is such a better person than I.)
It's fortunate he only has to buy presents for me.

This is me and it's all done for this year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

So Close

My arms are short.
I don't know if they're short disproportionally or just short because I am. Short that is.
But because of my stature, and because I drive a convertible which has long doors, and because the seats are low, when I have to take a ticket from a parking kiosk I need to drive my car very close and sometimes I still have to lean way out the window to snag one. Many times I have to put my car in park and open the door, which involves taking off my seatbelt, to reach the ticket slot. And referring to the sentence above about having large doors on my car, that can have it's own challenges with clearance on posts and things.
So it was with great delight that I managed to get close enough to the kiosk yesterday, to not only push the red button, but also to grab the ticket when it clicked out of the machine.
And then I almost cried when it tumbled out of my fingers and fluttered softly to the ground.
Wherein I had to put the car in park, take off my seatbelt, open the door, try not to smash the door against the offending kiosk, and pat around on the ground for the ticket. While people honked at me from behind.

This is me lucky it did not go under the car.

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's What We Do

Please tell me - conspicuous consumers that we, as a country, are - why there is not an option for US of A on the website? I can order things with a credit card that is a citizen of Africa, China and/or Australia, but not America.
What's with that?

This is me, feeling a little put out.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

From The Office

New member: "Hey Bishop, just letting you know, I started LSD this week."
Bishop: "Say whaaa?"
New member: "Oh. No, I mean, LDSJobs"

This is me and it's a common mistake.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rodents Anyone

Does anyone know what makes holes like this:

In December, in the Jungle?
We don't have snakes, I don't think possums burrow. It's too small for a rabbit...
Rats? Mice?

This is me and it's really round and not very deep.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Life Beyond #16

It is a really nice kitchen.
The built-in side by side fridge and freezer:
The open space, the island:
Lots of cabinets:
And then, what's that there:
Why yes it is a fireplace:

A rounded turret with a fireplace.
In the kitchen.
I can't imagine the use of it in that location but it is mighty fancy looking.
Of course I can't imagine why the wine:
Is more accessible than the breakfast cereal either:
But, it is a custom home. No doubt about that.

This is me and it's different.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Traditional Meltdown

For lack of a better post, this is me freaking out because Christmas is 2 WEEKS away and as usual there is a myriad of things to do and prep for and coordinate with others and it never goes as it is supposed to and sometimes the end result is good and sometimes not so much but the time constraint is always insane and this year is no exception and even if I didn't have a job - well three - I don't see how there would be enough time and have I mentioned my plan that we should all take the month of December off?
When we leave for Thanksgiving that should be it until the new year.

This is me and it wouldn't work that way either, but it's a dream.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Just Smile And Nod

There are some fantastic commentaries on the our society coming out right now:

This is me and just be pleasant and nice to others. That's all.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Belts And Pants

I had to get my father-in-law help me get my pants off today.
It was a very serious misadventure.
I was getting dressed for work and my best looking jeans are looser than I like to bend over in repeatedly so I don't wear them often (probably why they look the best) and I thought I would see if one of Tarzan's belt could help me stay modest all day.
Checking the closet revealed that Tarzan had worn the belt I like best of his. My only choices were his brown belt - which ended up being too big, even on it's last loop, to be of any use - and the special Chinese belt that his father brought all the boys back from their trip. I put it on, and it was pretty cool, no loops, so the belt fits perfectly at every point.
Like a zip-tie.
But I couldn't get it off again.
Exactly like a zip-tie, it goes one way easily and the other not at all.
I texted Tarzan, thinking he would know how to get his belt off. But he couldn't describe it to me in a way that would make it work.
I had to leave for work and I was taking ATL too, so I left, still texting Tarzan and still imprisoned inside my legwear. He promised to let me out when he got home from school, but halfway across town I realized that I couldn't use the bathroom all day long if I couldn't undo the belt.
According to Tarzan, there is a "button on the back" of the belt that would release the mechanism and let me out, but no matter what I pushed or pulled or twisted, it wasn't letting go. So Tarzan called his father who had given him the belt and was the originator of the undoing trick.
Then his father called me and MusicMan helped me figure out the clasp. Turns out it is not a button but a little lever, not on the back, but the bottom of the belt and the belt has to have some slack in it and the lever pushed out and away from the body at the same time.
It's fairly easy once I knew how.
But it was a few hours of anxiety when I didn't. 

This is me and I have a skill.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Blowing My Nose

I have formed the opinion that when I am sick, I should look sick.
Looking at my face, I don't think people can tell that my sinuses hurt, my head aches, my throat is sore and I am so very tired and cold. (Maybe they suspect I am tired but that's all)
The logic is that if I look sick, people might actually think I was sick and then they wouldn't ask me to do things like come to work on a Saturday or answer hard questions.
I'm not sure what to do about people who hear me [try to] speak and still don't notice I am sick. Like when I was at work yesterday and kept sneezing and rasping out my words and things just went on as if all were normal.
For them; I licked all their furniture.

This is me and it seems I have a cold.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Makes Sense

Best logic I have heard in a while:
  1. Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree
  2. That makes it a plant
  3. Chocolate is salad.
This is me liking where his mind is at.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Not For Young Readers

Warning: Please be advised, the following contains material with adult themes. You probably shouldn't let the children read it.

Are we alone now?
Okay good.
So, one of my jobs; being a personal assistant. And that means I do a lot of random things; file bills, laminate photos, highlight instructions, walk the dog, pull weeds, fetch the mail, chop vegetables for dinner, etc.
Perhaps the weirdest/oddest/strangest/most bizarre thing I have ever had to do was order a vibrator for a 79 year old woman.
Yes, yes I did.
If it helps at all, I don't think she knows what it is that she asked for. In the catalog it was labeled as "intimate massager." It was circled on a page with other, more innocuous massagers.
What does not help is that when it arrived she instructed me to figure out how to charge it and how to turn it on.
And even after all that, I still don't think she knows what it is she asked for.
But I do and I will never be able to get that out of my mind.

This is me and the things that I do at work...

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Where Are The Flames?

I'm pretty sure a Maserati was a fancier car when I was a kid:

Didn't it used to have rotating headlights and sharp angles and tailpipes everywhere?

This is me and I remember it snazzier.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

So There New England!

One of the things I hear the most from people who don't live in The Jungle is that they like having 4 seasons.
I will admit, the odds that it will snow here at any point in the year is minimal to none.
There is proof positive that the trees do change color:

This is me and it's close enough for me.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Random Travel Photos

So, I was showing a house today, and waiting for the lady to walk through "one last time" and was playing with my phone, pretending to look busy and I came upon some random photos from the airport when I was traveling.
There is a reason why the Jungle has a "style," a "vibe," a "look":
I especially like this one. The shoes, the blanket and the glasses:

This is me and it's amusing when you see the stereotype come true.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Crash, Tinkle, Tinkle

'Tis the season of house repairs!
Right before I left, last Wednesday, for Thanksgiving; literally right before, I tripped getting out of the shower, fell against the toilet and snapped the plastic posts that hold the plastic lid to the porcelain bowl.
Tarzan and I got back late Saturday night and Sunday being a busy day unto itself, we are still functioning with a broken toilet.
On top of that, while ATL, Tarzan and I were eating dinner last night we heard a rather muted, thump and swoosh, dashed into ATL's room and noticed that the hanging rod in her closet was at a very unhelpful angle. Apparently the plastic bracket the rod sits in decided 10 years was enough and it was checking out.
So now we have to replace that as well.
Not a big deal in either case, just a mighty inconvenience.

This is me and aren't these things supposed to happen when it's warm and light out?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Weird Dream #44

I woke up abruptly and with a start this morning and I would swear I dreamed this dream before. (I never dream the same dream twice)
It was long and involved - aren't they always?
There was a project I was working on, with a team, and we were intent on completing it on time. But we came to a point where there was nothing further we could do and we were stuck. Then we realized that if we had started it a different way we could achieve the result faster and better. So we rewound all the work - and the dream - and started again, but given the time restraint we had to work faster and the dream sped up along with us until we were rushing around and flipping through scenes like a movie and then all of a sudden, I woke up, panting and unsure of where I was and when it was and if I had dreamed this dream before - if it was a dream - and if the last few years had been a dream and I would find myself still working at an architecture office and late for getting up.

This is me and I had to check the date on my phone to be sure it was the day and year I thought/hoped it was.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tradition, Tradition!

Two words for those in the know, SUSHI NIGHT:

This is me and it's better than restaurant; we'd never be able to make this much noise in a restaurant:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Motto Touches Deep

Inspiration comes from the strangest of places.
I was at "work" on Monday, searching for adult education classes (don't ask) and came upon the motto for one of the local high schools.
A little extra detective work found that the motto is a good deal longer than the school allows on it's crest and the history is longer than that. It involves inscription and things from centuries past and whatever. 
The sentiment, however, is a thought provoking one: 
"Yesterday is a dream, tomorrow but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore to this day."
Despite my faith, and complete belief in a life beyond this one, and my efforts to keep an eternal perspective, it is still one day at a time we have to live this life.
If today is a day well lived, well tried, tomorrow will be better than if I feel guilt or regret about yesterday.

This is me, thinking those Sanskrit guys knew what they were about.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Halloween is over and so, naturally, the store shelves are stuffed with Christmas paraphernalia and candy.
I get that there is a limited number of shopping days, what with Thanksgiving being so late this year, to get the commercialism on, so I suppose from the retailer's side it makes sense, and really, what should be on display for the season of thanks and selflessness anyway?
Other than pumpkin and marshmallows, I can't think of a thing.
I am thankful and though it doesn't require purchasing large quantities of similarly colored items, I would like to share my three kernels this year:
  1. Tarzan. Always Tarzan. He has had such a year; with school and the new principal and the growing pains, and genealogy and the kids at school and the Academic Decathlon and, of course, the bishop thing, he takes a lot of crap, he deals with a lot of crap - and yet he still believes in the goodness of people. He still hopes people will choose the right. He still works hard, and wants to do good. He's a good man, a smart man, a kind man. And he's mine.
  2. The gospel of Jesus Christ. I have met, seen, interacted, overheard, so many people this year who do not know what they are doing in life. They don't have a plan, they worry about things they don't have to, they don't believe in anything more than the dreary life they are slogging through. They aren't happy. I am thankful that I know and I wish more people knew that they were searching so when they meet it they'd recognize it.
  3. Music. I love music. I don't have the musical skillz and analysis that certain people I am related to do, but I love it. Classic rock, classical; I like the Top 40 sometimes, and other times I listen to country. Judge me, go ahead, but music is fun and I love the mood adjustment it can bring. It can bear a testimony, convey a feeling that words aren't good enough to handle and just makes everything better.
This is me wishing you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks

Thankfully, today, I leave all the dramaz and excitement from the Jungle behind and spend a few glorious days with Tarzan and his family, having fun, eating food and ignoring the insanity that awaits when we return on Saturday.

This is me, in the air.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Really Fast Downturn

I can't share all of the specifics of the incident this evening, the community we live in being what it is, but let me tell you, it was a quick nosedive from the beautiful, organized, assembly line-like system I had set up for filling the Thanksgiving baskets and choosing delivery destinations to death threats and restraining orders, all in two short hours.

This is me and it was a weird night.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Well Hello There

Ah, people.
People and their cars.
People and their cars and the belief that when in their cars nothing can touch them:

Because it makes perfect sense to try and perpendicularly cross four lanes of traffic during commuting hours AND a green light when all the traffic going the correct way is trying to follow directions.

This is me and it's the holiday spirit all over.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Too Cute For Words

Here is a picture of some of the most adorable children - my sister's clan, all four are hers and PITs - and beyond the red hair and the petite sizes - the oldest is six - and the ancient castle ruins in the background, they ALL have the British accent:

Which is too cute. Really. I can't even write the words with the pronunciation but imagine it when they say things like, "Mummy, I want cheese on my jacket potatoes".
ATL and I Skype with them every Sunday morning and now that the kids are in the groove they anticipate the call and plan to tell us things. Squishy and I are reading the Beast Quest books and discussing them on a weekly basis.

This is me and even across the pond we're keeping in contact.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Just Passing Through

On his way home for Thanksgiving (what is with kids these days getting a whole week?! We were lucky to get Thursday & Friday both when I was in school) my baby brother passed through town and The Jungle being as fancy as it is, he got a 45 minute layover.
ATL and I dashed over to see him at the bus stop and brought the poor starving little thing a burger:

(Apparently he's also passing through from 1974...)
Okay, this inside joke is cheesy but since there are nine siblings in my family and ATL was in love with all things Greek for a while (Classic Civilizations major) we gave each of us a Greek letter. I particularly like mine and LBO's because we are the first and the last.
Alpha (me), Omicron (ATL) & Omega (LBO):

This is me and her and him as he's passing through.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Apple Crisp

Tarzan and ATL really want me to write about this apple crisp that I made the other night but I am not sure if I really want to write about what I would consider a failure:
Apple crisp and I are have a complicated relationship. I think I like it, I want to like it, I make it a lot in the winter because it sounds good and it's a tradition from my childhood, I generally do like it...but only when someone else makes it.
So I try different recipes and make many repetitions and am never really satisfied.
I was at an event in the not to distant past where someone else made the apple crisp and it was marvelous. She made it in the slow cooker, the recipe had a different list of ingredients and it was REALLY good, so I thought I would give it a shot. Tarzan gave me a new slow cooker for my birthday and I have been using the heck out of that thing. It looks at food a little differently than the oven but it's been really handy and it is a really nice one.
I've made the apple crisp twice now and it just is not coming out the way it was the first time I had it. The lady gave me her recipe so I assume it's the same list of ingredients but it isn't coming out right, as evidenced above.
It calls for cake mix on top rather than the usual oats/flour/nuts mixture but it's apples, sugar and cinnamon and the topping.
Any thoughts?

This is me and I'm not happy with it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Random Animal Videos

Everyone thinks I'm insane - and apparently the city does too (some random piece on NPR today about raising the cat limit in the city from 3 to 5. 5?! Psssht, I have 8) - but I like cats. All animals, really, make me happy.
Old lady at ATL's work sent this video around today and it was highly amusing.

This is me, and even Tarzan - who claims to hate all animals, especially ours - laughed.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Reflections On The Seventh Year

To paraphrase Dory, "just keep blogging, just keep blogging..."
It's been a long year in the living and one short on commentary. Every year I vow to do better and yet, consistently, the number of posts goes down.
I really have to make more of an effort. New year, new goals and all that.
We need a theme - a goal, a method, a plan - for this here blog thing. I know, seven years in is a great time to be taking stock, but better late than never right?
I'm taking suggestions for a direction to lead the blog.
I could do cooking; I've contemplated a 'Cooking For Real People' kind of web series. How to cook good food in a tiny kitchen with less counter space than most office desks.
Or I could share how to be a Bishop's wife in The Jungle (don't tell me, bor-ing) Actually that won't work because as a bishop's wife, one doesn't know anything.
Maybe I could write about TV, or cats, or stupid people - that's a Pandora's box!
Or I could keep muddling along as I have been
BUT with a better track record!

This is me and here's to a better documented year.
This time last year: Reflections On The Sixth Year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Words To Remember

Note to self: when the chili recipe calls for 4 teaspoons of oregano and it seems like a lot?
It is.
It is a lot of oregano.
Way too much oregano.
As I tell the kids on the Academic Decathlon team, I should have gone with my gut.

This is me and that is recipe that will need some work.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Brushing My Teeth

This is what happens when I realize it's 11pm and I forgot to post that day. I got excited because I have my iPad mini and thought I could post something quick from my bed:
Aaaaaand then I realized my phone and my iPad mini don't speak to each other at that end of the house:
So I had to make up something else and save these lovely pictures for another day.
It's only the 18th of the month and I am reduced to posting selfies.

This is me and at least I didn't choose the one with my toothbrush.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Direct From The FBI

I got this email today and was totally impressed with the detail that the spammer went through to get in touch with me:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
                                  Intelligence Field Unit J. Edgar Hoover Building
                                    935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C.
Attention: Beneficary,
I am Special Agent Erick Bolt from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Intelligence Unit, we Intercepted two consignment boxes at JFK Airport, New York, the boxes were scanned but found out that it contained large sum of money ($4.1 million) and also some backup documents which bears your name as the Beneficiary/Receiver of the money, Investigation carried out on the diplomat that accompanied the boxes into the United States, said that he was to deliver the fund to your residence as overdue payment owed to you by the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the security company in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, we cross check all legal documents in the boxes but we found out that your consignment was lacking an important document and we cannot release the boxes to the diplomat until the document is found, right now we have no other choice than to confiscate your consignment.
According to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in Title 26 also contain reporting requirement on a Form 8300, Report of Cash Payment Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business, money laundering activity may violate 18 USC §1956, 18 USC 1957, 18 USC 1960, and provision of Title 31, and 26 USC 6050I of the United States Code (USC), this section will discuss only those money laundering and currency violation under the jurisdiction of IRS, your consignment lacks proof of ownership certificate from the joint team of IRS and IRC, therefore you need to reply back immediately for direction on how to procure this certificate to enable us relieved the charge of evading the law on you, which is a punishable offense in the United States.
You are required to reply back within 72 hours or you will be prosecuted in a court of law for money laundering, also you are instructed to desist from further contact with any bank(s) or person(s) in Nigeria or the United kingdom or any part of the world regarding your payment because your consignment has been confiscated by the Federal Bureau here in the United States.
Yours In Service,
Agent Erick Bolt
Regional Deputy Director
Intelligence Field Unit
Despite the spelling mistakes, lack of grammar structure and the insane idea I would forget I was a money launderer, he did remember to copy himself at erick.bolt@fbi.gov
I almost want to call the Bureau to see if it's a real person.

This is me and someone found my $4.1 million! Thank goodness, I've been searching for that everywhere...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's A Weekend

And here's what I supervised all day:

This has been a tough year academically, new principal at the school, lack of enthusiasm among the kids, late materials, Tarzan having a zillion things to do and it just isn't the same as past years. We're not as focused and the kids aren't as focused and it's all going to stink at the awards ceremony if today's results were any indication. We had one kid score a 1/50 on the math section.
Tarzan doesn't like math so we don't focus on math a lot - there are some schools with freaks that score perfect every year, so we never get close to that medal - but blindfolded I could do better than a 2%. Not to be vain but I really don't think he was trying very hard.
I was pleased with three of the students, not stellar results, but we can work with it and maybe get somewhere.
Of course, a team has nine students...

This is me and it's not going to be good come February

Friday, November 15, 2013


Missionaries are an interesting breed. They're young and cute and enthusiastic and all. Some of them have more manners than others. Some are more outgoing than others. Some are born under the covenant and some are not. Some have a lot of knowledge, some do not. Some are on their missions because they love the Gospel and some come because their mother/bishop/cousin told them to. Some - punk from Down Under who makes me want to scream - have no manners and are jerks. Some do not get the Star Wars movie references and some do get the random Mystery Men reference.
They all love to eat however. Dinner is the one thing they have in common.
And because Tarzan and I aren't masochistic enough, we had all eight of them over for dinner tonight.
Yes. We're crazy to try and fit nine grown men, two women, a pasta casserole and an apple crisp into 600 square feet.
But we did.
And it seemed to work out well enough. Bishop Tarzan put them through their paces scripturally, ATL teased them and I encouraged them all to eat more vegetables for their mothers' peace of mind.
All in all, a successful dinner party.
The only kind we have...

This is me and no one got tomato sauce on their white shirt. Bonus!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I got a text message the other day from one of the previous Academic Decathlon team members. He's had a rough life but he's smart and determined and is not afraid to work hard. He got an honorable mention for Economics (a subject we didn't even cover)and a medal for his speech last year, as well as being the highest scoring member of the team.
He graduated in May and is now attending Humbolt State University.
He's not a very compassionate kid though - being male and a teenager doesn't make it more likely - and so I was surprised to hear from him. He was baking for the first time and he said that if he was lucky the brownies would come out with 1% of the awesomeness of my baking. He always was a fan of the cookies I brought.  
He sent me a picture of the finished product:

This is me and I'm so proud.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Making Me Smile On A Wednesday

I'm not sure if it's a paradigm shift or just the latest trend but there have been a lot of articles about strange happenings and funny pictures on Facebook lately.
My favorite today was the 50 Funniest Mormon Memes post.
Some of the quotes under the pictures are sad because they are true, some are weird, some are funny and some are hilarious. Of those fifty, these two were my favorites:
This is me and it's nice to start a day with a good laugh.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Despite Her Inadequacy

I listen to Fresh Air because it's on NPR and I'm often driving in the evening hours. I do not listen because I like Terry Gross, because I don't. She is terrible at interviewing people. Her questions are awkward and lengthy and she often tells so much of the answer in the question that the interviewer's only response is "yes, I know."
However, really cool people come on the show.
Tonight I felt really special knowing who Allie Brosh of Hyperbole And A Half was. I've read her stuff and I find her extremely intelligent and well read...(What does one call a person who writes well?) I love her cartoons and I think she's very courageous to put it all out there. It was interesting to hear her interview and think "she doesn't sound like that when I read her blog" and then by the end of the interview, wonder how I could have ever thought she sounded any other way.

This is me knowing someone cool.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day 2013

As luck would have it, the theme for Academic Decathlon this year is World War I and so we are learning much about the world and the politics that created the conflict that ended today 102 years ago.
My area of "expertise" is Art and Architecture and we have been discussing war memorials. There are many, of course, that great war having taken lives from more countries and in greater numbers than ever before.
We're studying two particular memorials; The Liberty Memorial in Kansas City and the Theipval Memorial To The Missing Of The Somme in France:

Reading about the cooperation between the French and the English to remember their fallen soldiers really touched me. There is an inscription in the center of the arch, with the Stone of Remembrance, that reads:
"Their name liveth forevermore."
It's an appropriate thought for the day.

This is me remembering.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sorkin Appropriate

ATL and I have started watching The West Wing from the very beginning.
I've seen bits of it before, in fact watched an entire season before, but I have never watched the entire thing start to finish.
I have to take my hat off to Mr. Sorkin.
I've always known that it was a brilliantly written show, smart, funny, sharp and the man can slip a world of meaning into the single word "okay."
But the relevance of the actual politics that are referenced is blowing my mind every. single. episode.
They talk about gun control, education, privacy concerns and the NSA, the Senate and House negotiating challenges, leaks to the press; it's like it was written - very well written - last week.
And it aired fourteen years ago.
I am incredibly impressed with Mr. Sorkin's ability to see problems that were coming way down the road. The Internet was not completely invented in 1999 and yet they predict the very problems and challenges we are dealing with now; social media and cell phones and all that.
I'm wondering if we should elect Mr. Sorkin to Congress or something.

This is me and it's kind of spooky.

Saturday, November 09, 2013


These were my companions for a few hours this early morning while their parents were attending the 6am baptism trip to the temple:

Adorable and fun and easy to sit, but I worry about the stories that were being told as they left the house. Stories about crying and no food or TV or fun being had. How do they learn to make up stuff so young?

This is me babysitting.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Yesterday's Explanation

Right. I promised you an explanation for yesterday's late post.
Here goes.
Yesterday, I got up as usual, dressed and headed out to the Home Storage Center, where I volunteer each Thursday. It opens at 9am so I left at 8:30.
Got there, opened and did the usual, except there were a few more customers than normal which meant clean-up took longer than normal which meant I left later than normal which meant I had to rush to get to school on time, because in the afternoons on Thursdays I go to Tarzan's high school and teach Art & Architecture and public speaking to the Academic Decathlon team.
That also went well, but Tarzan and I stayed later than usual after the practice was over, working on our responses and notes for an AP Literature class we were asked to speak in today regarding the opinions of one Mr. Krakauer, in an atrocious book titled, Under The Banner Of Heaven (I am NOT linking to that man or his work), about the LDS Church. (He does a deplorable job of differentiating between LDS, FLDS and RLDS.)
We stayed so late, working on our comments, that I didn't get to go home before I had to run to the store to fetch some items and be back at the Home Storage Center for the evening orientation, geared toward new Bishops and Relief Society Presidents who do not know what goes on or how to instruct people about the services provided there.
The orientation went well and when it was over we had to clean up, close up and then go home. One of the other volunteers there just got a job in North Dakota and he leaves tomorrow so we spent some time lamenting the weather choices in his new state and lapping up the 70 degrees at 9:30pm that we enjoy here in the Jungle. He won't see 70 degrees again until May.
When I finally got home, I rushed to put stuff away, cleaned up dishes, etc, and was in bed before I realized I hadn't posted yet.
You know the rest.
There aren't too many days like that now that I am no longer the Relief Society President but once in a while they still pop up and I wonder how I managed.

This is me and now you know.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

'Tis The Season

I know it's a totally random day for this but I am barely squeaking this one in under the wire - I'll explain that more tomorrow - and it's really hard to get deep and philosophical while laying in bed, typing with one finger on the iPad mini (did I mention that after one tiny comment in a random post last year, that Tarzan bought me an iPad mini for Christmas?!) Mostly because the buttons are not where they look like they are on the blogspot dashboard and I have to chase them around looking for what I want and making it go back and try again.
Some of the things I am thankful for that I do not use a kernel on at the table on Thanksgiving:
- the gorgeous weather here in the Jungle. A friend is moving to North Dakota this weekend and I do not envy him a bit.
- cinnamon. The smell, the taste, the bite. It's good stuff.
- libraries. And all the books that come from them. One of the biggest treats to come from this iPad mini is the books at my fingertip all the time. I have probably read more this year than any other since before college because any line at the store or red light can be used to grab a few lines.
- hot chocolate and marshmallows. Enough said.
- fingernail clippers. So annoying at how often I break a nail; I snap or crack or split one all the time. It's nice to be able to trim off the jagged edge quickly and move on.
- our bed. Tarzan and I bought a high queen-size bed with a pillow top mattress shortly after we got married and it has been a glorious thing. (We might regret not getting a king-size occasionally because Tarzan is so long but mostly not at all.) We're still sleeping on it and if that's gross I'm sorry but we love it and it has been the reason we've gone to bed pleasant rather than crabby on more than a few nights in our thirteen years.

This is me with some of the less announced blessings.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Anne Of Green Gables

Not like this is the first blog post about Anne of Green Gables, but it never gets old.
It's a sweet story, nothing overly dramatic, just a girl growing up in a simpler time. Gorgeous setting, and just enough action to suck Tarzan in despite it being a "girl movie."
I remember when it was released on TV - back in the days before cable had 1,000 channels and before DVRs and streaming and the Internet - my family and I and my friends and their families would schedule our evenings so we would be home to watch each chapter of the 4-part series.
I was so excited when I recognized parts of the dialog and when things looked on the screen like they did in my head.
*Such* a well done transference of literature to screen. Quite possibly the best one ever. I think Megan Follows was born just to play that role. I certainly don't see her as anything but Anne even when she's in other movies and shows.
ATL and I are (re)watching it this week, when Tarzan is out doing bishop things and we can't watch the recorded stuff that he wants to see too.
 The movie came out the year ATL was born and it takes me back to think of my life then and now. What was important then and now.

This is me getting nostalgic. It was a simpler time for me too.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Daylight Thing

Is it just me or does turning the clocks back this year not seem as big of a deal?
I was anticipating my extra hour of sleep and was well prepared.
I went to bed at my pre-clocks turned back time, snuggled in, content with knowing my phone - which also serves as my alarm - would reset itself at the appointed hour and I could snooze with abandon.
And it all went according to plan.
Only it didn't seem so monumental on Sunday morning. I suppose some of that could still be the novelty of not having to go to the early morning meetings at church for the first time in almost 10 years, but still.
I got nothing.
And I feel a little robbed. This is one of the best parts of the light fading in fall and the chilly temperatures; that one morning and the week that follows where, for a brief moment in time, it's like I'm catching up, just a leetle bit.
It better not matter in the spring either when that blessed hour is snatched away from me.

This is me and am I over it or was this year an anomaly?

Monday, November 04, 2013

Ode To Thirteen Years

I kind of feel over the whole "I can't believe we've been married for so long; it seems so short" rant that I usually do for our anniversary.
13 years is a long time, but we have done some seriously involved, intricate and - dare I say - important things in that time.
It feels good.
We're good.
Busy - of course - but productive. Like we finally figured out how to do "life."
It can make me nervous in times like these, feeling content and in control.
Not control per se, but feeling as if we could handle whatever comes.
As long as we've got each other:

This is me and him. Happy 13th Anniversary Tarzan!!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Ender's Game

Hey! A review of a movie I saw when it was still in theaters and also current! Groundbreaking. The lengths I will go to for NaBloPoMo...
I love the book 'Ender's Game' so when I saw they were actually going to make (and release) the movie (it's been promised on and off for years) I was both thrilled and terrified.
Thrilled because it's a great book and has the potential to be a great movie and then terrified because if it's a horrible movie I can't un-see it and it will ruin my reading of the book in the future.
I am happy to say I can still read the book and not hate the images that come to mind.
Tarzan, ATL and I went last night to see the flick and I was surprised at how much it was like the book and how much it wasn't; impressed at how it had all the correct pieces of the story and yet wasn't at all like the story.
Very strange.
The typical criticism is that the speed of the movie was such that instead of 6 years in training, Ender spent about 6 weeks. I have to agree completely. The movie wasn't overly long so an extra 5-6 minute montage to indicate that time is passing would have made me less angry. 
I can say that the battle room - where they fight the zero gravity battles - was excellently done. FAR better than my imagination could do. Truly exceptional and I wish more time had been spent there. All the space graphics and effects were brilliant. Battle School, Command School, all superbly done.
Harrison Ford as Graff was decent, and the writers made Anderson less than I expected/wanted, but Asa Butterfield was a really good Ender. Equal parts emotive and independent, though - because of the time issue noted above - I never got the impression that Ender was exhausted, frustrated or lonely; three things stressed in the book.
The parts of the story that had been edited out were smart and didn't detract from the main thread and I know why they toned down the violence and I guess it's a good call but I think it made the story less forceful.
Overall, it was good...but not quite enough for someone who had just finished reading the book (for at least the 15th time in her life) on Friday.

This is me and who knew I would ever ask for more montages?

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Costume Applicability

I do not have the talents that some have to designing a new costume every single year for Halloween - much as I might have the ideas; the time, the skillz, the whatever isn't all there.
So when I find something that works, I stick with it as long as it will go. Hence the hippie outfits that Tarzan and I use for EVERYthing.
It's true. We had to perform a dance for the International Festival; pull out the bell bottoms and do a hustle.
Halloween; don a paisley shirt, grab a peace sign and voila:
We've used these outfits since we were in college - seriously - and the only thing I would say is the shoes could use some more thought...I need platforms!!! 
We're retro, comfortable, and cool all the time.
Because she's so professional and all ATL's contribution to the Halloween mayhem this year was a little more suited to the office environment:

This is me just fine with it.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Rock Of Ages

Yes. Yes, it was released last year (2012) and this year - 2013 - is almost over and I only just saw Rock of Ages.
But it did not disappoint.
Now, lest you think otherwise, there is no deep plot line - no plot at all actually; chick falls off the bus into the arms of the guy who will solve all her problems - but who went to this film for the plot?
*I* went for the fabulous soundtrack - and it really was fantastic. Songs from Journey, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Poison...it was an 80's dream. And the stars sang their own songs and did a decent job. I was pleasantly surprised with Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin. (Some of the others, Catherine, had proven themselves before and others were there just because they could sing.)
I thought the stars who had lived through the 80's were more personable in the film than those who weren't born for the decade the first time through. The younger ones played it straight and didn't let any of the humor and fun seep in. I got the distinct impression Russell Brand lives like his character ALL the time; he was so comfortable and easy in the role.
So no deep meaning, but a lot of really great songs and some really cool people rocking out.

This is me and now I want to rock!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Freeway Fun

This amused me greatly:
Because he's all proud of his RAM truck but it's a Ford...

This is me and it's the Jungle.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Life Beyond #15

I suppose it's only fair that there be some bad with the ridiculous good that some places have.
For example, when one's back yard looks like this:
It's only fair that the entire house be carpeted in leopard:
And there be this guy in the bathroom:

This is me and it's a weird world I visit every day.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top Of The FB Page Today

There are days when FB says just what I need it to say to make me laugh. I especially like the darker of the two blue ones:
This is me and that was amusing.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

That's What It Is

I finally figured out what it is about the Barefoot Contessa that bugs me so much.
The Food Network is one of my favorite channels and I have watched Ina Garten for years. Her food looks fancy but good and I have learned some very helpful things from her show, but watching her has always made me angry as well.
Today I figured out why that is.
The woman NEVER cleans up after herself. She mixes, spills a little, but never wipes the counter down, she never cleans the blade of her knife, never puts the food scraps in the compost bowl/basket/bucket/pile, never scrapes out a bowl, never puts a bowl in the sink when she's done with it, and puts the goopy spatula back down on the counter and does not give it another thought.
I know I am not a spectacular housekeeper but I can manage to empty the food processor and get it in the general vicinity of the dishwasher before moving on to the next step.

This is me and I feel better now that I know what it is.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Much as I wanted to, I can't say that I was impressed with the storyline of the Disney movie Brave. (Yes, I only just now saw it.)
Having it be a Scottish heroine was a cute idea and the three little boys were adorable.
The animation was typical. The closing credit sequence was beautiful.
The plot. My goodness. So. Many. Holes.
Why was the father an idiot? I hate it when the man is made out to be a doofus.
How was this the first the daughter was hearing about a marriage being necessary?
Considering the control the mother has over the room, no one could think her weak and downtrodden.
Considering Merida's opinion of the boys that were competing for her, why did she want to shun all vestiges of civility and become just like them?
Plain and simple, Merida was a moron. Every time we turned around she was doing something stupid and running from responsibility. And in the end she didn't really learn anything. Oh sure, she missed her mother but she didn't choose to accept the responsibilities of her station. Gah!
Also, what about all the nudity? So completely inappropriate.
Not a movie I will be recommending to anyone.

This is me and can someone please get that girl a brush?!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Didn't Miss Them

This is not my first comment on the federal government.
I doubt it will be my last.
I am so irritated by this government shut-down / resurrection nonsense.
First, why did we elect such stupid, immature representatives?
Next, why do they think blaming the people / claiming that "the people have spoken" in any way makes sense?
Next, WHY do we allow these schmucks to continue to get paid - at all, let alone during the shut-down - when all the federal employees - who had nothing to say about the shut-down - did not?
Lastly, does anyone else think we should consider a third party? If enough of us vote for Floyd next time we might make a difference.
Frankly, I was very intrigued when the some of the states decided to take matters into their own hands and reopen the national parks with state money because the federal guys couldn't get it together. If that had gone on long enough I could see the states becoming independent countries and we could have forgotten all about the losers in D.C.

This is me and it always comes back to "the people get the government they deserve."

From Whence You Cometh