To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Awkward Sabbath

So, I was asked to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. No big Deal. I mean I don't LOVE giving talks or anything, but I understand they need to be given and I am alright giving one every once in a while.

So, of course I get assigned a topic. And, of course it's the most ridiculous topic ever - Entertainment & Media. And, of course it's from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet -because I am so youthful?!? and they wouldn't want to give that the 12-year-old Deacon that spoke right before me?!? No, that would be WAY too practical.

As you can see from the information presented in the aforementioned link. The first few sentences are relatively benign in every way. But, as you can see from the majority of the information I have essentially been asked to give a talk on pornography. Me? What the...??? Does this seem odd to anyone else?!? Also, let's remember that it is the week before Christmas. Couldn't they save this topic for January??? Can't they assign this to someone with a little more familiarity with the topic.... say a Bishop or High Counselor. I know it's something that needs discussion. I get that it's wildly prevalent. But, here's the deal, I just REALLY REALLY do not want to be the girl that gave that ridiculously awkward pornography talk the week before Christmas. And, more than that... I just do not want to stand at the pulpit in front of hundreds of people and act like I have the foggiest faintest idea what I am talking about.

So, I ask one of my bestie's dad, who is also in my Bishopric, if he can perhaps give me a little guidance and direction. He starts laughing and asks if that is REALLY the topic I've been given. I am not laughing. Then he tells me to do what people do in any good talk... use some of my own life experiences. At this point he's really laughing at me.

So, there I am sitting in the not-so-cheap seats adjacent to Deacon that is sitting next to me who is the first speaker and this darling old man who is to be the last speaker. I ask the little muffin what he is speaking on. Of course, he is sharing some Christmas poem tantamount to The Christmas Shoes. And, I ask the old guy next to me what he was assigned to speak on. And, he says the birth of Jesus. And, as you can imagine, at this point I feel as if I have been totally punk'd. But, I know I haven't. I mean the guy sent me an email with my topic in which he discussed in detail what I was to speak on. So, BY NO MISTAKE AT ALL, the talks were intentionally assigned as follows: Christmas, porn, Christmas. WHAT KIND OF A LINE UP IS THAT!??!?!?!??!?!

So, I tentatively walk to the pulpit for my turn. And, I gave an 18 minute talk on the first 2 lines of my topic. That's right! I said the word pornography from the pulpit exactly ZERO times. And, instead I talked about the light of the gospel and how one of the easiest ways to receive and share it is through the internet and media. I talked about the fact that with Mitt running for President Mormonism in consistently one of the top 10 most searched topics. I talked about sharing that light so that those who are looking for goodness in the world won't have to try so hard to find it because perhaps it would become as prevalent as darkness. Basically.... I totally winged it. But, I was totally not willing to give the rest of that talk... because I am chicken... and TRUST ME, no one want to see a lanky single blonde girl all decked to the nines giving a pornography talk. It woud have been awkward for everyone... I am sure of it!

It must have been an ok presentation. Because directly afterwards this lady comes up with her husband and tells me I've done a great job. And, then with no segway at all says "I have a son who is an ER doctor and he's tall, would you like to date him?" Boo ya!

But, the awkward Sabbath is not yet over kids.... it continues....

There is a little "Christmas Program" and potluck after the block is over. I am a little bit delayed in getting to the "Program". But, as I walk in I hear a small child playing the piano. She is really good for such a small little thing! But, what is she playing?!? It sounds familiar enough. I lean over to Diz and Mandy and say "Um... is that a Coldplay song?!?" Sure enough it is! And, I have just been informed that I missed the little girl who sang ".... the good ship lollypop..." Because, every self-respecting "Christmas Program" has those elements. I mean who doesn't love a little Coldplay and a tap dance to bring in the Christmas spirit?!?

Luckily, I DID not miss the Primary nativity re-enactment. It was awesome! All the kids were dressed up... as the star, some angels, a lot of barnyard animals, and some shepherds... which included one wicked awesome rogue shepherd. A shepherd who refused to stay on the stage, but instead trolled the audience whipping his costume in the air like he was a key participant in a Burlesque show. And, of course, every respectable "Christmas Program" HAS to have one of those.

Awesome Sunday!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The World's Most AWESOME(ly bad) Christmas Party

So.... 3 years ago I took a job with a new company (after having worked at my previous one for 6 years. It was the hardest break-up of my life (NO JOKE)... but, I digress...) Anyway. I loved the old job. And, I love the new job. So, I am blessed.

However, at Reyes (old job) we had the Christmas Party to end all Christmas parties. It was rad. We had dinner catered and an entire Casino staffed with legitimate dealers and chips and moolah, open bar (which was fun for me in that EVERYONE got drunk, except for yours truly, and it was AWESOME to watch the train wreck. One year a lady fell asleep on my desk, which was in no way even close to the party tent!) But, the presents were to die for... oh... my... gosh. One year I got a Kitchen Aid, the next year I got a 47" HDTV Sony Bravia plasma television with a 10-piece surround-sound speaker system complete with a blueray DVD player and Ipod connection, the next year I won a Dyson vacuum, not to mention that every year I also won money, and gift cards, and lottery tickets, and all sorts of awesome stuff. I miss those parties!

Well, the parties at my new job.... let's just say, I have been thinking for quite sometime that a). I am getting punk'd and there has to be some camera somewhere (in addition to the standard nanny cam that is always in the office in order to monitor our shenanigans) and b). that I should REALLY get in contact with the scriptwriters of The Office, because this party would provide fodder that would translate perfectly to that kind of satirical comedy.

First we have a BBQ, where only food that is neutral (beige or brownish) is admitted to the table (tri-tip, pork ribs, chicken, pulled-pork, baked beans, corn bread, potato salad and BBQ sauce which is scooped out with a laddle). Apparently we are anti-color and health here at MZT (new job).

And, then we have birthday cake for dessert. Happy Birthday Jesus?!?!

And, then the real fun begins. Catherine (our lovely Receptionist/Office Manager) wraps all the presents and sticks them under the fake tree, to be unwrapped, one per person. These present are never purchased... oh no, that would be way too costly. They are received, one-by-one, from Staples, FREE tchotchkes collected throughout the year, given to all orders over $100.

Last year, I got liquid potpourri, that smelled like feet and was the color of freshly cleaned toilet water. What would one do with liquid potpourri?!? I mean, even if it miraculously smelled refreshing??? It is bright blue and liquid! I couldn't very well put it in a bowl and stick it on the coffee table. BAD idea. Horrible! I gave it away at as white elephant gift at another holiday party.

One thing I have come to realize in this present frenzy, is that there is a 99.9% chance that the present received will be some sort of bag (a cheaply made bag that may or may not involve a cooling device, or a plastic coating, or a straw mat and towel).

So, in order to avoid getting a bag (which is easily identifiable by it's mere squishiness and shape), this year I asked for a box - which turned out to be a brilliant move. Because this year I scored a multi-function radio lantern with a built-in flashlight. And, Jackie won a set of 4-cutting boards with a nifty cutting board holder.

And, at my office Christmas Party, you could basically say we won the Grand Prizes! Boo ya!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It dropped into the 40s here...

... So, I ventured out to Disneyland, wearing a fur lined parka, a scarf, a hat and gloves.

Don't judge me. It was NEAR freezing. And, I grew up in California.

I am in love...

... with this blog.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The truth is...

People like me better when I am hopped up on diet coke.

It's true.

And, I am a people pleaser, so.....

Friday, December 2, 2011

What time do NORMAL people eat lunch?

I am sitting in my office.

Dressed all FANCY SCHMANCY because my bosses asked us all to dress up today.

Nevermind that MOST offices have casual Friday. We're all decked out....

Which means, I am wearing heels. Tall ones. Because in my opinion, you cannot successfully "dress up" AND wear flats.

And, the reason we are dressed up... some RICH RICH RICH businessmen from China are visiting our office....

Which means I will be AT LEAST an entire foot taller than the tallest of our visitors... which is apparently no big deal, since Jackie told me I "won't be required to dance with them or anything."

BUT, my boss has requested that we all join him and the China men for lunch...

Which brings me to the main question of my post...

What time do normal people eat lunch???

Because I start thinking about what I want for lunch around 9:50 am EVERY weekday. And, I start talking about WHERE and WHAT we are eating for lunch at like 10:20ish. And, by 11:02 Jackie is dialing my extension and we are gabbing about how we are SO hungry... and then by like 11:05 this whole office is a ghost town. But, it's 11:20 and the China men don't look hungry at all... which is stressing me out... because I am thinking about gnawing on my own arm.

And, all of it really makes HATE China.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sick day.

In general, I REALLY do like my job. But, when you're entire profession is based on client deadlines, it keeps a girl really busy. It isn't often that there is too much down time.

I currently sound like a muppet. I am beyond sick. But, I have a deadline that I have to meet. And, so...

in general, these are what my sick days looks like.

A special thanks to Jackie for the lovely mask. And, to all my co-workers, who couldn't stop poking fun at my "man-voice".

Sunday, November 20, 2011


A while ago a friend of mine asked me if I could have dinner with three people alive or dead, who I would pick. Mother Teresa. That one came easily to me. I adore that lady. I am inspired by her life and all that she stands for, and all that she did, and all that she taught. She once said "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, it's the only thing that ever has."

A week ago Saturday I turned 35.... eeeeeeek! How did that happen?!? I am not much of a planner. I never had much of life plan, per se. That being said, I am definitely not where I thought I would be at 35. Yet, I have lived a life of constant privilege. I have been blessed far beyond that which I deserve. Never in my life have I ever had to go without anything that I need. And, honestly, not very often have I even had to go without anything I want. I have always tried to give back in little ways. But, I am sure I have always fallen short.

A few weeks before my birthday I saw something on the internet that I thought was super awesome. This lady decided to do an act of kindness for every year of her life. It was an awesome idea, one I decided I really wanted to replicate. 35 acts of kindness. (Said inspirational lady had to do 38).

I sort of hesitated to post about this project, because it isn't something I ever intended to boast about, and I certainly hope it doesn't come across as such. But, as I was going about doing my kindnesses, I recognized how often goodness inspires goodness. And, like the lady whose idea I stole, I thought maybe my efforts could influence those around me.

I intended to do all 35 acts of kindness ON my actual birthday. But, instead of doing little things, I wanted to go big. I wanted to do things that were lasting. I spent many weeks compiling a list of things I wanted to do. And, as I called around and did some research, I realized that in order to do BIG things, I needed more than 24 hours (plus a lot of the agencies/organizations I contacted, were not open on Saturdays).

I actually spent my birthday in Santa Barbara, with two of my closest friends, Mandy and Wendy. We woke up in the morning and ran a 1/2 marathon. It was fun to be in the place I grew up, running along the same streets I often ran on decades before. After our run (or my run/walk) we began to knock out, one by one, each of the tasks on my list of kindnesses (many of which lasted the whole week, and many of which Mandy and Wendy accompanied me):

1. I wrote a card and left a thank you treat for my postal carrier.

2. Mandy, Wendy and I made 10 care packages for the homeless. (All of these packages had a PB&J sandwich, an apple, a bottle of water, a granola bar, candy, other snacks, a toothbrush, wet wipes and two trash bags - which were intended to keep the homeless warm and dry because it was raining, but I fear might have been used as new vessels to store hoard... eerrrr treasures, and a pick-me up note). We hand delivered these packages. And, made several new friends. And, had some very tender experiences.... and we MAY or MAY NOT have been howled at.... and not in a pick-up sort of way, but more of a mental patient sort of way.

3. We put quarters in laundry mats in the poor areas of town. (One guy told me that he hadn't done laundry for three weeks. I politely told him it was time and put some money in his hand. His name was Richard. And, now we are friends. Not that I'll ever see him again, but...).

4. I gave money to every homeless person within near proximity to me, all who asked, and all who didn't, for an entire week.

5. I started a piggy bank for a cause (first up, the LDS humanitarian fund). I have started putting all of my change in the piggy bank and will cash it in and donate it once it's filled. I plan to keep this going, changing the cause with the filling of the bank each time.

6. I didn't say anything negative or critical all day. (Confession: I woke up slightly before 7, by 7:20, I had my first do over. CLEARLY, something I need to work on).

7. We put money in a street musician's hat.... eeeerrrrr shoe (we couldn't find any other depository and Wendy almost got hit by a car, so.....), which made me think of this video... WHICH ALWAYS MAKES ME CRY.

8. I donated money to the Wounded Warrior Fund.

9. I donated my old clothes to a women's shelter nearby.

10. I donated canned food to the local food bank/Rescue Mission.

11. During the 1/2 marathon, I stopped to pick up the "Mile 10" sign that blew over AND I stopped to personally thank all the volunteers who handed me water (I can't decide if this was a kindness, or just an excuse to stop more frequently than I should have).

12. I bought a plant and a thank you card to give to my mom's best friend for letting us stay with her and making me a cake and singing to me and forcing me to wear a crown.

13. I donated money to an under-privileged youth program.

14. We donated blood (this was the WORST one. Eeeek, I hate giving blood, which makes me feel guilty, since I have the universal O+ blood type... but I also have RIDICULOUSLY tiny veins and it always HURTS). Wendy and Mandy and Nikki Crawford and I all gave blood. And, as Nikki said "it's one of the only things you can do for someone else that in their time of need, they can't do for themselves". So, even though it sucked, I felt good. Plus, I got some cookies. Total bonus!

15. We picked up Brandi (the foster kid I have mentored for the past few years) for dinner and a play date. And, actually we had her help us with some of our kindnesses. (She LOVES to hang out. She thinks every thing I do is great, like going to the bank and Target... whatever it is, she is in!) LOVE THAT KID!!!

16. We made treats and wrote a thank you note and took them to the LDS missionaries (because they ROCK)!

17. We wrote a note and dropped off a treat to the NB firemen (the note was awesome... scribed by moi and written by Brandi).

18. We wrote a note and dropped off cookies to the other 5 girls and the staff members who live and work in the group home that Brandi lives in.

19. We volunteered at a soup kitchen AND
19 1/2. I wore a skirt there (bad idea, but it's hard to do 35 acts of kindness when you have a full-time job - next time I am bringing a change of clothes to work).

20. I told each of my siblings that I love them and why. (Sadly, I do not do that nearly enough).

21. We made treats and notes and delivered them to people in need (a guy who was going into surgery, a family that lost a child, a family whose live-in daughter has brain tumors, a lady whose house flooded and a was living in a hotel, and one of Mandy's co-workers who was visiting from out-of-town.).

22. I bought food and a can opener and took it to the lady who was living in a hotel... because when I asked her if there was anything she needed, she said "yes, a can opener" - RANDOM -(the food was just a bonus). Plus, I took my lap top because she asked me if I would help her write a letter to the insurance company. Oy vey... that was a doosie, I couldn't even understand what she wanted to say. But, I sure did try. (P.S. She's Catholic, but she came to the LDS church today... that's right kids - Mormon's rock!).

23. I signed up to give Christmas to a family in need.

24. I gave all of the books I have already read to the local library.

25. I bought toys and donated them to a local toy drive. (Jackie went with me and she bought some too)! Some kids are going to be super stoked at Christmas!

26. I offered to babysit for a single mom.

27. I signed up to be a permanent volunteer for an organization called Women Helping Women (a place where they help battered and unemployed women find jobs). I will be fixing resumes a few hours a week in order to help people be more marketable in the workforce. This one was awesome. Because when I had my volunteer orientation they asked me what my qualifications were. And, I told them I had a Bachelor's Degree in English and for the past 12 years I have been employed as a Business Development Director/Technical Writer. And, they said "Is that it? Anything else?" I knew I should've gotten a Master's Degree... so I could be more qualified for a non-paying volunteer position. Ridiculous.

28. I sent a friend of mine who was having a rough day a love note and an article that I had read that I knew she would LOVE.

29. I volunteered to bring dinner (purchased, not made - don't give me TOO much credit) and consoled a friend who recently lost her job.

30. I gave an old friend a dress I didn't need anymore that I knew would look great on her.

31. I thanked each of the Veterans in my office (and one homeless man) for their service to our country.

32. I went to the store to buy groceries for my roommate who was supposed to bring treats to work, but had to work until 10 pm and didn't have any free time to get the supplies she needed.

33. I packed a shoebox for Samaritan's Purse.

34. I adopted a grandma. I volunteered to visit a lady in an assisted living home every Sunday. This was also a rad experience for three reasons. 1. The assisted living home also asked me what my qualifications were to which I said "um.... well, I HAD two grandmas. And, I am like REALLY good at talking." And, then they asked me if I had any skilled living facility experience. And, I politely said no and also offered up that I was TOTALLY unwilling to change or bathe ANYONE. (I have a very very acute gag reflex); 2. She told me I was young AND pretty AND that she was addicted to Diet Coke (trifecta!!!); and 3. She did not wear any pants. None.

35. Attended a session at the temple.

36. And, this is my last one (one to grow on). I wanted to publicly thank my parents for being wonderful examples to me of charity and kindness. And, I hope I don't embarrass them. But, I came up with a list of things I have seen my parents do in their lifetime that have inspired me and helped make me the woman that I am: paroled people out of jail (only once was it someone in my own family... ahem ADAM... I am sure you are all shocked!), rallied our family every year to donate Christmas to families in need, gave thousands of dollars to hurricane victims, housed a student going to medical school for free, my mom gave her mother's day gift to another mother who was having a rough year, gave enough fast offerings every single month so their ward would never have to borrow from the coffers of the church while my dad was Bishop, my dad has served as Bishop twice (so I can't even begin to imagine how many people he's moved!), my mom nursed a dying friend AND my parents agreed to adopt her daughter when she asked them if they would, my dad walked a fatherless friend down the aisle on her wedding day, my mom has picked up and purchased food and supplies for many single moms, my mom worked in the LDS temple for 5 years and served as a Relief Society President, my parents feed the hoards of lonely people (and some of their kids) every Thanksgiving, they have contributed in purchasing and retro-fitting a home for a friend who was in a terrible accident, they have given away at least 2 cars and more of our old or sometimes current clothes and toys than I can even remember, they housed 7 family friends after their house burned in a fire, they have babysat for dozens and dozens of people under numerous circumstances, they have been honorary parents to several people who don't have great relationships with their own parents, my dad hugs EVERYONE... EVERYONE and I can't remember him EVER saying anything unkind, EVER! (Can you imagine?!?!?). And, I won't even begin to go into all the things they have done for their five children. Words can not even express how grateful I am for their examples.

Another person I would love to have dinner with is the former Prophet of my church, Gordon B. Hinkley who said "ordinary people who faithfully diligently and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results." In due time, I can only hope to become one of those "ordinary people".

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One small birthday request...

It is the month of my birth.

And, I have never before requested any presents (with the exception of giving my parents a War & Peace length list as a kid... and maybe an adult, as well).

But, this year could someone please get me this?!?

I am getting so old and lonely. But, I think this could buy me another year or two of happiness!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I have ALSO decided...

That this year EVERYONE is getting a present via Ebay. I love it. The thrill of the chase. The hunting for treasures. The click of the mouse. The ease of paying with Paypal. I love it! I just think it's one of the most brilliant ideas I've ever had. I mean who doesn't want a tweety bird sweatshirt?!? No one... that's who.

P.S. I am not joking about the Ebay Christmas part.

Also... if I ever have a baby, I am not going to tell my husband until I am at least 7 months along. And, if he asks... I will just break into tears and ask him if he's calling me fat. That way it won't seem like I have been a nut job for 7 months already. Although, an argument COULD be made that I started out a bitty nutty... because who would really do that? I think I really would. I think it would be way funny.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I HEART this.

I can relate to it on every level.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I have decided...

That I do not like horse movies. I mean, I am cool with movies that contain horses... but movies about horses... na. I am out. After Sea Biscuit... every movie that is horse inspired is just a variation OF Sea Biscuit... which was a little slow. So...

Moving on... I also feel the need to write a strongly worded letter to the owner's of the ESPN Zone. I understand why there are T.V.s in the men's restroom. But, the women's??? Did they ever think maybe the women are hiding in the restroom BECAUSE of the sports on T.V. all around them. Is there no sanctuary?!?

Moving on... Disneyland on Trick-or-Treat night = paradise. Seriously AMAZING.

And, lastly... I have decided that I am a girl who wants to go ANYWHERE I have never been, even if that place is Nebraska.

Ok. I am done.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cleaning Out the Camera

I went to a wedding this weekend for my good friend Morgan. I took "the fancy camera", but I keep forgetting that I can't really even use it until I upload the current photos somewhere (keep forgetting that). I didn't really do so well with the photos. I only took like 5. Oops.

So, this morning, I moved all of the photos from the past year or so elsewhere. And, while I did, I came across some really cute photos that made me happy. I would give them all captions... but, I am just too lazy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just another conversation with a 3-year-old

I am currently hanging out with my sister Jennica and her little munchkins.

And, this morning I took Gabe (3) and Janey (5) to the store with me to get milk and diet coke (don't be sad Amanda, I am still addicted). And, this conversation happened:

Gabe: Auntie Ali, can I bring in my grapefruit?
Me: Um, No.
Gabe: Well, then can I bring in my spoon?
Me: ya, um still no.
Gabe: Well then what CAN I bring in?
Me: You can bring your person.
Gabe: I DO NOT have a purse!

Psh.... why do kids need to bring in everything they've touched in a day. Makes me think of Steve Martin in The Jerk.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mid-week Musings (The Chu Post)

My best conversations these days happen over Gchat.

So, without any further introduction, I will let you all be privy to one of the more entertaining conversations of my week. (Please note, some portions have been truncated, due to excessive length; however, I tried to keep in the entertaining parts.)

Jm: Another productive day?

Me: Well, if by productive you mean I got here by 8:30 than no, I got here at 8:38. But, if by productive you mean I have already made some online purchases, then yes. Yes, it has!

Jm: Hahaha. What do you buy online?

Me: Today I bought a pair of bright yellow sailor pants and a few tops. So, cute.

Me: So, I have this story for you. There is this market across the street. I go there to buy diet coke (don't judge me), I am still off the wagon. It's seedy at best. It's called "La Chiquita Market". What ethnicity would you presume the owner to be?

Jm: Hmmmm...

Me: If you said (or were going to say) Laotian, you would be right.

Jm: hahaha.

Me: Chu is from Laos. Clearly, all he does all day is eat and eat and eat WHILE he is selling stuff. Sometimes, while he is watching Asian porn or reading Asian newspapers. Anywho, most days when I go in there I am the only person who pays with cash... most people keep a tab. And, they pay Chu when they get paid. So anyway, whenever I go to La Chiquita Market (which could be one a day or could be 10x a day, depending on my proximity to the wagon), people say stuff to me - usually really really weird stuff. And, usually they are homeless or Hispanic. Either way they are brown, whether from God or from dirt. Today my favorite homeless man was there. This is not a joke. I have a favorite homeless man. His name is Daniel. And, he is very solicitous of me and complimentary in only the way a mentally challenged individual can be. Today, when I was over there, Daniel kept repeating "big pretty girl, big pretty girl, such a big pretty girl." And, while most chicks don't like being called "big" (myself included), I took it as a compliment given the fact that besides being kind of tall, I am not actually all that big.

Chu. (The only time I have been in there and he WASN'T eat AND Smoking, plus he's kind of looking up in this photo. I just think he's not used to be photographed).Just trying to prove that I fit in. La Chiquita Market loves blond haired, blue eyed, white girls, I promise!

Jm: Is Daniel's skin brown from dirt or brown from God?

Me: Dirt. So, I went over there again this afternoon - again, don't judge me. It may or may not have been the second time today I have been there.

Jm: It just has to do with your current distance from the wagon?

Me: Exactly, ok it's the third.

Jm: Wow, you are far!

Me: I think I told you in the disclaimer portion of our relationship that I would not have made a very good pioneer. Super not good with wagons.

Jm: hahaha.

Me: Anyway, I just went back and there was this new homeless guy.

Jm: If you are such a regular, why don't you start a tab with Chu?

Me: Well, you see, Chu speaks Laotion. Clearly, he would rob me. And, I would have no idea if he was right or wrong. So, I like to pay up front. But, I will have you know that today I stole from Chu. It was not intentional. The new brown from God dude got me all flustered. He was all creepy and staring me up and down. And, he looked straight at me and said "you are the prettiest girl I have seen..." And, then he kept thinking and thinking and stammering. And then he ended with "in two year. Yep, that's right, in about two years." And, I said thank you and he was still creepily staring at me. And, usually I buy two diet cokes at a time. That's right - I can't even see the wagon right now! But, since it's the end of the day, I only took $.50 instead of a $1. Because, it was late in the day and I only NEEDED one diet coke to get me through the day. And, in my haste, I took two, and only paid for one! So, I stole. But, don't worry tomorrow I will give him $1, but take only one diet coke. Don't worry, he barely ever looks up anyway.

Jm: So, Daniel your favorite homeless man made you steal? Or a different brown guy? Because I thought Daniel was brown from dirt? It's all very confusing.

Me: No, Daniel did not make me steal. New guy - who claims I am "the prettiest girl" he's seen in "two years." I am not sure what that's about? But, he DOES look like he might have just been released from prison...

Jm: But, the fact is you stole, and most likely it's because you're an addict and addicts steal to support their addictions. I'll bet you Chu started your tab today. He noticed. Wrote it down. And, in a few days he'll tell you that you took 5 diet cokes instead of just one.

Me: Maybe. And, if he does, I will pay him $2.50 to ease my conscience. But, truthfully, usually he just takes the money and never looks up. I, however, will remember this UNTIL I pay him. I better learn how to say "I accidentally stole this." in Laotian.

Me: Are you getting excited?

Jm: For your explanation to Chu tomorrow? For your next encounter with the new brown guy? For your yellow sailor pants? For you to tell me about how much cake you ate and then how many miles you ran?

Me: Well, of course, you should be excited about all of the above.

Jm: And, I am!

Me: But, no. I am blogging about something you're going to love. Consequently, I ate NO cake today.

Jm: Unfortunate.

Me: I ate no breakfast at all. But, I did run 7 miles - very slowly, I might add.

Jm: hahaha. You think cake and you think breakfast?!? Amazing.

Me: Well... who doesn't?

Jm: You're right. Probably no one.

Please note. The next day I paid Chu $.50. My debt is paid. All is right with the world. I did not steal, only borrowed, which is more than I can say for most of his other patrons.

Monday, September 19, 2011


This photo just about pushes me over the edge...

Bucket List Item #1: Top this photo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ebay = Stress

So, last night I was having a bit of trouble sleeping. But, finally I fell asleep for about a few hours, and then I was awakened by an earthquake... and then after I got a 3 AM diet coke, I started looking on ebay. (I can't explain it, that's just how my brain works).

Now, first I should mention that I need NOTHING. But, if I had to pick one thing I need the LEAST, it would be clothes.

But, there it was, the cutest little top from Anthropolgie, selling on Ebay for $7.49... and so I bid. And, for 14 straight hours, I started planning my life... all around this cute little top. I had so many outfits all made up in my head. It is such a cute top.

The last 5 minutes of the auction were stressful... I mean SO stressful. I think I might have developed an ulcer. Ugh.

And, BAM... out of nowhere, another bidder, and then another... and another ... next thing I know, some chick in New Jersey shattered my dreams and won the top that I wanted.... Now, I guess she gets to have the life I wanted... the one I dreamed of for 14 straight hours (which is long for me to have the same plan... or any plan really)!


But, when I really think about it, my life plan wasn't that grand after all. Because that cute little top... the one I saw adorned on my body in the eternities... well, it was actually a size too big. And, in my head I thought 'I could totally eat my way into that!'

And, no good plan ever started with those words.

So, I guess all things work out for the best.

Friday, September 2, 2011

These shirts are awesome.

The other day I saw someone rocking this shirt....

Huh? Trees are cool. I dig 'em. But, that does not make them people. So.... someone explain that one to me?!? I have been confused all week. The same way my mom was confused in Kung Fu Panda when she leaned over to me about a dozen times and whispered "How can the duck be the Panda's dad?!?"

About 6 months ago my rather rotund co-worker was rocking this t-shirt....

... with about 8 inches of his undercarriage (belly) exposed. And, in my head I thought 'if I had small children, I would warn them to stay away from you, because you look like a creeper'. Let it be known, he was also wearing sweats... which is not really work place attire, right?!?

And, then I saw this shirt... which I think is awesome. And, I want it.

Who am I kidding?!? I want one of all of these.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Whoa, the compliments in this place..."

... that's what Jackie said when I repeated to her that the Receptionist at our office told me that I look like Freddy Krueger when I walked by her this morning.

Um, is that the horror guy that had his face lit on fire? Maybe, I don't really know who Freddy is? But, I am assuming one of us is a little off.

The Receptionist likes me. At least she claims to. (So, what if it's a direct result of the fact that I often bribe her with bagels). I can only imagine what she'd say if she DIDN'T like me.

Just another day at the office...

I AM working on a real post and I have been for about a month, just waiting to have more than 15 minutes to finish it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Lately, I have been so overwhelmed with work that I tend to get easily irked.

So, today I decided to take a moment or two and express my gratitude for a few things.

I am super glad I live in California.

I mean, no matter how crappy my day has been here, it could always be worse...

I could live in Arizona (116 degrees?!?! You've got to be kidding me!)


Virginia... oh the distruction....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Goal

I woke up this morning at 5:45 am (which was the first problem) to run my 18 mile training run (this was obviously the second problem) in preparation for my 4th marathon. And, as I rolled out of bed I decided 'I am not sure I really like running anymore!?!'

Lucky for me, I had about 3 hours to ponder that thought and try to run around it. But, in the end, after 3 hours of running and thinking and listening to A bit Stronger on repeat A LOT, I decided that it might be time for a new goal, as well as a new left hip and a right knee replacement. This marathon thing is harder when you're an old lady, like me.

But, seeing as it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, my new goal has to be something I am already pretty adept at. So... what have I got to choose from... hmmmm???

I am pretty sure that even though I am very proficient consumer, I couldn't hold a candle to the shopping habits of a lot of the women in the O.C.

What else have I got?!? I DO eat like a truck driver most days... maybe I can turn that into some sort of a goal... oh wait, my idea has already been taken by this lady... who, as it turns out, has over a 550-pound advantage over me right now. Man, I can't seem to catch a break these days.

Guess, I should just stick to the training then.

However, it was suggested to me this morning, by the 8-year-old I am tending for the weekend, that I "marry David Archuleta, and if he says no, Michael Jackson." I politely informed little Ian that David was wee bit young for me and that M.J. had died (as if that was the ONLY reason that MJ was not a great idea for my soulmate). He seemed to be O.K. with David being to young, but refused to believe that the passing of MJ somehow eliminated him from being a viable candidate for my future spouse, until I suggested that marrying the deceased HAD to be against the law. Well then... that seemed to give me an out. Ian didn't think that breaking the law was a good idea. Whew... otherwise, this may have been a good option for a new goal.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh China....

Why are you so unique?!? Or are you?!?

China's latest craze - Dyeing pets to look like jungle animals!

Of course it is.

Thank you China!

And, thank you Jare! ;)

But, just so you know... Mexico beat you to it. It was their craze first. Perhaps, for different reasons, but still...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Frontal Lobe

When I was a kid my older brother, Adam, used to taunt, torture, and tease me on a daily basis. These days, he only does it when I go visit him in Connecticut. There are two very vivid taunting memories from my childhood that stick out the most to me.

The first experience happened when I was 12. As a church group, we drove to the LDS temple in LA to participate in Baptisms for the dead, which most of you know, is an ordinance that LDS people often participate in to baptize, by proxy, for persons who have passed on and were never able to be baptized while they were alive. Anyway... my older brother REALLY wanted me to be in the car with him and his other teenage buddies, which was super awesome to me, because usually big brothers never want their little sisters around... except when they plan to torment their sister(s). And, this, you see, is when I should have known better. But, I travelled the 2 hours from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in a car full of 15- to 17-year-old boys, listening to how brave I was. As, clearly I was aware I was willing to actually physically push dead people under the water. He and his friends had me convinced (and bawling, tears streaming down my face) that I was going to ACTUALLY be performing the baptism on a dead person(s). Adam said some of the deceased didn't even get cleaned off first, bloody, guts spilling out, gun shot wounds, sometimes stiff. He told me sometimes the bodies break in half. I was 12. And, I was petrified. YET, when we got to the L.A. temple, I was all in, still willing to be baptized for the dead. So what if I was blubbering like a lunatic, I was still willing to perform the ordinance, because I was obedient (and also stranded in L.A.). Luckily, my brother was just the biggest punk there ever was! And, once I met up with my mom she assured me that my brother was a prankster and all I had to do was get myself baptized on behalf of the deceased. Ugh. So mean, right?!?

Well, only slightly less mean was his second trick. A trick that lasted (and continues to last) much much longer. Whenever I would ask Adam if I could play a game, or watch a movie, or go to an activity with him, he would ask me "how old are you these days?" And, no matter what my answer was, I was always just a year too young. For example, if I wanted to play Uno, he'd ask how old I was. "10? You're 10? That's too bad, you have to be 11 to play this game." Or if I wanted to watch TV with him he'd ask again... "14. I am sorry, you have to be 15 to watch the Simpsons." Mind you, after the age of about 8 (maybe even younger), I knew he was just making it up. But, still I was not permitted to play, watch or participate in many things if it was up to Adam, with the exception of being his tackle dummy whenever he learned a new wrestling move. Somehow, I was always miraculously old enough to have the banana splits performed on me daily (regardless of the number of times I assured my big brother "my legs don't go that way!!!")

Anyway, just the other day I was listening to this world renowned human psychologist speak about how the frontal lobe in the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. (Mind you, this is taken totally out of context. I was not just sitting around waiting to hear this. If I told you all that her testimony was in reference to the Casey Anthony trial, that might make a lot more sense to all of you who know me well). Her argument being that no person should be allowed to make emotional, behavioral or problem-solving decisions until the ripe age of 25.

Bam! How awesome it that knowledge for anyone over the age of 25! Lucky for me, I am in Young Womens. And, my roommate is (until September) still 24 years of age.

As you can imagine, I have thoroughly enjoyed telling the YW (and my roommate) that their frontal lobes are not yet fully formed and therefore, I am right and they are wrong.

It's the only time in my life that I've had any scientific (or any other) advantage that worked in my favor.

And, CLEARLY now I can see why this game was so much fun for my brother!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Keep Calm....

Ya ya ya, we get it. These little keep calm sayings are all the rage.

And, I must admit that I too have one of these little magnets "Freak out and eat cake".

But, come on... I think we've gone overboard just a tad.

But, to be honest, I HAVE seen a lot of these over the year that actually really made me laugh... or scratch my head, at the very least.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some People are so Weird!

Last week I had to take a break from watching the Kardashians (because sometimes they are just too much, but mainly, I think I've seen them all.) And, so I came home one night and sat on the couch in my stinky running clothes, captivated (and also too lazy to move) watching the show "My Strange Addictions", which is awesome.

I don't know when or why I stopped posting about my own life and started posting things I find fascinating, but make no mistake - (1) when I get a life, I will start talking more about it and (2) these people make my normal mundane life(style) seem extraordinarily laudable. And for that, I love each and every one of them.

This is Adele. She has eaten 7 couches and 2 chairs. "The darker the cushion... the better the flavor." - Bless her heart!

This is Lauren. She only has time for fur. Bless her heart!

I am not sure what this dude's name is. But, his girlfriend's name is Shechon. "Shechon likes footrubs." She's the perfect girlfriend?!? But, don't worry, this dude's already planning to cheat on her. What is with dudes?!?

This lady eats pottery and when she needs to mix it up, cigarette ashes. Do you think this is a gluten-free diet?

This is Cyntrelle. And, with the exception of her name, I can't find anything wrong with her. I would like her to move in with me!

I also don't find anything wrong with this dude. And, I would LOVE to sit next to him on a plane. So, I don't see what the big deal is. He's from Florida... so...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hunger Games

Any of you read that book, The Hunger Games? I read most of it, then I got distracted, because I am totally like that. And, so I think I have a few chapters left. But, anyway. It's pretty good, because it LUDICRIS? Or is it???

This guy doesn't think so.

Jaron sent this to me today. Lately he is my most constant form of true entertainment. He finds the raddest stuff. I am pretty sure he spends his days reading magazine articles from across the globe. Plus, he's a Socialist. So, as you can imagine he's VERY entertaining. Honestly, read it. It's rad... a guy who wants to play chicken with a lion = Awesome! I love how the interviewer is totally making fun of the dude, and he of "superior" intelligence, doesn't even realize it.

As, I read this little interview, I was reminded of the time when Brad Maza and I were driving in his car to play racquetball. And, his mom called and the conversation went something like this...

Brad's Mom: Hi honey, I was calling to ask you if you heard about Sigmond and Floyd?
Brad: Who are Sigmond and Floyd?
Brad's Mom: Those boys down in Vegas. The ones that play with the cats. One of them gotten eaten today!
Brad: You mean, Siegfried and Roy?!?

That conversation has had me laughing for years now. But, then again, maybe I am just really easily amused.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dear Male Senator(s), Athletes....

... and all men in general,

Should you feel inclined to take a photograph of anything and send it to any lady or ladies, these are photos we as ladies are cool looking at:

1. photos of diamonds or other jewelry
2. photos of flowers
3. photos of your grandparents, parents, friends, kids, nieces, newphews, etc.
4. photos of your dog
5. photos of your bank statements
6. photos of your six-pack, but only if you have one.
7. If, and only if, you have to take a photo of SOMETHING, you can send a photo of your latest meal OR some awesome car, but please do this sparingly, because seriously, we don't care AT ALL. But, at least it's not offensive.

And, these are photos we have LESS THAN ZERO interest in seeing:

1. Photos of anything or anyone that may have died or been really injured.
2. Photos of some injury or illness in which you are about to self-operate or cure.
3. Photos of anyone's cat.
4. Photos of people who have fallen asleep - this is only interesting to men.
5. photos of other girls you might find hot
6. photos of ANY kind of bowel movement.
7. Photos of your junk. - Serious NO ONE wants to see this. NO ONE. Trust me, I took a poll.

*** Please note, this opinion is not solely mine, but reflects the views of all NORMAL women. So take note.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Random Ramblings

A few years back I was singing in my office. This guy I work with, Jonathan, walks by and tells me that there is no way I am ever going to make it on American Idol. And, so I said to him "why, I am really bad?" and his reply was "yes, you are. Plus, you're too old." And, that's why I love working in a male-dominated industry. They keep me humble.

I bring up this little memory because lately I have been thinking about how quickly I would get kicked off the Biggest Loser (assuming they would let me on it). Diz and I used to pour ourselves ginormous bowls of cereal and sit in our workout clothes watching the show, and talk about how we wanted to go on the show for just 1 week. Basically, in support of my theory I would like to point out that in the past 2 1/2 weeks I have run 66 miles and swam 17. Want to know how much weight I lost? 3 pounds. That's it. 3 stinkin' pounds. All I do is exercise!?! Basically, I would be the worst person ever on the Biggest Loser.

Also, I have not had a diet coke (or any other caffeinated beverages) for 33 days. So, I feel as if someone should give me a gold coin. And, if that coin happens to be made of chocolate, I won't be mad.

See, I am pretty sure it's statements like that last one that are keeping me out of the Biggest Loser. Sigh...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

OVHS Swim Banquet

Because it's been a while since I've posted any photos that actually have me in them, I am posting about my first swim banquet as a coach, using as few words as possible, because I am tired and lazy. And, according to my 7-year-old nephew (and many others, I am sure) I am a chatterbox. So, I figured I would keep this post short.

(My friend Sara a.k.a. Coach Spils)

(Herm, me, Christina & Sara - the coaches)

(Some of our rowdy, but fun, Varsity swim boys)

(Some of my cute little favorite J.V. babies)

(Sweet little Alba)

I came. I presented. There was no time to eat. It was HOT on that stage. I loved being a coach. I loved those kids. I will miss them. But, I will not miss waking up so bloody early.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A post for my friend Claire

I found this little quote someplace on some blog that I would cite, if I could remember which one. But, at least I am admitting it isn't mine, that's good enough right?

Dear Claire Monkey Manville,

This one made me smile and think of you.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some pretty awesome advice

I saw these little advice notes on this blog today, and I thought they were pretty funny:

I just keep thinking... it shouldn't really be THAT complicated right?!?

Which is why I loved this one:

Ha ha ha... never ACTUALLY felt like that, but still, I can understand the sentiment.