Monday, June 30, 2008

Elaborate Lives

The new centerpiece for my virtual mantle:
If you don't know what this is, let's just say it takes a lot of work to earn and keep this esteemed award.
OK, on to other news.
1) Remember those fateful brownies? My company this weekend wouldn't even touch 'em. He also seems to have a general disdain for people with social causes, so I don't think we're even friend compatible. There's a lot more to be said, but in consideration of his esteemed cousin who has been known to read my ramblings (who, by the way, is one of the truly best people in the world and whose goodness I projected onto her less-than-impressive-in-the-behavior-department relative) I will refrain. It was disappointing. I was socially awkward. So was he. It was a mess. Still, my house is clean and I have many delicious leftovers, so all is not lost.
2) I earned the kitty. Or possibly, my friend gave me the gift of the kitty. It's a good way to start one's week.
3) I'm determined to go on vacation. And soon. I may need a break not only from work and the accidents/minor disasters at home, but also from my social life.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Burnin' Down the House

Right now, the smoke alarm at my parents' house is going off. Big time. I don't think I've set it off before, because I think I'd remember it. I went outside to call my mom and tell her, and it was ringing out through the neighborhood. I can't believe how loud it is. What's worse, is I can't believe none of the neighbors have even popped their heads out their front doors to see if I'm OK. I doubt the house will burn down (though the brownies which spilled over in the oven might be ruined), but I'm guessing the smoke inhalation isn't super for me. Darn you, Ina Garten, and your Barefoot Contessa Brownies! Darn you, cousin's wife for making me come to a stupid Mary Kay party and bring food out of guilt because my poor sister-in-law got suckered into hosting it instead of me! Darn you boy who was supposed to come over tonight to get me out of the Mary Kay party, but who thought it was on Saturday and is coming down tomorrow instead, who I was hoping to impress with my domestic goddess skills. On the topic of settling, here's hoping he's doesn't mind settling for a girl who nearly sets fire to a house while baking... Aren't there some points to be awarded for the fact I was doing it for him? Likely not.
So for all you folks who think I've crossed over to the bitter side (which I haven't), I will say this: I spoke with another engaged male friend yesterday, and talked to him about my theory, and about my feelings. His take on it? I'm right. But still, it was comforting. Because in the case of the girl he was previously in love with (and what's more, completely infatuated with) vs. the girl he will marry next month, it's abundantly clear that he's getting a better deal with the current fiancee. In the spirit of full disclosure, I've never met either girl, but girl number 2 seems like such a better catch... she's so well-rounded. What's more, my friend just seems more peaceful with the new fiancee as opposed to the last one. The way he put it is he might not have picked his current fiancee if he had a choice of every woman in the world to marry, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love her, nor does that mean he doesn't want to make a life with her. It sounds reasonable.
OK-- there was a pause at this point in the blog, because my mom's oven literally had flames in it (so much for using the self-cleaning feature). I'm coughing and I'm embarrassed, but things are under control. The fire department is gone now.
I will say this-- I'd rather be alone for eternity than married to some of the men I know.... The ones who treat you like you're stupid and call you a hypochondriac because you call the fire department when there are flames coming out of your oven. That's not even the right term, moron! I'm not an alarmist.
I will say this-- my parents are wonderful. They didn't even care that I nearly set the house on fire. But I feel awful. My sister's dog won't come back in the house because she's scared, and I can't seem to comfort her. I can't even babysit a dog effectively! I am definitely unfit for motherhood. Maybe I'm only fit to be a journalist, because who else would be so reckless as to document tragedy from the front lines, even when it's happening to them?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You're Never Gonna Keep Me Down

A couple of days ago, I faced the monumental task of ripping all my music to my work computer. Considering I've been buying cds since Ace of Base "The Sign" and Billy Joel's "River of Dreams" were popular, this took forever. However, it's been nice to remember that I have such classics as Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" and other gems (also, very funny that I realized there's a naughty English swear word in that song that I'm sure I glossed over as a child because I didn't even know that word existed-- by the way, my dad bought that album for me, and had his own copy... odd, right?).
Anyway, the path to self-discovery continues. I had another epiphany. Maybe even a paradigm shift.
Remember around Valentine's Day when I was freaked out because Andrew sent me that article-- the one urging women to settle and just be content with someone who passes for good enough? And remember my righteous indignation, as I insisted that was one thing I could never do? Well, I may be changing my mind.
Here's the background, and as a disclaimer, please no one take offense. If you are half of a married couple, surely YOU are the exception, rather than the rule, if that's what you choose to believe. And also, please know that I'm not really saying this in judgment, as much as just offering a general observation. So what's the big revelation?
Men get married when it's convenient, and to whom it is convenient.
Not that people don't love one another. And there are those fairy-tale relationships out there, like my sister and her fiancee, who really have loved one another for a long time and worked together as a couple so they could be together. And there are those relationships where it's convenient, but they still have those fairy-tale elements. But I was really surprised to see how many relationships I know of have at least been initiated out of convenience (and desperation).
This is the pattern I observe:
Man loves woman. Woman breaks man's heart. Man convinces himself that he is ready to get married and marries the next available, convenient, "good-enough" woman, who goes for it because women are generally willing to love anyone who will give them the time of day.
OK, sorry, that was harsh, and a little over the top. BUT it's amazing what a big, terrible breakup will do to crystallize a man's relationship goals. And really, women ARE typically more willing to make concessions about certain things. Women marry for companionship and protection and love. Men marry for those things too, but a lot of men I know just get married so they can have sex (I know-- foreign concept to a lot of people out there, but there are many of us who DO actually wait)-- I mean, at least at first. I think love often comes, and for every type of relationship I'm convinced love will grow, but that's the way it looks.
And I know that makes me sound jaded and bitter. I promise, I'm not. I'm just surprised it took me so long to figure this out. I'm generally a little quicker on the uptake.
So that article Andrew passed along as some kind of sadistic Valentine was REALLY just urging women to act like men, right? But I don't know if it's going to work for me. I think I've just been hard-wired to believe in love, and that someone ought to love me for me, and not because he can't do better. And I'm too prideful to want to be in a relationship with someone who feels like he's settled. Maybe THAT is why I'm a 27-year-old woman who's never had a real boyfriend. Maybe that's what everyone means by timing-- I guess I've never been in the right place at the right time to be someone's convenience girlfriend. Here's hoping someone wonderful will get his heart broken soon and I'll stumble onto his radar. Is that the best we can hope for and the most we can reasonably ask for?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm a lot like you, so please, hello...

First maybe I should admit that I'm motivated to post to move those Berries and Cream pictures down off the page a little faster. I looked at that post again and thought, "Really, Sego? Why would you do that to yourself?" And yet, I try to live my life without regret... even when it means making myself look a bit foolish in the process. And boy, do I look foolish a good chunk of the time!
Here's something that made me feel foolish, even though it had nothing to do with me: When my childhood friend told me last night that he's getting married in a couple of days. He's coming to visit his family next week and I was looking forward to seeing him. Still am. And now I'm looking forward to meeting his wife. But I was a little shocked. I don't know. It just felt like the time I hung out with this guy that I LOVED (honestly, he is one of two men I think I was certifiably in love with in my life... and given my long dating career, that's pretty impressive, I think) and everything was going super well. We'd been a little out of touch for a while, but it felt like the fire was rekindling. So I asked him if he wanted to see a play with me later that week. And he said, "I don't think my girlfriend would appreciate that." His girlfriend? He met a girl at a gas station maybe the day after he and I hung out. Then she was his girlfriend. It wasn't as devastating as you might think, but it was shocking. So I ended up taking another friend to the play instead. Ironically, that night after the show, my friend told me that "it was never going to happen between us." I remember that's when the well of emotion breached the levee, and I cried and yelled at him for hours. I wasn't at all interested in that guy, and I remember being so insulted and flabbergasted at his nerve (see a few blogs down... this still happens to me from time to time). OK. So childhood friend's text announcement of his pending marriage wasn't like any of that, I guess, because I am only truly happy for him and not heartbroken (though I loved him from ages 13 to 18, but in a mostly platonic way). But I don't even know how this could happen. Sometimes I've fantasized about suddenly announcing something major like that to people and have them wonder where in the world it could have come from, but it would never happen. Why? A) Every decision takes me ages to make. And in the case of getting married, for example, I think everyone would notice me being a girlfriend for a long time before I'd be announcing a marriage... I want to enjoy every stage, ya know? and B) My life is just too much an open book. That's not to say I don't keep some things to myself, because of course I do. But half the excitement of something great happening in your life is sharing it with your besties. I remember once a roommate kissed this boy she liked, but didn't tell me for days. I can understand wanting to savor the moment and all, but I remember being a little hurt when I found out that everyone knew but me. Maybe that's it. Maybe I just don't like being in the dark.
BUT ANYWAY... there are a lot of things going on in MY life, and I ought to discuss them rather than other people's business, right?
Next movie endorsement: Lars and the Real Girl.
Watched it last night, thanks to my cousin's generous gift of a NetFlix subscription. Really liked the movie, but I thought it was sad. Here's the great thing about it... nothing is heavy-handed or over-explained. It's understated and sweet. And amazingly, there are so many times when Bianca (the love doll) looks like a real person. Seriously. You become privy to Lars' delusion without some fuzzy-pink Saved by the Bell kind of flashback or fantasy scenes. Super good movie. Rent it. Or buy it even.
Another real thing of my life? I've been a little sad lately. Mostly because I miss a friend of mine who's gone for a while. It got bad enough that I engaged in a little retail therapy last night. On the plus side, I don't do this like I used to... you know, shop to make myself feel better. But I will say this: my two new shirts, the dress, the vest, the globe, and the bedside table (thank you, TJ Maxx for the bargain on the last item) did kind of soothe me a bit.
Finally, let's end on a funny note. I think most people who know me at all have heard my lectures on the benefits of fiber. Blame FSN 100 and Dr. Laura Beth Brown at Brigham Young University. After I took her class, I became converted to a high-fiber diet. Fiber cures/prevents hundreds of diseases and problems. So I'm used to getting my recommended daily intake of the stuff. Since I started eating whole grain food as opposed to say, highly-processed stuff, I haven't really had any kind of stomach problems. This is a big turnaround from my youth and always feeling a little sick (that's what fast food will do to a person, besides lead to obesity). So the other day my friend was leaving on a road trip, and I was at Target when he called. I asked him if there was anything I could get for him, and he said water (very good, the elixir of life, and so much better for you than anything else you could drink) and granola bars. Granola bars are often something people THINK are healthy, but they can be glorified junk if you don't get the right kind. So with him on the phone, I mentioned Target carried those Fiber One Bars he'd had at my house and liked. I got him a box. Fast forward two days later when he texts me and tells me to never buy those again. Without getting graphic, let's just say he ate three in one setting, and it gave him a few, um, problems. Hahahaha! I tried to explain to him that it's best to introduce fiber into one's diet slowly, and that if he kept up with it, it wouldn't be long before his body was no longer experiencing all those less-than-desirable side effects. But he wouldn't hear it. Still, I laughed most of the day. I think it's a real sign of love that I'm trying to improve his diet. Once another friend was staying with me while he was interviewing for a job in Salt Lake. I hadn't been able to give him a comfortable bed-- he'd slept on my living room floor-- so I got up early to make him a nice breakfast to fuel him for his important interview. Except I made him my famous chocolate bran muffins. I think he had half a dozen. Same story. So if I offer you bran muffins, you'll know I love you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

OK. Warning. A lot of unflattering pictures of me are to follow.

As many of you know, if there is one cause I really love, it's Locks of Love. Check it out at I first learned about the organization in high school when my friend Adrian (who looked a bit like Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) told me that when he finally cut his long, long hair, he was going to donate it to Locks of Love. At the time, I'd never had my hair much longer than shoulder length. But when I went away to the Brigham Young University, I decided that I'd grow it out (mostly because all the other girls I knew were cutting their hair short in an act of independence-- I pierced my ears again and started tanning instead). So after a couple years, I chopped off my 10" of hair and felt pretty good about it.
Well, fast-forward a few semesters, and I became great friends with a girl who had alopecia. She was bald, and she was beautiful. Her wig was super, and you'd never know she wore one unless she chose to share the info. And even though she'd been able to purchase her own wigs throughout the years, after knowing her, I was determined to donate again. So after a few other haircuts, graduation, and a couple semesters abroad, I figured it was time to try long hair again. And the other day, I was ready for another change, so there went 14" of hair!

Actually, it worked out great, because my little sister is in beauty school at the Urban Academy, and she's been wanting to take some scissors to my head for a bit now.

Anyway, the haircut was inspired by our good friend on the Food Network, Rachael Ray. This is how it looks when it's styled properly:

Except the other day, it turned out looking more like the guy from the Berries and Cream Starburst Commercial (

OK. So I promise I'm not that abnormal. This is what I look like most days (and by most, I mean since Saturday):

And there you have it. My own hair story. Let's just hope my prince charming wasn't planning on using my hair as a ladder (or preferred me with long hair).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's not what you think (or who, for that matter)

You know, fashion is cyclical, and so is home decorating style. I, for example, CHOSE to have avocado green walls in my study. It's ironic, because people have been trying to get rid of their mustard yellow/avocado green/burnt orange walls for years. Almost as soon as my mother ditched her pumpkin-colored counter tops, orange came back into style like a magnificent sunrise. As a child, I never thought I'd wear bell bottoms, but boot cut pants (bell bottoms' conservative cousin) are a hundred times more flattering on nearly everyone than the tapered-legged, stonewashed jeans I wore in elementary school. Still, this morning in the bathtub I was contemplating something that I pray is never popular again-- the macrame owl. Really! Who thought that was at all cool? I remember my grandmother having one, and I thought it was soooo ugly. Ick, ick, ick. Don't ask me what prompted these thoughts, but there you have it.
But maybe that can be the point of today's musing. I've been having a laugh lately because there are so many folks who THINK they have me figured out. HA! Just when they'd assume I'm obsessing over the positively wonderful (and a few positively miserable) moments of my last social outing or two, I'm thinking about macrame owls and how useless lanyards are. Case in point: The other day I was talking about something, and I think I mentioned worthwhile mischief. The fella I was talking to assumed that I was discussing making out, but was quite surprised when I (jokingly) mentioned some kind of property defacement (for the record, I'm not a destructive person). I mean, just because I'm a GREAT kisser doesn't mean that's the only thing I have to offer to a conversation, right? Likewise, I had a chat with a friend the other day, and was trying to be a little discreet regarding a problem another friend was having. But, he automatically assumed it was me! I guess he didn't realize that I'm typically blunt enough to say what's on my mind, instead of taking the "I have this friend..." route. The best part? When this miscommunication happens with men, 9 times out of 10 they assume that I'm in love with them! How does this even happen? I'm not convinced that it's so much that I'm a flirt (even though I am) as it is men all seem to have particularly high opinions of themselves. And I'm not saying that I like my boys with poor self-esteem, but talk about a turn-off. When even platonically-offered affection is rebuffed in the spirit of self-absorbed assumptions about my (generally non-existent) love, I begin to think the man is 100% worthless. Put another way, if you are a man and you think I'm in love with you, chances are pretty good that you're completely wrong. Unless you are remarkable in some way, and are more concerned with leaving the world better than you found it rather than a paltry pursuit of mediocrity, I'm not interested. While you prattle on, riding your high horse and thinking, "Oh, she's so in love with me, but so sadly beneath me," I'm thinking about macrame.
Put yet another way, Yes, I am interested in someone. And no, it isn't you.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Here's a helpful hint for my fiber-loving friends: Dried blueberries from Costco are MUCH better than dried blueberries from Sam's Club. You wouldn't think there would be a huge difference, but there totally is. Dried cherries from Sam's Club are really good, though.
The other day I was thinking about language, and how I would explain to someone learning English the way we use "so." Obviously, it adds emphasis (he was so smokin' hot!) and signals a pause in conversation, "So...", but isn't it charming the way language evolves? I guess it's still a modifier and an emphasizer when you say, "I so could make that!", but the novel placement of the word (and ok, it's not that novel... it sounds like something you'd hear in a 1980s teen movie), could definitely get tricky for those who don't speak English as their native tongue.
Then I started thinking about how marvelous it is when people are actually FLUENT in another language. I'm nowhere near that. I mean, I'm hardly fluent in English, right? I mean, as evidenced by my occasional red flags of illiteracy... Anyway. Props to those who speak more than one language, and extra props to those who have chosen beautiful Polish. Esperanto is ok too.
Also, I had a nerdy moment the other day, and I think sharing it is a good idea. Not nerdy in the same way I was nerdy when I carried a briefcase to 5th and 6th grade, but WAY more embarrassing. I watched "The Goonies" to get a little outfit inspiration for an upcoming 80s dance, and really got quite teary-eyed during Cyndi Lauper's "Goonies R Good Enough." Both times. There's something about that scene when all the kids bike down the hill from Mikey's house and the electronica is pumping. Then, I always have to watch the closing credits so I can hear the song. My heart swells a little bit. And ok, I'm stupid now. But the fact remains I love that movie! (Many thanks to John Mayer's recent blog citing the Goonies and saying that most people he knows basically grew up to be Troy.)
Hmm... this is nonsensical. Maybe I just like talking and typing more than anyone should.
And to whom or for what shall I proclaim my love today? That seems to be a good idea. Let me see... How about an ode to the 4' woman I saw at Henrietta's this afternoon. She didn't have teeth. She was also wearing this rockin' denim jacket with a huge patch on the back. It had a picture of four Native Americans (I'm assuming they were Sioux) standing in front of Mt. Rushmore with a caption, "The Original Founding Fathers." She just seemed sweet to me. I guess she wins the shout-out.
Oh wait, let me add one more. I need to sing the praises of my good friend Anna as well. Last night Ms. Anna and I went shopping for our friend Chris' bridal shower, which is being held Saturday a la casa de yours truly. Anna is a maniac when it comes to showers, and she led me on a hunt for crazy lingerie. Now, keep in mind I'm a pretty conservative gal, and blush at the drop of a hat. The experience was certainly... educational. This morning I woke up and walked into my kitchen and saw the Frederick's of Hollywood bag and thought, "Hmm... I'm not sure this was a good idea." I mean, the gift itself? Probably a great idea. But I'm still not sure that I can give Chris the stuff until her mom (and Morris' mom and sisters) aren't looking. And I'm not looking either. Worst part? Anna's presents put mine to shame (or actually, possibly, the other way around, if you follow). But I have to give A a lot credit for being gutsy and fun. If she read Cosmo, she'd be one of their fun, fearless females.
Hahaha. You know you're at a special time in your life when you blog about fiber and lingerie at the same time.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Do they actually expect us to believe any of that stuff?

Not to go all Perez Hilton on you (though once I was voted most likely to host a talk show or work for a tabloid), but honestly... some of these Hollywood folks must think we're just plain stupid. Hello, Ashley Simpson-Wentz, I'm talking to you! Now, don't get me wrong. I like boys in eyeliner and tight punk pants as much as the next girl (more, actually), but c'mon! She was SOOO obviously pregnant in her wedding pictures in People Magazine.
Of course, it's not all Ashley's fault. And I'm not talking about the pregnancy because we know how that takes two (Though, on a separate tirade, is it too much to ask that people wait to consummate their relationships until AFTER they are married? Am I going to be the last virgin of the Los Lunas High School Class of '99? Who will stand with me on that one?). No, I'm thinking it's mainly Ashley's ooky dad Joe and the rest of the Simpson PR machine. If they can stretch it out into one more headline, they'll go for it. And I thought the Boleyn dad was bad in Scarlett and Natalie's recent movie. No, Joe Simpson is a pimp. And that's not a compliment.
Of course, that is nothing that hasn't been said before, but ugh.
Also in Hollywood baby news... Clay Aiken? Clay Aiken is a sperm donor, not a dad. Well, maybe he'll be more involved in his spawn's life than his own father was in his, but who knows if that's even a good thing? Still, we haven't heard as many "Clay is a whiny baby" stories recently, so maybe him helping produce a whiny baby isn't so far-fetched.
OK, enough of that. Hollywood is weird and stupid, and not a representation of my life.
Quick endorsement of an indie film, though:
The other night, some friends and I went to see the most excellent documentary Young @ Heart. See it. I'd give it a solid B+. Points docked for the narration... not really necessary. Points added for the old gal who used to do burlesque and has a hairy chinny chin chin. And the lady who looked a lot like my Grandmother Sego, only black. Seriously. I loved her. She was Gran's twin.
In other news of my life, I'm now a camper. Well, more like if Bob Wiley (Bill Murray's character in "What About Bob?") went camping. Picture me walking through the campground saying "I'm CAMPING!" in a Bob-like way. It totally happened. But if my dear little Caleb hadn't been there, I'd never have survived the wild. Caleb cleared a nice spot of earth for me, getting rid of pine cones and various and sundry debris so I'd sleep well. Then he pitched my tent for me. And he brought me an air pad to sleep on (lest you think this was all one-sided, I also brought him a pillow and flashlight, but still...). Then he gave me one of his Jones sodas so we could clink glass and have everyone else be quite envious. He pulled my foil dinner out of the fire and fixed me a plate of food so I could sit by another fire and stay warm. The next morning, he struck my tent and helped me get sunscreen on that place on my neck that's just out of reach. And best of all, when my somewhat evil ex-pseudo bf called, Caleb gave him a rude nickname to make me laugh and told me to move on because I deserved so much better. That's what you call friendship. I'm trying to repay him by helping him get a date with a girl he met while we were there (I'm the bomb Cupid, by the way) and by buying his affection with Gummy Bears. All in all, it was a super weekend. Sure I smelled like I'd been rolling around in a fire, but I still managed to talk to a nice chap who has an eerily familiar love for Poland, and now I know for a fact that there is mercy in this world. Brett (perhaps I'll now call him Brettski) teraz jest moim przyjacielem, ale mam nadzeje, ze bedzie moim chlopcem. Zartuje! Oh, how I love the Motherland.
What else, what else? I know some good secrets these days, but nothing that ought to be divulged in the blogosphere. Or even in van time, alas and alack. But I just wanted to say how proud I am that I know some, and that I'm keeping them. Most of them aren't even about me (note the word "most") but in my new quest to keep a little mystery in my life, it goes a long way.
Finally, a bit of a shout-out goes to my love, Andrew. I can call him my love because a) I love him platonically and b) he doesn't read my blog (I think). What I love most about Andrew (well, one of the things, that is) is his constant quest for self-improvement. I told him the other day that he's kind of my Yoda, and I look to him for guidance. The fact that he's always reading some wack-job self-help book actually gives me more confidence in his opinion rather than having him fall off his secure spot on a pedestal, though I'm not sure why. Mostly because I know he's pressing forward. When I have a decision to make, I think WWAD? He'd take the road less traveled and be remarkable. This is the guy who one day looked up at the BYU Smoke Stack and thought, "I wonder how much pollution this is putting out and how we can make it more efficient?" Move over, Al Gore. He researched it and made a proposal. From what I understand, it was implemented. And he did it in his own spare time. Environmentalism is sexy, but much more so when it comes from a real concern about the planet and future generations, as opposed to all the political rhetoric volleyed around this time of year.
PS. Brettski also loves water conservation. How I love Democrats! In moderation, just like Republicans, of course.
PPS. I love Ray Foote.
PPPS. Don't freak out, Ray-Ray, or anyone else who knows me. This is not a line to qualify my previous statement, but I'm feeling the love in general.
PPPPS. I think I need to see if my Olivia Newton-John album (hooray for vinyl... records, not pants). But not for any of the reasons anyone would suspect. Hahaha! See, I should have worked for a tabloid. I know how to write a teaser. Maybe I should try to get a job with Joe Simpson!