Friday, January 29, 2010

Flight of the Navigator AND Happy Birthday to MBP's Calvin

Remember that old show? When we were little and would rent movies at Valencia Video (I think that was what it was called), my little brother always wanted to rent "The Three Little Pigs" (Shelly Duvall's Fairie Tale Theatre version) or "The Flight of the Navigator." We also frequently rented "The Goonies." But here it is, four sentences in, and I'm already digressing. I was at work until 10:30 last night, so please forgive the former (and pending) randomness. I assure you, it will be worse than usual.
Anyway, the reason I was so late at the office last night (with a brief break for an Institute class) was because I was working on benefits administration compliance-- which basically means creating a census, which is a terrible pain in the bum. And I don't know why Excel likes to give me problems, but it actually went rather smoothly. I only had to re-do the thing once, which is actually not so bad. It's due on the 31st, but I just got our W-2s late Wednesday, so it wasn't really that I was procrastinating... babble, babble, babble. Anyway, it's done, and now I don't have to fear receiving calls from the folks at Great West, rambling on about "compliance" this and "compliance" that. Every time I hear that word, it makes me think of the space-ship in FOTN.
So, the long and the short of it is I finished the census last night, the year-end questionnaire this morning, and now I just need to run a few errands before this weekend's winter wonderland excursion with the peeps. I still don't know how long I will stay in L.A., but I am looking forward to couple-skating with a few of my little boyfriends tonight, and icing a few creepers. Must go have the tires checked. Must go to the thrift store for tonight's Ugly Sweater contest. Must nick some handwarmers from Daddums. Must make Rice Krispy treats, although there's not much reason for this, beyond liking to take snacks for my friends on road trips. Two years ago, there was this random little girl in my car who kept touching everyone's cheese and grapes, and it was really creepy. We didn't know her, and we didn't know if she washes her hands. So I think I'll make the snacks and put them in individual packages so no one is touching someone else's food.
In other news, I must now give a couple of birthday shout-outs. One is to my pal Kara, daughter of my beloved "Aunt Trish." Does that make K my honorary cousin? Hope so. She's a cool girl, and a super mom to her kids. I admire her greatly.
AND, in accordance with Jake's call for birthday comments, Happy Birthday to Calvin from "Confessions from a Mormon Bachelor Pad." I know, I know, but I love their blog. Hope Calvin gets some good birthday kissing in, and not from that married woman he snogged on New Year's Eve-- a great post, if you care to look through their archives.
OK. Onward and upward. Let's hope I don't break my face or any part of my body, for that matter, whilst skating tonight.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Unsolved Mysteries-- Pillowcases and Peanut Butter

So if you didn't hear, Ashley and Robert got robbed this morning. BOOO! Can I just say that I'm WAY more angry about this than both times it happened to me. Here they are, two sweet kids, working long hours to make ends meet, and some jerk with an addiction (or possibly just no conscience) walks off with my sister's laptop, which she needs for her online classes. Their TV? Gone, along with Robert's video games. They even took Ashley's pillowcase right off of her pillow to put stuff in. Super, super low. I know these things are all "luxury" items, and they are just things, but I hate that their door got kicked in (been there, twice). I hate that R&A are really nice kids, trying to pay their mortgage, and they haven't really bought any of those luxury items in ages, because they're being responsible and saving every penny. I also really hate that the unidentified lady who called the police waited until the burglar was GONE before reporting the crime, even though she watched the whole thing.
My new pal Gerri (a guy, though the spelling is misleading-- just kidding Gerri!), has told me twice now about how he called the police on some punk breaking into his neighbor's place. G had the good sense to call 911 while the thieves were there, and persevered, even when the operator yelled at him because his cell phone was static-y or something. The criminal was apprehended, and everyone got a laugh about the guy's nerve-- making himself some peanut-butter sandwiches during the brouhaha.
I don't mean to be a whiner here, but I really resent these people-- it's just stuff to them, easy money. But for the people they victimize, there's a loss of peace of mind. There's the pending insurance fiasco, and no offense to all my friends and loved-ones who work in the industry, but there's something pretty wrong with paying companies thousands of dollars, only to be told that if anything happens to you, first they'll raise your rates and then they'll drop you. It's these people and their petty crimes that are going to cause me to get ugly iron security doors (I loathe them!) and a dog (which, as you all know, I'm not thrilled about either). And mostly, it makes me sad for the state of the world we live in. Again, all this "stuff" is replaceable, but it's mostly heartbreaking to see society's erosion into a place where truth and morals are relative, and everyone is looking out for No. 1. The good news is, Ashley and Robert are wonderful, caring, generous and decent people, and what goes around comes around. I'm so sorry they're going through this, but I know in the end they'll be blessed. And heaven help the poor people who've gotten themselves so deep into whatever it is they're into that would drive them to this. They are the real tragedies in the story.

I Got Soul, but I'm Not a Soldier

Here's one of my latest creations. Sorry about the blur/light factor... my real camera is kaput, so I'm having to make due with my cell phone. If you can't tell, the ribbon reads "Love is a Battlefield" and there's a purple heart for the wounded.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tossing, Turning, Worrying

Last night I made what I consider a successful Polish meal. We had gołąbki, pierogi z serem, ogórki z śmietaną, deser z gruszkimi i jabłkowy i sok jabłkowy pić. It pleased me that the missionaries (and some of my other friends who wandered into the kitchen) seemed to enjoy it. I love spreading the love of the Motherland. God Bless Our Poland. You know, Poland is shaped like a heart on the political map. You might think this is a bit of a stretch, but a former T.A. told me that, and I never forgot it.

So on my way to work every day, there's this big cottonwood tree I call the Poland Tree, because its bare branches also resemble a heart, but maybe only as much as the map does. Still, I've seen this tree all my life-- from the school bus, on my way to my uncle's house, and now to work and back home. Even when the branches are lush with leaves, this knotted tree reminds me of things and people I love.

I drove by the yesterday morning and noticed something sad, though. Someone had cut off the branches of my tree, like a heart ripped in half. I suppose it was to keep branches clear of power lines or something. Can't let the heart get in the way of energy and power. It bothers me.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. I won't pretend it was because I'm so poetic and broken up over "my" tree. I was mostly worried that my delicious food might have given people indigestion like I had. Still, I think it's more likely that the other things I'm worried about kept me up, and my tummy always hurts when I don't sleep well.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Custody Battle

So this weekend I had a bit of a shock-- ran into a former boyfriend for the first time since our breakup well over a year ago. We've had no contact, and I was sad, but wanted the best for him. I still am, and do. But I certainly didn't expect to see him-- IN MY FAVORITE STORE, no less.
On Friday night, Mom and I had gone out shopping the antique malls, with a bit of success here and there. I was pretty excited about my finds, and ready to turn them into some kind of mixed-media triumph. Saturday was a low-key day, cleaning out the fireplace, changing light bulbs (quite a production, I assure you), doing laundry, etc. My only concrete plans were meeting my cousin for tea (herbal) in Albuquerque. I had a bit of extra time on my way to town, and was still dreaming up artistic creations, so I went into Papers!, a Nob Hill treasure. I love that store. I love walking through Nob Hill and seeing all the funny people in their fancy clothes-- outfits that are supposed to look thrown-together, but are always precise. I love the artistic energy in that part of Albuquerque. So I went into the store, was greeted by Valentines and glasine bags and my imagination started firing. Until I turned to go into a different room in the store, and saw former boyfriend and some cute little girl at a counter, checking out the over-priced writing utensils.
I was so shocked, I scooted into the other room and had to gather my thoughts. I'm pretty sure he saw me, but he hadn't spoken. And then I realized that I hadn't either, so I certainly couldn't be put off. I looked through note pads and stamps, with all that former inspiration lost in the tizzy of emotion. Still, I may be emotionally sensitive, but I'm not week. I mentally girded my loins-- or, um, something, and marched back into the first room. I looked right at this bloke and said hi. He said, "Hi Rachel Sego," which wasn't as formal as you might imagine, as he always called me by my full name, even when we made out. Don't picture it, but kiss, kiss, "Rachel Sego, you are a great kisser" kiss, kiss, kiss. Anyway, I couldn't think of anything to say but, "How nice to see you in my favorite store." Because did I mention that it was ME who introduced him to the majesty of Papers! in the first place? And he said something like, "Yes, you taught me a lot of great things" or something to that effect. I guess I could have been gracious and return the compliment, but I was too flabbergasted. I just sort of wandered over to the counter where he'd completed his purchase, and stood next to his mute female friend. If she was his girlfriend (and let's hope she was, because she was lovely), it's possible he's told her about his crazy-ex, or other such nonsense, and probably how he doesn't like to talk about it (if patterns hold true). He didn't introduce me. I smiled at her, but I might have looked a little wild-eyed. I asked him what he was there for-- he'd just purchased a pen, and would I like to see it? It was a nice pen, but I don't think I would have paid $68 dollars for it-- I kept thinking about how much $68 would buy at Anthropologie's sale rack (which, incidentally isn't much, but I tend to lose pens, so this seemed like an extravagant purchase, until later I thought-- wow, he would have been easy to shop for were we still together). He asked what I was doing there, and I muttered something about looking for paper to use for the previously-mentioned project, which I described as Bohemian-circus, along the lines of ZoZo The Magic Queen. He nodded, but I'm sure he had no idea what I was talking about. He left. I tried to shop. I felt sick. I made a few hasty purchases, and then called Pam to cry to her on my way to the Tea Room, because it is NOT proper to cry into your tea, even when it's herbal. By the time I met up with my cousin Rachael, my nerves were somewhat settled (also thanks to a chat with my best boy Jacob), and the rest of the evening went well. Except I've had a blasted Of Montreal song on repeat in my head. Which I think is my brain or Heavenly Father's idea of reminding me not to be selfish with a store, when I listen to music former boyfriend exposed me to all the time. Of course, I don't run into him (in person) when jamming out on the iPod. But as he lives three hours away, what are the chances of this happening again? I hope it won't be as uncomfortable. On the off chance he plans to be up here more often, we may have to split the weekends and holidays at Papers!, and he can have it for two solid weeks in the summer, but I maintain that custody should still be mine.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Decidedly Old School

When I was younger, I'd get exasperated with my parents, who wrote out their invoices by hand. They also used a type-writer to certify insulation installation. I tsk'd at their lack of technological savvy, as well as their inefficiency. I came along and helped streamline some things, and my pride bolstered as I saw things getting done quick as lightening. But I guess the love of the old-timey stuff has gotten to me, because not only do I love furnishing my house with antiques, but also I'm having a hard time giving up the type-writer. I use it for proposals (bids) because we still have the yellow-carbon sheets, and I just think it's charming. Now my little brother has taken over the position of Mr. High-and-Mighty, and berates me for not creating an electronic document. I just re-designed our logo, so it would probably only take 5 minutes to create, and even less time to fill in the form. It would certainly LOOK more professional. I guess I'll finally give in and do that today, but I'm loathe to leave the trusty type-writer behind. It made me the typist I am today. It belongs in the Sego Museum, and if someone ever tries to throw it out, I'm going to chain it to my body, because I'm going with it.
Fortunately, not everything in my life is so behind-the-times, nor is it remotely dramatic. Life is good. I went to a great activity last night, had a good laugh with some friends. I came home and watched "A Mighty Wind" because I love Christopher Guest. Yesterday I painted some gourds to look like nesting dolls-- they are ugly, but in a folk-arty way, so it's OK. My friend Clint and I have a new secret handshake. Sokphal is coming to visit in May, and I can't wait. I'm going out with my cousin Rachael tomorrow, and we always have a such good time visiting with one another. I have an awesome family, the world's sweetest friends, and everything I need, including a typewriter (that I arguably don't need). I'm blessed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Soy de Los Lunas-- Viva!

This morning, I took a look at the new gross receipts tax rate schedule for New Mexico. Towns in Valencia County, otherwise known as my 'hood, went down across the board. I was surprised, but I was mostly grateful to not be from "Raton." Who wants to be from a town called "rat?" Not me, that's who.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Thousand Words

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Queen and Her Love for Fancy Pants

A little while ago, a solicitor came to the door, selling some kind of "miracle" floor cleaner. It was really weird, because he offered me a free can of Glade Air Freshener if I let him clean my mom's floor. He asked me if I was "the queen of the house." I should have said, "No, I'm just the hired help" but I ignored it. I thanked him and dismissed him as my mother's house cleaner was actually here not 24 hours ago (and she found out her baby is a girl! we're all very thrilled). Mom and I laughed about it afterwards, and it's certainly not like I'm doing slave labor around here (though I've got half a dozen "bosses" and it won't be long before Paizlee joins the ranks) but I decided that for the rest of the day I'll go ahead and act like the queen.
This should not be such a difficult task. For one thing, my life already feels luxurious. Yesterday I went to Trader Joe's, and you can't get much more elegant than fancy-pants produce. I bought blood oranges. I bought endive. I got cherries and strawberries and heirloom tomatoes. There were some huge croutons in my basket as well. And they have this little frozen appetizer, a puff-pastry shell filled with feta and caramelized onions, and it is a must for my next fancy dinner party. Thank you, Trader Joe's, for making me feel like Ina Garten at a fraction of the price. Thank you for having vegetables no one else in Albuquerque carries!
Yesterday's brief pop into Albuquerque also afforded me a TJ Maxx opportunity. Stop your tutting if you are condemning my shopping, because I am the Queen, and can do whatever I want. Including finding a SMOKIN' deal on some premium denim. Yes, friends, I'm wearing LITERAL FANCY PANTS. I saw a cheap pair of jeans, in my size, in a brand I'd heard about but dismissed because of the price tag in retail stores. On a whim, I tried them on, and hallelujah! They are a touch long (of course, all my jeans are-- sleeves are typically long on me as well), but the miracle of the holy (and hole-y) pants is they stay put at the waist, and there's none of this underwear exposure that inspires so many of those blasted groomer-types. Or at least, not as much. But I'm stoked.
My life is further filled with luxury as I've had a bit of spare time today. I guess all the hard work has begun to pay off a bit, because I'm actually caught up on paperwork for a day. Therefore, my mind and hands have been engaged in pursuits much more pleasing than insulation. I found out yesterday that the Boho Babes may be reunited early for a spring show in Artesia, so I've worked on a new, Anthropologie-inspired project for the sale. Even more enjoyable has been reading MY FAVORITE BOOK SERIES (of the moment), with literature's most desirable man. No, I'm not talking about Edward Cullen. I'm reading another Amelia Peabody mystery, and I'm in love with the fictitious Radcliffe Emerson. Elizabeth Peters got it right when she created my ideal man-- he's tough and rough-around-the-edges. but smart and strong. Yes, he is bull-headed, but he and his wife are PARTNERS. On their own, each is remarkable, but together they are unstoppable. Sorry "real-life men" everywhere. I'm holding out for an Emerson.
And, as usual, I find luxury in life's off-beat surprises. Who would have thought my favorite music station would be found on the AM dial? How lucky am I to have become super friends with Mr. Tattoo Antiques, a guy who I LOVE and who LOVES everything I find at his store (though I don't think I've ever found anything at his booth). Every time I see this little man, Sugar Ray starts playing in my head. I laugh because I've got another tarot-reading gig for a Mardi Gras party, and I'm happy that tonight I'll see one of my besties I've been cruelly separated from for two weeks. Tomorrow is the flea market. I am the queen. I may just wear a crown from now on.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nickels OR Please Don't Put Money Down My Shirt

The other night I was driving home from Albuquerque, jammin' to my iPod. Prince's "Kiss" came on, and I just started thinking about how it would be a great theme song for my friends Rudy and Jacob if they ever decided to become Chippendale Dancers. Then I started thinking about how that would be a good fall-back career if the whole PJ thing doesn't work out. I think for Valentine's Day, I'm gonna burn them a CD of dancable tunes just so they can explore the option.
Things here are happy. I did have a disturbing dream last night that I was supposed to fly home from Poland, but my friends convinced me to go to Germany for a concert the weekend before. Unfortunately, I was too busy talking to Billy Joel about how we hate Nickelback and watching Brangelina dancing to notice that all the other people at this concert up and left. When I woke up the next morning, my friend Agnieszka told me the bad news-- there was now some kind of Marshall Law in Poland, and I wouldn't be allowed to leave Germany. I spent the rest of my dream trying to resign myself to a life of a Fraulein while trying to speak Polish to all the people around me. Agnieszka and I went to a McDonald's to purchase a plastic fork, but all I only had zloty and no euros. A girl I know from church, Malorie, was prancing around in a bathing suit, trying to entice all the German men. My friend Nathan took me to some underground meeting of Polish resistance. I woke up very stressed.
But I think I was starting to say that life is happy, which it is. Yesterday I got some time in with the nieces, which is always nice. Zoey was covered in makeup my mom had given her, but she let me wipe it off and redo her hair before we went to dinner with her parents. Z loves makeup. What else does she love? Money. She likes to have a little jingle in her pocket, I guess, so I gave her three quarters and a nickle (seriously, that's all I had on me). Well, while I tried to help her with her jacket, she kept tossing coins down my blouse. I told her not to-- that I was not a fountain, nor was I a stripper, but she kept doing it because she thought it was funny. What was slightly less funny was when she demanded I return the money and I was trying to shake it out of my top when some other patrons came into the restaurant. But what can you do?
One final thought on the money/body train-- the other night provided some good comic relief during a "game" of pool at the Institute. I am not a pool player, by a long shot. I've only picked up a queue/cue/long stick thing (how am I supposed to know how it's spelled? I can't be bothered to look it up) about half a dozen times in my life. My friend Justin was trying to instruct me on the finer points of pool, and to his credit, it didn't play off like a bar scene. Anyway, while I was trying to find a stance, lining up the balls, etc., this girl we'll call Mary came up behind me and said rather loudly, "Rachel, your underwear is showing." In case you don't know, I HATE groomers. Had I walked out with my dress tucked into my hosiery, that would be another story. But you know those people who feel it's their life mission to constantly adjust your clothes, pick lint off of your jacket, tuck in your tags, etc.? They rank up there on the annoying scale right along with people who buy vowels on Wheel of Fortune. Anyway, I just pulled my shirt down and my jeans up, and went about my business. Maybe I want my clothes to fit that way? I am a member of the sagging generation after all. But that is not the funny part of the story. Not 5 minutes later, Mary was sitting on our friend's lap with her back toward me and another guy. Her sweatshirt had ridden up and her jeans were falling down, and she was exposing about a foot of skin. So the guy next to me (a male version of the groomer, I'm sure) leaned over and said, "Hey, you'd better go tell Mary to pull her shirt down because we can see her nickel slot." (EW! I'd never heard a bum-crack called that before, and I was grossed out, but it made me laugh like a maniac.) On principle, I told him I wasn't going to do it, even though she'd just said something to me (for the record, there was no skin exposure with my earlier pool scenario). He persisted in telling me I ought to do something, and I finally said, "Listen, if you don't like it, just don't look!" What was very funny, though, was that our friend Justin was lining up a shot and had his bum in our faces at that precise moment. I wouldn't have even noticed, except he said, "Oh dear, I'm feeling very self-conscious right now." I laughed for about an hour. Of course, I couldn't tell him it wasn't about him as much as it was Mary and her nudey-botty, so poor little Justin kept thinking he was being sacrificed on the altar of a cruel joke. I think I finally convinced him we weren't laughing at him, but in the future, I think I'll just put a dollar on his back belt-loop and call it a day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What Weekends Do

I like weekends. A lot. I usually need one after five days of working, which generally works out great.
Last Friday, I was in great need of a weekend. After dog-sitting at my parents' for a week, I needed to get out. Remember? And remember how I wasn't supposed to go shopping? I did. On Saturday I did utilize that Michael's gift card, and it was grand, and not too hard on the wallet. Remember how I wasn't supposed to eat out? I did. A friend of mine was having a difficult night, and I gave her a ride home. On the way, she wanted to stop at either McDonald's or Jack-in-the-Box. I thought we could go a little classier than that, and I ended up picking up some dinner for her at Chick-fil-a. Did you know they have diet lemonade there? Technically, that's not diet soda. Of course, technically I had plenty of diet coke the night before at the movie theatre, another place I wasn't going to go.
Now, lest you think I have no willpower and regularly engage in decadent behavior, let me stop you there in your judgmental tracks.
You are correct in thinking, "But Rachel, what happened to all your resolve? Where would we be if our goals and principles didn't matter on the weekends?" And my typically-rigid, Type-A personality would generally agree with you. But the Type B+, living, breathing human doesn't feel a smidgen of guilt, and is just celebrating the progress. Because the movie I went to was a matinee at a theatre where tickets are generally $1 less per show than at other local theatres. The small Diet Coke was enough to sate me for probably a week, and I don't think it's irrational to suggest one soda a week isn't excessive. Materials purchased with my Michael's gift card will facilitate not only my creativity and provide hours of relaxation, enjoyment and artistic stimulation, but also likely provide a later return-on-investment at this year's Boho Babes Boutique when I sell my wares. Or on etsy. We'll see. In short, this was not a shopping-spree-gorge-fest with double-features and 64 oz. soda-- this was a nice, modest weekend with a few fun things recharging my fledgling batteries.
And if you still are feeling high-and-mighty, get over yourself! I gave blood, people! By the way, I love you, United Blood Services! If you're reading this and thinking about giving blood, do it! It's such an easy way to help and does so much good. You feel like a million bucks afterwards, and they give you juice.
You know, I'm really glad that it's easy for me to give blood. When I was younger, the thought terrified me. But after my first donation, I realized I was a blood-donating champ! I've got good veins, and I can fill up the pint-bag in no time. And typically I'm uncomfortable with people acknowledging my service, but talk about gratitude! Whether dealing with UBS or the Red Cross, I've consistently found respective staff members so gracious! No, I don't want one of the t-shirts. It's just nice to be around such friendly people.
If you are a little afraid of the needle stick and need a little extra motivation to give away some bodily fluids, UBS recently launched a program called "Hero in Me" and you can earn rewards like ice cream and movie tickets. Who wouldn't like to go to a free movie (although, I think when I redeem that reward and take someone to a show, I'll see if they'll be willing to spring for popcorn, as I'd already paid for the film with 8 pints of blood... just kidding, though it sounds pretty impressive when you consider the average adult has 10 pints of blood in his or her body).
And speaking of movies, allow me to endorse "Leap Year."

This is what I saw last Friday. It wasn't the most innovative story (by a long shot), but it was charming, and it was PG-- that's refreshing. Another bonus-- I'd forgotten how much I like the name Declan. Maybe if I never get a Jemima I'll give my son a nice Irish-y moniker, different from the ubiquitous Sean, Patrick, Seamus or Liam.
I will admit this-- a problem with weekends, and particularly those where I view most films, is that I'm always left resigned to the difficult truth that I likely won't be happy married to a lad without a nice accent. And so long as I'm still looking, I might as well add that to my list, right? Or at least give him a nice, patchy beard.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Stir Crazy

For years, my parents would have to take separate vacations. No, they aren't divorced. It's just that someone always had to stay home to tend to the business. Now that they are empty-nesters, I stay home and tend to the business. And I've been in Los Lunas for days, and I need to get out!
Of course, therein lies the rub-- where would I go and what would I do? I'm trying to not shop, so that's out (though I must admit, I'm sorely tempted by Michael's 20% total purchase sale tomorrow), and I certainly can't go out to eat. There are a bunch of movies I'd like to see, but the whole saving money issue crops up again. Plus, popcorn is my kryptonite. I love it more than any other food, even chocolate.
While my parents are roaming footloose and fancy free, I've been booking their hotels, finding them good seats for "Jersey Boys" and feeding the ingrate dog. I think Molly has made it her personal mission to be as obnoxious as possible today.
Why oh why did I not go dancing last night when I had the chance? Oh yes, I remember. It was because I was in bed by the time the thing started.
What I'm really saying is I've got a case of the Fridays, and I'm doing all I can to power through the paperwork so I can do something fun tonight. Tomorrow is booked with the Relief Society Conference, giving blood, going to the temple, etc. It should be a grand day, but tonight I want to party! Of course, I think it's gonna be a laundry party...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Resolved-- 2 days in

So I know a lot of you out there are New Year's Resolution skeptics. And I agree with you, if you want to change your life, there's no need to wait another 359 days to do it. I, for example, always feel a sense of renewal in autumn-- I guess that got ingrained during my years in school. But I do love the resolutions, and I love the clean slate. I love the motivation to do better, and frankly, resolutions get me through those winter blues.
Well, I'm only on the third day of the Sego Family Diet, but it's going well. I've not maxed out my exercise time as much as I'd like, which I'll need to remedy to be in good competition for the money, but I'm building up. So long as I stay faithful today (and I plan to, of course), I'll be three days away from any diet soda, or any non-water beverage for that matter. It feels good, but I've gotta tell ya I had a little snooze yesterday and nothing sounded better than the Diet Coke with Lime, but I withstood. Little victories. Tonight's dinner should be really exciting-- cauliflower left over from Monday, potato left over from last night, and tonight's green beans! I'm not being sarcastic-- I love vegetables. They are luxurious.
Of course, working on my body isn't the only thing I'm interested in improving these days. I've been on a whirlwind cleaning kick, and I love it. At the office, it's been time to transfer files around and clean off the desk. I'm still not done! But I've crossed some major projects off the list and it feels good. At home, I'm still behind. Things look OK, but I still have all my holiday decorations up-- I should have taken them down right away, but I thought I'd have company around New Year's Day and I wanted people to see my house sparkle. Yes, it sparkles-- because as usual, there is glitter on everything. But I ran across a tip the other day-- don't remember if it was in a magazine, online, on a blog, in the newspaper, etc., but the columnist suggested picking up or throwing away 27 things every time you get a chance. I LOVE IT! 27 is a nice number-- not so high it's overwhelming, but definitely big enough to make a dent. The "27 things" advice helped me get rid of some stuff in my parents' food storage room and made folding my whites much more entertaining. I'm trying to do some incarnation of it every day.
Another thing that sounds terrible but I've been able to do well on recently is resolving to save more money. As I'm already pretty good at saving for retirement, rainy day, etc., this resolution is really more about NOT SHOPPING. Boo. You'd think this wouldn't be such a big deal, but I really am trying to curb my spending. Those mortgage payments come around mighty fast my friends. I don't really know where I can make any extra money on the side right now, so I've got to just save more. That means not even going into Sephora or swinging by the sale rack at Anthropologie. That means staying home with my Netflix and just waiting for movies to go to the dollar theatre (which is actually another place I'm avoiding, because I love movie popcorn, but I've got to cut that out). Anyway, even though there is a scarf at Target I'd really like to have, I'm staying as far away as possible. Also, I'm trying to avoid Michael's and Hobby Lobby. I've got a Michael's gift card, but I think I should try to get through all the stuff I have in the craft closet as is. I mean, really, what other 28-year-old do you know who even has a craft closet? My word, I'm a spinster!
Anyway, the long and the short of it is things are going well so far. I expect them to continue. Good luck with your self-improvement projects as well!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Little Help for Your Resolution-- Care to Join In?

Dear Local Readers,
Like this time every year, we're all resolving to get in better shape, right? This is a yearly goal for me, and I love the start of a new year to get motivated and such. My sister-in-law, Skye, and I were discussing what we could do to get ourselves in better shape (just so you know, she just had Baby No. 2 at the end of September and looks like a Barbie Doll) and how we can help our families. Because our family (and friends) run the gamut of thin and weak to um, well, giant, finding something that would be a good fit for everyone was a bit of a challenge, but this is what we've come up with-- you'll notice that while results will give you a boost in points at the end of the challenge, we're really trying to tackle some habits that our family members have. I, for example, am guilty of drinking diet soda every day, and I'm looking to take that out of my life. Skye's Aunt Tammy wanted to journal, Skye hopes Ben will exercise more.
Therefore, here is Skye's Contest:

Let’s Get Right to the Point!
Who: We are all wanting to loose a little…whether it be weight or inches!
What: A get-healthy program with a little money for incentive! {Entry Fee: $25.00}
Why: Total Prize: approximately $200.00!
Health is not valued till sickness comes. ~DR. Thomas Fuller
When: January 4th to April 4th

On the honor system, keep track of your points. The following is a table of how points are earned:

10 points for every 30 minutes of exercise
10 points for keeping a food journal (per day) You bite it, you write it!
5 points if you do not drink soda all day...includes diet
5 points if you do not eat fast food (per day)
1 point for every 8 ounces of water you drink
1 point for every pound you loose (to be totaled when you re-weigh yourself on 4-4-10)

How to get started:
1. Get yourself a notebook to keep track of your points.
2. Weigh yourself on Monday, January 4th.
3. Carry the notebook with you wherever you go so you don’t forget.
Earn some points!

On April 4th, weigh yourself again. We’ll have a Salad Party to celebrate how great we all look! Bring your total points with your additional (1 point per pound you have lost from Jan. 4th to Apr. 4th) so we can figure out who won!

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory. ~Albert Schweitzer

You'll notice our program doesn't specify calorie counts, etc., simply because we all have different bodies. I have a calorie goal I'm working within daily, but it may call for some adjustment, for example. If you need ideas, let me know. Or my sis-in-law, the nurse.
If anyone would like to officially join the program, hit me with an email and we'll get you started. The contest starts today, so don't delay. And if you'd like to follow the plan unofficially (meaning your budget is so tight it squeaks already), feel free to comment occasionally with your current point count. Maybe I'll give a prize to the reader with the most points. But you'll have to beat me, and I have the eye of the Tiger!
PS. Motivational comments from my readers are certainly appreciated.
Love you all!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Those January Blues

This has been one of those weekends where I wonder if I have the gift of tongues, but the reflexive gift of interpretation of tongues is lost on my associates. Maybe I've been speaking Polish or Prussian or Pig Latin, because I'm having a heck of time getting the right messages across. It has been one big mess after another.

The short and the short of it is thus:

1) There is a man who thinks I'm in love with him. The problems with such thinking are as follows:
  • Currently, I am not.
  • I have no immediate plans to be in such a state with him (nor with any other gentleman of my current acquaintance).
  • He seems uncomfortable with the idea.
  • Not only is the idea uncomfortable to me at this juncture, but also his reaction is a bit insulting. You know, if you think someone likes you, shouldn't you at least be a little flattered? To run screaming, throw up, or to act pompous because you think your supposed-admirer is so far beneath you is really rather rude. What I guess I'm saying is, HAD I actually been interested, what is so wrong with that?
  • This situation appears as further evidence of my general communication defects. Men I am merely nice to think I'm planning our wedding. Men I would like to get to know dismiss me as unfeeling because I treat all people well. There's just no winning.

2) I am finding it rather taxing apologizing to someone over and over again, only to have the individual yell at me further. Out of the blue, I received a rather mean text message today from a number I didn't recognize. I got accused of some pretty heinous stuff, but where there might even be a grain of truth, I've done what I can to rectify the problem. In a way, I'm glad that I've learned to be brave enough to own up to my own mistakes, transgressions and shortcomings, but it is also hard because:

  • These criticisms tend to come on Sundays, which is always particularly difficult. After a long week (heck, even just a long day) of trying to do some things for others, it is discouraging to hear how you've fell short, or flagrantly failed. Not that I do things for a pat on the back. It's just that service more often comes with a kick in the pants.
  • I worry I give off the persona of someone who couldn't care less. I think it's because my parents always wanted me to have a thick skin. But I care a lot more than I should.
  • Even though the goal is to have a thick skin, I'm rather prone to water-works. Example: this afternoon I was talking to an individual who had basically thrown me under the bus. But I didn't call, demanding an apology. I just wanted to ask this person for HIS forgiveness if I'd communicated incorrectly. I briefly explained the situation at hand, told him that I was aware of his part in it, and rather than rip him a new one (because does that ever win any friends? No, of course it doesn't!), I started crying and told him how sorry I WAS. Even though I'm not still sure I did that inappropriate. Oh, I know where my faults lie, but it was a good reminder that one doesn't apologize with any expectation of the other party making things right. Jesus said to forgive everyone, not just the people who try to make peace with you, right? Still, it's difficult sometimes.

3) Oh honestly, who knows? I can't think straight. My life is a shamble of emotion and weirdness. I'm exhausted at 6:30 p.m. I am down a couple of friends. Boys in the church parking lot kissed me today, and it wasn't what you'd call enjoyable. Some girls might like having five boys kiss her, one right after the other, but I'm not one of them. My shoulders feel like they weigh three tons. My hands hang down. I need a lift.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Kissing Rudy Parsons and Other Things I've Managed to Do in the first 16 hours of 2010

Here's my 2010 so far:
* Had a blast at the dance. Woke up this morning and had a Shakira moment. My hips don't lie. I'm sore. That's how you know it's a good dance.
* Spread the word about good oral hygiene. I'm pretty sure I only passed out about 65% of the pre-pasted toothbrushes from My Minty Fresh Mint Bar, but I think they were a hit. As was the gum. How do we know? Because Jared de Leon caught Bobby Hill smooching Shea-Shea in the dark.
* Made an exciting business contact. Jacob brought some friends over to my house last night-- some Kirtland boys. Typically, my little brother doesn't like to stay at parties for more than about 45 minutes, but two of the three new-comers were not only avid hunters (be still Ben's heart) but also insulators. My sister-in-law told me this morning that Ben said "If that kid lived down here, he'd be my best friend." It was rather heartwarming. Even I liked this bloke which was a little creepy because a) he's like my brother's personality twin, b) an ex-boyfriend's face twin and c) only 21. But in case you'd forgotten, I'm a Cougar.
* Attended a birthday party for a 2-year-old. Zoey and all her little friends just about wore me out-- of course that has nothing to do with the mere 4 hours of sleep I had last night. But it was fun. I love my nieces.
* Priceless quotation of the evening, "Don't kiss me or I might throw up." Said to me. By someone I wasn't planning on kissing, even though now I just might do it to see if he'd really vomit. I don't think he would. I think he wouldn't be able to stop himself from kissing me forever. Haha.
* After a friend had an unfortunate experience with someone snogging his neck, I disinfected it with a wet-wipe. It was cold, but a good memory.
And that's all.
Just kidding! You wanted me to be a kiss-and-tell, right?
Well, let me just say that it was a NYE like many others. Jacob Hatch was sweaty sweaty, but I still kissed him on the cheek, and then had to rub my lips on his shirt. HRH AFK III (really) was a kissing beast as usual. I made the rounds kissing all my little boys-- Justin and Jeremy and Jesse, etc. Daniel was about to give me a hometeaching kiss, but I think someone got in the way. Sean Larson kissed me, but then again, he kissed nearly everyone. He kissed Elder Fryer on the head. I hope I don't get sick from all the germs Sean spread, but it was a bit on the comical side when Sean planted one on me in the middle of my insulation conversation. I kissed Brad, and I know he'll claim it was out of pity. It's his special way of trying to get me to make out with him, but who really thinks it's a good idea to kiss your uncle? Not I. I was going to kiss Henriques, but he's 5 years old (or 19, but whatever). He is the sweetest little boy on the planet. Carly Wallace made me kiss her on the cheek, but it was sisterly. I was posing for a picture with someone (though because I'm sleep-deprived I don't remember who) when Rudy came over to kiss me on the cheek. This is not such a rare occurrence, as I kissed him when I saw him come into the dance, long before midnight. Sometimes I'm overcome with my love of Rudy and I am consumed with passion. Anyway, he just likes to be in the pictures. When Kayla made him do it again, I thought, "Why not check something off my list of things to do before I die?" and I stuck my mouth hard against his. I don't know if K got a picture of not, but I'm guessing it won't be too attractive, because he just kind of fell over on my face and kept talking the whole time. Still, I think it lasted long enough to earn me the Kissing Kitty. As if I didn't already rule that award!
Anyway, I'm now looking forward to going home, building a fire and watching something uplifting like "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." I don't even have the strength to go to Albuquerque to use my 25% off total purchase coupon at Michael's. That's pooped, my friends.
I like this 2010 bit so far.