Monday, March 29, 2010

Hitting a Dead Skunk and Other Interesting Tidbits from my Weekend

Hmm... for some reason, my fabulous weekend pictures aren't loading... Boo!
Well, that's ok. Let me just say I had an Excellent Adventure with Big Jake this weekend. I think I should move to Cotton City!
Well, that's a lie. I think I should stay where I am, because I really like it. But I think I should go back to visit Cotton City again because I had such a good time meeting Grandma and Grandpa Hatch. They were so sweet! I'd forgotten how nice it is to have grandparents. G-ma made us some righteous soup, and G-pa showed us the tools he uses for witching wells. I learned a LOT of good stuff from them, and I'm pretty stoked to use the new whole-grain cookbook I received. Plus also, Uncle Roger and Aunt Charlotte were tremendously wonderful hosts. I pretty much want to join the Hatch family now. Think they'd adopt me?
Traveling 700 miles over two days can be a pretty grand time. J showed me a lot of great places, though we accidentally missed Fraggle Rock on our way out of town, and I even liked the venues he assigned made-up stories to (like the skinny-dipping hole-- wrong one). We fought 65 mph wind gusts, and an already-dead skunk got the second treatment from me when I didn't notice it in the road. Now my car smells a bit skunky. Jacob says I do too, but he might just want an excuse to smell me.
On Saturday we finally met Pammy's family in Mesilla over a very nice lunch. Oh, how grand it is to attach a face to that little man Alex, Pam's stinkin' cute nephew. We had dinner with my family on Saturday night, so it was a big weekend of yummy food and little kids.
I must admit, I'm a bit on the tired side. Church responsibilities yesterday weren't too intense, except for the makeover Miranda and I started on Justin W. He's looking mighty handsome, I kid you not. He just needed a bit of tweaking.
Also, last night we had cake at the Mortley's post-fireside. Good times with Clint's fam. Then Jacob and I introduced Steve to Flight of the Conchord's "Business Time." And then we attempted to visit President Brown, but it was already about 10 p.m., and a little late to drop in. But it made me happy. The spontaneity of it all made it feel like summer vacation, and I could get used to that. 78 degrees in Albuquerque tomorrow. I could probably get used to that too.
One final, funny thing: J has this really sweet friend named Chanel, and she's come to church with him a time or two. She's super fun, and it's always refreshing to be around someone who is not Mormon, ya know? Kinda like a breath of fresh air. Anyway, someone said something in our little circle, and Chanel said, "Wait! So missionaries have to be completely celibate?" And we told her yes, and that, in fact, we all are until we're married. And then as a little added explanation, we told her that Jake and I stayed at different houses on our road trip to avoid the appearance of evil. And she said, "So there's no question that you guys didn't do it!" It still makes me laugh. I have a super life!

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Failure" Never Tasted So Good

So look at me-- second post in less than 24 hours! Whoot Whoot! I'm back!
Here's the deal. One of the reasons I've not posted more in the recent past is that a week ago I had a job interview with a company of remarkable reputation. It was an honor to have interviewed with them, but I've had so much trepidation regarding the possibility of another job. The insulation business and my family need me. Well, just moments ago, I got the rejection email, and it is a total weight off my shoulders! I mean, it would have been nice, but there were going to be a lot of concessions on my part-- a 25 percent pay cut, scheduling nightmares, no social life, etc. My plan, were I ever able to feel good about it, would have been to work 60 hours a week. It would have made making mortgage payments a touch easier, but this is really so good. Happy, happy news!
In a way, I'm not used to job rejection. Oh, I didn't get a job initially in college, and came in as a second choice. I wasn't offended. I just used it as an opportunity to prove myself, and I left the position with a reputation of being the best intern the office had ever had. I'm usually so driven and motivated, but I have to say, my heart just never was in this.
The only bad part of it all is the disappointment others feel in my behalf. I know there are a lot of people out there who are so convinced of my skills and talents (much more convinced than I am) who probably think (and some who are very vocal about it) that I'm wasting my time working for the family business. In my mind, nothing could be further than the truth. I LOVE the double-take I get when I tell folks I work in construction. Those who know me in real life understand this-- you usually don't see some indie-wannabe like me doing a job like this. I'm a total poser. I dress like I should work in a record store; my interests keep me in artistic locales. Oh, it is so sweet to have this surprising profession!
What's more, the thought of being away from my little nieces was incredibly painful. Yes, yes. They are little monsters sometimes, and by the end of the day on Wednesdays, I'm completely worn out. But there's nothing so fulfilling in my life as having Paizlee's little fingers wrapped around one of mine while she's sleeping, or the hugs I get from Zoey after I paint her nails (she is under the impression I am her personal manicurist/pedicurist). I hate the thought of not being in their lives in a big way. Until I have children of my own, they let me feel and utilize those maternal instincts, and it gives me such satisfaction! Extra money isn't worth missing out on watching their progress.
So, life goes on just the way I think it should. I am happy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Excuse Me, Mister

Here I go again... I'm trying to be a blog penitent, but a good, juicy post is going to have to wait just a little bit longer.
In the mean time, here are some notes:
* Had a dream last night about Calvin from "Confessions of a Mormon Bachelor Pad." He'd gone to school with my little sister somewhere and was in town for a formal. But because he didn't want anyone to know who he was, he turned himself into the cutest dog alive. We did a lot of frolicking and petting (in the cleanest sense of the word, I assure you).
* Speaking of frolicking, Jacob and I frolicked in Roosevelt Park the other day before FHE. We'd worn our Indian shirts, which was funny because you could see through them. Obviously, he hasn't been spending time in Relief Society where the mantra "Modest is Hottest" is thrown about, because you could see his underwear. Still, I thought it was pretty funny.
* Another note about Monday's park activity: The LDS Church had its first building in Albuquerque on Spruce Street next to said park, but they had to sell it because the park was full of unsavory activities in the 1970s-- you know, drug deals, prostitution, etc. My dad once told me "people were making love right in the park." Something about it made me really laugh. I think it was my dad's use of the term "making love." I told J all about this but I'm not sure he believed me. We went for a mini round of Frisbee Golf, but it wasn't long before we saw some very nice (and very high) hippies, as well as a very unattractive couple going at it. I took a picture with Jacob's camera, but he refuses to post it on facebook.
* I am currently obsessed with the Liberty of London line at Target. You should be too.
* I've been looking for a) good Indian music (but I'm not sure I want to buy the whole "Bend it Like Beckham" soundtrack, and I'll admit my knowledge of this sub-genre of world beat is extremely limited) and b) some good road trip games. My friend Katie is a superstar with those road trip questions, but I can never think of any. Got some good ideas?
* A Rest-in-Peace shout out to our local beef jerky guy, Steve. He was always super nice. Sunset Foods won't be the same without him.
* Congrats to Tresann and Justin. Baby Girl Dawson is going to be the cutest!
* I "need" an Easter dress. I know that's dumb, but I've been programmed.
* Zoey was extra naughty yesterday. I asked her to come with me to the kitchen because "Nama" made breakfast. Out of the blue she said, "No, I'm mad!" I don't think she really appreciated me cracking up.

OK. That is all for now.

PS. Just re-read this. I think it probably sounds stupid that we have a beef jerky "guy." Or had. But that is one of the benefits of living in New Mexico.

Monday, March 15, 2010

We All Scream (Except for Those of Us Without Voices)

It is now 10:31 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time, and 15 short minutes ago, I polished off a bowl of cold deliciousness.
No, I'm not having an emotional breakdown. No, I don't even like ice cream that much. But that's why I had a bowl of Baskin Robbins Rainbow Sherbet, and I don't feel one bit bad about it.

I would have liked a cone, but I could only find cake cones at my parents' house, and that would not do. Therefor, I was sated with a bowl of too sweet stickiness, complete with crystallization from mum's freezer.

Why the mid-morning splurge?


On Friday night, Jacob and I went to a late showing of "Invictus" at the dollar theatre. Good movie. Very fun to listen to J's stories of South Africa and his commentary about the strengths and weaknesses of the film. Super funny that the man in front of us in line told me he looked like Neil Patrick Harris.

Personally, I don't really see it, but who am I to stomp someone's dream?

Anyway, Jacob bought me an Icee because my throat was sore (and because I think he was trying to prove that he can be a super date). But still, by the time the movie magic ended, my voice had flown the coop.

Personally, I'm getting a little tired of this sick bit. Actually, I'm just tired in general. I slept most of the weekend. I'm finding that being ill is a great way to save money. Of course, it also helps that I'm too stubborn to go to the doctor, even though I like my doc a lot. But anyway, I just lounged around all weekend and slept more than I have in ages, but it might have been too much because now I'm kind of hunched over. Basically I'm walking like Grandma Sego and wheezing like Grandpa Sego. They're both dead. I'm not, of course, but I don't imagine look but a step or two away from it. Tra-la. I'm off to rattle and hum.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Sound of Silence is Golden

On Sunday for Nathan's visiting pleasure, President Brown gave his famous dating lecture to the University Branch. Most of us have heard it before, but I never get tired of him passing out his "101 Things To Do Instead of Necking" list, nor would I miss seeing him doing his "flipped-switch" dance. I think Nathan went back to California enlightened and ready to test out his new practical knowledge of how to ask someone on a date.
President Brown suggests that Real Men (as he calls them) should be asking women out on Tuesday for a Friday date. Louise and I have noticed that we never get calls on Tuesday. I'm going out tonight, but it has nothing to do with the lecture. Still, I'm just glad to go.
But do not fear! This dating lesson was not wasted on Uni Branch members. Though I could not speak a word Sunday, I still managed to communicate with a nice boy who also wasn't speaking. Of course, his lack of verbosity is purely by choice, unlike my own, hastened by physical limitations.
For the sake of the story, we'll call this chap Charlie (get it?). Most of you know Charlie already, so I don't know why I'm bothering with anonymity, but I try. Anyway, Charlie is famous for his shoulder shrugs. I've long thought of him as cute, but darn it if he doesn't generally just mime to me. We did have a little bit of a cuddle session at the Tute one day, because he looks very cuddly, but I wouldn't say we know one another well.
One night a few weeks ago he was sitting by one of his friends at FHE. When I came over, I jokingly said something about Charlie and I wanting to be alone. The friend left, which completely made me laugh. I talked, Charlie nodded. I suggested Charlie do something wild and crazy for the upcoming talent show, and he just laughed nervously. I grabbed his hands in mine, willing him to consider it, but to no avail. The socially awkward friend soon returned and asked if we'd had a good chat. Charlie shrugged. I told the friend that we'd held hands. "Is that true?" he asked Charlie. Charlie smiled and nodded. "Are you going to ask Rachel on a date?" Charlie again shrugged his shoulders. The friend then turned to me. "Would you say yes if he asked you?" I didn't want to be too forward, so I just shrugged too. It drove the friend crazy, but I've laughed about it several times since.
So on Sunday, I didn't have a voice, and just sat happily eating my Marshmallow Maties with Nathan at Break the Fast. Charlie sat down across from me to tuck into his cereal... Fruity-O's, I think (sorry I don't know the Malt-o-Meal brands-- I'm not much of a cereal person). I pointed to the little yellow cheat card in Charlie's shirt pocket-- President Brown's cheat-sheet for successful dating. On it are reminders to discuss with your date what the dress code is (grubby, casual, dressy or formal), who will be paying for the date, and how you'd like the date to end (walking to the door, hug, kiss on the cheek, kiss on the lips). Charlie handed his card over and I took the liberty of marking it up. I circled the categories of courtesy date and casual dating, casual dress, alternate paying and then, of course, kiss on the lips. I mean, why not go for the gold, right?
So then Charlie passed over the non-necking activity list (for the record, our branch president did say we could make out, as long as it is in a public place) and I checked off several of the things I found intriguing/fun. I passed it back. He indicated he need the pen I was using (was it rude that I borrowed it from Nathan?) and he wrote on the bottom of the page "Rachel --- ----" for my phone number. It totally made me laugh, but I gave it to him. All in silence. Excellent.
Of course, he hasn't yet called... and I'm not surprised. He doesn't seem like the type of guy who likes talking on the phone. ;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Catching Up with The Mute

So it was brought to my attention the other day that I've been a blogging slacker for the last little bit. It's not that I've forgotten, I've just been down and a little out of the loop. Here is the basic recap:
Went to Artesia a couple of Fridays ago to use my acting/"clairvoyant" abilities at my aunt's late Mardi Gras party. I was a hit! This might have had something to do with the drinks. Sylvia was good enough to make me a Virgin Hurricane-- it was sweet enough that my eye started twitching a bit. She made her other guests what she called "Been around the block a few times" Hurricanes. Enough said.
Fortunately, my mighty immune system was really working overtime, so I was in perfect health for the party. I'd been worried I might end up with the terrible cold that plagued my nieces just days before, but I spent the weekend fit as a fiddle.
Unfortunately, however, my rockin' white cells could only take so much, and by Monday, I started coming down with the COLD FROM HELL. I know it's not the worst I've ever felt, but believe me, I'd not wish it even upon the peskier pests in my life. Monday morning, it was just a sore throat. By Monday evening, I was down for the count. I'm actually sure that the problem was exacerbated by being told I was too old to date by a helpful friend. Shredded self esteem + viral funkiness = very ill Rachel.
So that's where I've been-- in a cloud of achiness. I gave up and took some decongestants, even though I hate the way they make my heart race. I had a rather piercing ear infection, which was not funny, but even I'll admit the loss of equilibrium was... just a little bit. I may have felt bad, but even I can see the humor in an adult walking into walls.
Anyway, the only really sad thing about this was the way it wiped me out a bit during my visit with my friend Nathan. Nate came from California, and I fear I was only a mediocre hostess. I didn't even cook for him-- for breakfast Saturday morning he had Trader Joe's scones and a fruit salad-- and I don't consider washing and slicing berries cooking. We went to a dance Saturday night and I did my best to be energetic, but it took its toll. On Saturday, we met up with Pamsy and Lou Lou to have a Mediterranean Day (movie at the NMMNHS about mummies, lunch at Olympia, gelatto at Ecco) and later for dinner and 3D Alice (liked it, but I still think the earlier animated film is my fav), and my voice disappeared. Completely! The girls thought it was particularly funny that after talking all day long in a hoarse voice, two hours of not speaking is what did me in! But never fear-- this afternoon I'm functioning at about 70 percent voice again, so the world was not long without my insightful blitherings.
Anyway, not only was I not able to do much for Nathan (I think he was disappointed we weren't having a Spin-the-Bottle party, but not too much), but also I couldn't even share important things with my friends. For example, as we exited the theatre Saturday night, there were all sorts of odd folks lurking near the restrooms. One was this couple, probably in their late 40s, totally making out next to the Men's Room. I will say it was funny when I tried to tell Nathan about it on the car ride home. My pantomiming skills were rather improved out of necessity, which makes me think my upcoming date with Steve Rich will be a success. Another funny thing was there was a kid with long, greasy hair, a trench coat, top hat, and these silver John Lennon specs holding up the wall by the Ladies' Room. It made me laugh so much, because it reminded me of the time this temp at Excel named Ruthann (or, Cheeto, as some of the boys called her) told me one of her crazy stories about her son. I recall her saying, "Rachel, did I ever tell you about the time my son Lyle met the devil?" I told her not that I recalled (she'd already explained how the Utah Mafia lives near Olympus High School, and how Memory Grove is haunted), and she said her son was once at some club downtown, and went to a bathroom. While he was washing his hands, he heard a voice say, "Hello Lyle." Lyle looked at the man, who was dressed exactly like my friend at the movie theatre, and said, "I'm sorry, do I know you?" And the man said, "Oh no, but I know YOU, Lyle. I've been watching you VERY CAREFULLY." Anyway, I guess that was the extent of it, but what made this particularly funny to me is I've seen this kid before-- I think at the Valley Lutheran Church's Craft Fair last October. Pretty sure he's not the devil.
Anyway, I suppose that is all I have for an update at the moment. Saw my sweet little friend Will at his mission farewell party last night, and he told me he'd marry me if he wasn't married by the time he's 30. I'm not sure this makes me feel better. I'm having dinner tonight with some of my friends, and I'm pretty excited about that. Insulation work is picking up a tad, so I'm busier than ever in the work department. This is really all. I will be better about writing! I promise!