Friday, December 29, 2006
I just don’t understand why I’m on everyone’s secondary "list." I’m a pretty faithful Christmas card sender. I’ve been writing the Christmas letter for my parents since junior high, still am for the most part. I send Christmas cards to just about everyone. And it takes a few years of not getting one in return until I knock you off of my list. I spend hours trying to track down peoples new addresses, married names, etc. I spent a good part of this Christmas and last Christmas trying to track down my best friend from elementary school. She got married and her parents moved. So Vicki Walker (I think is your married name), if you’re out there, I’m trying to send you a Christmas card.
Are there throngs of people out there who only have a secondary "list?" Am I the only person anal enough to go crazy about Christmas cards? Making my list, checking it twice. Am I part of a dying generation?
Don’t take this the wrong way. This isn’t a call for all of my blog readers (all two of you) to send me a belated Christmas card. You two have already earned all the brownie points you can by actually reading and commenting on my blog. In fact, you never have to send me a Christmas card again if you don’t want to. But the rest of you...
Friday, December 15, 2006
Here’s the problem. It makes me so jealous. My first thought is, "Yea, someone like me is published." My second thought is, "I’m so mad that it’s them and not me." My third thought is, "But you’re retarded and never even write." And that’s my last thought because I make myself stop thinking about it.
In the last year or two there have been four or five different LDS or BYU alumni that have come to my attention with a new book. They are all about my age. They are all living my dream. Or at least I assume they are because other than the published writer thing, I know nothing about them.
I’ve wanted to write as long as I can remember. Yet it’s just like school was for me. If I don’t study for the test, that can be my excuse for when I ultimately fail it. If I don’t write, that’s my excuse for never being published. Not that fact that I’m crap at it.
So with each new person who is sort of like me that gets published, I get a little more encouraged, a little more discouraged, and a little tiny bit motivated. We’ll see where that leads us.
What does all of this mean? It means that, to me, the earth’s spin has slowed to a drastic, snail-like pace. I seriously look at the clock at any point in the morning or afternon and it seems as though four hours has passed, and it’s only been twenty-two minutes. When I normally take forty minutes to make my way through Target, now it takes me like ten, even when I’m TRYING to kill time. And while I’m normally racing to pick my husband up from work and I hit traffic, now I am leaving earlier (due to sheer boredom), hitting no traffic, and being early.
While everyone else’s holiday season is speeding past them too quickly, mine cannot get here soon enough. And why, when I procrastinate nearly everything in my life, am I so on the ball right now? Why is the clock moving so slowly when I’m at a total loss as to how to fill the time.
But back to being long-haired. I’ve been on a quest my entire life to have long hair. Again, stemming from my mother butchering my hair as a child. My goal from high school was to have my hair long enough that I could wear a scrunchie in it halfway down a low ponytail and have it stay and look cool. Obviously that’s no longer the fad. I was talking to an older woman the other night who grew her hair out once so she could put it in a banana clip (Remember those? Are they going to come back?) only to have the craze die just as she reached her goal. More recently, I wanted my hair to reach the top of my bra in back. I would look in the mirror over my shoulder and determine that if my hair got that long, that would be really long hair and I would be satisfied. But it seems as though hair length and anorexia are a bit similar. (At least what I know about anorexia from all those made for tv movies I watched growing up.) Now that my hair definitely reaches the top of my bra, it doesn’t seem long enough at all.
Here’s the problem. I know I don’t look good with long hair. I have fine hair. It’s barely there at all. My whole life people have told me I look better with short hair. And so I have an appointment on Saturday to get it chopped off. Here’s where I should explain that by chopped off, I mean, CHOPPED OFF. I’ve actually gone to get my haircut before only to have the beautician worry over my reaction to the amount of hair that I want cut off figuring I’ll freak out on them. But that’s the thing, I’m not uber attached to my long hair. I grow my hair out for a few years, then I chop it... ususally pretty short. Then I grow it out for a few years, then I chop it. Repeat cycle. Repeat cycle. I’m just worried that at some point I’m going to get to old and my hair will stop growing and I’ll be one of those old ladies with short, gray, permed hair. The woman I swore to never become.
And worse, I’m becoming the person so obsessed with her hair she’s written a blog entry about it. When did that happen?
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Boy on Halloween Night. Unfortunately Princess Sparkley puked about an hour before dark and missed out on the festivities. Is Halloween just about the worst holiday for a little kid to get sick on?? At least with Christmas the presents come to you, you don't have to go door to door to get them.
This is the little boy who refused a Halloween Costume. Finally we came up with the idea of a baseball player. He picked Grandpa's (and Mommy's) favorite team, the Boston Red Sox since Grandpa had just taken him to a game this summer. He loved it so much hes slept with this little baseball bat for a month now, and he insisted on sleeping in the costume for his nap the other day.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I’m not one of those adults who dresses up for Halloween. I guess if there were ever a costume party for me, I wouldn’t have a problem with it, I’m just not going to be one of those parents dressed up as they march their kids from door to door (or trunk to trunk in the church parking lot). I stopped dressing up when I became too old to trick or treat, unless of course a teacher offered extra credit to students in costumes. And I do recall dressing up some Halloweens in college. But I can’t be held responsible for things I did in those crazy college days. :)
I loved dressing up as a kid. Bunny. Clown. Indian (1984, we didn’t know to say Native American yet). Butterfly. Ballerina. And then it seems as though I must have dressed up as "punk rocker" for three or four years in a row. I don’t remember any other costumes, just spray painting my hair and wearing fluorescent.
Here’s the dilemna. I love dressing my kids up in the cutest possible costumes. Princess Sparkley has been a Sweet Pea, a Peacock, Cinderella, and a Ladybug. This year she’s going to be a butterfly. Boy has been a fish and a dinosaur. But I don’t think I’m going to be able to convince Boy to wear a costume this year. He’s just coming out of a huge obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine, but refuses to dress up as that "cheeky engine." His obsession with tractors has led us to Bob the Builder, but he looks to the side when I mention a Bob the Builder Halloween costume and won’t look at me again until we are well off the subject. He’s quite fond of Buzz and Woody, but again, won’t look at me when I mention dressing up as them. He’s quite obsessed with trucks, buses, ambulances, fire trucks, tractors... basically anything with wheels. But how do you dress a two and a half year old up like a bus or a tractor. Especially when the whole costume thing doesn’t seem like it’s going to go over well at all.
But he’s a kid. He has to dress up on Halloween. Right? Isn’t there some unwritten law? Or maybe it’s been written. I may have to threaten him with the consequence of no costume being no candy. That just may do it. Or else I’ll have to come up with some sort of costume that involves normal clothes so he doesn’t realize he’s in a costume at all. The ultimate trick. Maybe I can paint a dotted line down his middle and glue Matchbox cars to each side and he can be a street. Help! I’m desperate. I’m about to glue cars to a two year old. Not only is this crazy, it’s somewhat crafty as well. Ahh.
*Later changed on the blog to Buddy.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I think when I decided on the "theme song" idea, was somewhere around age 19 and continued for the next few years. This seems to be when my life was in the most turmoil. And also, when I happened to be a member of both Columbia House and BMG, so my music selection was at its peak.
Does everyone have theme songs to their lives that change as life does? I’m not a musical person. Not in the least. As a kid, I always wished that if I’d been given a talent, it would have been to sing. Alas, that was not to be. I can’t sing. I quit piano lessons at age 10 or so. I tried the guitar, wasn’t very good, and was forced to give it up when my guitar was stolen. But, I’ve always been surrounded by musical people. Some of the songs that take me back are even songs I’d never be able to find on my own... like Ang’s cd that played the beginning to the "Beef, it’s what’s for dinner" song (which of course,is some classical song, not just a commercial jingle from the start).
I guess what has me thinking about this is that I’m listening to old cds. Some are just cds I’ve been neglecting, others I burned myself or friends made for me. Every once in awhile, I feel like I’m ignoring cds that at one point, were in the prize spot on my car’s sun visor, so I pull them out and listen to them. I can’t believe how much they take me back. I’m instantly transported to that place and time. Whether it’s high school, my freshman year at college, my last year at college when I was student teaching, or right before I got married. I can feel that happiness, loneliness, excitement, heartbreak, silliness, sadness. It’s crazy how powerful music really is, isn’t it?
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I'm pretty handy at finding out things from the internet. The people in the know will call me up or email me with random requests to try to find the title of a book they read, and then give me the random details they remember. I'm fairly accurate and quick in finding the answers. Here are some recent things I've learned from the internet.
First- My husband told me that Mike D from the Beastie Boys is Neil Diamond's son. I'm a big Neil Diamond fan. I grew up listening to him. I was shocked that I'd never heard this, and that my husband had known for years, apparently . So I did a quick google search. Urban legend. Mike D is not Neil Diamond's son. Nor is Justin Diamond (Screech from Saved by the Bell).
Being new to lightening bug country, I was curious as to why the lightening bugs showed up, but then disappeared a few weeks later. I didn't really find an answer to that. But I found out that each species has it's own flash pattern that they use to attract mates of their own species. And while enjoying 4th of July fireworks at some friends who live out in the country, I pointed out to my husband that their lightening bugs had a different blink pattern than ours did.
When we moved here last September, my daughter refused to go outside because she didn't like the sound of cicadas. (In California it was crickets at night.) The cicadas are back. I know what you're thinking. Cicadas are one of those insects that only come out every 7 years or so. True. And False. I did some internet research and found out there there are different types of cicadas. Some are annual, some are periodical. So yes, they are here every year. And yes, some are dormant for 17 years or something.
Napoleon Dynamite's grandma IS the lady I keep seeing on episodes of CSI and Without a Trace. Apparently Sandy Martin has quite a LONG list of tv shows, etc.
Did anyone see "Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy"? No? I did. I actually liked it too. Now, did anyone see "The Prince and Me: 2"? I surely hope not. But I did as well. And yes, Kam Haskin's (aka Julia Stiles' replacement) is also the actress who plays Elizabeth Bennet's part in the LDS Austen remake.
I also found out that the taco restaurant chain my parent's friends opened in Missouri is not Taco John (which we found 3 or 4 of when we moved to Lawrence, KS), but Taco Palace. I found this out after doing a google search trying to find a current address for them for my mom.
I'm sure there is much much much much more I've recently learned from the internet. Most of it, totally useless, but it does answer some nagging questions I have, solves some arguments over who's right, me or my husband, and is fun.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I'm 28. I usually wave off birthdays as no big deal. But for some reason, 28 seems like 30, which seems so old. And it's not. I'm just still stuck with that little kid mentality that anyone that isn't a kid is old. And 28 isn't a kid. I guess it's like my brother-in-law always says, in his mind, I'm still the 14 year old girl he met when he married my sister. In my mind, I'm always going to be somewhere between 20-24. Not that I want to go back to my life at that age, I just want to be in my current life, but younger. And with this mentality, I'm going to end of like the lady I saw at dinner last night. She had to be 80, dressed like a 35 year old real estate hottie, and sandals she must have borrowed from her 18 year old granddaughter. Sitting there, laughing her over makde-up face while sipping beer from the bottle. Do ladies that old drink beer? Let alone from the bottle??
I guess I'm just feeling like the years are speeding by too quickly. The fact that my parents are approaching 70 scares me. Seventy is old. Really old. People die at 70. Plus it seems like once you're 30 you have to add all sorts of doctor's appointments, and medications, and diseases to look for to the list of things to do. I'm already a hypochondriac, the only thing I had going for me was answering no to the questions: are you over 30? or are you over 35? Now what?
Monday, May 15, 2006
The Granary apartments were brand new apartments, right across the street from the hill on the South side of campus. I first saw them with Spencer. Maybe that was part of why I moved there. I liked them. But I remember he liked them when he first saw them that night, wished he could live there, but it turned out they were for girls.
I wanted to live somewhere nice for a change. I was tired of the basement of a house. I wanted air conditioning, a window I could see out of. Everything was changing. Relationships were coming to an end. Friends were moving. I needed a change. I moved in with one friend. It was just for the spring and summer terms, then I’d be moving to another place to do my student teaching. Then I’d be running away, home to California.
What I remember most is my room was so clean. I think it was the first time since I left home for college that everything I owned fit (and it hasn’t since). It was a big room with a big closet and storage under the bed, shelves in the closet and an awesome desk. And I had a nice view out my window, the wooded hill that went up to campus. I remember vacuumed floors. I don’t know why, I’m sure I didn’t vacuum that much. And it was pink carpet. Not pale pink, like a baby’s room, but sort of a mix between mauve and burgundy. And I remember having my cute bookshelf filled with all the books I’d acquired and being so proud. I remember being able to have the blinds open, or the window open and I could just sit on my bed and read.
But it’s not just that room I remember. I remember that whole summer differently. I remember Angela worked as a lifeguard at the pool in the dorms. It seems like I spent that whole summer at her pool reading. What’s funny is that I don’t think I went to her pool more than once or twice. I even remember which books I read that summer; The Cider House Rules, Memoirs of a Geisha, and spending an entire night and day reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after buying it at midnight. I read a couple of times at the pool that our complex shared with the one next door, or maybe I just borrowed it. I got a horrible sunburn on my shoulders and neck that are documented in a picture of me with my friend Gloria and the other two random roommates I had that summer as I blew out the candles on my birthday cake. I was 22 years old.
I remember the music of that summer. I must have listened to No Doubt’s "Return of Saturn" a million times. And NSYNC’s "No Strings Attached." And I imagined all sorts of stories I could write about a Gwen Stefani – like character hooking up with a Justin Timberlake like character. Even thinking about that reminds me of the parking garage, under the apartment complex, that I hadn’t even remembered until now.
I remember gold fish baby-sitting with Gloria, trying to scoop that fish out with a spoon so we could clean out it’s bowl and that fish squirming with Gloria and I about to puke. I still think of that experience each time I consider buying my daughter a fish. We still have no pets. I remember when Gloria’s best friend went out of town and her husband convinced Gloria to dye his hair. And Gloria, wanting to be innocent, convinced me that it would be best if I did it. So I dyed Jason’s hair that summer.
Maybe it’s so vivid because it was the last four months that I was officially a student at BYU, reporting to campus every day, or at least most days. I ran into a roommate from my freshman year that I hadn’t seen since. I ran into Kenric, having an old boyfriend console you from the broken heart you have from another is odd. He even came over and invited us hot-tubbing. Would he ever change?
It was living here that I got to talk to Tiffany for the first time in a year and a half after she came home from her mission. It was here that it seemed that none of my friends remembered my birthday, only to come home from eating at TGIFridays three times in two days (for my birthday) to discover that not only did my brother call, but so did an anonymous boy. I assumed it was Spencer. Or maybe I hoped. It seems like he did call me, the next day, or the day after. He was excited about an NSYNC concert he had gone to, or would be going to. And it was here that my husband emailed me. For the first time in years, it appeared as though we were speaking again. He emailed me to wish me a happy birthday. These emails would continue over the course of my student teaching and would paramount on New Year’s Eve... 6 ½ months later, when we would kiss. We were married the following April. Less than a year after that birthday email.
Maybe I remember it all because it was such a short, easily documented period of time in my life. My years living at the Arch House had all blended together to the point that I didn’t know how many roommates I’d had and who had lived there when. How could I possibly remember all the details, all the fun. But at The Granary it seems as if I remember it all.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I've read 28 books.
I just updated the books I've read recently list on the right side of my blog if you scroll down far enough. Let me know what great books you've read lately. I'm always looking for something new to read.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
My son just turned two years old. Not until we moved to Kansas when he was 17 months old did he say "mama." He had occasional words before then. Like "car," but they were never repeated and thus lead me to believe it was some freak occurrence between his lips and tongue while breathing a certain way. Not really talking. Mostly he would just breathe in and out with a lot of expression.
He has a speech therapist now whom he adores. He also has about 30 words and a dozen signs that I think most people could understand. He’s only ever put one two-word phrase together, "Hi Brett," to my husband’s brother last weekend.
I’m not really overly concerned. I’m sure he’ll speak someday. And until then, I can be assured that he’s a genius, silently taking in the world around him and assessing things before he chooses to open his mouth and contribute. My husband read the economist Thomas Sowell’s The Einstein Syndrome, which he wrote about late-talking kids because he had one himself. And Einstein was one. See... genius I tell you. What I gather from this book is that most people will try to put your kid into some category, based on their inability to speak. But it isn’t really an inability, more of a delay.
Everyone has a story to tell about someone they know who was speech delayed. My husband’s 95 year old grandma always tells me about her brother who was three when finally his mother stopped waiting on him hand and foot and he needed to speak and said something along the lines of, "Hey, get me some water." My favorite story of the sort is from Haven Kimmel’s A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana. Kimmel relates the following story from her mom's baby book for her:
The last entry is dated four months before my third birthday:
This weekend we went camping. After dinner little Zippy was running in circles around the campfire, drinking from her bottle, and Bob decided she'd had it long enough. He walked over to her and said, "Sweetheart, you're a big girl now, and it's time for you to give up that bottle. I want you to just give it to me, and we're going to throw it in the fire. Okay?" This was met with many protests from Danny and Melinda and me; we all felt that there was no call to take something away from one who has so little. The baby looked at us; back at her dad, and then pulled the bottle out of her mouth with an audible pop, and said, clear as daylight, "I'll make a deal with you." Her first words! Bob didn't hesitate. "What's the deal?" She said, "If you let me keep it, I'll hide it when company comes and I won't tell no-body." He thought about it for just a moment, then shook his head. "Nope. No deal." So she handed over the bottle, and we all stood together while Bob threw it in the fire. It was a little pink bottle, made of plastic. It melted into a pool.
Now that we know she can talk, all I can say is: dear God. Please give that child some hair. Amen.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I had four problems with school:
- I'm crap at math.
- I was super smart, all As up until high school, and it went downhill from there.
- Due to the failed smartness, I started not trying hard, not studying, as an excuse for when I would inevitably fail.
- I'm a huge procrastinator. Especially when it comes to book reading and paper writing.
How is this affecting my life today? I read voraciously, but when it comes to an assigned book, like for a book club... I can't get into it. Even if it's a good book. I have to force myself to really read it. Right now, I'm in two book clubs... both sort of started by me. I thought this would be great, I'm always looking for suggestions for books to read. My problem? Right now one book club has selected The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and the other has picked Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Both schooly type books. Both difficult reads. Things Fall Apart has actually been on my reading list for years. I even own it. I've just never gotten around to reading it... it would be too much work. The Good Earth, if any of you have anything good to say about this book, please tell me now. I read the publishers note on Amazon.com about it, and thought... I have no desire to read this book. But I have to. I started the book club. I made all these people read Candyfreak and half of them hated it.
So, not only are these two hard, schooly type books. They are both "assigned" at the same time. And all the while, I have 800+paged Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell up on my nightstand, 40 pages into it, that I have renewed as many times as I could from the library, returned it, and rechecked it out, and renewed it again. And it's good. I'm just so stinkin' intimidated by its length, and so distracted by all the other equally good books out there. It's like school again and I'm afraid I'm just going to give up on getting all this reading done. Like all the times I'm asked if I've read Frankenstein or Wuthering Heights and I have to admit that I've studied both of them twice each in college, yet I've failed to read either. (Although I believe I own the Cliff's Notes for both.) That's bad news for someone with a BS in English.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
So I was watching the new movie (well, not new, it came out forever ago) thinking, poor Drew Barrymore. She's a cute girl. I really like Drew Barrymore and her movies. I've seen most of them. I own a few. But Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz are super cute, and also both size negative 2s. Drew doesn't have a chance. And she's also a little more dressed than the others. But I was just feeling sorry for Drew, her not being as cute and all.
Then the next night I was bored folding laundry and pulled out my box of VHS tapes to see what movie I hadn't watched in awhile (we don't have cable). Not even thinking about it, I pulled out Never Been Kissed, also starring Drew Barrymore. If you've seen the movie, you know that until the very end, she is very unattractively portrayed as a grown-up nerd turned nerdy high school student all over again. I was feeling bad for Drew... again. It isn't until the end of the movie when she's standing on the pitchers mound waiting for Michael Vartan that she looks absolutely like the cutie she is.
So I'm feeling sorry for Drew for the 2nd night in a row when all of the sudden I remember that there was a day... just one day, my sophomore year of high school where I had two different, completely unconnected people tell me that I looked like Drew Barrymore. It was picture day, so I'll have to hunt down that picture and add it to my post. I don't think I look a thing like Drew, then or now. But all of a sudden I was the poor, not as cute Drew that I' d been feeling sorry for. What a sad sad realization.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
I showed up in Utah, exactly a week after high school graduation and on my 18th birthday. It was June and already hot and muggy. I'll never forget the last day my parents were in town. I was all settled in the dorms, everything was set. They were going to drive me to class, drop me off and leave for their drive home. It was pouring down rain and still so hot. I hated it. I hated every time it rained that summer. I probably hated every time it rained every summer I lived in Utah. I'd go to class in flip flops, shorts and a white t-shirt only to come out of the basement of the JKHB to find I was in the middle of a huge thunderstorm being pelted with giant drops of water hurtling from the sky.
I don't know when it changed. But I sort of love them now. I love that smell of wet asphalt. (I know, strange. I can remember my elementary school best friend, Vicki, she'd always say she loved the smell of wet asphalt and I'd think she was nuts. I didn't say this to her of course, she was the cool one that I clung too. But now I think I finally understand.)
It's only April in Kansas, so not unbearably hot, but still in the 70s or 80s today. It was all stormy as I came in tonight, but no rain yet, just ominous clouds. After I tucked the kids in I heard it start raining and I opened the door. It was so nice. I don't know if I can find the words to describe it. The air is so hot, but the cool raindrops are so refreshing. I wanted to just go sit out there and enjoy it. I didn't, but a part of me wanted to drag a chair out there and just sit and think. Of course, once I was out there I'd be upset about how wet I was, my water-proof mascara running, thoughts making me worry about lightning and tornadoes. But for a few seconds my heart just leapt. Maybe it reminded me of Utah, which was a great time in my life. A time I'm always a little bit homesick for.
Can you be homesick for a time? I always give my husband a hard time for looking to the future, and never the present or past. He's always looking to that next big thing that will make things better. And I give my best friend a hard time for looking back too much, wanting to go back to a time that isn't there anymore. But depending on the day and mood you catch me in, I'm looking back with longing in my heart for friends I don't hear from anymore. Or I'm looking forward to things are more settled, where I know what the path I'm on leads to. But mostly I guess I'm too busy with life to look around too much. I'm in the present. And that's not always the best either. I have to dream. I have to have memories. And summer storms bring all of that out in me.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Hide and Seek Bean Bags.
I distinctly remember not wanting to attend a church activity for the girls my age my senior year of high school. It was baking pies under the pretense that boys want to marry a girl who could cook, thus preparing us for college. I don’t remember if I ended up at the activity or not. I’m sure my parents persuaded me to go, and I have the recipe cards in my recipe box to this day, so I must have been there. Why was I so against this activity? I was very set on getting an education, not a husband. But my whole life I had fought learning all the sort of homemaking skills that my generation seems to look down on. My mom tried to teach me to sew and to crochet. It held no interest for me, nor did I want to sew my kids’ clothes someday. That’s what stores are for after all, right? I avoided the chores that kept me inside to the best of my ability. I didn’t want to vacuum or dust. I chose the chores like taking out the garbage, feeding the pets, and watering the garden. The one thing I did enjoy was baking. Maybe this was because in my home growing up, it was dad that baked cookies.
What I find ironic now, as an adult, is that I wish I knew how to sew. I’m a pathetic sewer and constantly find myself wishing I was so much better. Not so that I can sew my kids’ clothes, but for all of the other fun, cute crafts that there are that involve sewing. Knitting became cool, all the stars in Hollywood were doing it. Yet all I could manage was crocheting a long long string like my mom taught me as a kid. But mostly I love baking. If I could bake desserts all day, I would be happy. Yet as a 17 year old, I was adamantly against learning to bake pies to attract a husband. What I didn’t take into account then, that I realized once at college, was that baked goods don’t necessarily need to attract husbands, they can simply be used to attract the cute boy next door. Boys like to eat. Thus, I baked a lot at college. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, brownies, cheesecake, etc. But not to attract a future spouse, I was just a kid still. I baked because it was a way to impress the boys, not so that they’d marry me, but because no guy can refuse a freshly baked cinnamon roll. And it doesn't hurt now that I'm married that I know how to cook. Although when we moved from California, my dad did say that maybe they'd all lose some weight finally when I wasn't around making desserts.
This all being said, the above picture is actually something that I have made. It’s an “I Spy Bean Bag” or “Hide and Seek Bean Bag.” My sister saw one and told me about it and then I found a pattern in Arizona a year ago, and now there is actually someone who is interested in buying some from me. And I sewed. Yea for me.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
Now that I’ve given you the setting, I’ll tell you the story. I was perusing a local website the other day, reading the blogs of other Lawrence parents when I came across something both shocking and horrifying to me. It started off simple enough. People arguing tissue vs. handkerchief. I can handle that. My daughter’s room is littered with handkerchiefs so we don’t have to bring her a tissue every two minutes all night long as she apparently chooses to pick her nose, rather than go to sleep. Then the comments on the blog move on to paper towels vs. sponges and dish towels. I was a little bit shocked here to read that someone actually knit their own dish rags and was trying to figure out how to knit a rougher material into it to make it more effective. Okay, a bit nuts, but I can admire that.
Then I come across someone who supplies a link to a website where you can get a pattern for how to make your own sanitary pads. Wow. I was floored. I can remember my mom sitting me down and having the "woman talk" with me when I was ten or so and telling me how lucky girls were today because when she was a little girl they had to safety pin cloth into their underwear and wash it out, etc. It disgusted me then just as it disgusts me now. Why would anyone chose to... to live that way. Ewww.
But it gets even worse. I know, you’re thinking how?? how could that get worse? They start talking about their favorite non disposable tampons. NON DISPOSABLE TAMPONS!!! What kind of world do we live in? Better yet, what sort of town have I moved to?
Then I start thinking, wait a minute? I was born and raised in California. The California that makes it almost impossible without drilling recycling into your soul. You practically have to pass a lie detector test stating that yes, the ozone layer is depleting, and yes, the landfills are filled, and yes, you pledge to become a tree hugging environmentalist to protect all nearly endangered species, etc. etc. before you can graduate from elementary school. You get the point. And I used to recycle, I did. What went wrong?
Utah is what went wrong. I remember showing up for my freshman year of college and being temporarily appalled/stunned because there was no where special in which to throw away a soda pop can or a newspaper or a bottle, glass or plastic. What was I to do? Obviously I got over this rather quickly... just throw it away with everything else. Who cares about landfills and the ozone?
Now I find myself in middle America where I would least expect such recycling fanatics, and yet here I am, finding myself hesitant to buy kleenex or paper towels. But of course, there is not even a second of contemplation while perusing the feminine hygiene aisle. I throw it all in the cart, sorry ozone.
And since my son has just found and is carrying around a battery (non-rechargeable) I better let it stand at that. Earth, I love you, but not that much.
Friday, February 24, 2006
With my husband, we were young, we dated, we broke up, we remained friends. We just didn’t hold hands any longer. And then we stopped speaking to each other, but this was way post break-up. We’d gone from friends to boyfriend/girlfriend to friends, and then just stopped speaking to each other one day... for over a year. Odd. But we were 14 and 15... that’s probably how relationships at that age should be.
Then I dated my husband again, for much longer, and we broke up, but it’s a very long story, and still, not your typical break-up. And when we dated again, we ended up married. So there are no break-ups in our future.
But while all of this was going on, I also dated a guy who, well, we just sort of liked being together. We never had to talk about the relationship and where it was going because I don’t think either of us really wanted more than we had at the time. We were at college, the semester was ending, we were both going home for the summer. Without really speaking it, we both knew that with the summer came the end of our relationship. I still remember him saying he was going to miss feeling how soft my hair was. Odd.
Then I’ve had other relationships where things just sort of ended before they ever begun. Just one of those, hey, can this friendship be taken to the next level. We’re waiting, were waiting. No.
I just sort of feel like I missed out on all the break-up drama that I read about in books. There was no yelling, no name calling, no throwing things. (Okay, well, I do like to throw things, but there were never any boys present.) There were tears of course, and friends’ shoulders to cry on. Maybe it’s my extreme avoidance of confrontation. I guess it’s probably for the best. Maybe I just don’t have the dramatic flare that good break-ups need.
I was washing my face the other night, getting ready for bed when I noticed my scar. I have this scar on the right, my right, side of my upper lip, about a quarter of an inch from the corner. It goes up about a quarter inch towards my eye. I hadn’t thought about this scar in years. I’ve had it since I was a baby. Just one of the scars, literally, of being the youngest child. When I was about two my older brother and sister were "chasing" me around my parents old, sharp cornered coffee table. My lip came in contact with one of the corners. It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever gotten stitches. And even though I don’t remember any of this, I’ve always hated that coffee table and cheered the day my parents finally gave it away and got a new table, an oval.
I hated the scar growing up. What girl wants a scar? Only boys think scars look cool and tough, adolescent girls just count them as one more thing to make them ugly. And anyone who knows me is probably saying, "She has a 1/4 inch scar above her lip? Never noticed." Or maybe it’s super obvious to you and your like, "Duh, how could you forget about that thing. It’s part of who she is." So when I looked in the mirror the other night, I was sort of taken aback. It had been so long since I’d thought about the scar, it was like I’d forgotten I had it. I was looking at it with all new eyes. And all of a sudden I thought, "I’m like Tina Fey." And she’s funny and beautiful, (plus, at least she used to get to sit next to Jimmy Fallon... and he’s hilarious). It was an odd epiphany, discovering something about myself that I’d forgotten, and having a completely different view in regards to it.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Now I want to know... do you have holiday candies that you have to have. The ones that only show up at Christmas, or Halloween or Easter. Like Peeps. Loved them as a kid... but I think that was mainly because Grandma brought them and they were covered in sugar... colored sugar. What's your holiday must have candy??
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I guess feeding my sweet tooth really started in high school. I would eat Skittles to help give me energy to be awake. Plus it made me a little hyper, and a little more fun than my normal, quiet self would be. Plus it made me jittery, and that meant that the then 14 year old boy I had a crush on (now my husband) would rest his hand on my knee to stop my leg from shaking, which was driving him crazy. Or maybe, he, like me, just liked the excuse to have his hand on my knee. So I ate A LOT of Skittles in high school... mostly orange. And all of this is strange now, because when I go to the store... I rarely buy Skittles.
I ate a lot of sweets in college... because I could and because it was better than the real food that I knew how to make. But it all went down hill when I studied for a semester in London. I consumed at least four (most definitely more) Cadbury chocolate bars a day... ususally the Cadbury Boost being my candy of choice. I seems like I bought another Cadbury at every Tube stop. It was great... each station had it's only little supply of Cadbury only vending machines. I spent a lot of pence that way. Luckily I was also walking all day so I didn't gain the 400 pounds that I should have.
Then I came home from London, well, back to college. I was not yet recovered from my frequent Cadbury purchases and had a new roommate who would buy a Hershey's with Almonds everytime we checked out at the grocery store. With Cadbury chocolate so fresh in my mind, I couldn't do Hershey chocolate... it tasted like wax... but I started buying candy of my own each time I checked out. This was something new to me... I rarely bought candy at the grocery store... candy was a special treat.
Fast forward a bit. I'm married. I've had my daughter and I'm pregnant with my son. Sugar is killing me. Every time I drank soda or ate anything especially sweet or sugary, it was like I could feel it moving through my veins, making me ill. But I still craved it. Turns out I was borderline gestationally diabetic. So my doctor allowed me to eat sugar, but sparingly, and I had to eat it with fiber so that my body could process it better. I ate some odd things then... trying to get my sugar fix with fiber.
So now... I eat candy like crazy. I think it's to make up for that nine months that I couldn't. The other day, we ran out of candy bars, and I found myself eating milk chocolate chips out of a tiny Dixie cup... I've turned into my dad (although he prefers Semi-sweet). Plus it seems like there are so many especially yummy candy bars out there now. At first it was Nutrageouses. Then the Fast Break Bar. Now my husband has introduced me to the Take Five. Not to mention that I can get Cadbury Dairy Milks at any grocery store. And there is a British shop in downtown Lawrence that sells Cadbury Boosts!! But my weakness right now... 100 Grands. I don't know where they were hiding my whole life. And I'm terrified that they will disappear. Until the 100 Grand the only time I ever got caramel and chocolate along together was at Christmas when we bought one of those fancy boxes of See's Candy. Or when I was brave enough at the mall to go and buy only one cup of them from the See's lady. And even if the 100 Grand isn't pure chocolate and caramel... there's some sort of rice crispy add-in, I love them. I eat like three a day and I can't stop. Not to mention that I'm terrified that they are a less popular candy bar and they will go extinct. What will I do??????
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
desserts. I make some killer desserts.
b-day cards. It’s rare that I forget a b-day, and while I may not call you, I’ll at least email or usually send a card.
friendship. I’m by no means a touchy feely person. I’m never going to comment on your appearance, or comment on your losing weight. If you’re crying, I’ll probably try to make you happy more so than trying to comfort you. I’m not a hugger. But I’ll be there for you if you need me, just let me know. And I try my best to stay in contact with people. No matter how many months or years go by with no Christmas cards in reply.
writing. I don’t suck at writing. That’s not really a confidence boost. Or really even that positive. But it’s honestly how I view it.
communicating. By no means do I mean face to face communication or confrontation in any way, shape or form. But I’m great at letter writing and emailing.
reading. I’m a quick reader. I miss a lot of symbolism... but I’m not looking for it. I read more for enjoyment than for the literary aspects of the writing.
graphic design. Not even sure if that’s what it would be classified as, but I love arranging stuff on a page... making Christmas letters, newsletters, invitations, flyers, etc.
web guru. I can find just about anything you’re looking for on the internet. Throughout my family, I’m known for it. I just read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons and at the end, in his acknowledgments, he thanks someone as his "web guru." That’s me. I mean, not literally. It’s someone else to Dan Brown. But in general... I am a web guru.
railway track layer. I’ve gotten fairly good and assembling train tracks for my son. So much so that my pieces meet up instead of suddenly coming to an abrupt end, and I have very few extras when I’m done.
nail biting. I’m a great nail biter. Not a great trait, but one at which I excel.
procrastinating. I am a fabulous procrastinator. I can’t even count how many papers I started for English classes the day before they were due.
dependability. I hated being "dependable" as a teenager. But it is a good quality. If you ask me to do something, I’ll do it. If you call and leave a message, I will call you back. I may procrastinate, but it will get done.
navigating. My husband who is a map snob would probably disagree, being that he never even lets me look at the map while he’s driving. But I never to rarely get lost... I mean really lost.
spelling. I’m a great speller, accentuated by all the horrible spellers that have surrounded me my whole life.
Friday, January 13, 2006
It’s interesting to me how depending on where you are, marks the public transportation as being for either the cool kids, or the... not cool kids. In the big cities like London, New York, Paris, Madrid, etc., everyone takes the tube/subway/metro, etc. And I would assume the bus systems in those big cities are just as big. But for the first 18 years of my life, living in California, I never rode on any sort of public transportation in my fair town. School buses don’t count. Neither do the buses that shuttle you from the airport to your car, from the parking lot to Disneyland, or tour buses with Japanese exchange students. California is just not really a public transportation sort of place. I mean, it’s there, but most everyone has a car.
When I started college, we were all without cars. We would ride the bus to the mall. It wasn’t "cool," but we weren’t uncool for doing it. And it was sort of an adventure for me, never having paid my 50 cents to get to the mall before. That wore off the first time we were abandoned at the mall due to a snowstorm.
Now, living in the most liberal town in Kansas, (I know, who would have thought Kansas had any), my husband rides the bus downtown every day to work. And although I don’t believe it’s among the trend of things, it’s not a big deal because everyone just assumes he’s saving the earth from more car pollutants. What they don’t know is that he’s left the car home with me to drive around all day, exuding hazardous fumes all over town.
Today’s bus ride, while very exciting for my kids, is not how I plan to get around town from now on. Today’s bus ride was for about a mile, in order to pick our car up from the mechanic who was unable to get our car to act up (isn’t that just like a kid, not to show off for the doctor?). My husband dropped if off on his way to work yesterday, then got on his usual bus a few stops further down the route, thus freaking out a fellow bus rider who gets on at that stop and now thinks she has a stalker. So my husband talked me into taking the kids on a "fun field trip" on the bus to get our car since our son is currently obsessed with all things that go and are big. So once again, I’m a rider of public transportation. And while it’s not my transportation of choice, it was not scary, dirty, or in the least bit life threatening. Plus my kids think I took them on a fun adventure, not a three block ride.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I’ve never met anyone under 50 named Nancy. Well... there was one. My senior year of high school, some new girl with a hyphenated name showed up ruining it so that I was not the only Nancy in my graduating class. But she’s it. Every other Nancy I’ve come into contact with was born around the 1950s... back when Nancy was a popular name to name a baby girl. I think it was even on the top ten list of names...then. My husband even bought me a Little Golden Book Classic book for Christmas called Nurse Nancy. Nurse Nancy was originally published in 1952 and then again in 1958. So how’d I end up with the name Nancy being born in the late 70s? My parents knew another Nancy (their age, so born in the 1940s). A Nancy who also shared their last name, and they thought the two names sounded good together. Original.
As a kid, I attempted to go by my middle name, Kristine. It didn’t go over so well. To change my name, I just started writing Kristine on my times table tests in the third grade. My teacher did not know who Kristine was, and did not find this very amusing.
I was also paranoid when I was little that people were going to try to call me Nan. I’m not sure if it was because everywhere around me people had nicknames: Vicki for Victoria, Benjie for Benjamin, Wes for Wesley, and I just assumed they would try to shorten my name to a nickname as well. Or maybe it was because when I went to visit my dad at his office, his secretary was named Nan, and I figured it was a natural progression... that I was doomed to someday become Nan.
Looking back, I realize that my worries were unnecessary. I’ve come across no Nans since that secretary. The only people who have really called me Nan have only done it as a quick shortening of my name, not a nickname that I will be stuck with forever. And it’s not like I ever liked Nancy any more than Nan. Well... maybe a little bit more.
Other nicknames I have had:
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Young Adult Author
Vet (the kind that deals with animals, not military)
Baseball Color Announcer
Baseball Stadium Organist
Baseball Stadium Announcer
Book Shop Owner