Saturday, July 30, 2011

Druggies, Rats and Diseases (Dream)

I was in Central Park with a friend of mine. We were playing kickball or some such field game when I met a guy. There were instant sparks. We flirted. There might of been a piggy back ride. Maybe a lingering kiss or two. And then I realized I had lost Megan. I told my new guy friend that I had to find her because she had never been to Central Park and would surely get lost. We must have said to meet at the car if we got separated, but as I was approaching our car (It was my roommate's purple car, again, which has appeared in my dreams before) when two grizzly men came upon me. There were obviously high on something, and I was afraid and so I quickly climbed into the car and tried to find the auto-locks. Unfortunately, the locks were manual, so I quickly took to task of locking them. One of the guys managed to get a door open, but I pushed him back and locked the door.

My friend came up and I tried to get her into the car without also letting the scary druggies into the car, but she was acting so weird. It was clear that she was also high. I was terrified. So I started the car (the keys were in the ignition the whole time) and drove away.

Later that night, I ended up at a little lounge where someone was celebrating their graduation from a technical school. She was a bigger, black lady and when she was explaining how her program would guarantee her a job, her tongue shot out the same way a snake's does. I listened for a while, then turned to the outdoor patio with pretty twinkling lights, and admired how pretty some of the girls who attended the party were looking. Many of the girls were people I knew in high school and people I know from my current ward. We were all dressed up in very pretty cocktail dresses. I was in an ivory, lace dress.

My friend arrived, and there was no evidence that she had previously been under the influence. She was looking very pretty and had brought a male friend with her, she introduced me to him.

One of the guys from work comes up the stairs and told me that I had a visitor. I went down the stairs, and the bottom floor of this building was my office (here in Utah) and there stood Colin.

"What are you doing here?" I asked, my eyes flashing.

"I'm in town, I thought I would come to visit you."

I rolled my eyes. I told him how I had tried to get in touch with him these many months and nothing. Why did it seem important to see me now? He had no answer. I sent him away.

He left, but he also left his phone behind. A fancy smart phone that looked more like the EVO, but what I kept calling his iPad in my dream. I debated as to whether or not I should bother with it, but it was New York City, and if I didn't take it, I was convinced that he would never get it back.

So I picked it up and carried it off, thinking that one day I would see him again and I could return his phone.

I wasn't completely sure where I was going, and I knew I needed to find Megan or a subway. I followed a group of people down the steps, hoping I had made it to the subway, only to find myself in the bottom of a dilapidated apartment building. Most the walls were down to the framing. A few homeless people had set up old mattresses and sheets to partition off their space. As I passed they looked at me with crazy eyes.

I followed the people until we reached a stairwell, but as I approached, I could hear the sounds of hundred and hundreds of rats.

"The stairwell won't hold us. And you'll disturb the nest!" I said, a little shakily. Still, they tried to get up, the the stairs were rotted through and could not support any body weight. I turned around and a girl who looked as though she had been burned by hot oil caught my eye. I gasped.

"What's happening to me?" She asked. Her skin turning redder and redder. She was fighting the urge to scratch as her damaged skin.

"It must be from the rats," I said apologetically. "We've got to find a way out."

At that moment, the stairs broke under the weight of somebody trying to escape. The nest of rats had been disturbed, and so the maimed girl and I took off running. We managed to find a small perch, that looked more like a crawlspace, we deemed it safe and we climbed up. Twenty or so people climbed up after us. We watched as the river of rats ran their course on the ground below. It was dark, and no one seemed to have cell service in order to call for help.

The girl's skin continued to flame up, and we all felt helpless. But the more her skin irritated, the more bristly she became. She began to yell at people and beat them with a club she had found. They finally kicked her off the platform and made her sit on the floor. The walls and columns were still buzzing with the sound of rodents, but we figured that if we didn't disturb them, we would be fine.

It's then that I remembered that I had Colin's phone. I pulled it out, and while there was no cell service, I happened to notice that he had just been looking up articles on the very skin disease that the girl below me was suffering from. As I read the stories of ladies who had been cured by the disease, I opened my mouth to speak to her but someone hit me and I dropped the phone and my own purse.

Not wanting to leave the safety of the platform, I tried to reach for it, but couldn't. A girl beside me took to task by using an elaborate contraption she made out of string and bobby pins, got the phone back up but not my purse. We watched as the girl on the floor slept, and her skin began to lose the angry red.

"I think it calms down if she isn't mad or scared," I explained to her.

"Then we best not wake her," my new friend stated.

We decided that we couldn't stay on the platform for the rest of the night. We had to get back above ground. So, without disturbing the sick girl, we decided to find the stairs that we had used to enter this underground rat palace.

We slowly climbed from off our perch, not wanting to disturb any of the rats, and made our way back from where we came.

And then, I woke up.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Praying for Moisture

The year before I left for BYU, I remember attending graduation parties in Ohio, trekking through lawns that were saturated, grass sticking to my flip-flop-clad feet.

"Once I go to Utah, I will never had to walk through wet grass again!" I declared. "Utah is a desert. They are in a drought. I will never see rain or wet again."

I mean, look at this map! The really, really wet parts are at the top of mountains. Utahns pray for moisture all. the. time. And they are grateful for the rain! Because water is such a precious resource, I heard before I moved here that they stipulate when you can water your lawn, and how long your showers can be!

Anyway, I was convinced that Utah was a desert and I'd never see another cloudy day. Turns out, I was wrong. Also turns out, that the drought ended that year. (I might take some of the credit for that.)

I remember it raining so much that fall. I would have to walk to campus and would be soaked before finding a chair in my classroom, and then I would shiver during the whole of class as I dried off.

People would get up at church and either thank God for the moisture, or pray for more! Can you believe that? Why would you pray for rainy days?? I happened to like the blue skies, bright sun and DRY weather. And in the WINTER! Why would you pray for snow??? Ugh, I hated that. Sometimes I refused to say "AMEN" at the end of the prayer.

I don't think we've had people praying for moisture much anymore. It feels like it has been a very wet couple of years.

Especially this year. I've lived in Provo for seven years and I have not experienced the amount of moisture, thunderstorms and humidity as we have this year! It's like living in Ohio, with mountains. It's sort of crazy. I will admit, though, that I don't much mind walking through the wet grass. And I really do love thunderstorms.

The past two days have brought two pretty awesome thunderstorms right at the end of the afternoon. The streets will flood... and then a few hours later, there is hardly any evidence of the storm at all. Oh, except the debris blown into the pool. And the cooler weather. Whenever it rains, it feels like the temperature drops about 20 degrees.

The sidewalks had to supplement the canals. The water was just pouring down the street, it was crazy.
I guess I can't really complain that Utah isn't green this year. And I guess this could be a testament that God answers prayers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maimed and Falling Apart

A few days ago, I burnt my mouth. Yes, my whole mouth. Well... the roof of my mouth, especially favoring the left side. It's been tender and sore ever since, so eating other hot foods has not been pleasant and every time I brush my teeth and floss, the roof of my mouth bleeds.

It's kind of gross.

To add to the gross factor, I have no less than 15 bug bites on my legs, one in the crook of my elbow and a few on my foot. They itch, but I have been trying to ignore it. My two-year old hydrocortisone plus (from WalMart) cream, which has been stored in my car and so it is fairly melty, has not been doing a great job. I continue to apply it to the bumps.

I've also been applying it to the random rash that appeared on my left hand, third finger (yes, that finger). It's bright red with a long New Hampshire-shaped blister on it. It itches like a mother, hurts when hot water touches it and is a general nuisance when trying to do anything that requires that finger to touch my middle finger. I assume it is poison ivy. I am counting my blessings in the fact that it hasn't spread. Having poison ivy between your fingers (and toes) is probably one of the worst place -- other than the obvious places -- to get that itchy rash.

To add to all of that, last night when slicing up a red pepper, I sliced my finger as well. With a little pressure, some cold water, Neosporin and a band-aid, there isn't very much wrong with it. But it did hurt last night. The flap of skin is still attached, and it really isn't that deep.

The funny thing? I had just been joking with myself about having fingers wrapped in the enchiladas. I guess I knew that I wasn't cutting the vegetables in the best way possible, but I couldn't be bothered with switching it up -- until I almost lost a finger.

So putting everything together was complicated that I couldn't get my left hand fingers involved too much because I wanted to keep the poison ivy finger out of the mix. And the bleeding finger on my right hand had to be kept elevated and separate too. I was doing everything with seven fingers. Because without the ring finger in the action, the pink is pretty much worthless, too. It was pretty ridiculous.

Today, the cut is looking pretty good, and my other finger isn't itching as bad. The roof of my mouth seems to be healing as well...

Lucky me.

In better news, I got my plane ticket for Scotland! There had been talk about going to Ireland too, but we stuck with Scotland. I'm pretty excited.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Friend, the Pool

The Neighborhood Apartments finally opened up their pool. I've lived here for almost a year, and I didn't actually believe that the pool would ever be open, but I did call a few times... (ok, like four times) and kept asking what the status was. I thought they were just trying to give excuses and were probably going to put it off until next year or something.

But no. On Thursday I got a text from my roommate, first one and then a few hours, another, that said "THE POOL IS OPEN!"

I was sooooo happy, and a little bit surprised and definitely skeptical. But when I got home from the Relief Society Activity that night (we made Halloween cards for the juvenile detention center to send out to family members in October) there was a sign that said that the pool was open!

I happily went and jumped in. Not literally, at first. I'm more of a gradual enter-er.

I've been to the pool everyday (except Sunday) since. And it has been glorious. And I even have a tan. Ok, not a tan. But a tan line! And I smell like chlorine and sunblock. And I wish I were in the pool right now! The pool is a bit small, and it is still really slippery -- Do not lean up against the wall, or you will find yourself unceremoniously on the bottom of the pool and inhaling way more water than you ought to.

On Saturday, we went and bought noodles and rafts. And I hope that they are still there after the summer rainstorm that blew by tonight (ruining my plans for a night swim).

I don't think I have been able to enjoy a pool this much since I was younger and my mom bought us pool passes to the city pool. My sister and I would walk there and spend the entire day over there swimming happily for hours and hours. Even when our lips were blue and the lifeguards were yelling at us to "please leave!" we refused.

There are some songs that still remind me of the days and hours we spent at Troy City Pool. Every time I hear Collective Soul or Savage Garden I'm immediately back to the adult swims where we sat at the edge of the pool waiting to be able to jump in, or at the ghetto snack bar getting licorice ropes or snow cones.

I'm so glad that I have a pool available to me again, and I can't wait to go swimming tomorrow! Eeek! I just love the summer!

How old was Alma the Younger?

In today's Relief Society lesson, we were discussing the responsibility of family members and one of the things that we read mentioned how we are responsible for fasting and praying for our family.

The story about Alma the Younger was then brought up.
The Book of Mormon tells us how the prayers of a father helped a rebellious son return to the ways of the Lord. Alma the Younger had fallen away from the teachings of his righteous father, Alma, and had gone about seeking to destroy the Church. The father prayed with faith for his son. Alma the Younger was visited by an angel and repented of his evil way of living. He became a great leader of the Church. (See Mosiah 27:8–32.)
As we read this, I thought about my uncle who was excommunicated from the church, and then took X amount of years (decades) to come back. And I thought very specifically about my brother who has been struggling since he was 14 with all sorts of problems. And I wondered, How old was Alma the Younger?

Whenever I've read the story about Alma Jr., I always thought of him as a young man. Out and about pranking people... like the rebellious teenager that is being bad just to be bad and tries to get everyone else to laugh at his shenanigans. But he is called Alma the Younger because he is the son of Alma the Elder. So that doesn't mean that he was young, just that he was younger than his father. Obviously.

So my perspective has changed. Perhaps Alma the Elder had been fasting and praying not for just a couple of weeks or months as he saw his son go about and try to draw people away from the Church of Christ, causing problems and making poor decisions. He could have been praying for years. And years. And maybe more years than any parent should have to pray for their wayward children.

I bet Alma the Elder got really frustrated with his son. I bet there were times when he didn't think that he'd ever see the day that his rebellious son would ever get his act together. And I bet he wondered what he did as a parent to make his son behave that certain way.

But you know what? I bet with all that time that Alma the Younger spent fighting against the church and against God, I think he brought a different perspective to the table once he finally realized what he was fighting against.

After all of that praying and fasting, Alma finally saw the light. He repented. And he became a really great man and leader of the church. He could have been fairly old by then. We don't really know. At least I don't, because I'm not much of a scriptorian, and I've never been told otherwise.

And I think, it gave me just a little bit more hope for my brother. Because, even at 21, he has his whole life ahead of him and can get his act together eventually. I think I do have faith that even if he doesn't fully make his way back to church, he can turn his life around and see the benefit of living a fully healthy and productive life. And I know that it will take many more prayers and fasting, but along with that, patience, and faith in the Lord and in him.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Staying Good Forever

Every Sunday (EST) in my Google Reader, I get the newest posts on (PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

Today this was one of the post cards.

For all the members of the church who read my blog, I'm curious as to what you would tell this person if it were someone who were close to you, admitting that they didn't believe they could be "good" or, as I'm interpreting it, faithful in living the gospel "forever". 

I guess I wonder what the thing or things are that are enticing him/her to think that eventually they will stray... But I guess that isn't really my business anyway. 

I would tell them something along the lines of:

We will all screw up. We all make mistakes. But we have to keep going, keep trying to be the best we can be. And in the end... I don't think there will be nearly as many regrets as we imagine there will be. It will be worth it. It has to be worth it. You. Can. Do. It.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brad Armstrong + Julia Wood

Brad Armstrong and Julia Wood are romantically linked in a new report.

"They've been known to be awfully cozy," claims a close acquaintance. According to the source, Armstrong and Wood are "a thing" and have been for weeks, but are determined to keep their relationship a secret.

Another so-called "source" claims that the relationship has been "hot and heavy for a while."

A source close to Armstrong tells us that the story is “not true,” and that he’s “totally single,” and an insider for Wood may say the same. Armstrong himself has been quoted in saying, "We like each other but we aren't anything special." After all, they are well-known best friends.

Rumors report that the two are planning a weekend trip together to his family reunion at the beginning of next month. Those interested will be watching closely to see if the "hot and heavy" rumors are true, and if Armstrong is just a player just trying to keep it all on the down-low.

After all, Armstrong has been known to be sort of havey-cavey, anyway.

Let us know what you think of the news.

Blog Stalking

Blog stalking is something that most people who write blogs are perfectly fine with. As a blogger, I love the anonymous, and not so anonymous comments. I check and see if someone exotic has looked at my blog recently. And I revel in the moments when an acquaintance mentions something about something I've written.

And, as a blogger, I censor the things that I want to share with the world versus the things that I would rather keep private. Sometimes I share too much... but for the most part, I've created an online persona that I can deal with, and released information enough that I am not embarrassed or ashamed or anything about revealing. Every once in a while I think, "Why did I share that?" But then, it doesn't always seem to matter because the number of strangers that read my blog is rather small.

As I blogger, I understand that other bloggers have done much the same as I have. They've created their online characters and given glimpses into their personal lives, revealing with what they can live with and leaving us in the dark on many other important topics.

And that's where the true stalking comes in to play. After all, it isn't really stalking if you're just reading something that someone's posted on their public blog. It is stalking if you've noticed something about that person, but have no evidence to back it up and so you go searching for other clues.


You read an old acquaintance's blog because it is funny and entertaining and it is fun to see where he (or she) is headed to next. You happen to know -- because you saw photo evidence on their blog or Facebook or wherever -- that they got married some years ago. And yet, you've noticed that their blog, and not even their Facebook, has shown any evidence that the marriage took place since the wedding pictures have been posted. There are always the blogs that go on and on about how great the DH is (I have always assumed that stands for "dear husband", can someone verify that for me?) or status updates about what you and the husband have been doing? Or that the wife is angry or.... whatever.

There's usually not nothing.

So does that mean there was a divorce?

Since it is really none of my business, it seems completely out of place to even ask. It seems sneaky and underhanded and gossipy -- in a very bad way -- to ask a mutual friend. And you know that if they had wanted to make it public, they probably would have written about it.

But that's just an example. There are other bloggers that may promise a follow-up on a rather personal story, but then never follow through. It's easy to forget about the things you are going to write about, so it's a possibility of having just slipped the writer's mind. On the other hand, they might have thought better of their intention to disclose their personal life, and decided not to post. In those cases, it seem like the reader can acceptably ask about the author's intentions, but then again, it also sounds a little stalkerish.

I guess what I'm getting at, is there is a line between blog author and reader. And most people, while dying to get to the nitty-gritty information, are not going to cross the line into prying. At least, I'm not. But it's still killing me that I don't know the answers!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meet Jeeves, My Chauffeur

A few days ago, Louise (my vehicle) decided she no longer liked her ignition switch. Now, sometimes during the winter, she didn't want to start up and resent the key being jammed into the ignition, and I understood that. It's cold in the winter, and I hate having to wake up, too. But in the middle of the summer? No, thanks, Louise. She already is temperamental about the driver side door -- which sticks and jams and is a general pain in the butt whenever it is over 90 degrees.

Anyway, as I was driving around, delivering cupcakes on Tuesday, Louise decided she had had enough. I couldn't turn the key in order to turn off my car. I left it running while delivering to the last houses, but once I got back to my apartment, I forced the thing to shut off, and couldn't get it to turn back on.

We called James and told him to come over and see if there was anything he could do. He could do something! He managed to turn the car on, not once but THREE times. None of the rest of us were able to accomplish even that much. He promised that he would drive me to work in the morning, or anywhere I needed to go until Louise straightened up and then returned for the evening.

When I went out to start Louise the next morning, I was hoping that she had gotten over her little grudge towards me, but no dice. I called my dad to let him know what was going on. I called my favorite mechanic in the Provo/Orem area: EP Auto, and I called one other mechanic recommended by EP. Of course, Dad can't help me from Ohio, and the mechanics both claimed they were too busy to see my car until middle of next week. So I called Andrew who has a fabulous mechanic. Up in Salt Lake.

As promised, James came over and rescued me. He got my car started so I could get gas, and then started it again at the gas station, and we headed up to see Bill of Rockport Auto in Salt Lake City. Bill recently broke several ribs and had only one operating arm, but he assured me that he could have the problem fixed by the end of the day or early today, and sure enough, he called me this morning to say that it was done.

Not only did he get it done in record time, but he didn't charge me very much, and for that I am very grateful.

While I was without my car, James dropped me off at work and then picked me up. Yesterday, he picked me up from work and drove me to dinner with the FTC. We met at La Jolla Groves. It was... good. But I won't say that it was the best thing I've ever eaten. The atmosphere is really cute (and fancy-ish). And it was fun to see Kati and Meghan...and then watch Kati chase Meghan with her (cute) pregnant belly.

If you ever need a personal driver, I recommend James. He has a pretty decent taste in music. He's very prompt. He will literally take you anywhere you need to go. He does drive like a Californian, so... be warned of that.

For a Thank You and for James' birthday, I took him to Thaifoon. I was super disappointed to find out that they had removed my FAVORITE dish. I didn't love what I got (some pineapple, mango chicken and shrimp dish... it was OK, just not the Mahi Mahi that I wanted). We had free appetizers and enjoyed the coconut shrimp and potstickers. James liked his Mongolian beef. And I liked our spring roll dessert. I got two more stamps in my frequent diner card, but I'm afraid that I won't get the rest... I just don't know. That Mahi Mahi is my favorite. Dear Thaifoon managers, please bring back the Lemoncrusted Mahi Mahi.....


After dinner, James and I walked back to our respective cars. I sat down and put my key in the newly graphite-d ignition switch, and....nothing. NOTHING! Oh no! What did I do? Did I leave a light on? I called James to tell him not to leave the parking lot so that he could come jump me. He turned around, confusing the parking attendants and proved his manhood by being able to put the jumper cables in the right spots and... nothing! EEK!

It took two tries and then.... I remembered. I had done something that I haven't done in seven years. The last time I had this problem, I was living at the University Villa and not one single guy there knew anything about cars.

Louise has this security feature, that if you remove, you are not going to get the car started. No matter what you do -- even if you hot wire her, she's not going to start. I had taken it out and put it in my purse.


After I remembered, everything was good to go. Poor James. At least he doesn't have to be my driver... until Louise's next temper tantrum.

Jeeves, aka James

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Neopologize Cupcakes

Sometimes things don't go as planned and a big "THANK YOU!" and an "I really need to apologize" opportunity presents itself.

Of course, you want to place all the blame on a certain someone, but that isn't entirely fair. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I guess there are some things that I should have done, and should have thought of... but I didn't, and so things moved forward and several people were put on the spot to make something happen.

In order to, erhm... clear my name, as well as -- and most importantly -- thank and say mea culpa to these people, I decided to make cupcakes. So around 8:30 p.m., I went shopping for all the ingredients. I don't know what it is about cupcakes, though, I think I am going to blame the millions of cupcake shows on TV (I watched TV-TV for the first time tonight in over a month, so I doubt that's the real reason), but whenever I make cupcakes, I feel like I have to make it a big production.

An example of this would be the Cardiac Partiac. Where we made close to nine boxes of cupcakes in GIANT muffin pans...

Anyway, I started baking my Neapolitan cupcakes (stolen from an idea I found on making the three different kinds of batter at 9:00 p.m.; I had to stop and run to get more eggs at the store; and then continued to bake until who knows? Making 24 cupcakes at a time for 15-18 minutes, times three separate batters (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) equals somewhere just past midnight to finish baking.

Of course, by then, I was tired, but I wanted to get everything done. So I started frosting. Only, I couldn't find my cake tips (!) and so I just had to use a regular bag.... and then I remembered I had bought coconut to put on top, so I had to toast the coconut.

Around 1:30 a.m., I realized what I was making: Neopologizing (Nee-o-pologizing.... as in "Nee(d) (t)o (be) (a)pologizing...) cupcakes!


In order to make sure everyone understood what they were, I decided to make these cute little flags that I have seen on other baking websites. So up to my computer to print the label, find the glue-sticks and get to creating!

By 2:30 a.m., I had the majority of my little flags created, so downstairs I went and inserted them in ALL the cupcakes.

And then, I was really tired... so I had to make sure the cupcakes were kept covered, so they didn't dry out. Out came the plastic wrap.

For the record: I HATE plastic wrap. Such a pain.

By 4:00 a.m. (see, plastic wrap.... wretched), I was ready to go to bed. I tried to clean up a little bit, but I couldn't focus.

By 5:00 a.m., I was in bed, hoping beyond hope that 3.5 hours is enough sleep to last the day. It's already midnight again, and I feel like I've done really well today, considering!

I hope that the cupcakes did their job, and that with the thank you cards I attached to them, they understood that I was grateful they were there to take over and do what needed to be done at the time. I still feel pretty bad -- and let's face it, angry -- about the whole situation.

So, again, mea culpa and I'm done Neopologizing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Neville Longbottom

I have this thing for underdogs. And minor characters that in my head have a much more important part in the plot than they actually do. I have always really loved Neville (from Harry Potter, c'mon, guys), and I was so happy to see him get his chance to shine in the final book.

And in a way, life is mirroring art, because if you look at this cute kid:

Who grew into this kid:

Who then, somehow turned into this:

He's a total stud now. Just like the character he plays in Harry Potter, Neville. Which, can I just say, I'm really excited to be seeing the movie this weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gossip Train

Oh, one last thing for today...

It shouldn't be any big surprise to anyone that I don't mind being talked about. There's a reason I have a Facebook, Twitter and a blog. Ok, numerous blogs.

So I loved it when it got back to me that someone told someone who told someone who told someone that I was probably interested in a guy because I had... *GASP* texted him this weekend.
That's right, folks, you are now not allowed to text anyone without having your motives questioned. Or maybe it was always like that for most people. I guess I've just never had my motives questioned before.


The truth is, there are a few guys in my ward that I think are pretty funny... so when I texted him and said that I was trying to become his best friend, I wasn't being entirely ironic.

But do I like him?! As in, like like him? I mean, that's what everyone wants to know, right?

For the record, I texted TWO of the boys in that apartment. One just happened to be out of town and couldn't dish to the rest of the roomies that I had "made contact."

The truth is, I wouldn't know if I liked either of them, because I barely know them. In fact, I don't know that I've had more than two full conversations with either of them. So, do I think they are funny? Yes. Do I think they seem like cool guys? Yes. Do I like them? Sure. I just want to get to know them and become better friends with them seeing as how the majority of my friends have moved out of state/country, moved on or married.

Basically what I'm saying is, I'm on the prowl, guys -- So watch out!! And don't quit talking about me, because I love it.

Minute to Win It Games - Bollschweiler Style

I am not a huge fan of the Minute to Win It Games... but when Grandma (or a birthday person *cough*JEN*cough*) request/demand that I participate, I'm down.

Of course, playing a game with the Bollschweilers is always risky. Usually everyone is screaming and yelling. Sometimes we draw blood. And ALWAYS we cheat. What can I say, it's in the genes.

In this video, we see evidence that the youngest brother, Uncle Allen, and his spawn only exemplifies the tradition of cheating. Luckily, Brad is pretty easy going and still manages to put up a good fight, despite Gabe's lack of respect for the rules. We were impressed with the way the asthmatic beat everyone out in his round, but it only took video evidence to show that we were placing our trust in the wrong person.

We declared Brad the winner by default. If you cheat, you have to at least pretend to be sneaky about it!

Oh, and here's proof that I played too:
I would have won, too, if I hadn't had to STOP and hand my mom the camera so that this lovely picture could take place. Oh the sacrifices I make!

A Party A Party A Party

I took some videos of Kelsie while she was in town. That girl cracks me up. She certainly has a cute sense of humor and says the darndest things.

She was playing with our Peep Show, mostly because it was the only thing that resembled toys in our apartment.

We (my roommate and I) really miss her around the house. Come visit us any time, little girl!

Baked Potato + Vegetables = Delicious

I haven't overhauled my diet completely, but I have been trying to make a more conscious effort to eat more fruits and vegetables everyday instead of other.... garbage. I'm in no way becoming a vegetarian, but I am pretty sold on the idea of doing several vegetarian meals during the week, and limiting meat intake to become more of a side dish instead of a main course. (That is, unless I ever get the idea in my head to make a meal for a man... because I know that men are carnivorous.)

My good friend Kira made a dinner a few months ago that she discovered on that involved a baked potato, bell peppers, and zucchini. She stir fried the vegetables with olive oil and soy sauce, and it was really delicious. I vowed never to smother my baked potato in cheese and sour cream ever again.

So I had the intention of recreating the meal a few nights ago when I realized that I had used all my bell peppers for my stir fry (that I had made the night before -- which means, yes, I cooked myself a dinner, a real dinner two nights in a row). Anyway, I looked through my fridge and decided to try something a little different.

While my potato was cooking (in the microwave), I put some broccoli on to steam. I cut up the zucchini, a tomato and a jalapeno and threw it in a skillet with olive oil that had dehydrated onions already mixed in. Topping it with salt, pepper and a little bit of garlic... WAH-LAH! It was a culinary masterpiece.

I did put cheese on my potato.... but I don't know that it was entirely necessary.

Friday, July 08, 2011

A slap in the face

I've been slapped in the face before. (I posted about that here.) So while this particular "slap in the face" is not literal, the pain is quite.

It is a well-known fact that as you grow up and move on, friendships that were extremely tight get pulled taught with the distance. My parents have been friends with a family that lived in Ohio nearly 20 years ago. They're still good friends, even though they don't see each other but once every few years. It isn't like they talk on the phone once a week or even communicate online. But still, the relationship remains.

I have a little bit of impatience for people who allow friendships to completely disintegrate because you happen to move across town from each other -- heaven forbid, one of you moves across the States or to a different country! With cell phones, email and Facebook, it's nearly impossible to not stay connected. It almost seems to take more of an effort to disappear from a person's life, then it does to send well wishes and a hello.

I'm not perfect. I still owe my friend, Kate, a phone call. She called me before Independence Day, and I haven't gotten back to her. Except, oh wait, we've emailed a couple of times. But even when I go months without talking to Kate or Sabrina or any number of people that have been my good friends, I find that the relationship remains strong. But I think that is because when we do communicate, you can still feel the love and concern we have for each other.

When you move, and the people you used to see everyday are not as accessible, it is then that you realize how important you were to these people. Some, it turns out, were just casual acquaintances that you had a good time with. Others are people that touched your life, did their part and are now moved on. There are the people who, like my parents and their friends, you will continue to keep in touch and want to know what is going on in their lives, but the hanging out and constant contact generally stops.

And then there's the true soul mate -- I'm not talking romantically. Just your best friend soul mate. The kind of friendship that you anticipate lasting until you're 90. The one where you just know that your kids will call them Aunt/Uncle, even though their are no blood ties. From the moment you meet them, the talk is easy, spanning topics from gossip to church to relationships, fears, goals, dreams, ambitions, weird confessions, the absurd... it doesn't matter what you are talking about, but the talking never ends. The fun never ends. When you are together, you laugh and giggle and it's just...enjoyable. You survive the "trip test" (managing a road trip without driving each other crazy). You argue and disagree, but somehow it makes your relationship stronger. They accept you for who you are, 100%, flaws and all. And you do the same for them. They become such an intricate and full part of your life. You miss them the second they are gone.

Which brings me to: the slap.

At some point, you may realize that this relationship was mostly one-sided. Whatever enjoyment and fulfillment you were getting, it is obviously not reciprocated. They move one, without thinking twice about you. About your friendship. The distance is deliberate. Not from the passage of time, but from a choice to move on and find new friends. You have served your purpose. And now they're gone.

That feeling that you had no effect on them at all, when they meant the world to you... it's one of the most inexplicably sad of feelings. After all that time, after all that shared confidence... it's all for naught.

My relationship with my best friend of nearly twelve years ended this way just before I graduated high school. I cried. A lot. I wanted her to fight for our friendship, so that it could last for another twelve years, and to her, it wasn't worth it.

I swore to myself I would never be in a relationship like that again. I didn't want to waste my time being in a one-sided relationship. But when you're having so much fun, sharing so many confidences and there's not much evidence that it is all one-sided, it's hard to get out before the pain. So here I sit, broken-hearted once again.

I'm trying not to hold on as hard as I did the last time. Already, there's no more Facebook friendship, I've stopped following on Twitter. Social networking is not going to flaunt in my face how this person has moved on. And I'm going to get over the fact that I am so easily replaced.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

My Love Nest

Sometimes, it's nice when married people are concerned about my love... my lack of a... love life. I mean, it can be overbearing, and you definitely get people that harp on you about things that are beyond your control. But when someone shows a general desire to see you getting some action, it's just thoughtful. I guess.

It's flattering when those people, who want to see you out having an enjoyable time, imagine that you are doing just that. They pretend not to know that you were up at 3 a.m. reading -- not bump and grinding with twelve different guys. In their mind, your social life is a lot more active than what it really is, because they can't imagine that you stay up that late doing anything but partying.

So Kevin comes in at the beginning of the week, wondering how the concert was that I attended on Friday. I had been working on a proposal, but the concert started at 8 p.m., so I decided to take off. He asked, "Did you meet any guys, take them home and rip their clothes off?" I laughed. "'Cause that's what women do at concerts."

I neglected to tell him that it was a Beatles' cover night. There was no molestation of any kind. Although, I did bump into an old friend, who is looking very fine indeed. I'm not saying that I want to "rip his clothes off" or anything, but....

And then Kevin comes in from lunch today and is like, "Why do you have a blanket in the back seat of your car? I remember why I used to keep blankets in the back seat of my car."

"You never know when they come in handy," I reply.

Of course, they come in handy when I decide to take my book and go to a park, roll up my pants and sit in the sun to read and eat my lunch. They also come in handy if your car breaks down in the middle of the winter and you have to wait for hours for someone to come rescue you. (That has never happened to me. Yet.) It's always good to be prepared.

And then as I'm standing at the top of the stairs, talking to Wes and Rob, I hear, "Shelli!" And it kind of startled me, and reminded me of what my dad sounds like when he's yelling at me. (He doesn't really ever yell at me. Especially now that I'm so mature.) "Your windows are down and it's starting to sprinkle. Your love nest is going to get all wet."

I went down immediately to roll up my windows. If anybody wants to join me in my love nest (after the thunderstorms are finished rolling through) let me know. I've kept it safe from the rain.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Patriotic Blog

I just updated the ole blog to celebrate the Fourth of July. I feel like I'm not a true patriot, and that's something I really want to work on, because I really love our country. Even if I do disagree with most of the politics that are around...

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.  ~Benjamin Franklin

My God!  How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!  ~Thomas Jefferson

Friday, July 01, 2011

Let's Make Each Other Fat - Beacuse it's Romantic!!

There are some people that are extremely too self-conscious about what other people think about them. Some, like my brother, think that people are constantly watching. But others, live in their own little world and don't stop to think that if they are going to sit down in the front lawn of somebody's house (or business), there's a good chance that they are being watched.

Such was the case this morning when a young couple, she with a bow in her hair, he barely filling out his supposed-to-be skin-tight shirt, sat down in the front lawn to feed each other doughnuts. They looked to be about 12 years old, but I'm sure they were just BYU students enjoying the summer morning.

"Let's sit in somebody's front lawn, and make each other fat! Here, let me shove this doughnut in your face, because it's romantic!" Rob taunted.

Such things are not tolerated in our office. They are heckled and laughed at. We watched as she used a napkin to wipe the corner of his mouth, and then tucked a different napkin into the collar of his shirt to make a bib. Then one of the guys opened the window and.... I don't even know how to describe the noise that was emitted from the upstairs window.


The girl looked up in unadulterated shock and then started laughing. She looked towards the windows, but I'm sure she didn't see anything. A few minutes passed, and the sound again. The couple tried to ignore it, but it was difficult to do. She laughed through the whole thing. As did I -- at her.

When they stood to leave, Rob and Steve stood on the stairs and watched him stretch.

"Steven, he's skinnier you!" Rob said. "That's supposed to one of those skin tight shirts, and it's like a cape on him."
"Maybe he's Superman," Steven retorted.
"Maybe he's Superman," Rob agreed.

Honestly, it was much too cutesy for me. All it did was reaffirm that I have got to get out of Provo. But I am grateful for the early morning entertainment.

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