Friday, September 29, 2006

Crushing on you

Today I called my sister's house to wish her oldest daughter a belated happy birthday. Nine years old with newly pierced ears and a chic short hair cut to boot!

Before calling I was feeling pretty down because of my week of disasters (mentioned in my previous post), so when I started talking to my sister, I broke down crying and I vented to her (since cyber-venting just isn't enough). It's always good to talk to family and have someone understand me and soothe me. But what really cheered me up was when she put me on the phone with her 5 year old daughter. When I asked her what her favorite subject in school was, she replied "snack time!" wherein she launched into telling me about getting different kinds of milk in different kinds of cartons. Strawberry, Chocolate or white milk. Oh the days when milk could be considered a subject...

When I got back on with my sister she told me the funniest story about that same little one.

Today she came home from school and said, "Mom, all the boys were crushing on me."

"What does that mean Emily?"

"Well, it means they chase me around the playground. Sometimes the girls chase the boys and sometimes the boys chase the girls."

"What happens if you catch the boys?"

"Oh, they're always faster than us."

"What happens if they catch you?"

"They squeeze us around the middle until we call out to the teacher to tell on them."

I "crushed on" boys in kindergarten and first grade. But my main "squeeze" that I loved to pin down and kiss all over was Steven Reidhead. He moved away in second grade. I guess I came on a little too strong...

When I told my sister this she said, "I think that kissing's not allowed at school. It's part of sexual harassment." "Oh, and squeezing girls so tight around the middle till they call for the teacher isn't as bad as kissing?"

"I'm pretty sure that's against the rules too."

Why I never want to be a small business owner

My boss has been out of town now for almost a week and I've in essence been doing his job (owning and running 2 similar small businesses simultaneously). Not really my cup of tea I tell you. It seems like people are continually mad, annoyed, put out, etc. by what I say, do, and not do.

The following is a list of things I struggled with this week.
  • Having to forfeit my paycheck until the owner gets back in town because a carpet installer HAD to be paid by check at the end of his job yesterday. I only had enough signed checks for payroll.
  • Having a flood job gone bad wherein we caused secondary damage to the already damaged floor. I don't know anything about floods or flooring, but I do know that cutting the price in half for them (which is what we had to do) is not good for our business.
  • One night I locked up the office and was going to have the tech just lock up his stuff in the work van when he got back late that night. I'd asked him if he had everything he needed out of the house so I could lock up when I left. He said he did, but he'd in fact he'd left his keys and motorcycle helmet inside. He ended up staying here over night and sleeping in the van because he didn't have a phone with him to call anyone. (He really was quite daft on this many possible solutions with better results than sleeping the van. Walk a mile to a gas station to use a pay phone, drive the work van home and come back early the next day, ask a neighbor if he could use their phone, etc., etc.).
  • That same tech trying to "break in" to the office (located in the garage of the owner's house) to retrieve his helmet and keys. He eventually ended up completely jacking up the door. So much, in fact, I'm getting a garage door company to come and hopefully fix it today. I don't know if employee stupidity is covered under warranty.
  • Having the two techs (who are extremely nice and polite) try to be understanding of the problems that have arisen, but are understandably testy and frustrated with the entire week.
  • Having to call and email my boss, even though he expressly told us to not call or email about the business if at all possible. I've only been working here 3 months! I tried to let him have a worry free vacation, but for heaven's sake, I don't know everything!
  • Having stupid VOIP phones--internet phone service, which completely SUCKS. It's continually dropping calls, cutting out, echoing, static. Yes you get unlimited long distance, but that's no way to run a business.
  • Having a customer annoyed with me because the office didn't open at 7 AM to take her call to change her appointment. Who opens their office at 7 AM anyway?
  • I don't like being in charge of important information or people's livelihoods and/or schedules. I feel like I'm ruining people's lives.
  • I've been driving his wife's car since we have only one car. Without it I couldn't have worked the schedule he wanted because I'd have to drop off and pick up Matt. Anyway, I almost got side swiped yesterday on the freeway. I was in a guy's blind spot (or he just didn't look before moving into my lane). I had to swerve to miss being in a wreck. However, that made me overcorrect and start to fishtail 4-5 times. Scary.
He comes back on Tuesday night at which time I think I may quit. Or maybe just request to have a sabbatical... Well, maybe I should just ask for Wednesday off.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mid-week Svithe: The Gift of Gab

Today one of my brothers (who shall remain anonymous) sent out a family email with the opening line:

"I will spare all the detail you would have received if this was a message from Celia."

I found it to be quite humorous, though I wasn't sure if it was a compliment or a complaint. My grandma says I have the "gift of gab." I've decided that it's quite possible it's a gift of the spirit, so I will try to use it for good rather than evil...

Meaning I will try to have some short posts in addition to my long- winded posts so I'm not so overwhelming for you succinct people out there. But I can't promise anything.

Friday, September 22, 2006

So what do you think?

With all this baby talk buzzing around, I thought I'd throw in my contribution to the conversation. The past couple of weeks we've been doing some fertility testing to "check out the plumbing" as my Grandma so gingerly put it. (I love you Grandma!)

We've both gone through round 1 of tests and we'll be discussing the results with the specialist on October 10th. So I, of course, feel it necessary to prepare myself and figure out all of our possibilities if the outcome is not favorable. I'm really, really, really interested to know what everyone (personally known or not) thinks about the different options.

Since we're still not sure if it is me, him or both of us, I've been considering all possibilities. Some of the more controversial things like finding a surrogate mother or using a sperm donor have crossed my mind. And if we were to actually consider a sperm donor, the question then is, "someone we know (someone in his family? or a good friend maybe?) or some random Joe?" I'm curious to hear what other people have to say about these two options. I don't want to reveal my opinions quite yet because I don't want to taint the comments. I know it's not your every day water-cooler topic of conversation, but I really would like to know what you think. And though I love knowing who's saying what, feel free to comment anonymously if you feel you must.

Obviously adoption is an option. I'm very open to this and if anyone has tips about LDS adoption services or any other adoption service, or adoption in general. I'm all ears.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Allergies beyond Achoo

What is the oddest thing about Celia? Well I'll tell you. Cold Urticaria. That means I'm allergic to the cold. It's true. And I'm not just talking sub-zero temperatures here. It's pretty much anything below 70 degrees. 70 degrees! Most people think paradise hovers around 70. Not I, dear friends, not I. (My paradise is pretty much between 78-82 degrees, so long as there's no cold breeze.) My husband's paradise is around 65-70*! Luckily he's a penny pincher so we keep our own A/C at 79*. ;0D

I first noticed this oddity around age 14. It was June 18, 1995 to be exact. My brother had just gotten married in SLC, and we were on our way home--7 people, a compact car, and a 2 passenger diesel pickup truck. It was a rather unfortunate 9 hour drive from Provo to Snowflake as our luck turned sour 7 hours into the trip. It was dark, we were on the Reservation, and our car's transmission went out. Or at least that's what I remember.

The next day I wrote in my journal, "I never thought you could fit 7 people in a 2 passenger truck for 2 hours. There were 4 people inside with me, Nate, and Dad in the back. That was the longest, coldest, two hours of my life. It was awful."

Northern Arizona nights, even summer nights, cool off quite rapidly. Though we were driving across the Reservation, we were not prepared to do it "reservation style". We had only light jackets and swimming towels to cover us. At 60 mph with wind ripping through you and while sitting in a metal truck, a towel seems rather flimsy. It was then that I first noticed rashy bumps on my elbows and knees. Not many, but some. But oh would it get worse as the years go by!

My allergy hit its peak around my senior year. It was a bit disturbing for me to arrive at school with a fat lip from hives. One vivid hive-induced memory was changing clothes after playing in the snow with friends. Despite having had on multiple layers, gloves, and a hat, as I stripped out of my wet clothes, I discovered my entire body was covered in quarter size (and larger) hives. Itchy hives. Welts even. Luckily they disappear anywhere from 1/2 hour to an hour after my body has warmed up again. They can last up to 24 hours with some people.

The progression is usually the same with me. It will often start on my feet, hands, elbows and knees. Those are soon followed by the skin under my chin, my lips and my stomach. From there it tends to move to my hind end, and then to my arms and legs.

You might think it fortunate to live in TX, wouldn't you? Well, just think this: How many stores, churches, houses, etc. have their A/C around 70*? Too many for my little body. Even walking down the frozen food aisle or carrying a gallon of milk through the store can start the itching that precedes the welts.

As odd and annoying as that may be, I really would choose it over some other allergies. I knew a girl that would go into anaphylactic shock if she ate anything that had even touched tomatoes. And all those peanut people who's throats constrict and stop their air flow. Yes, it could definitely be worse.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A bit embarassed

After my second piano student left for the day, I came in a said in my normal voice (which we've established is not so soft), "I get a bit stressed out when parents are sitting in on the lesson." Only to have Matt remind me that all of our windows are open and that they could almost positively hear me say that.

Matt started laughing and when he heard the car doors shut he said, "I feel embarassed for you."

Oy. Hope it's not a big deal.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Taming the beast

After seeing me in this humid climate, some would think this title is referencing my hair. But alas, I am speaking of my disdain for people telling me what to do. I've always had issues with people treating me like I'm inferior, commanding me to do things. I had a few rows with a few teachers in High School over this. Well, only one really. And I quite liked him, but we had our moments.

As most of you probably remember, 6 large sections of our fence blew down in a storm about a month ago. We fixed the majority of the fence to the best of our ability without a professional fence builder. It still looks like the wolf could take it out with a huff and a puff. But we really are trying. There are three damaged slats left for us to replace in the front, but we figured putting up the large sections of the fence should come first. On Friday I was thinking, "we should get last few slats up soon." And on Saturday we got our HOA Gestapo letter.

We are apparently violating X to the Y in our contract and must come in compliance immediately. And while we're at it, we have to edge our yard. You know, because mowing it isn't sufficient. How dare a little grass touch the sidewalk?! In all reality we've been planning on getting an edger, but we just don't have it in our budget yet. Hospital, ambulance, house payments, food, etc. come before weed whacker in my world. And a good half the houses in our neighborhood don't mow let alone edge their grass. I really don't think our house should be concidered an eyesore in this neighborhood.

I don't have a problem with people asking me nicely to do things. Had they said, "Hey, we noticed you had some fence problems with the last wind storm. Do you think you could get that taken care of as soon as you can? Thanks." I think I would have not been so annoyed. I just hate people commanding me like they're my superior, especially when I know they live two doors down from me.

When we were putting back up our fence I jokingly said to our neighbor, the HOA Nazi, "It might just be easier to tear the whole thing down." He replied in all seriousness, "Yeah, but then you'd have to bring your backyard up to compliance since it would be visible from the street."

Ok Mr. Man. We'll do it. Just don't gun me down please.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I have been trying to view my blog all day and it keeps telling me it doesn't exist. I can, however, log into it. I just can't view it. Hopefully this won't last long.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Customer Service

Last week I went to lunch with three of my girlfriends. It was a rainy day and we were in the mood for something light yet satisfying, so we headed to Olive Garden for their Soup, Salad and Breadsticks lunch special.

Two of us ordered water and the special. Two of us ordered lemonade and the special. After which our waiter comments, "Eatin' on a budget, hu?" with a slightly annoyed tone. What?! As a former server I was slightly taken aback at this comment. Through out our meal he kept our waters filled, but he made a couple more comments that seemed off to me. He also seemed a bit miffed at the end that we wanted to pay with 4 separate credit cards.

So what would have done?:

1. same tip as planned
2. reduced tip from what you had planned
3. no tip
4. call the manager

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Labor of Love

The extent of my video game playing in my childhood consisted of an old atari that had a total of about 6 games. Pac Man, Donkey Kong Jr., Dungeons and Dragons (I think that was it anyway, I wasn't allowed to play that one) and a few other classics. It was fun while it lasted, but that grew quite outdated and by the time I was in high school I was fairly anti-video game. I didn't really see the point and there always seemed something better and more productive to do. Practice the piano, read a book, hang out with friends. Most anything seemed more entertaining to me than gaming.

Then enters my dear husband into my life, a man who lives and breaths computer games (and would program them if he'd had an in into the industry). I didn't really get his love for gaming, but I couldn't really get on him for it since he'd do everything he needed to. He had a 4.0 GPA most semesters so I couldn't complain. In the first year of our marriage he started playing a game called World of Warcraft. It's an MMORPG and 1000 x's more demanding and addicting. (If you thought Mormons had a lot of acronyms, try gaming.)

Fast forward two years and I found myself playing as well. I played for a year, got my character to lvl 60 (Horde: troll mage on a PvP server), but I found that to keep playing a lvl 60 required hours of commitment to a group every night, and I wasn't willing to do that. So I started a second character and played to level 30 then decided to break away from WoW while I could. 4 months later Matt's signed me up again to help him out. He needed my druid leveled to 60, so I find myself playing again. Level 38.

Interesting the things you'll do for love. Things you never imagined in you'd be doing or saying in your entire life. "My druid." Did I really just say that? I'm no longer the just the wife of a computer nerd, I'm turning into one myself...

Svithe: A Christian Cult of Salesmen

First: An explination of Svithe: It's a pormanteau: a fusion of two words, seven and tithe. If a tithe is the tenth given to God, then a svithe is the seventh given to God.

Recently I heard a friend of a friend refer to Mormons as being, "A Christian cult of salesmen." I immediately began to bristle, feeling a little defensive. When I hear the word "cult" I often think of extremist groups that commit mass suicide and do harmful things to self or others. "Salesmen" can also be used as a derogatory term (used car salesmen tend to be thought of as slick and underhanded people, trying to swindle you). So to put those two together and say that I was a part of something so offensive, it was a bit disturbing. (But hey, on the bright side, they did say we were Christian. hehe.) But after awhile I decided it was not worth being offended. I just hope the people who come in contact with me don't walk away with that same sentiment.

Obviously everyone has different experiences (or no experience) with and opinions of "Mormons." Many people confuse us with the Amish. Others think we practice polygamy with tons of wives and gynormous families. Some think we're over zealous and a excessive in our rules and regulations. Some think that we have a great built in support system and structure. Some think we're a little too perky and a bit naive. Some don't lend a thought nor a care as to who we are or what we believe, and to them we are just another religious faction of which they want no part. I think we're a group of relatively normal (what is normal, really?) people trying to do what we think is right.

As for being a group of salesmen, I could see why someone would think of it that way. We do have a very concentrated and conscious missionary program. But I really don't think the majority of Mormons (members and missionaries alike) share the gospel with some hope of profit for themselves (as I would imagine a salesman would do). I really do believe the majority share it with others because they believe it to be good and true--something that could bring a lot of happiness, meaning and direction into the lives of others. I guess there could be some misguided people who want to "up the numbers" or who want to "play the part" of what a "good Mormon" should be, but hopefully that's the exception and not the rule.

Matt and I were speculating the other day about what it would be like if we were wrong and that this is the end, no heaven, no God, nothing. That when we die we're done. It's an interesting thought since a large majority of us claim that we "know that this gospel is true" and that within that gospel we do believe in God, Christ, a pre-mortal existence, and a post-mortal existence. I live it because it makes sense to me. It feels right. I feel like my life is made better because of it. I have direction and purpose. And because I've had experiences to lead me to say that I do know it's true.

But if, in the end, we were wrong and this was it, well, I guess I'd never know the difference. I'd not stew about it for the non-existent eternity being mad at myself for believing such fallacious ideas. In the end I'd have lived a life I believed to be good and wholesome and then I would just cease to be. I would have lived a life free of addictive substances (unless you count all that sour stuff we mentioned in previous post) filled with family and love and relatively little contention. I'll take it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Movie Mania

When we left Provo we were a little sad to leave behind one of our only sources of cheap entertainment--the dollar theaters. Sure you had to wait until the movie was released on video. Sure you didn't have great seating. But it was a movie, on a big screen, for just $1! I mean, for that price you could even see mediocre movies and not feel like you'd wasted a wad.

The drawbacks for the dollar theaters that were not so huge to keep us from going, but big enough to be an annoyance:
  1. People felt like it was their living room. They'd make comments out loud to their friends, answer cell phones (or just flip it open every few minutes so I'd be bugged by the blue light radiating from the phone), make out, and generally make a lot of noise.
  2. Without stadium seating you'd have to choose your seats very carefully. We'd often try to sit behind someone who was already slouching. It's amazing how many people sit straight up tall with huge heads or poofy hair! This is a place where poor posture is almost mandatory as a courtesy for the people behind you.
  3. Because of the affordable ticket price, it was always packed. We preferred the University Mall Cinema to Movies 8 because it was a lot less crowded. Even so, we had to buy our tickets hours before the show to avoid a nasty long line.
We saw very, very few movies anywhere else during our time in Provo. One year my sister bought us a Cinemark gift card for Christmas so we could actually see a show when it came out. We saved it for movies we deemed worthy of the ample room and stadium seating. Napoleon Dynamite and Star Wars III. Both movies well worth it.

We have been quite happy to find that there is a happy medium here. The McKinney theater shows new movies, and if you go before 5 PM, it only costs $2.50 per adult (only $5 after 5pm)! It's fabulous! The interior corridors look like a circus painted with bright fuchsia and yellow with framed black and white posters of actors and actresses of yesteryear. The seating is better than the dollar theater but not so good as a regular theater. The crowds that frequent it are a little more courteous than the dollars, but more talkative than a full price theater.

We still have to be careful of our seating choices. Now it's mostly to avoid thick smelling smoke or perfume, chatty Kathys, and children who shouldn't be in the movie to begin with. (Yesterday for instance. Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Not a kid's movie. The majority of the humor was too crass for me and I felt a bit uncomfortable myself. It was shocking to me that there was a boy behind us that was about 6 years old. The parents seemed oblivious to his constant "what does that mean? what happened? I don't get it." Come on people. You only paid 5 bucks for your tickets. Find a baby sitter for 2 hours!)

All in all it was a good trade.

My take on the shows we've seen here thus far: (out of 5 *)
  • Superman: **** (good, but not quite so good as Batman Begins. Can't put my finger on why it's not a 5*)
  • X-Men: ***** (I'm starting to quite like and even prefer these comic book movies)
  • The DaVinci Code: **** (what's all the fuss about? it's fiction pure and simple.)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: ***** (good though unfortunately we had to sit in the 2nd row)
  • Lady in the Water: ** (ok but a bit boring)
  • Talladega Nights: a ballad of Ricky Bobby: * (the 1 * is for the out takes and the few scenes shown on the previews that were funny. It's too bad because I really love Will Ferrell as an actor.)
I would like to see World Trade Center, though I'm sure I'll cry through the whole thing since I cried in the previews. Anyone seen it?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pucker up

I love all things sour. My favorite candies are the kind that make the saliva production start just thinking about them. Sour patch kids. Talk about a total downfall. I never buy them because I will eat them until my tongue is raw and my stomach is sick. Warheads were wonderful while they lasted. Sour altoids. Sour altoid gum packs an incredibly powerful sour punch, though I avoid it because it feels like the acid is stripping away the enamel on my teeth. I doubt dentists recommend it.

A whole pickle was a delicious but rare treat growing up. Someone once dared me to drink pickle juice. Little did they know that was like throwing the brer rabbit in the briar patch. Yum. Don't even get me started on salt and vinegar chips. Two of my favorite things coming together on a deliciously greasy medium. Also something I try to avoid buying regularly.

My favorite summer vegetable is cucumber saturated in cider vinegar and doused with kosher salt. Talk about heavenly. I just polished off a huge bowl.

I think my love for the sour stuff started in my childhood with homemade vinegar salad dressings and the traditional Sunday night vinegar drink and air-popped popcorn. You take a tall glass of water, get it nice and hot, add a couple cap fulls of cider vinegar and some honey to sweeten the deal. Cleans you right out and opens you up. Works wonders on colds. The first time I made it my freshman year in the dorms my roommates were totally grossed out. They made me shut the kitchen door while I made it because they said the vinegar smelled gross. It just reminded me of home. Ah sweet (or sour?) memories.