Friday, February 23, 2007

New Worst Thing Ever

When one's power goes out, and one has wet hair from the shower, wet enough to freeze in soft little frost covered dreadlocks if one went outside, and thirty minutes until one must leave for one's interview.

Please join me in my YELP of dismay!


But, thank heaven that I ironed my skirt last night.

Whew! One crisis averted.

Why can't blow dryers and curling irons have the battery storage of a laptop computer?

Worst Thing Ever

Let it be said, that there isn't anything worse than coming home after midnight to an overflowing toilet when you have a job interview in the morning and you need to iron your outfit and you know that it will be a bad commute because it is supposed to snow, so you need to be extra early to allow for the stupid drivers that will increase traffic time.

Yeah, the bathroom and hallway... totally flooded, and I can't figure out a reason other than the toilet decided it would be cool to spew out water while I was gone.
Stupid toilet. It doesn't want me to move to Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

International Pancake Day! February 20th

To celebrate International Pancake Day (aka Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras) you can eat pancakes for charity! IHOP is serving a free short stack and all you have to do is consider making a donation to The Children's Miracle Network or another local charity.

Although might not seem like a particularly gluttonous food, back before we had fast food and readily accessible chocolate, pancakes were eaten as a symbol of self-indulgence before Lent. Strict Lenten rules prohibit dairy products, and other rich foods like eggs and lard, all essential ingredients for pancakes. Because of this, frugal households made pancakes to use up their supplies of eggs, milk, butter, and frying fat.

So, let's all say Hoodie Hoo! for pancakes. (By the way, it's also Hoodie Hoo Day.)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oscar Preparation

After an orgy of movies this last week and weekend, I have now seen 28 of the 58 movies that have been nominated for the Academy Awards. Edgy shouldn't have encouraged me to rent Cars, because that was the movie that pushed me ahead of him in numbers of movies viewed. Well, Cars and The Illusionist, but The Illusionist has been on my list of movies to see since LL recomended it over The Prestige, and that was a long time ago. The upcoming Academy Awards just urged me to see it a little sooner than I probably would have.

With only five days left to see movies, I probably have seen most of what I will see before the show. But, there are a few more that I would like to get in before I have to fill in my ballot at Edgy's Oscar Party. And because I like to share, I will share with internet my list.

Red indicates movies I have alreay seen, blue, are movies I would like to see before the Oscars on Sunday, and green, are movies I would like to see eventually, but know that I can't reasonably get to before Sunday. Black is for those movies that I probably will never see. (The parentheses indicate how many nominations that film has.)

Eventually, I might get around to writings reviews, or recommendations, or complaints about movies that were missed, but as tomorrow is Mardi Gras, aka Pancake Tuesday, I might be out partying hard and flipping pancakes, so, I might forget.

1. After the Wedding (1)
2. Apocalypto (3)
3. Babel (7)
4. Binta y La Gran Idea (1)
5. The Black Dahlia (1)
6. Blood Diamond (5)
7. The Blood of Yingzhou District (1)
8. Borat (1)
9. Cars (2)
10. Children of Men (3)
11. Click (1)
12. Curse of the Golden Flower (1)
13. The Danish Poet (1)
14. Days of Glory (1)
15. Deliver Us from Evil (1)
16. The Departed (5)
17. The Devil Wears Prada (2)
18. Dreamgirls (8)
19. Eramos Pocos (1)
20. Flags of Our Fathers (2)
21. The Good German (1)
22. The Good Shepherd (1)
23. Half Nelson (1)
24. Happy Feet (1)
25. Helmer & Son (1)
26. The Illusionist (1)
27. An Inconvenient Truth (2)
28. Iraq in Fragments (1)
29. Jesus Camp (1)
30. The Last King of Scotland (1)
31. Letters from Iwo Jima (4)
32. Lifted (1)
33. Little Children (3)
34. Little Miss Sunshine (4)
35. The Little Matchgirl (1)
36. The Lives of Others (1)
37. Maestro (1)
38. Marie Antoinette (1)
39. My Country, My Country (1)
40. Monster House (1)
41. No Time for Nuts (1)
42. Notes on a Scandal (4)
43. Pan's Labrynth (6)
44. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (4)
45. Poseidon (1)
46. The Prestige (2)
47. The Pursuit of Happyness (1)
48. The Queen (6)
49. Recycled Life (1)
50. Rehearsing a Dream (1)
51. The Saviour (1)
52. Superman Returns (1)
53. Two Hands (1)
54. United 93 (2)
55. Venus (1)
56. Volver (1)
57. Water (1)
58. West Bank Story (1)

(Yes, Dreamgirls is on my "probably will never get around to seeing it" list. I'm sorry, I just don't even have an inch of desire to see it, even if it did get 8 nominations.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day, Part IV: 2007

This will be my last post about Valentine's Day, and then I will have to start motivating myself to organize myself enough so I can, without any guilt, leave my current place of employment. (Shhh. Don't tell anyone. And well, I am counting my chickens before they have hatched, so it might not happen.) But, anyway, you might not hear from me for a while because I am doing lots of organizing type work. Never mind. You might be hearing from me a lot because I have to do a lot of organizing type work.

Anyway, this year for Valentine's Day, someone gave me a mood ring. The color-changing mood part of the ring is heart-shaped and has the word "love" in the middle, which makes it an appropriate Valentine's present.

Most mood rings that I have owned have stayed a consistent blue or green, or blue-green. This one changes a lot. Which I like, and makes me wonder... is this mood ring a super-fabulous ring, or have my regular finger temperatures have changed. Anyway, I have used this website as my mood ring color interpretation guide.

When I am outside the ring is light blue-green which means that my "inner emotions are charged." Or it could mean my fingers are cold.

When I do most of my daily chores around the office the color is dark blue, which means that I am "joyous, romantic, very happy." Which I highly disagree with; I am not that much of a Type A personality that I think that work is romantic or joyous, at least not my definition of joyous or romantic.

When I talk to people, it changes to a lighter blue, which means that I am "loveable at ease." (Well, hardly at ease, but always loveable. :))

When I work on spreadsheets, the color tone changes completely. It changes to a color I have never seen before on a mood ring that I have worn, it changes to a violet-purple. According to this website violet-purple is a secondary color and it means that my "sensual purpose is known." I never knew I liked spreadsheets so much.

And just now, I was talking to my co-workers about dating, and the ring turned pink, another secondary color, and another color I have never seen on any of my mood rings. This chart says that pink means I have "uncertain questions."

Well, I used to think that mood rings were just silly... but that was when I would only get shades of blue and green. Now, I think I might learn a bit about myself with this thing.

Valentine's Day, Part III: Other Celebrations

Single's Awareness Day

We have Dustin Barnes from Mississippi State University to thank for the creation of SAD, Single's Awareness Day. At the time of it's creation, Single's Awareness Day was on February 14th, but it has now it has been moved to February 15th in an attempt to get singles excited about something after Valentine's Day so they can look beyond the commercialism and pressure of Valentine's Day to something more positive. Of course the suggested Single's Awareness Day activities are mix and mingles, sending yourself flowers, and exchanging gifts with other singles, all of which can be doneon Valentine's Day to make your Valentine's Day a more happy one... but, you know, it's nice to know there are people being proactive in behalf of the 51% of women who are single... and for the single men too.

Call In Single Day

Call In Single Day is a Yahoo! Personals' promotion. In their press release about "Call In Single Day" they state that singles:

spend an average of one to three hours per day looking for love. When asked what they would do with more free time, one in four singles cited looking for or meeting potential dates as high on their priority list. Yahoo! Personals' National Call in Single Day encourages singles to make the most of that time this Valentine's Day by extending their lunch hour or taking a personal day to gain some self-insight, make better dating decisions and maximize the chances for love. (Press Release)
I always say, if you have the vacation time, use it. I personally think that looking for love just because it is Valentine's Day is kinda silly, but, who knows, it might work for you!

Quirky Alone Day

To fully understand Quirky Alone Day, one must first understand the Quirky Aloners. In their own words, Quirky Aloners are:
people who resist the tyranny of coupledom. Oddly enough, we quirkyalones also tend to be romantics. We resist the tyranny of coupledom because we would prefer to be open to the possibilities that life has to offer than be in an unsatisfying relationship. That is, to date for the sake of dating, or be in a relationship for the sake of being part of a couple.

Quirkyalone is not anti-love. It is pro-love. It is not anti-dating. It is anti-compulsory dating. It's an embrace of all kinds of love. Although we quirkyalones enjoy solitude, and sometimes even need and crave it, we are NOT loners. We typically have a strong network of friends. Most of us place a high premium on friendship. (
To see if you are one of the Quirky Aloners, you can take this quiz. I took the test and it stated:
Your score was 90. Very quirkyalone:
Relatives may give you quizzical looks, and so may friends, but you know in your heart of hearts that you are following your inner voice. Though you may not be romancing a single person, you are romancing the world. Celebrate your freedom on National Quirkyalone Day, February 14th!
I like that. I am romancing the world!

Valentine's Day, Part III Other Celebrations- St. Dwynwen's Day

Thanks, to Soccer Dad, I have found out about St. Dwynwen's Day. St. Dwynwen's Day is January 25th, and is considered the Welsh Valentine's Day. St. Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers. St. Dwynwen is known for saying: "Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness."

One source states that Dwynwen was granted three wishes after she had been scorned in love, and one of those wishes was for the prince who scorned her to be turned to ice. Not very cheerful. The other source states:

Dwynwen was so upset that she could not marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.

God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life.
That sounds a lot more saint-like to me.

So, if you are ever in love, and looking for a patron saint, or if you want to celebrate a lovely-lovey day, but don't want to deal with the crowded restaurants and inflated flower prices on Valentine's Day, check out your Welsh roots, and St. Dwynwen.

Valentine's Day, Part II-Memories: Edgy Makes Absent Play Nice

Edgy probably doesn't even remember this, because we weren't really more than acquaintances at the time, but one Valentine's Day Edgy asked me to give a Valentine's Day present to That Girl. I did not like That Girl.

I won't go into why I don't like That Girl, just will explain that I had some pretty complicated and bitter feelings about her, and about how she was treating a boy that I thought that I was in love with.

So, Valentine's Day is near, and the ward (LDS congregation- in this case entirely single) had done a Secret Valentine Exchange. The bishop asked me if I would mind giving a gift to each ward member who had not participated in the Secret Valentine Exchange on Valentine's Eve. I don't know why either of us thought it was my responsibility, I was the Ward Music Coordinator, but I did as asked.

First, I needed to figure out the names of those who didn't participate. So, I talked to Edgy, who was on the Activities Committee, to find out the names of the people that did participate, so that I could the figure out by process of elimination the names of those who did not participate.

At that same time, Edgy asked me if I would mind also giving a gift to That Girl who had participated, but had not received any gifts from her Secret Valentine. Had he known my feelings for That Girl, he probably wouldn't have asked me, because at the time he liked That Girl better than me. (He had better like me better then That Girl now or he is in big trouble.) And he probably would have wanted to make sure that That Girl got something nice.

I ended up needing to make and deliver over 200 heart-shaped cookies for the non-participators. I could have given That Girl a broken cookie, or a spit on cookie, but I didn't. I was up until 7 am delivering the cookies, because all the addresses that were given to me were wrong. And then I had to go to work. And then there was a dance or something that night, but I was way too tired to deal with that and the complicated boy stuff going on with the boy that I thought I was in love with and other flotsam and jetsam brought on by That Girl.

So, we can conclude that Edgy put me on the path to becoming a better person when he made me deliver a cookie to That Girl.

Although, I am not sure if I am a much better person now than I was then, in fact, I think I am worse. I guess Edgy can lead Absent to water, but he can't make her drink.

Valentine's Day, Part II-Memories: Absent Decides Boys Are Confusing

Valentine's Day of 1998, I had finally settled on one major, English, and was trying to decide how much I hated my previous major, Psychology, and if I should do the double major thing. I was working part-time at a psychiatrist's office both to earn money, and gain life experience. For my Valentine's festivities, babysitting was on the schedule.

While I was at work, my psychiatrist-employer asked me if I could stay late to accommodate a VIP first patient. This patient was a very well known LDS author, and I should have been very excited to meet him as it combined my two then current areas of study, but truth of the matter was 1) I thought it was rude for him to ask us to do this on Valentine's Day, and 2) I didn't really like his books anyway, and 3) I already had promised my services to my friend as a babysitter.

My employer asked me to bring the baby into the office so I could act as receptionist for this VIP patient on Valentine's Day. So, after asking my friend if it was okay with her, I did.

Then, the excited thing happened. The boy, the very cute BYU football player-English major boy called me to see what I was doing and if I wanted to go to a movie for Valentine's Day. I had been waiting for this call for weeks, and it happens while I had to work late with a baby on my lap!? How unfair could life get? I explained very carefully that I did want to go, but was otherwise obligated. The cute English-Major-Footballer was very polite, but got off the phone quickly. I thought that I had lost my chance with him.

Until he showed up at my office with a Subway sandwich, no onions. He didn't know where I worked, but he knew that I worked on University Avenue, the longest street in the city of Provo. He drove up and down the street until he found my car, then he went and got the sandwich, and then came back, and tried to remember the name of the doctor that I worked for. He guessed right. He didn't stay long, he said that he was going to the movie with friends anyway, but I was sure that he was in love with me and that by the end of the week, we were going to be together. Because really, no guy would go to all that effort on Valentine's Day for just a friend.

Yeah, apparently, he would, and he did.

He really was a good friend. Together we crashed the BYU Offensive Line main computer, on accident... but that is a different story, and has nothing to do with Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day, Part II- Memories: Absent Makes A Mess

Last week, when I decided that I was going to blog about my Valentine's Day memories, I went looking for some photo's, and apparently, I have lost one photo album containing several years of college photos. Very sad. Especially since I do not have a photo of this significant Valentine's Day. Because even a thousand words do not paint as good of a picture as the photos of one fairly smallish shared off-campus housing apartment bedroom filled to the brim with newspapers.

Somewhere in the middle years of college, I was living off campus, and working for the apartment complex that I lived in. I was working as a cleaning check supervisor and... well, I probably shouldn't try to make my job sound better than it was, I cleaned up dirty apartments. The key element to why I am explaining this part of my employment history is... I had a master key to all my neighbor's apartments. Heh, heh, heh.

I, once again, had five roommates, and we six girls were very close friends with an apartment of four boys. We ten, who were all annoyingly single for Valentine's Day, decided to do nice things for each other: boys for the girls and girls for the boys. My room roommate and I drew the names of room roommate boys. The coolest thing that we could think to do was fill their bedroom with crumpled up newspaper. So we did.

I had a master key, so we let ourselves into their apartment. (This may sound like it was a major abuse of power, but the other two roommates were aware of our intentions.) Every year the Brigham Young University newspaper puts out a "Special Valentine's Day Edition" of the newspaper filled with lots of love facts and other fluff. Room Roommate and I went around to all the recycle bins on campus and filled the back end of my Subaru wagon with copies of this Romantic Special Edition. We carried all these newspapers up to the boys' apartment and crumpled them up into balls to fill up their bedroom with newspaper.

Well, first we took all the linens off their beds, and put away all the clothes in their closet so they wouldn't get smudged. By the time we were done, the room was filled to the ceiling with newspaper. Really. Completely filled. Room Roommate's and my hands were black with newsprint by the time we were done, and the filling took several hours. I think that we skipped classes. Yep, I think that I at least skipped classes. I don't think that Room Roommate would have. She was a very good girl. I wasn't a very good girl.

Anyway, we cleaned ourselves up a bit before the boys got home. The two boys whose room it wasn't got home first, and they started cooking dinner... after they played a bit in the newspaper swimming pool.

Then the first boy came home from his job... in his white shirt and tie. He opened his bedroom door, and we heard a "Woo Hoo!" and then the sound of a body diving into newspapers.

It took us more hours to bag up all the newspapers than it did to crumple up all the papers, and I think it must have been because we were having too much fun playing in them. And it took several trips to the City recycle dumpsters, because crumpled up newspapers take up a lot more room in a Subaru than folded flat newspapers. And it took a long time to get all the newsprint off the walls... it was a good thing they knew the cleaning check supervisor.

Looking back, this seems like it was mean-ish "present", and I would never do it again. It's just the crazy type of thing that can only be done during college, but at least all four boys said that they liked the room o'newpaper best out of all the Valentine's Day presents.

And apparently, filling the bedrooms of friends who have recently become engaged with newspapers is an old college tradition. Soccer Dad just let me know that his mother was involved in such antics during her college year.

Meah, it was college.

Valentine's Day, Part II- Memories: Absent Goes to College

Fourteen years ago, I was a freshman at Brigham Young University, living in Heritage Halls, an apartment style dorm and I had five roommates. I was the only non-blond roommate, and by Valentine's Day I was the only roommate that had not received roses. Not that I am saying that my hair color had anything to do with my not receiving roses, but you know, perhaps if I had used a little peroxide...

The rose receiving was significant because we logged who received roses by sticking them in the kitchen ceiling. Our kitchen ceiling was covered from the table to the oven. We had one roommate, who we called Barbie, who received the most roses, like probably five dozen, and the rest of the roommates only received two, or maybe three, but I had not received any. And sometime when I looked at the ceiling I would feel sad because and unloved.

But, on Valentine's Day, a very nice boy sent me a half a dozen yellow roses.

I am not sure if I was more happy because I had roses to stick in the ceiling or because the nice boy sent them to me.

Vanentine's Day, Part II-Memories: Absent Breaks Her First Heart

Sixteen years ago, I was sixteen years old having a perfect sixteen-year-old girl's Valentine's Day. I had mysteriously received pink roses and a handwritten poem and for about two hours... I was in love.

The beginning of the poem said:

When the seas reflect the starlight that twinkles in the sky,
It can't replace the twinkle I've seen within your eye.
Sigh. Yep, my eyes twinkle like stars in the ocean. I love the ocean. I love my blue eyes. This guy hit the compliments dead on.

Then there were a bunch of other lines, and the poem ended with this last couplet:
Once I thought I was immune to Cupid's piercing dart.
But, now I'm hit and must confess, it captivates my heart.
So, my heart pitter patters for a few hours wondering if the poem is from the cute football player in my English class who likes to wear Mickey Mouse sweatshirts, or from the other cute football player who sings bass in the choir, or the cute tenor that I stand next to in the choir who I adore because he is just too fabulous for words... and then I figured out who the mysterious flower giver is. It is the Skulking Boy who stares at me, and won't talk to me because he turns red every time I acknowledge his existence, with whom I have already had a discussion about the importance of being "just friends."

The next day, before school, I pulled Skulking Boy aside and told him that I appreciated the flowers, but that I felt the need to reiterate my desire to be "just friends." Skulking Boy gave me a look of death and told me that the roses were just an attempt to be friends. Wherein I asked him about the poem. Skulking Boy stated that the poem was just a "friend poem." I wanted to ask him if "Cupid's piercing dart" was generally a phrase he used in friend poems, but I realized that I was fighting a losing battle against the male ego.

(Least anyone think that I am a heartless wench, I have left out many details which make it obvious why Skulking Boy and I were not meant for each other.)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Valentine's Day, Part I

Valentine's Day (coming soon to a mall near you) is the second most celebrated day in the United States, after Christmas. The average American consumer will spend $119.67 this year for Valentine's Day, up from $100.89 from last year. Of that $119, spent, $80.29 will be spent on the significant other, while the rest will go to children, family members, friends, co-workers, etc.

My age group, 25-34, is expected to be the most generous this year, spending an average of $164.32. All I can say to that is, I am sorry. I'm just making cookies for my friends this year. And not $164 worth of cookies. I guess I am killing the Valentine spirit.

Other Valentine's Day facts:

  • February 15th was the date of the Roman festival of Lupercalia (the Wolf) where men held a lottery to select a woman to spend the year being fertile with.

  • During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds chose their mates on Valentine's Day.

  • Up through the early 20th century, in the Ozarks, people thought that birds and rabbits started mating on Valentine's Day. (So, there you have it. We celebrate Valentine's Day because of wolves, birds, and rabbits.)

  • It is traditional to eat unusual foods on St Valentine's Day to make yourself dream of your future spouse. (Don't be surprised if they are a bit nightmarish.)

  • But, in the 17th century, women were encouraged to eat a hard-boiled egg and to pin five bay leaves to her pillow before going to sleep on Valentine's Eve to encourage dreams of her future husband. (Egg=fertility; Bay leaves=purity, glory & strength...???)

  • 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women, and of that 27 percent, 15 percent of women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day. (I will say, I have been tempted to do this. I work in an office with 15 married women. Unless I happen to have lots of projects to do, Valentine's Day kinda sucks.)

  • Only 3 percent of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets. (I honestly can't believe it is that low. I would give a present to my pet if I had a pet.)

  • 68 percent of men say they'd prefer receiving chocolate over flowers as a gift on Valentine's Day and 50 percent of women will likely give a gift of chocolate to a man for Valentine's Day. (What about books? Doesn't anyone want books for Valentine's Day?)

  • In Wales, a traditional Valentine's gift would be a wooden spoon, carved with hearts and keys. (I really like that idea. It's simple, practical, traditional, and still romantic. I probably should find a way to get to know a man from Wales.)

Next up, Valentine's Day Memories

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Kite Flying Day, February 8th

Kite Flying Day

There is something about holding a flying a kite. It seems incongruous but, the bigger the kite, the less wind it will take to get it off the ground. Kites fly when air rushing over the leading edge of the kite creates a vacuum or low pressure area behind the kite. The bigger the kite, the bigger the vacuum area. The kite then tries to move towards the low pressure area and this causes the kite to lift off of the ground.

Kites need strings and tales. The strings keep the kite tethered to a base so the kite can soar higher in the sky. Without the tether, the kite would just blow around horizontally like a very large colorful leaf tossed about the wind. Tails aren't just for prettiness. Kite tails are for balance. And one good thing to have when at the mercy of the wind is balance. So always know how to make a good tail.

Kites are kinda like dreams. The bigger the dream the less wind it seems to set some action happening, and you might not have even been ready to go kite flying in February. Even if you did have all you string and tails all lined up and in order, your kite flight may seem a little surrealistic.

And if your dream was something like a job interview, and a chance to completely change your life, it may all seem like everything depends on the wrong things: string, wind, tails... threads, tales, portfolios?

Yep, you're right, that was weird. I should just go to bed.