Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Old-timer's Christmas

So, now that the election is over, [eyes looking skyward as I say a silent prayer of gratitude that I don’t have to endure any more political commercials], I can focus my attention on more important things… like what I want for Christmas!

And as I’ve been making my list (and checking it twice), I’ve realized something horribly sad and pathetic:

I’m an old lady!

Gone are the days where I wanted highly frivolous and fun things (like a Barbie mini-van or Mr. T jewelry kit).

Now I want, well… need, extremely practical and boring things (which fully place me in the “old lady” category).

Don’t believe me?

Here are my top three Christmas “wishes”:

1. A shredder.

2. Sheets.

3. Grocery Bag Holder. (Seriously.)

If I added undies, socks, and some kind of ointment, I’d be able to apply for my senior citizens discount!

(Although, with my birthday right around the corner, you never know!)


So, please, if you have any fun Christmas present ideas, leave me a comment. I’m too young to be so utilitarian…

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Fluff: Open Letter

Dear Praying Mantis,

I’m sorry I sat on you.

It’s been a rough week for me too…

Crushingly Yours,
Liz



(Oh, and I've written my first post of tips about NaNoWriMo. You can check it out, here.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political Alienation…

[Stepping on to the soapbox…]

So, full confession, this is the first Presidential election that I’ve been really following.

Sure, in past years I’ve known who was running (which is the first step to being politically savvy), and I probably watched a couple of minutes from the debates.

But I certainly didn’t watch them in their entirety, or read commentaries, or political blogs, or watch talk-heads prattle on about why their candidate is so totally awesome! (All of which I’ve done this year.)

And I wouldn’t say that the reason I’ve been more involved this year is due to the candidates, themselves. (I’m not too fond of either of them, truth be told. The person I was rooting for didn’t get the nomination.)

But, it has to do with the fact that, finally, at (ahem) 33 years of age, I understand the difference between the main two parties.

And it’s more than just little things. It’s big, fundamental differences on what this country stands for, where it should be headed, and how we're going to get there!

Yes, many (if not most) politicians are smarmy. Yes, many (if not most) love power and the wielding of it. And, yes, many (if not most) can be downright dishonest.

But…and there is a but… that does not mean that “They’re all the same.” Or “It doesn’t matter.” Or “There’s no real difference between the two.”

They’re not. It does. And, there is.

And if you’re voting, you should know that.

If you don’t, do a little reading. Or ask a friend (who’s nice and respectful) to tell you what he or she thinks. However you go about it, get the information! (From both sides of the aisle.) You should understand the arguments for and against everything you believe in. (And as a bonus, it makes you much more interesting.)

Now, there are side effects to informing yourself:

1) You care a lot more about issues and outcomes (which could cause you to be overly passionate about things—much to the chagrin of people talking to you.)

2) You become frustrated with people who don’t care, or can’t provide a single reason that they’re voting for someone other than “He’s new and for change.” Or “He’s old and for change, too, sort of!” (FYI: If you tell me who you’re voting for, be prepared for me to ask you “Why?” and expect real answers.)

3) Or, you come to realize that the party you’re currently a member of no longer represents your world view. So, after this election, you’re switching!*

The bottom line is that the election is going to be over before we know it. But, the ramifications will be felt for years to come.

So, make sure before you hit the polls, you know what you’re giving to the future.

[Stepping off of the soapbox…]




*Yes, all of these reasons happened to me. So, be forewarned

Monday, October 20, 2008

Two Weeks Notice…

Nov. 1 is the start of National Novel Writing Month.*

So in the next two weeks, sign up and mentally prepare yourself for the exciting adventure of writing a novel in an insanely short amount of time!

I did it last year, and although it almost killed me, I’m doing it again.

Why?

Because:

1) It was fun to see where forced writing would take me. Being inherently lazy, having a deadline really helps. And I didn’t have time to really plot things out, so my creativity was stretched.

2) No matter what else I didn’t accomplish last year, I can say that I wrote a novel—who cares if it was crappy!

3) I loved the sense of community with other writers from all over the world! It was nice to know that I was in the same self-induced stress boat as a guy from Japan and a woman from Australia.

And I want you to join me this year!

Go check out the site and sign up. I mean it!

It’s hard, but not too hard. And don’t give me the excuse that you’re not a “writer.”

If you know have to write, you’re a writer! It’s a simple as that.

All you have to do is write 1667 words per day for 30 days, for a total of 50,000 words!

That’s it! And then you can call yourself a novelist!!!

There’s no need to plan ahead. Last year I didn’t. I just dove in and let whatever happen, happen. This year, because I knew it was coming, I’ve been thinking of the general direction I want my story to go. But, I don’t really have any of the details worked out. I loved the organic process of the whole thing!

So, please, please, please sign up!

I’d love to have some friends to share the highs and lows of writing a novel…



*I'm planning on doing weekly check-ins on my "Poet by Night" blog. So, heads up!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

See! I’m not a liar!!!

So, for months and months and months, now, I’ve been saying that I entered a poetry contest (by accident, actually) and my poem received an honorable mention (which was a complete surprise—since, again, I didn’t know I had entered the contest).

And all of you dear friends were like “That’s great Liz!” “Way to go!” “You’re the best.”*

And then months passed, and nothing. No proof that what I said was true.

I stopped bringing it up because I was afraid you’d all start thinking I was telling a tall tale. You know, that I had somehow confused having a poem published in a literary journal with reading a poem in a literary journal by someone named Liz.

But, yesterday when I got home from a long day at work, there was a surprise waiting for me in the mail…The Summer 2008 edition of Segullah and when I opened up the pages, there I was!!!!

A full page with my poem on it!!!

Yay!!!!

You can see the cover here. (And you’ll notice on the lower right of the webpage, under the Poetry section, you’ll see my name.”

I’m thinking of pinning the journal to my shirt and wearing it around town.

So, if you want to read it, just ask. I’ll have it on me**…







*These aren’t direct quotes. But, I’m assuming they’re close to what you said… =)

**And if any of you subscribe, not only will you get wonderful essays and poems by and about Mormon women, but you’ll also get my autograph. You know, for when I become a world famous poet.***

***Because when I become a world famous poet, I’m planning on moving to a small cottage in Ireland, where I’ll be a recluse. And then, it will totally be hard to get my signature, because if you stop by, I’ll probably throw stones and yell at you in Gaelic to get off my property.****

****Of course, I might let you in and give you an autograph if you’re there to film a documentary on my life, √† la Grey Gardens. Because I’m sure, by then, I’ll be REALLY quirky. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be living with raccoons, and have a hot plate by my bed, but it’s very likely that I’ll have some kind of hygienic issue and questionable pet. Like my hair will be puffed out to the size of a small moon and I’ll have a pet jaguar.*****


***** I’d love to have a jaguar…I’d name him Kirk.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Feminist Dilemma…

So, lately I’ve been feeling a little on the outs with women.

LDS and non-LDS alike.

I find that I’m a little too feminist for some, and WAY not enough for others.

This has been brought to the forefront of my mind because of a certain woman who is running for office. I’ve heard numerous women weighing in on whether or not she should. And I’ve heard all their reasons why they think she shouldn’t. I’ve also heard women expressing their feelings that she’s destroying the women’s movement because she’s an anti-feminist.

I’ve held my tongue during all of this; partly because it’s political (and you know how I feel about that), and partly because I don’t agree with either side.

But, it does make me feel disconnected.

Do any of you feel the same way?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Would You Marry You?

So, I came across this article, and was surprised at my gut reaction to the question: No.

This response then prompted me to spend the last week (yes, week) asking myself “why?”

What did I find so wrong with myself that I wouldn’t even consider marrying me?

Am I that difficult?

Is that one reason why I’m not married right now?

Do I expect perfection?

Is that another reason why I’m not married right now?

And if I were married, would I be disappointed?

Is that a third reason why I’m not married right now?



Needless to say, this week has made me a little bummed…But, it’s also made me double my efforts in fixing my faults, and improving my talents! And, honestly, it’s made me grateful that I have the chance to do so.

This life is all about refining ourselves, right?

So, what do you think? Would you marry you?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Broke My Rule…

And it was a bad idea.

And I mean B.A.D.

Why, oh, why did I open my mouth and discuss politics with a co-worker? Why?!!!

I had to apologize later.

Yep. It was that bad.

I just get frustrated with people who repeat talking points like they know what they’re talking about; people who do no research of their own, and yet pontificate as if they had (and when you provide concrete evidence to the contrary, tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about); people who focus on trivial matters while leaving aside the big issues; people who do not want the truth, but only want their side to be right.

Ugh.

But, I’ve learned my lesson. Again.

NO POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS WITH ANYONE, EVER!!*




*Well, maybe with my mom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Collage Number Four (i.e. Hannah)

So, I FINALLY saw Hannah a couple of weeks ago, and was able to give her the collage I made for her birthday!

Yay!

You can see it, here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Political Silence…

So, if you know me, you know I have two hard rules that I do not break:

1) I never discuss politics, and

2) I never play video games.

And the reason I have these two rules is the same:

I get SO INVOLVED that I lose all sense of time and decorum, and will fight/argue until I win or, at the very least, make my opponent feel like a loser (even if they aren’t).

I become a totally different person (as one of my sisters, who bears the scar of being hit by a video game controller, can attest to). (In my defense, it was a LONG time ago, when I was much more immature. Really.)

Now, I didn’t always feel this way about politics. In fact, for a long time I didn’t know my Ahmadinejads from my Putins. I didn’t care who promoted what bill. Or who was the Secretary of Defense. Or Treasury. Or State.

I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.

I just didn’t care. I felt all political leaders were crap (I still think this applies to many.), and that nothing I did mattered (I think that where we stand counts for more than we think.)

But all that changed a few years ago. I don’t really remember why or how, but it did. (I’m thinking my mom had something to do with it.)

And now I’m a political junky. I LOVE politics!!! I read about it, watch stuff on it, and listen to it. And the closer we’re getting to this election, the more I’m dying to shout my opinions from the rooftop! Seriously, I’m dying!

I even had an opportunity last Saturday night (after watching the first part of the 2nd Forsyte Saga) to get in on a political discussion with my fellow movie goers, (Hi Rachel, Katie, and Krii) and I didn’t. Even though I really, really wanted to!

I don’t know how much more I can hold out, though*. I think that’s why I’m blogging about it, now.

I just had to tell someone that I care!

I’m paying attention!

I have an opinion!

And that everyone should research all the issues and take the opportunity to vote!





*If you ask me for my opinion, I'll probably still say "No comment." But, who knows...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Glutton for self-punishment...

This one almost killed me.

Seriously.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Power to Change…

“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” James Joyce


So, I’ve been thinking about this quote for days and days and days now*. James Joyce is speaking my language!

Anyone who knows me knows I talk about past, present, and future Liz, ALL THE TIME!

In my head, I’m always running a little dialogue about my choices and actions. I’ll give you an example that will make you feel grateful that you are not me:

“Present Liz, how will this help future Liz? It doesn’t. It’s only helping you. I know past Liz screwed you over by making that one choice that has now become a habit. Darn you, past Liz! But, present Liz, think of future Liz, and help her out. Stop right now! I mean it! Soon, present Liz, you’re going to be past Liz, and you don’t want future Liz, who becomes present Liz, to talk about you this way, do you? No! So knock it off future past Liz, or present Liz, whoever** you are!”

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Liz, you are one crazy lady, and need help!” But thinking this way has helped me come to terms with past behaviors, and make the needed corrections.

We only ever have the present. And if you engage with it, you can change. Slowly, but surely, I’ve been re-writing myself, trying to make sure that what I’m establishing today will make me who** I want to be tomorrow.

It’s a long, daily process. And these last couple of months I’ve done some major transformations within myself. (This is part of the reason I haven’t done any thoughtful posts in a while.)

I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but changing the way you think is hard work. And I mean HARD!

To help me with this, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. And I mean A LOT!

Books on the mind, books on thinking, books on choices, books on living in the present moment, books on happiness, books on sadness, books on spirituality, books on life, books from religious teachers, books from regular people, LDS books, non-LDS books. And then with everything I’ve read, I’ve crossed referenced it with scriptures. It’s been very labor intensive, let me tell ya!***

I’ve learned SO much: about myself, about our minds, about our spirits, about the power of thoughts and words, about the universe, about the ability we have to change, about the reliance we have on God.

And if I’m with you long enough (and we’re not with a crowd), I’ll want to tell you everything I’ve learned!

Seriously.

Case in point: Last night, at Young Womens, we were interviewing the girls on their personal progress. And I had a sweet 12 year old who I talked to for about 20 minutes on “the power she has now to make herself the woman she wants to become, and how she needs to think of her future self when making choices. But that she should live in the “now” because now is the only moment we ever truly live. And she has the ability to interpret her past any way she wants, thereby creating a new present and future.” I think she almost poked out her own eyeball to get away from me! Poor girl.

I guess I’m saying all this to remind you that you are establishing your future at this very moment, and to warn you that the next time I see you, be prepared for the onslaught of information coming your way!

You might want to have something handy to poke your eye…



*I’ve wanted to post on this for weeks, but I haven’t done any “thinky” posts in a LONG time, and it made me nervous. Yes, nervous! Light-hearted posts are much safer and easier. They don’t really bare the soul, do they? But, I’m brave, and posting. So there.

**I’ve decided to forgo “whom” because it doesn’t sound natural even though it’s grammatically correct. And because of my English degree, I felt compelled to mention it. I’m torn between two worlds, folks!

*** This is why I’ve been failing on my book blog. I’ve been reading the books; I just haven’t had the energy to post on them. But, it’s my goal for next month!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Busy Art Week

I’m having art overload this week!!

First of all, I started a Mixed Media art class last week and am already behind on my homework. I’ve got to start shading my faces and I still don’t have faces good enough to shade. Sigh.

Second, I’m trying to put the finishing touches on Rachel’s birthday present, and I think I’m just making it worse. I’m very tempted to throw it out and start over… (Dear Rachel, I'm sorry I've messed up your present. Love, Liz)

Third, I’m trying to finish my ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) and get them mailed off to Canada, The Netherlands, and Spain, for my ATC group. So, I’m feeling stressed about that, as well.

Fourth, I’ve started another birthday M.M.A. that I need to get done in the next couple weeks and I have so many ideas I think my head is going to explode!

These reasons, and a few others, are making me very busy. I feel like every spare* minute I have I’m sketching something, painting something, or cleaning up spills. (F.Y.I. dark green paint DOES NOT come out of beige carpet, no matter how fast you try to clean it up or how many cleaning solutions you use.)

I’m feeling a little creatively drained…

But, I’ve never felt more alive!!



*Thankfully, (although a little tearfully), the Olympics are over, so I should have more spare minutes now!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Fluff

In today’s fluffy post, prepare yourselves for shock, intrigue, and spy amazement!

Oh, and find out where I’m moving in 2010 if I have nothing else going for me!!


______________

All I can say is it's about time!!

When this is finally available to the masses, I’m going to be the first in line to buy it! Just think of all the places I could go and be undetected!!

Well, actually, I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are some places I'd want to go undetected. Give me a minute... um…

______________

And to stick with our undercover spy theme, did you hear about this? Who knew that she could cook up a mean bouillabaisse and at the same time gather secret info. on the Nazis!

What an awesomely awesome woman!!

______________

This last one has nothing to do with the other two, but I’m thinking of moving there. You know, since the mayor gave a “shout out” and all.

My favorite line in the article is when the mayor refuses to apologize because he’s “telling it like it is.”

There's hope for me at last!

Marriage, here I come!!

Whose with me?




Have a great weekend everyone*.





*And remember, there’s some desperate miner in a remote town in Australia just waiting for you! Isn’t life grand?!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Unwanted Recommendation

I'm a reader.

And because of this, I often receive unsolicited book recommendations.

For the most part, I LOVE this. It's always interesting to me to know what other people are reading, or what authors people love. I feel I learn much more about a person by what they read, than by what they do.

But, sometimes, it puts me in a pickle.

Case in point: A couple of months ago my ex officemate, (the one who had no idea where to find Louisiana on a map), loaned me a book. It’s her favorite, and she asks me almost every day if I’ve started reading it.

I haven’t. And I’m running out of excuses.

It’s not that it’s some random book that’s hard to understand. It’s not. The book is by a VERY popular author (which I won’t name as to not offend those of you who like him/her). It’s just not my style. I find this author’s stuff too jejune*. You know?

But, I’m not sure how to tell her that without hurting her feelings or worse yet, make her think that I think she’s a dumbo for reading it. I don’t. I think it’s fantastic that she’s found an author she likes. She’d be the first to admit that she’s not a reader, so this is a big thing for her: to have a favorite author! And she was so excited to have a book to recommend to me.

I’m happy for her. (And for the example she’s setting for her kids.) And I want to support her.

So, I’m going to have to read it, aren’t I?

Yep. I know.




*This is one of my favorite words, and I never use it because it sounds pretentious. But, it’s so perfect! Forgive me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It Says What? (Beehives Learn a Life Lesson)

Last night I had an activity for my Beehives. (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, “Beehives” are 12 to 13 year old girls in our church youth group.)

My activity was as planned:

1) Teach the girls interview skills by having them interview another girl and then be interviewed themselves, and

2) Teach the girls public speaking skills by having them inform everyone on the girl they interviewed.

To make this a little more fun, in between 1 and 2, I gave each girl a dollar and took them to the dollar store to buy something for their interviewee that represented something from her answers.

So, flash forward to the end of the night. The girls LOVED buying something for each other! And now it was time for presentations.

I’ll tell the rest of the story in a One Act, One Scene play:

ACT 1, SCENE 1

Cast of Characters:

- Four, really cute, excited, and loud 12 to 13 year old girls. (Well, really only three are loud. One is more quite than a silent movie.)

- A really tired leader who wanted to go to sleep at 5:30pm, but finds herself with four really cute and excited Beehives at 8:00pm. She’s having a fun time, but she’s exhausted, so her judgment is slightly impaired.

ME: Okay, [GIRL A], you go next.

GIRL A: I had [GIRL B].

(GIRL A then tells us about GIRL B*.)

GIRL A: (continuing...) And [B] said that in 10 years one of the things she wants to do is get married. So, I bought her a wedding card that she can keep as a reminder of her goal.

ME: What does the card say?

GIRL A: On the front it says “Marriage is nice.” (While showing us all a lovely embossed white card with pink flowers.)

(She opens the card.)

(Silence.)

ME: [A], what does the card say?

(Silence.)

GIRL A: I didn’t read the inside of the card when I bought it.

ME: What? (said with concern)**

GIRL A: I should have read the inside of the card before I bought it. It says “It makes all that stuff you want to do decent and legal. Congratulations!”

ME: (Hysterical laughter!) (I mean, HYSTERICAL!!) (I was really tired, and that always makes me laugh like a loon being taken to a loony bin.)***

(All the other girls start laughing.)

GIRL B: (said while laughing) Well, just seal it and I won't open it until my wedding day.

END SCENE


LESSON LEARNED: Always read the entire card before buying it!


Ah, the priceless moments of working with the youth!!


*This was GIRL B's first activity. She just turned 12. Oy vey!

**I know I should have pulled [GIRL A] aside when she seemed hesitant, but I wasn’t thinking straight.

***Seriously, it was one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I've Finished Another One...

You can check it out here!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Flashback to the 80’s, Mormon Style

Hi, my name is Liz, and I’m addicted to iTunes.

And I don’t plan on stopping. So don’t try to organize an intervention.

Frankly, it’s too convenient stop!

I hear a song. I look it up on iTunes. I download it. And in minutes I’m dancing about in my room with glee.

No travel necessary. No wasted money on a CD with 2 great songs and 8 crappy ones. Just pick the one you want and enjoy!

I go to iTunes almost every day. Seriously.

And recently, I’ve developed a habit of typing random names in its search engine to see who pops up. (For example: I now have 4 songs on my iPod by 4 different women named Eliza. Who knew?)

iTunes has expanded my music world! From African chant music to Welsh folk songs to New Zealand “worship” singers, I love it all and have put it on my iPod!

But, something happened to me a few weeks ago that really opened my eyes to the great inventory iTunes holds.

I had decided that I needed a little 80’s, and specifically, some Howard Jones. (You know you love him!) So, as per the usual, I typed in his name and hit “search” and waited for the joy to occur.

Tons of “80’s Greatest Hits” or “Super Hits of the 80’s” popped up. And as I scrolled down through the songs of the 80’s, I saw what I expected: “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Take on Me,” “Never Gonna Give You Up.” I was in heaven!

But then, as I continued to scroll down, I found something odd. In between songs by Duran Duran were songs like “His Hands.” And right after Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam there was “Like a Lighthouse” and “I Heard Him Come.”

I couldn’t understand what happened! How did iTunes know I was Mormon? Why did it have Mormon songs in its database? And why was it stalking me with Kenneth Cope?

As I scanned the webpage looking for answers (while trying to calm myself down as I thought that perhaps God really WAS trying to contact me through the internet, and all those emails that “God loves you unless you don’t forward this to 12 people” were right), I noticed one of the album titles at the top of the page: LDS Super Hits of the 80’s!*

Yes, I know. You’re as surprised as I was! Someone actually compiled the greatest Mormon hits, put them on a CD, and then iTunes got a hold of it! What a magical world we live in!!

Of course, I had to click on the Album cover to see all of the songs listed. And they were just what you’d expect. (“Hold on, the Light Will Come”, “Greater Than Us All”, and “Win the Race”.)

What was interesting to me was to see what songs had the most downloads.

In a show of solidarity (and in homage to my teenage self), I put the song on my iPod that was the second most downloaded.

Do you think you can guess it?

Maybe?

No?

Don’t care?

It’s “Will He Really Answer Me?”

And the song with the most downloads?

Do you think you can guess it?

Maybe?

No?

Don’t care?

Well, it was “Be That Friend.” Seriously, that song was through the roof with the downloads.


So, if you’re lonely and one of the people who made it number one, take the song off repeat.

I’ll be that friend for you!


And if you have an LDS song that you love or loathe, drop me a line in the comments and we'll reminisce together!






*There is also an LDS Super Hits of the 90’s. (Just passing that along in case you wanted to get a head start on your Christmas shopping!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mini Friday Fluff

First of all, this is why I haven’t been translated yet.

Did any of you guys think of this?

Maybe not the holding-hands-in-a-circle-outside-of-a-Chevron part , but the praying-in-gratitude part?

You’re better people than me.

_________________


Second of all, I have a little Q and A for you.


Q: What do you do when it’s hot and you need air circulation?

A: Turn on a fan. (I know some of you thought “Turn on the air conditioner.” But, I live with people who don’t believe in that. (Which then creates contention when I complain about it.) So, a fan it is.)

Q: What do you do when the fan is crappy?

A: Buy a new fan.

Q: What do you do when you realize that you bought the exact same crappy fan?

A: Take it back.

Q: What do you do when you can’t find the receipt and you really don’t feel like hauling the fan back and then “raising cain” with the customer service people over a $15 item?

A: You line up two crappy fan and let the wind tunnel begin.*



Have a great weekend!


Wait!! Before you go, I've decided that I want to add more people to my "Where It's At" link list. So, if you have a blog and wouldn't mind me linking to it, drop me a comment. (Or if you know of a blog that I should link to but haven't, let me know!)

I'm trying to expand my horizons here!



*This now makes three fans in my room. And, yet, I'm such a light sleeper that with all of them blowing, I still have my alarm set to "ocean waves" and wake right up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big Bear Bonanza!

5 Things I learned while in Big Bear:

1. The Big Bear zoo makes me sad. All the animals there were abused, injured, or abandoned. There’s like a cloud of gloominess that hovers over the entire place. Yes, it’s a good thing to rescue animals and provide for them. Yes, I was happy to pay the larger fee because I knew it was going to animals that needed rehabilitation. (Like Huckleberry, the three legged bear. Poor old Huckleberry.)

But, holy moly, the dreariness of the place was palpable. All the animals would look at you with eyes that were saying “Just counting down the days until death. Sweet death.”

I don’t know if I’ll ever go back. The nephews liked it. But, they’re just kids, so the despair was lost on them.


2. I love the “House of Jerky.” First of all, due to its name. I think because it reminds me of “House of Pancakes.” Any establishment that dedicates itself to one item, and thrives, is okay in my book. (Well, as long as it’s not “House of Depressed Animals” which I’ve already mentioned I’m not a fan of.)

Second of all, because it makes me feel like a pioneer to leave with a little pack of jerky and think “I could trek across the great Big Bear landscape and survive the harsh clime with my jerky stash.”

I’m not as brave as some members of my family. I stick with the regular kind. I passed on the ostrich, buffalo, and venison.


3. I am now a huge fan of Mahjong! I learned how to play it this weekend from one of my sisters-in-law (Hi Daphne!) and fell in love with the game. (Even though I stunk at it.)

Now, if you’ve ever played a game with me, you will know that I’m not competitive. In fact, I will help other players win if I can. This was not the case with Mahjong. I don’t know if it was because it took me so long to get the concept, but I became set on winning. I didn’t, mind you (even though we played 7 games in a row). But, in my heart of hearts I wanted to be the Mahjong champion.

We’ve ordered two sets for my family, and soon I’m going to announce an upcoming “Mahjong Extravaganza Party!!” You’re all invited. But be forewarned, when I play with you, I’m going to try my best to crush you into dust (in a Christ-like manner, of course).


4. High tea is for me! In Big Bear they have this cute tea shop that is decorated to the nines. It’s like tea cup happiness exploded all over the ceiling. And they offer the “high tea” experience which means that they bring you a plethora of little foods to enjoy with your selection of teas. Tiny sandwiches of all varieties, tiny soup, tiny salad, and tiny scones, cakes, and muffins. I was in tiny heaven!

It was so much fun to go with my mom, sisters, and sisters-in-law and have time away from the boys to chat while using fancy cutlery and raising our pinkies. What a blast! Our only regret is that we didn’t realize (until we were leaving) that the hat rack filled with awesome hats were for the guests to wear during their tea. Oh well, next year!

The price of the whole thing made my brothers and father question our sanity. But, really, can you put a price on memories filled with little delights? Can you? I don’t think so.


5. I love my family!

Even in tight quarters with 7 people to a bathroom and 6 of us to a room.

Even with babies crying and children screaming and parents yelling.

Even with smeared chocolate mouths on new shirts and “Carry me!” on a long walk with a hurt back.

Even with slight disagreements over dishes and fierce competition over Mahjong.

In fact, I love them because of all those things! And can’t wait until next year when we do it again!!

Yay for families!!!!!*


Here are some pictures:







* And speaking of families, could you all do me a favor and say a little prayer for my brother Joe who has come down with a case of the Shingles? Yes, Shingles. Poor guy. It's terribly painful...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Upcoming Posts…

1. Big Bear Bonanza

2. My Addiction to iTunes and what happened when I recently visited it.

3. Changing my World View and how’s that going.

4. Art and spiritual creativity. (Which I’ll probably put on my other blog.)

But, for now, in an effort to do nothing, I’ve been visiting your friends. (You know, the people you have linked to your blog that I don’t know.) Well, I’m looking at their blogs and sometimes commenting in a hopefully non-stalker-ish manner.

I’ve wanted to expand my horizons and your friends are how I’m doing it!*

What I’ve learned from this is that it is a tangled web we live in. I’ll stop by someone that you have on your blog and then swing over to someone they have on their blog, and then the next thing you know, I’m reading about someone’s trip down the Mississippi who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone that I know.

Weird. And a little confusing.

But lots of fun. Give it a try!



*Oh, and if there is a blog or website that you LOVE, drop me a comment so I can check it out! I'm always looking for something to do besides what I should be doing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Fluff…

…in the news!


First, what do you think about my new blog design? I think it’s bright and happy! Maybe a little busy, but for now, I’m sticking with it.

________________

Can I just say how excited I am about Rachel and Katie’s Olympics party? I have the costume for my country all picked out. And my food representing that country, chosen.

But, I hope and pray that like China, Rachel and Katie institute this rule for any food brought by other party guests.

Cause if not, I’m not touching a thing!

_________________

Did you ever go through a phase where you hated your name? I know I did.

But, I now see that I had nothing to complain about.

What is wrong with people? I’m not a fan of the idea of “Big Brother” monitoring everything we do, but, sometimes I really think people should be forced to take some kind of test before they become parents.

I mean, what kind of a parent names their child Violence? A good one?

I don’t think so.

_________________

And lastly, if you know me, you know that if I don’t have a pocket or purse (and sometimes even when I do), I’ll store something in my bra.

Phone, money, lipstick, keys, glasses, they’ve all been stuffed next to my d√©colletage.

And, I’ll admit that there have been times when I’ve forgotten that something is in there, only to be surprised later when it falls out.

But, this? A live creature? Come on!

How could you not notice? And she’s so calm about it.

If I found a bat in my bra, you would still be hearing the echo of my screams.

___________________

Well, I hope you have a fabulous weekend. I’m off to Big Bear to be with my family for a little mini-vacation.

And not to worry, since I’m going to be in the foresty mountains, I’m going to be extra careful that what I put in my bra isn’t alive!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OPEN LETTER OF EXCITEMENT AND DISBELIEF!!!!! [Cue the bells and whistles and confetti]

Dear 10,000th Visitor,

Who were you? Come on, confess! I have a present for you! (Other than my undying love which is a given.)

I hope you were someone I know! Or at the very least someone who knows someone I know. Or someone who knows someone who knows me, but I don’t know them.

Really, I just hope you weren’t a spammer.

I’ve been hit by those recently and would be bummed if I had to give my “You’re Awesomely Awesome for Visiting Me” present to federal student loan or lottery gambling.

In any event, thank you! Thank you for stopping by, even if it was accidental, and you only looked at my blog for a nanosecond. I still love you!

So, tell me who you were so you can collect your gift*.

And come back soon!

Gratefully yours,

Liz


*Would it help you to confess if I told you about the present? Well, it’s a one-of-a-kind mixed media piece by yours truly entitled “To the Super Best Blog Reader in the World.” Who wouldn't want that?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Office Update

I just realized that I’ve never shown you pictures of how I’ve transformed my little cubicle of despair.

It’s still gray.

It still only has a sliver of a window that overlooks my garden of air conditioning units.

And it’s still between two women who like to keep the room like a dark stifling dungeon.

But, I’ve made it much chipper! More chipper? Chippier? Maybe I shouldn’t use chipper? But just say happier? Well, you get the idea…

In case you don’t remember the absolute gloom of my original office condition, here’s a picture:





And now, here’s how I’ve livened it up:




This is a picture of my postcard collection. It adds a lot of color, don’t you think? Also, it’s a great tool for my meditation. When I need a little mental break, I just pick a card, let’s say, Oaxaca Mexico, and I focus on it and imagine myself there, really there, feeling the breeze on my skin as I’m being taken to the top of a pyramid to be sacrificed to the gods of humdrum.



Here’s a picture from another angle. As you can see, my back faces the opening of my tomb..er..cubicle. I have a mirror on my monitor to combat sneaky folks from sneakily sneaking up on me. And that sign on the back of my chair says “I can’t hear you. I’m wearing headphones.” You don’t know how many times people have started talking to me and I have no idea. And then they walk away thinking I’m rude, or mad at them or something. Hence the sign. I got tired of putting out fires.



This picture captures a couple of things. First, my window crack. (It looks much bigger in the picture than it feels in real life.) Second, a picture of one of my dead boyfriends, Mr. Walt Whitman. And third, my zen bonsai plant. Since I couldn’t see greenery out my window, I placed some in front of it.




Here’s a close up of the two little friends who came with my bonsai tree. I call them Chin and Steve. (Chin is on the left, holding a white scroll of ancient wisdom.) These guys really help me keep things in perspective. They’re always telling me “You are greater than your job. You hold infinite potential. Creative forces constantly flow through your life. Stop imagining your death in Oaxaca.” They’re great guys!




Well, there you go. Now you see where I spend the majority of my daylight time. (And you can be grateful that you don’t have to.)


I’ll leave you with a quote I have tacked up by my computer: “It is ordinary to love the marvelous, but it is marvelous to love the ordinary.” I don’t know who said that, but they were spot on! And I’m trying!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Do you want to see it?

Then look over here!

And then stay tuned on this blog for an explanation on the spiritual/mental/emotional transformation that occurred as I worked on it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Visual Aids Inside My Mind

A personal blog is all about sharing oneself with the world (or, really, the six people who know you have a blog).

And as I was thinking about that and how much I go on and on about myself, ad nauseam, I thought I’d do something new.

It’s still about me, of course, but instead of talking, I thought I’d show you. (Well, I guess I’ll have to do a little talking for explanation. So, maybe it's not new. It's just me blabbing on, but with pictures. Oh well...)


With that, here are the TOP FIVE Favorite Things in my bedroom:


1. This is my favorite picture. It’s of a crumbly old abbey in Ireland. You can't read the name of the abbey, but it’s “Hore Abbey.” I imagine it was an abbey for past women of easy virtue. When I go to Ireland, I’m tracking down this place and I’m going to frolic about with the cows.



2. This is my guitar. Isn’t it beautiful? I like to just hold it, and feel the wood grain as I beg its forgiveness for my lousy playing. You’d think after 3 years of lessons, I’d do better. Sigh… I haven’t named it yet, so if you have any suggestions, let me know! (I thought about Lucille, but I think that name is taken...)




3. This is my easel. It makes me feel all art-y just looking at it. The mixed media painting I’m working on (you can see its backside in the picture) is for Katie’s birthday. I’m about 6 months late. In my defense, this is actually the second painting I’ve started for her. The first one was given to Mr. A. Dumpster. It was horrible! This one’s coming along nicely. (Dear Katie, Please forgive me. I’m working really hard on your piece and am almost done. I’m only waiting for the quilting iron I ordered, so I can smooth out the beeswax, and then it's all yours. Pinky swear! Love, Liz)

4. This is my Shakespeare canister that holds all my paint brushes. I got it at Big Lots for $4.99. Yes, Big Lots. And I love it! Initially, I was trying to think of something else to store in it besides brushes. You know, something literary, like a scroll of some sort. But, I didn’t have any scrolls. So, then I put Post It notes in it, and that just seemed like a slap in the face to the entire creative world. So, brushes it is! I think Shakespeare would be okay with that.



5. And last, but not least, is my bedside carafe. I think everyone bedroom should have a carafe. Why, you ask? Well, first of all, when you wake up in the middle of the night, dying of thirst, you know you have clean water waiting for you. No dust in it. No hair. No bugs. Nothing! (Trust me; even if you’re half asleep, taking a swig of water with hair in it is no fun!) And, secondly, who doesn’t want to say “I have a bedside carafe.” Talk about being fancy!






Well, there you go friends. Some visual aids to help explain who I am, and what brings me joy!

If you want, take pictures of the five favorite things in your room and post them. (Or, if you don’t have a camera, write about your top five.)

I’d love to see (and hear) what you surround yourself with to make you happy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Digression (Or really, look over there...)

I posted on my almost-a-complete-waste-of-time poetry blog.

Give it a look see, if you want.

Oh, and I've posted on my book blog, too. (In case you can't get enough of me...)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Question: What’s big, and heavy, and rectangle inside and out?

Answer: A box of books!


So, I belong to a book society/group that sends me monthly catalogs of books I've never heard of. Most of the time, I don’t order anything. (I already have stacks of books to read, after all.)

But about a month or so ago, they sent me an email saying that if I send them $50, they’ll send me a surprise box of books.

Now, how could I pass that up!

What I expected to get was a bunch of junk—stuff I would NEVER read or purchase on my own. But, I’m a sucker for the element of surprise. So, I sent them my money, and then promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Until one magical day, when I walked up the stairs, and saw my front door. There, resting as a possible safety hazard, was a beautiful cardboard box with my name on it!

And inside, I found joy in the form of seven blessed books!

They weren’t crap!

I’d actually read them!

Yay!




In case you can’t read all the titles, here they are:

The Traditional Shops and Restaurants of London (Now I’m ready for my trip to this great city! Who’s with me?)

Elements of the Table (Throwing a fancy party and want to know how to wow your guests? Well, this is the book for that. You know I’m going to use this for my next event!)

Reading Like a Writer (You all know how my favorite books to read are books on how to read! This is perfect!)

Drives Like a Dream (This is a novel I’d never heard of, but since I’ve started to write another book, (Did I tell you guys that?), I’m reading as many books as I can to “study the craft.”)

Gatsby’s Girl (Another novel for craft studying! This one looks pretty interesting…)

Cakes and Ale (I’ve never read anything by W. Somerset Maugham, but have always wanted to.)

And last, but not least,

101 Best Scenes Ever Written (Could this be more perfect for me right now?)


I wish every day I could come home and find a box on my doormat filled with surprises.

Don’t you?

What a way to live!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How I spent yesterday on the job… (Of course, I’m leaving out the majority of my “work”, so as not to bore my reader(s).)

- Stared out the crack of a window I have in my cubicle, wondering how I ended up here.

- Sat with Trainee as we went over a report that should have taken us 30 minutes but instead took us two and a half hours…and we’re still not done…guess how I’m spending today…sigh…

- Googled (That’s a verb now, right?) different words for “psychic.” Why, you ask? Can’t tell you. At least not yet. Possibly never. So, don’t hold your breath.

- Met with a guarantor rep. who tried to sell me on their financial literacy program. And yes, it was as exciting as it sounds.

- Realized that I’ve developed an annoying habit of spelling out words while adding “to the” in the middle of them. For example, here’s a sentence I actually said “Man, I really H to the A T E that song.” Heaven help me! (If I do this while talking to you, first, forgive me. Second, tell me to knock it off.)

- Stared out the crack of a window I have in my cubicle, wondering how I ended up here, and noticed that they added another unit in my air-conditioning garden.

- Walked to the university’s library to get 4 of the 23 books I’ve requested on freelancing while talking to Rachel on the phone. (I mean I was on the phone while walking to the library, and not that I have some weird need to freelance only while talking to Rachel—although that probably would be helpful since she’s hilarious.)

- Spent the majority of my lunch hour continuing my psychic research. Man, there’s a lot of stuff out there! And I do not recommend doing such research while at work because a) you can be taken to some questionable websites, b) if a co-worker happens to peek into your cubie, you have some explaining to do, and c) it’s so fascinating that you might spend your entire lunch hour on it and then feel sad that you didn’t go outside to escape the gray box of your work environment.

- Talked with my co-workers about food storage, and then tried to convince them that Mormons aren’t a bunch of kooks with ready-to-use bomb shelters for when it’s “the end of days”.

- Got roped into joining an office potluck. (Even though it broke the most sacred vow made on the head of my first born to never participate in voluntary potlucks. (Mandatory potlucks are another story.))

- Listened to the song “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain and Tennille about 10 times trying to figure out some words, only to realize I could have googled (verb) the lyrics in 10 seconds and satisfied my curiosity.

- Stared out the crack of a window I have in my cubicle, watching water drip from one of the units, while wondering how I ended up here.

Well, that was a bit of my yesterday. I'll spare you from what I did when I got home--part of which I'm ashamed of. (Let's just say it has something to do with a woman named Tori, and a man named Dean, breaking my other cardinal rule of never watching reality tv based on the lives of the semi-famous.)

Don’t you all wish you could trade lives with me?

Please?

Someone?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

F.Y.I.

I’ve been reading up a storm lately.

In fact, at one point last week, I had 5 books that I was reading at the same time. (Well, not at the EXACT same time, but you know what I mean, concurrently.)

And because I’ve been so engaged, I’ve had a lot on my mind.

To release what’s in my head so it doesn’t explode, I’ve decided that this week (and maybe the next), I’m going to bow out of my regular blog and focus on my book reading blog.

I know. Some of you are crushed. What will you do without all my witty repartee about my daily goings-on? (Cue sarcasm.)

Anyway, if you’re interested in the book thing, go here.

If not, then check back later next week. I’ll probably have something of remote interest to pass along to you by then. (Darn my boring life!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Foreshadowing Fluff

Things to update you on (with a hint of foreshadowing future posts):


1. After a two week break (due to week-long trip and subsequent injury), I’ve finally caught up on reading all your posts. I might not have commented (because I’ve had to stealthily read them due to my new office location/little box that’s slowly killing my soul). But, I’ve read yours (yes, you) and I loved it!

2. Business trip went well, until I was returning home on Friday and hurt my back so badly that by Sunday night I was ready to write a letter to my next of kin distributing my worldly possessions, and then silently smother myself with my jumbo heating pad. But, don’t worry, I’m feeling better, and will soon regale you with stories of my adventure, like the 400 high school football players sharing my dorm, or the middle-aged baseball players who were there for some kind of knock-off fantasy camp, or my experience with the elderly at the planetarium. I know you can hardly wait!

3. I’ve decided to go to grad school. I’m sad about the whole thing, really. Practical Liz is so controlling. “You have to plan for the future! You’re no spring chicken! How are you going to retire without becoming a burden on society? It’s impossible to be independently wealthy without any wealth!” Poor fanciful, dreaming Liz! She didn’t stand a chance!

4. Thanks to those of you who came to my Grey Gardens party. I wouldn’t have been able to survive it without you! Truthfully, until watching it with you all, I had no idea it could be funny. I only thought it was horrifyingly tragic and hopeless. But, way to liven it up! Yay for funny friends! (Oh, and for those of you who couldn’t make it, don’t worry, I’m going to have another randomly themed party in the next few months. I’ll keep you posted. )



Well, that’s all folks!

Friday, June 6, 2008

And, Now, the Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For (Drum roll please…)

It’s the end of spring!

And I thought we should celebrate with a garden party!

A “Grey Gardens” party…

Yes, we’re going to watch a movie that has “garden” in the title, but has nothing to do with springtime or happiness!!

Come sit* with me as I attempt (for the 3rd time) to watch the most disturbing documentary I’ve ever partially seen.

Is there nudity? No.

Is there violence? No.

Is there a reclusive old lady, and her middle-aged daughter living in a crumbly mansion talking about the good ole days while wearing strange outfits and dancing around? You bet!

When: June, Friday the 13th (eek!)@ 7pm

Where: Liz’s Apt. #131

What to bring: Yourself (If I know you, you’re invited!)

What to wear: Clothing that fits the theme. (So, something gray, garden-ish, or decrepit. It’s up to you!)

I hope to see you there!

*Warning: If tons of people show up (i.e. more than 5) you’ll probably have to sit on the floor…

(RSVP in the comments because I’m serious about the chair shortage.)



(P.S. Because of my "fantastic" business trip, I'll probably be MIA all next week. But don't worry, the party will still happen!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pre-Reveal Announcement

So, it’s occurred to me that I might be the only one who will find my surprise party worth the surprise factor. (I mean even my sisters, who have been roped in to helping, were a little nonplussed.)

It’s quirky. I'll admit that. Definitely not your typical party-type event.

And some of you, once you hear what it is, might change your mind on attending.

Oh well, what can I do now? Cancel?

No, I’m too excited! (Even if no one else will be.)

So, I guess I should warn you that it’s a weird idea*. And that I won’t be offended if you decide not to come…

With that, I thought I’d help you put the two previous hints together to see if you can figure it out.

The first hint was a dried-up flower. Now, where would you expect to find a dried up flower? Maybe in someone’s uncared for yard?

The second hint was a head scarf from the 70’s. Now, who might be from the 70’s who wears a head scarf and has the problem from hint #1?


Hmm…


Oh, the intrigue!


You only have two more days before all will be revealed!!!




(*But, really, what did you expect from me?)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Fluff

Dear People of the World,

What is wrong with you? Put the phones down.

Seriously.

Best Regards,

Liz

___________________

Do you know a fella who needs a little help with his manliness?

Well, never you fear, there’s a website to fix that!

So, check this out, and soon your guy will be able to do all sorts of manly things, like “break down a door” or “write a love letter like a solider” or “survive a bear attack.”

Yay!

___________________

Oh, and there’s only two more weeks until my surprise Friday the 13th event!

Are you excited?

Good!

Now, I’m not going to tell you what it is until next Friday, but I’ll give you another hint*…





So, put this clue with the one I gave you last week, and see if you can figure it out!

(*It has nothing to do with Rhoda, or Valerie Harper, but it DOES have something to do with what she’s wearing (and the time period). And no, you don’t have to wear a head scarf to the party, but you would get extra cool points if you did!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Today's my Friday, so here’s a little fluff!

Can you see this sweeping the nation?

Me neither.

I mean it’s cool and all, and I would probably visit the restaurant if I were in town.

But it seems like a lot of work just to get me my chicken cutlets two minutes faster. Don’t you think?

__________________


I’m thinking of adding this to my husbandy list. I mean, he should try to rescue me, right?

Although, maybe instead of a croc, I’ll just tell him he has to save me from the onslaught of newspaper sellers that accost me when I leave a super market.

I’d love him forever if he did that!

___________________


And lastly, I just wanted to remind you all to save Friday, June 13th. You are, right? You’ve cleared your schedule and are planning on coming to my place, right? It’s only 3 weeks away!

Although, please remember that I’ll be getting back from my exciting (Can you hear my sarcasm?) business trip to Reno that day.

So, I’ll probably want to regale you all with stories of my adventures into “Ethical Standards and Application Process” or “Federal Methodology and Calculations.” (I’m getting the chills just thinking about how much fun I’m going to have. Like Christmas…)

But, I will be looking forward to seeing all of you that night!

“What are we doing, Liz?” you ask eagerly.

Do you want a little hint?

Okay, here you go!






(Oh, and I posted on my book blog. Did you forget I had one? Yah, me too...)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Note to Future Husband

Being an old spinster (Is that redundant?), I’ve had plenty of time to think about things in my daily life that I don’t want to do if, no when (trying to be positive), I get married. I think that’s one of the problems of being single longer and living on your own. You know what you like, what you don’t like, and what you won’t compromise on. (At least what you think you won’t compromise on. (You’ll understand what I mean by this when you get to the end of this post.))

So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I've decided to continue with my "list of 5 things." This time focusing on 5 things my hubby would need to do. You’ll notice that some of the more husband-type jobs like “take out the trash,” “mow the lawn,” and “kill spiders” are not included. I feel those are givens in a marriage, and he should already be prepared to do them.

This list is just going to include things that he might not know fall into his domain…

Five things that my husband will need to do (to make me super happy, and thus, himself happy (because if I'm not happy, he'll have a hard time (not that I want to be difficult, but still, I have some requirements (Just as he should)))):

1. Picking avocados. (I’ve already discussed why in my previous post.) Actually, there’s a lot of produce I’m not good at choosing. So, I’ll probably put him in charge of all the fruit and veg selection. For example, I’m terrible at selecting kiwis, tomatoes, melons of any variety, and squash. If he doesn’t want to be in charge of this, then he must sign a waiver that he will never, EVER complain about the quality of produce I bring home, or that it was a waste of money because it wasn’t even edible. (And I'm serious about the signed waiver. I'm going to laminate it and put it on the fridge.)

2. Grocery shopping. Well, since I already want him to pick out the produce, he might as well do all the shopping. Mostly, because I hate grocery shopping. ( I feel there are too many choices, and I can’t ever decided and then the next thing you know it’s been 40 minutes and I’m still in the bread aisle reading all the labels. Stupid high fructose corn syrup! It’s in everything!! A pox upon you!!!) If he would do the grocery shopping, I would agree to never put any feminine hygiene products on the list. (Even though I would think he was a dork for being embarrassed to buy the stuff.) But, I’d make that compromise. (Oh, and remind me to tell you about the time my dad went to buy lady items for me, my sisters, and my mom. Hilarious!)

3. Allow me to sing songs to fall asleep. I do this often. (And I say “allow” not because I need his permission, but because I’m assuming we’ll be in the same room, and show tunes can be disruptive.) I have a hard time sleeping, and singing helps for some reason. (I think because it stops me from pondering. Once I begin pondering, I'm done for!) He would need to be understanding of this, and not make fun of me when I have to change keys in the middle of my rendition of “Sunrise, Sunset.” Besides, I'm sure he'd rather hear me sing a few songs, then keep him up all night as I talk about my interpretation of Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" or how I feel about wax paper used as art.

4. Washing the dishes. I HATE WASHING DISHES! And I know about dishwashers, but I still feel you have to semi-wash before you put them in the dishwasher, and this annoys me. But, the only thing I hate more than semi-washing dishes is unloading the dishwasher and seeing all the junk that has now permanently hardened onto the cutlery. I detest that. So, he’ll have to wash. (I suppose I could compromise if he wants to cook some nights. But, if I cook, I won’t wash. I’m not a hired hand.)

5. Car stuff. My whole life I’ve had car problems. I’ve had blow-outs, stalls, semi-truck rubber from tires embedded in my grill (a HUGE piece), over-heated engines, rocks smashing glass, spins into oncoming traffic, batteries dying, green stuff leaking out everywhere, windows not rolling down, windows not rolling up, doors not opening, doors not closing, flat tires, shaking, swerving, and just about anything else you can imagine. All of this crappy car experience has made me a professional at handling problems. But, I don’t want to do any of it once I get married. I just want to call him and say “Hon, I’ve left the car on the 10 freeway. Deal with it.” (Oh, and just as a reminder, if you have to leave your car on the freeway blocking one of the lanes, ALWAYS leave a note explaining that you’ve gone for help. Police officers do not appreciate finding an abandoned car causing a traffic jam. Trust me.)

Well, there you have it. The first five things on my list! I have about 15 more, so I’ll probably post on this again.

Having a list this big makes me a little worried that I’m never going to find anyone to fit the bill. And what’s interesting to me is that the older I’ve gotten, the more the list has changed. (It’s gone from things like “be a returned missionary” to “does not spend the majority of his income on entertainment.”)

It makes me a little sad to see how cynical I’ve become as I’ve noticed more and more that women do a lot, if not most, of the compromising. Not in every marriage, of course, but many.

This is actually part of one of the more reflective posts I have coming up. So, all you married and single people, start thinking about either the relationship you’re in, and/or one’s you’ve observed, and get ready for a conversation on marriage, women, and feminism. (And not crazy feminism, just helpful kind.)

‘Cause, it’s a comin’!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Confession Time!

I have two very ponder-ish posts coming up. (Full warning!)

So, I’d thought I’d keep this week light and fluffy to off-balance the upcoming deep thoughts.

With that, here are…

Five Things I’m not good at:

1. Picking avocados. (They’re always weird inside. Not hard, but discolored and looking rotty. I always select more than I need because I know half of them won’t be edible. If I ever marry [silent prayer to the heavens], picking avocados will be his job.)

2. Driving with the Spirit. (As soon as I enter the car, the anger at my fellow man rises exponentially. I’m not one to curse, but I get darn close! (Sometimes, too close.))

3. Taking compliments. (I always assume someone’s just being polite (i.e. lying) or they want something from me.)

4. Small-talk. (I hate it. And this is why I also hate large gatherings/parties. All you can really ever do at those occasions is small-talk. I much prefer intimate groups where you can really discuss some deep ideas. Really, I feel small-talk is a waste of my time.)

5. Calling people back. (I’m really sorry about this one. Really. I hope I haven’t offended any of you by not returning your call. It’s just, I hate the phone. More specifically, I hate leaving messages. I get really panicked about it. Seriously. I’m very self-conscious about my messages. (And I know what you’re going to say “Liz, I love your messages. They crack me up!” But, you’ll have to look back at #3 to see why I don’t agree with you.))

So, there you have it! Just a small sampling of my many weaknesses/foibles/neuroses.

I know you have some. (We all do.) Maybe you should do a post on five of your own?

Or, drop me a line in the comments and share one!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Snapshot of My Saturday

You ever have a day when nothing really went wrong, per se, but the things you had to do were somehow complicated by outside forces?

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.

On Saturday I had a 40-minute window to do my grocery shopping for the week.

(1st digression: Must I ALWAYS pick the squeaky jerking cart? Really? Every time? I see other people with their carts smoothly sailing through the aisles, while I shake, shudder, and swerve my way through the store like I’m having an epileptic fit.)

I rush through the store, wobbling as I go, and make it to the check out in 25 minutes. (2nd digression: Anyone else hating grocery shopping? Or is it just me?)

I pay for my stuff, and head to my car. I now have ten minutes to drive home, and haul up my groceries before I have to leave.

Now, here’s where a simple task is complicated.

I get to my place, and just as I’ve loaded up my arms with all the bags they can hold (Gina can testify that I load myself up pretty darn good!), and start to make my way to my apartment, a bug flies into my mouth and hits the back of my throat.

Under normal circumstances, a person would use a finger to try to get it out, but I couldn’t actually lift my arms because of the weight of my produce. So, I do the next best thing, I spit.

I spit big time! (Because the bug was way in the back. (Am I over sharing?))

And where did I spit?

You guessed it.

Directly into my groceries!

(Everyone say “gross” with me.)

Once I got into my apartment, I then had to spend an extra 10 minutes I didn’t have, carefully going through each bag because I couldn’t remember which one I spit in to.



The lesson I learned from this: next time, eat the bug. It’s high in protein anyway.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Definitely NOT Friday Fluff

So, I made trainee cry yesterday.

Yes, cry.

It wasn’t intentional. It’s not like I yelled at her, or even spoke harshly. I didn’t tell her she stunk, or was lousy, or made me want to slice my throat with a letter opener.

No. I did none of those things.

But, I did say that it’s been over two months now, and soon, I’m not going to be able to do 70% of her work, nor review everything she does to check for errors. I told her that she will need to increase her speed in order to handle her workload and that if she can’t, we’ll have to come up with a plan because again, I can’t keep doing it. I have my own job.

And after I left, she started crying. And her officemate called in the assistant director of my department to handle her tears.

And eventually, it came back to me. “What more can you do, Liz, to help trainee?”

“Well, since I’m doing more than half of her work already, I’m not sure.”

“Let’s meet in my office on Monday to form a proactive plan.” says the asst. director.

“Okay.” I say, trying to now hold back my own tears. (I hate futile meetings.)

Later, trainee apologized to me and said she was really embarrassed to have cried. She just felt overwhelmed. I can understand that. I’ve felt (and feel) overwhelmed often.

But, I still do my job.

I don’t know. I’m just exhausted from having to deal with it all…




On a unrelated note, I’ve decided dreams are for ninnies. (Yes, ninnies.)

And I’m no longer going to have any.

I’m just going to be practical and boring.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Q: How do you know you’re too tired to go to work?

A: Once you get there, you spend half the day with your shirt on inside out.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Fluff? Sort of...

Five Annoying Things about Yesterday

1. I had a squeaky shoe. A really squeaky shoe. An I'm-not-walking-unless-I-absolutely-have-to squeaky shoe. (And it was a horrible squeak, not a little funny one.)

2. I had a song stuck in my head the WHOLE DAY!!! (Which song, you ask? “Africa” by Toto. I almost had to kill myself.)

3. I was called, about 64 times, by my trainee asking me things we’ve already been over 64 times. “Did you double click?” (I don't know why she keeps forgetting this.)

4. I got a bloody nose while I was talking to a coworker. It was incredibly random and incredibly embarrassing.

5. I had a headache.


One Wonderful Thing about Today

I don’t have a headache!!!! (Which makes me happy because I was afraid I had an aneurysm or something.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Headache 2008

This is day 6 of my headache.

Now, it feels like I have a really tight rubber band around my head. Not debilitating, but enough to make everything else in the world seem like crap and not worth the effort.

And this worldview has made me alter all my plans this week, including my goal to write an incredibly witty and insightful blog post.

But, I did want to mention that my surprise on June 13th might have to change to the 14th.

I’ve just found out that I’m being sent on a week-long business trip, and won’t be returning until the 13th. At this point, I don’t know my flight plans, and I’d hate to have the surprise without me!

When I get more details, I’ll let you know*.

*And in case you’re interested (probably not), it’s a solo business trip in Reno. I think I’m going to take this opportunity to get myself involved in a little debauchery**.

**Who am I kidding? Got any good book suggestions? I’m going to have a lot of alone time, sitting in my dorm room at UNR.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sigh... A Monday Morning...

So, I've had a headache since Saturday.

Yesterday, I thought my brain was exploding.

This morning, I think there are small men inside my scull trying to chisel out a miniature Mount Rushmore.

And this has caused me forget my cell phone as I dragged myself to work.

It's not like tons of people call me. (I mean, it's a red letter day if one person calls me.)

But, it's always times like this when on the way home from work my tire explodes. And I have to push my way past nefarious characters to get to a pay phone, which is sticky, and I feel like I need to bleach my entire body just to get the "city" off me.

Here's to hoping that doesn't happen...

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 2, 2008

A brief Friday Fluff moment (because I'm currently having a nervous breakdown due to my trainee...)

First, did you guys hear about this?

Ew! And also, awesome!

Second, did you read about this?

Ew! And also, awesome!

Third, did you see this?

Cute! And also, awesome!


Well, that's all I've got the mental energy for*.

See you next week!





*Could you please all pray that my trainee catches on soon. Seriously. She's killing me...

[Oh, and I hope all of you who live close to me will save Friday, June 13th. I have a surprise for you and I'm giving you 6 weeks notice!!!!!]

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Question: How Many Cats is Too Many?

Or, maybe the better question would be: Are there ever too many cats?

My trainee has 9 cats.

NINE!

What in the world?!

I didn’t even know what to say when she told me.

But, I thought “Well, that explains a lot!”

And then I thought “Liz, you are a very un-Christ-like person and should repent.”

And then I thought “Okay, you’re right. I’ll start tomorrow.”

_________________________

I found out she had nine cats because she came in to work with a bazillion mosquito bites.

And I said “What did you do last night? Sleep out on the open plains?”

She then explained that her husband jimmy rigged an outdoor enclosure off the master bedroom window, so her cats could go outside, but not wander away.

They’re all indoor cats.

Can you imagine?!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Question: How many Blogs are too many?

I've done it!

I've created my literature blog!!

And I now officially participate in 6 blogs.

I think that's too many...

Oh well.

You can check out the blog here. (I've also added it to my sidebar.)

So, go take a look. And tell your friends about it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Confession Time

So, I’m not a big movie person. Some people find this weird.

But, I didn’t realize just how weird I was until I was talking to a co-worker of mine, and she asked me what the last movie I saw in a theater was. And after thinking about it for like 5 minutes (seriously) it dawned on me that is was P.S. I love you.

And my co-worker looked at me in horror and disbelief, saying “But, that was last year!!”

My response: “Oh, really?”

That’s right friends. I have yet to see a movie in a theater this year!

It’s not that I don’t want to watch any movies. I do! It’s just that I never get around to going out to see them and then I completely forget about them. At this point, if a movie comes out that I’d like to see, I automatically save it on my Netflix because I know I’ll forget about it. (And then years later, someone mentions the movie at some kind of social gathering, and I’m the only dumbo who’s never seen it and I feel like a social pariah.)

So, please friends, next time you’re going to the movies, give me a call. I need to report back to my co-worker that I do actually watch movies. (I have a hard enough time explaining to people that I don’t watch reality TV shows.)

Oh, and thank you for still being my friends even though I’m slightly quirky. (But, really, aren’t we all?)


[This is unrelated, but if you're interested in participating in the literature blog, read the comment I left on my last post!]

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do you really need ANOTHER Blog, Liz? (You already have two that aren't so great...)

Yes, I do.

“Why?” you ask.

Because I was so excited about the responses I got on my last post (about forming a literature group).

“What does that have to do with a new blog?”

Well, as I was thinking of how best to facilitate my group, I thought that a blog would be a wonderful idea.

“Why would you think that?”

Let me explain… You know when you’re reading a book, and you come across a passage or chapter that you don’t get, or one that you love, or a character you hate, and you just need to talk to someone about it?

“Yes.”

Well, that’s what the blog will be for! A place you can immediately go to and quickly jot down your thoughts. A place where you can cry, or yell, or commiserate. A place where you can say “I hate this book!” or “This book is changing my life!” Where you can ask “What do you think he’s saying here?” Or “Did you notice all the ‘red’ images in the first chapter?” The blog will be a place where you can come and talk it out.

“Are you still going to meet in person for literary discussions?”

Yep! But, not everyone might be able to make it to the meetings (Nor be interested in every book we’re going to read). So, the blog will be a place where they can offer their opinions and insights, as well as, keep up with what we’re reading next (or skip ahead to a book they find more to their liking).

“Well, I guess that sounds like a good idea.”

Thank you! And please tell all your friends about it. Having a blog will mean that people all over the country, nay, the world, will be able to participate!

So, stay tuned for more information.

(And get Don Quixote. We’re going to begin next week!)