Monday, October 31, 2011

Looky-loo, I'm a WITCH! :)

You Are a Witch (or Warlock)

You are deviously brilliant and a perfect manipulator.

You somehow always end up getting what you want - without anyone knowing you're working behind the scenes.

Crafty and cunning, you can work your way out of any jam.

And it's easy for you to get people to do what you want, whether you're working for good or evil.

Your greatest power: Mind control

Your greatest weakness: Making people your puppets

You play well with: Ghosts

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's what's for breakfast.

I'm not kidding.

Welcome to the world of what's for breakfast at my house, people.

Isn't that cake BEAUTIFUL?! (And I can't even tell you how delicious it was. There aren't words. ... And we all know that I know (and use) A LOT of words.)

Last night, I got a group of friends and family (who are also my friends) together and we went to Jesterz for some laughter and good times. (More on that later.) After the show, we went to The Sugar Bowl, where my good friend Charla had dropped off a cake that she'd made with her very own hands for my special day. I about passed out when they brought it back to the banquet room (we had made reservations - at The Sugar Bowl - who even knew that was possible?!).

Please allow me to show you a close-up of the top of the cake:

Yeah, those are Kit-Kats.(Who loves Kit-Kats? Uh ... me!)

I'm pretty sure that I squealed like an 8 yr old girl when I saw this beauty. And then they put it down right in front of me, and I swiped at the ganache.

And then I thought "that ganache is a garnish!" and I cracked up. And swiped at it again. And then I turned the cake to show Christine what I'd done, and said, in a horrified voice, "that ganache is a garnish!", and she asked me if I needed a spoon to scoop the rest of it up. And then the four of us sitting together in the middle of the table cracked up at the reference.

Ahhhh... how I do love quoting movies. (And friends who know movie quotes.)

I also love cake. And friends who make me cake. And friends (and family, who are also my friends) who help me eat cake.

I love my birthday. I love cake. I love to laugh. I love cake. I love my friends. I love cake. I love my life!

But mostly, I love cake.

And today, I get to eat that entire top tier by myself.

Lucky me!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm ready for my real life to begin.

Not that ...erm... I think this life is fake, per se. I was just reminded of a passage in a book.

Several months ago, I was reading a scene in which two women were talking. One woman was in her 70's, the other in her 30's. The older woman made reference to having lived in the same house for over 30 years. The younger woman responded with not being able to imagine staying in the same place for that long. At that point, the older woman asked the younger woman her age. The response was 37. This is the dialogue that followed:

"Ah, thirty-seven." She nods. "It's a wonderful age, isn't it?"

"It is?" Meri flicks the last ash off the cigarette.

"Yes, it is. It's a perfectly balanced age, to my way of thinking. With any luck, you've left foolish youth and vain hopes about your life behind you. You're done with all that kind of pain. But on the other hand, you're still young, you're still strong." She pauses, she looks out over the front yard, then back at Meri. "Ready for real life to begin."

Real life. ... I don't know what that means, exactly. But I do know about foolish youth and vain hopes. I know pain. Of course, I also know sucess and joy and laughter and love. I can't help but think that the past few years have changed me. Not just my body (which is creaky and old), but also my spirit. I'm happy to be thirty-seven, even if it is a little freaky to be on the edge of "late thirties".

I don't know what's coming, but that conversation in that book has stuck with me. Real life (whatever and wherever you are), I'm headed your way.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Five Movies That Remind Me Who I Am

Is anyone else finding themselves a little obsessed with The Pioneer Woman's new entertainment tab? ... Because I sure am.

Probably because I live for movies (and who's kidding who, tv on dvd, too), this section of her site is my new best friend.

And this post especially resonated with me. ... Call me crazy, but I must say that when I see a post titled "When Movies Remind Us Who We Are", it speaks to my very soul. I read this post earlier this week (like, you know, the day it was written, because that's the kind of blog stalker I am), and I've been thinking all week about movies. Specifically, about movies that define periods in my life, and people in my life. Here is my list of five movies that remind me who I am.

Such a surprise that this is the first movie on my list, right? I know, I know. I'm soooo predictable! But listen, this movie is the best! For so very many reasons. It's based on a true story. Real people who stood up for what they believed in and left their homeland in hope of a better life elsewhere. (What's not glorious about that?) Also, Edelweiss is one of the most beautiful songs of all time. Amen.

Ways in which this movie defines my life:

When the Taylor church was condemned (before my boy James bought it and turned it into his studio), the old chapel curtains were left there to rot. When Jamie & Co came in to restore the building, they had no use for drapes that had been left in a semi-open building for YEARS. But I did. I wanted to make play clothes out of them, so my sweet mother went to the church and came back with yards and yards of drapery for just such a dress. (Too bad we had to throw them out because we couldn't figure out how to clean them before we could sew. But still, that I wanted "play clothes" out of drapery leads directly back to a childhood influenced by Fraulein Maria.)

I knew what flibbertigibbet meant at a very young age. (Vocab has always been a big deal to me.)

When Molly Sanchez got married, a bunch of us from BYU 3rd ward rode up to Logan together for the sealing/reception. That night, after the party was over, Julie and I twirled on the hill and then ran skipping down it. One of our friends commented on how I thought life was a musical. Darn tootin, I did! (And I still do.) And this movie is so much of why I think it's important to dance and sing your way through life. Maria was the queen of finding ways to incorporate music into the mundane and make life fun. I heart her (and that goatherd puppet show)!

I love this movie. For oh, so very many reasons.

1) It's one of the most quotable movies of all time. "These mashed potatoes are so creamy." "Do I like jello?" "Caesar Romero wasn't tall!"

2) I soooo relate to Lucy and her unfortunate situation. (No kidding, before I saw this movie myself, I had two different friends tell me that I had to see it, because the train track situation followed by the hospital "I was going to marry him" scene, leading to his family thinking they were engaged and her not being able to tell them the truth because she was afraid she'd kill grandma is EXACTLY the kind of thing that would happen to me.)

3) When this movie came out, one of my best friends was in Chicago on a mission for our church. I hadn't seen him, or even talked to him, in over a year and I missed him like crazy! Watching a movie set in Chicago, seeing the train and Lake Michigan and other touristy spots throughout the movie, things and places that I had seen in the pictures he had sent home, helped me miss him less. I remember walking out of that theater feeling closer to him than I had in months. I still remember that feeling, how I felt more at peace with the distance and knew we were still friends, even if things weren't the same as they had been when we were younger. Cheesy? Maybe. But it was a real sensation. It's been 15 years or so, but I still remember that feeling as I walked out of the theater.

Again, one of the most quotable movies of all time. "That's MY beauty spot!" "Fancy meeting you here, Judith Tremaine." "To think we were against you in the late war..."

I grew up watching this movie. I remember dancing the Tapioca (or trying to, anyway) with my cousins when we were kids. At the time, I had no idea what white slavery was, but I knew that Mrs. Meers and her henchmen were up to no good with that fake soy sauce.

I had a crush on a boy named Jim once and I would sing the "Jimmy, oh Jimmy" song to myself all the livelong day.

Some of my dearest friendships have been made with folk who know (and quote) this movie as well (and often) as I do. ... I'll never forget the day at the bank when I inadvertently quoted TMM (as anyone who knows me - and the movie - know I am wont to do) and two of the tellers surprised me by throwing lines right back at me. I tell you, I learned a long time ago that if someone knows and loves Millie, they're kindred spirits and the sky's the limit as far as friendship goes! (Don't mind me throwing in one more movie reference there. I can't help it, I get it from my mother's side of the family. ... Okay, okay, I'll stop. But just know that I'm cracking myself up over here.)

If I want a guaranteed laugh, all I have to do is throw this movie in the dvd player and I'm good to go!

Oh, how I love this movie! And the beauty is that it takes place over an entire 12 months, and there are songs for every holiday, so I can justify watching it any time of the year. This, my friends, is NOT "just another Christmas movie"!

When I was growing up, I loooooved this movie, but *sigh* we didn't have it. Whenever I was sick, I'd have my mom call Lorraine Solomon to borrow it so I could lie on the couch and veg to Bing and Fred.

I'd make Valentine's Day cookies when I was in high school and sing "Be careful, it's my heart" to myself as I'd frost heart-shaped cookies with pink icing.

For years, I have been looking for a good recording of the 4th of July song that's in this movie. All the time, I sing "On this day of Independence, on this Independence Day" to myself and then giggle at what a fun play on words that is.

This movie was the debut of the song White Christmas, and it's my favorite version/recording of it - ever. When Bing hits the bells on the tree with his pipe, my heart just sings.

Because my mother raised me to love a good con.

It is true. My sweet, angelic mother looooooves a con. The intricacy of the foil. The finding of a mark and the playing of that person (esp if they deserve it, a la Terry Benedict) is a thing of beauty. My mother taught me many things; how to appreciate a con is one of the most fun (and surprising, if you know her) things that I learned from her.

Somewhere in my heart there is a deep dark spot that wishes I could get away with something like a triple casino heist. Or maybe I just wish I knew a guy like Danny Ocean. Tomato/tomahto.

Honorable mentions (because we all know that I could have listed umpteen movies here):

The original Parent Trap (My whole life, I've wanted to cut the back out of some snotty girl's dress).

Random Harvest (What would you do if the person you loved couldn't remember you? Would you walk away, move on? Or would you find a way to be with them, even if you couldn't be "with" them? ... Thank heaven I've never loved an amnesiac, I don't know what I'd do!)

You've Got Mail (Because who loves Joe Fox? I do, even if he does take the caviar that's supposed to be a garnish. I can't help myself.)

Rebecca (Mrs. Danvers is the epitome of all that is deranged and lunatic. When I was a kid, I would get her and Rochester's first wife confused in my head all the time. ... All I knew is that only crazy women burned houses down and I wanted nothing to do with them. Amen.)

GWTW (Rhett Butler. Need I say more?)

Mrs. Miniver (Probably the first WWII movie I saw that really struck a chord with me. I was a teenager the first time I saw it. Every time I even THINK about that movie, I am filled with a sense of loss and an appreciation for everything that generation sacrificed during the war.)

The Fighting Sullivans (I can't even type the name without choking up. What this movie does to me is the equivalent of Mrs. Miniver squared.)

An Ideal Husband (Oscar Wilde was a freaking genius! The language/dialogue in this movie is to die for. Lord Goring makes me laugh OUT LOUD, and I find myself quoting him on a fairly regular basis. "I always pass on good advice. It is the only sensible thing to do with it." HA!)

The Dark Knight (I know, I know. It's super dark, and this is not a movie most people would put on a list of defining movies. But I looooove Batman! I always have, but I esp love how, in this movie, he lets people think he's the bad guy ... because they need to be able to draw a line between good and bad/light and dark, and it would destroy a city if they knew that their white knight had fallen. That he takes the hit for something he didn't do, in order to allow a city full of people to continue to believe in an ideal is beautiful to me.)

Where the Red Fern Grows (I do love a good coming-of-age story, and this is probably the best ever written. I used to ask to rent this movie whenever I'd get free Rent-a-Flik coupons at school. ... And I'm not even a dog person!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just call me Lola

Even if I'm not wearing "a dress cut down to there", I do have a feather in my hair.

I figure, if the shoe (song) fits, wear (sing) it.

But I digress. A thing which is, sadly, typical. It seems that as soon as I have what I like to refer to as "song association" (esp if it's Barry-centric), I start singing to myself and the point of a post goes out the window. So sorry about that.


I went to an 80's themed birthday party a few months ago and was mocked (can you believe it?!) for my feathered hair-piece.

Mind you, the feathers were coming out of a pink fish that I'd sewn onto a barrette and clipped into my hair. (It was a cat toy. Before you join the throng and mock me, you just think about how many people you know who can fashion an accessory out of a 99 cent cat toy, some beads and elastic. Yeah, that's what I figured. ... From the thrifty/crafty angle, it's a pretty sweet feathered accessory, no?)

Anyway, I was mocked for the feathers. (The flip folder full of cat pictures I was packing around all night long didn't help, I'm sure.) Seriously. Mocked. People laughed out loud at it, and one sweet girl asked me what had made me think to put feathers on a barrette. Because, like, how was that "period"?

Clearly, most of the people at this party weren't alive in 1981. I was. I knew 80's fashion (specifically, about feathers-in-the-hair), because I lived it, baby!

No kidding. This is a circa 1981 pic of me wearing barrettes that I'd made with my very own hands at a Mother/Daughter Homemaking. (And how much do you love that I still have the same pointy chin and smirky look on my face? Hilarious!)

That my mother let me wear pink feathered barrettes with a blue and white polka-dot dress to have professional pictures taken is a testament to how she has always just kind of stood back and let me do my own thing (fashion sense be damned!), bless her.

And there you have it.

Me, with feathers in my hair. Just call me Lola.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Potato Chip Rule of 2011

Sometimes too much of a good things becomes ... well ... a bad thing.

You know, like when I love jalapeno kettle chips so much that I feel compelled to eat the whole bag. In one sitting. Even though my mouth is on fire and my nose is running. ... That's a bad thing.

I knew it was a bad thing. And yet, it kept happening. Over and over (and over ... and, uh ... over) again. (Look, they were on sale to buy a bag and get a bag free. It's not my fault that I was overloaded on bags of kettle chips. Oh, wait. It is kind of my fault that I was overloaded on bags of kettle chips. ... Whatever.)

Anyway, I made myself sick and my tongue was numb for a couple days.

So I had to ban myself from buying chips until 2012.

It's a true story. There's a ban on me buying any kind of potato chips until 2012*, at which point, if I've proven (to myself) that I can control the chips-to-Laurie ratio over here, I will be allowed to buy chips again.

*Gas Station Exclusion to the Potato Chip Rule of 2011: If I am at a gas station (to buy gas), I am allowed to buy one small-ish, snack size bag of chips.

(I had to add the "to buy gas" part, because a day after I made this rule, I was seriously thinking about driving to the gas station just to buy chips. I had to have a firm talk with myself about the reason we have rules and that eating chips isn't good for me, so I can't just have them any time I want them. Basically, I'm like a 7 yr old boy when it comes to food.)

**Birthday Clause to the Potato Chip Rule of 2011: If anyone else were to buy chips for me and present them as a birthday gift, I'd be allowed to accept them (and eat them).

***Which, naturally, opens the Holiday Clause: If anyone were to buy me chips for Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and/or any other holiday between now and New Year's, I'd be able to eat them (and I'd be deeply beholden to any potato chip benefactor who wanted to contribute to my sad, sad cause).

I'm just saying that I'm not allowed to buy chips until 2012, but if someone (anyone or, really, everyone) else wanted to buy them for me, there are clauses built into the rule that would allow such a thing. (Also, my birthday is a week from today. Hint, hint.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Columbus Day poem

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue
And today, I don't have to go to work.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

116 Days

For those of you who don't already know this, I don't brush my hair.

You read that right. I don't brush my hair. Like, ever. It gets all frizzy. There's too much static electricity going on in that mane of mine if I brush it, so I don't. Ever. ... In my defense, I do comb through it when it's wet at least once a week, so it's not a total tangle-fest in there, but brush it? Never.

So, now you know. I don't brush my hair. Judge me if you want. I'm good with that, it's been going on for years.

In fact, let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I lived in Provo and there was a boy in my ward that looked an awful lot like Bob Saget. (I mean, an awful lot. I called him Bob, because he looked so much like him. And he called me Rosie, because back in the day when Rosie O'Donnell would do her hair and make-up for her daily talk show, I used to get told that I was a ringer for her.) Anyway, Bob and I were friends. Good friends, as we were both celebrity look-alikes and had a penchant for making fun of the weirdies at ward prayer. In one of our many late-night discussions of things personal, it came out that I don't ever brush my hair. He was fascinated by the non-brushing of the hair. (In all reality, most people are. I have perpetually had long hair, and there's a lot of it. Knowing that I don't ever take a brush to it makes people wonder how it's not a rat's nest.) Well, to Bob it was a thing of mystery. And to me, it was funny that it was so weird to him, so I totally stopped combing it out when it was wet, just to see how long I could go.

Meanwhile, summer turned into fall and Bob's girlfriend came back from wherever it was that she'd gone for the summer. In fact, as I recall, he went to pick her up. He got back into town on a Sunday and brought her to (drum roll, please) ward prayer to introduce her around. He marched her right up to me, all excited for the two of us to meet and become instant best friends and as he said my name, she rolled her eyes and said something along the lines of "So, you're the one who never brushes her hair?" (in a very condescending tone, I might add). I just laughed and said something along the lines of "Yup, that'd be me". She was horrified. She looked right at my head and, sneering a little, asked how long it had been since I'd brushed my hair. (Apparently, Bob had told her not only that I didn't brush my hair, but that I was mid-challenge with him on exactly how long I could go and not even comb it out when it was wet.) I proudly told her it had been just over 30 days. She rolled her eyes and said that was gross.

Challenge. On.

Before, I'd been all over not brushing my hair just to amuse Bob. ... Now that I knew it bothered his girlfriend that I was a non-brusher, I felt strangely compelled to push her over the edge.

I made it over two months, as I recall.

(Meanwhile, Bob and the girl got engaged. He moved out of the ward - and out of my life - just before they got married and I don't know what ever happened to him.)

Every once in a while, I think back to those months of striking on the hair hygiene front and I laugh out loud and how stubborn I could be when I was younger.

... And then I remember how stubborn I can be now.

It's been 116 days since I vacuumed, my friends. 116 days. This time last month, I was tempted to break out the old Dirt Devil, but then I counted the days since my last vacuum and thought, "Why do it now? If I wait another week, I'll hit the 90 day mark." And now I'm looking at the 120 day mark on Thursday of this week.

Is it sick that I enjoy pushing myself against these weird time lines? (Probably. But the good news is that I don't shed as much as I would if I were a hair brusher. From that perspective, I'd like to state for the record that my carpets could be oh, so very much worse.)