Friday, February 26, 2010

baby got (my) back

well kids, it's been a long, hard week. i feel tired in every way that a person can be tired. i came home from work today and slept for almost three hours because i did not have the energy, physical, emotional or otherwise, to do anything else.

in a word, i am spent.

but here is the good news. the fries and milkshakes at elevation burger are delicious, as emily h. and i discovered this evening, and they can cure almost any ill. as can a good laugh with a good, good friend.

more good news is that michelle, one of my dearest and most favorite mission companions, is coming to visit tomorrow and i cannot wait to see her and soak up her good vibes. we are going to eat good food and sew and run errands like crazy so that, by some miracle, i will be ready to leave for australia on tuesday. (tuesday!)


and maybe the best news of all is that, even though there are people out there who are only looking out for themselves, there are also people out there who are always looking out for you. i really believe that. at some point or another, all our backs need getting. and i am really grateful for the people who have mine.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

i like them apples

there is an important new member of my gadget family, and i feel i have been most remiss in introducing her properly. a situation i intend to remedy right now.

i am speaking, of course, of my new iphone.

her name is isadora, though you may call her izzie for short.

as a fearful late adopter of technology, making the switch to an iphone was not something i took lightly. but now that i have finally taken the plunge, i have to say that my life is approximately 250 times better. and i have only scratched the surface of what isadora can do.

for one thing, i feel more awesome now that i have isadora, even if she's just sitting on my nightstand. just knowing she's there automatically increases my cool person cred. in my own mind, at least.

also, my whole cell-phone-owning life i have despised text messaging. truly. i was slow and always misspelling things and it made me so cranky every time. but now, i could text all day long! i am super fast with my pointer finger and that little touch screen (five times faster than before, according to jaron) and i love the zooming noise my messages make when they are sent. zoom! and off they go!

but most importantly, isadora has just made my life a whole lot easier. i have all the information i could ever want right there at my (pointer) finger tips. i don't get lost anymore, i don't have to come home to my computer to look things up. restaurants, directions, addresses, phone numbers, movie times. even the scriptures. all in the palm of my hand. we are a totally self-sustaining unit, isadora and i.

i mean sure, she has her flaws. her battery life leaves something to be desired, and she seems to get bad reception inside the casa de bennett and keeps hanging up on my mom. but isadora has really given me a new bar for true love. when i love a man as much as i love her, i'll know it's the real deal.

Monday, February 22, 2010


the main object of my recent trip to boston was to visit my big little brother who, in the grand tradition of our family, has taken up residence there for the time being.

i had not been back to boston since i graduated from college nearly seven years ago and, to be perfectly honest, i was a little nervous. there is something disconcerting about returning as a stranger to a place that was once a familiar home. and boston is a particularly crucial place in my life history.

simply put, the life i have now and the person i am now really all started there. boston was the first place i ever turned into a home on my own. it is the place where i fell in love for the first time, the place where i went through the temple for the first time. it is the place where i learned to really be myself. boston is the place where i decided what really mattered to me, and how i wanted to interact with the world around me. it is where i solidified ideas, opinions, my testimony of the gospel. it is where i met some of my dearest, closest, most important and loyal friends, who remain just that to this very day.

boston is where i really met myself for the first time, i think. and i guess that after all this time apart, i was worried that boston and i might not recognize each other anymore.

i should have known better. boston driving certainly hasn't gotten any better and not much else has changed either. five minutes off the plane and it was like we were never apart.

the weekend was really a whirlwind of cramming in as much as i could, with big little brother ben in the middle.

to sum up.

the union oyster house with sarah and KC. i always had to wait until my parents came to town to eat here, because i could never afford it when i was a student. so hurrah for being a working adult.

ben's first ride on the T.

mrs. mallard, plus jack, kack, lack, mack, nack, ouack, pack and quack at the public garden. if you haven't read "make way for ducklings" go do it right now.

my beloved beacon hill. i could spend the rest of my life walking up and down those streets. and we came upon the most delightful group of natty men in bow ties. perfect.

state house and faneuil hall.

the boston temple. one of the best memories of my entire life is going through the temple for the first time here, surrounded by more family members and friends than i can even remember. i still think that heaven will be something like that day, with loved ones all around. i adore this temple.

rubbing john harvard's foot for good luck. i don't know what that's all about, really, but it can't hurt.

and a visit with the quinns. these kids were two years old and six months old, respectively, the last time i took a picture with them. you may notice, they are a little bigger now. ten years old and eight years old, to be exact. and three more kids have come behind them. i won't lie, it sort of freaks me out.

told you it was a whirlwind. but a wonderful one to be sure.

dearest boston, may we never spend so much time apart again.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

come fly with me

i returned a few days ago from a lovely long weekend in boston, which i will recount in all its glory in a soon-to-be forthcoming post.

for now, i am going to tell you that one of the reasons this was such a lovely weekend is that it almost became the trip that wasn't. and i am going to tell you why. but first i am going to tell you that this is not a story for the faint of heart. those who swoon and despair at the misfortune of others should read no further. those looking for a folly to hang over me and remind me of constantly until the day i die, by all means, read on.

it happened like this.

i booked my ticket to boston about a month ago, very carefully choosing president's day weekend because it meant an extra day of beantown fun. and once the ticket was booked, i promptly moved on with my life as regularly programmed and did not think another thing about it.

because cheap flights to boston fly out of the baltimore airport (bwi), and because the baltimore airport is something of a pain to get to, my plan was to ask some kind and giving friend who doesn't own a car to drive me to the airport, keep my car for the weekend, and then come pick me up on monday night.

what a deal!

but then snowmageddon happened and there was no place for anyone to park a car on the street, so i decided my car was best left safe in the bennett garage and i decided to take amtrak to the airport instead.

for those of you sick of reading this story already, let me offer you this one piece of advice before you give up: do not rely on amtrak to get you to the airport on time.

sure, everything will seem fine when you arrive at the station. but then, two minutes before your train is scheduled to depart, they'll announce that it's late. and you won't worry at first because you've planned well and given yourself a buffer. but then, 45 minutes later when there is no word on the train and your buffer has been spent, you will start to panic.

in such a state of panic, i headed over to the information desk, explained my predicament, and requested that my ticket be transferred to a different train that was leaving five minutes later for the same destination.

woman at the counter: i can't do that.
me: is the train full?
watc: no.
me: is it going to bwi?
watc: yes.
me: do tickets on that train cost the same as tickets on my train?
watc: yes.
me: so why can't i just transfer my ticket to that train?
watc: we can't transfer tickets. if you want to get on that train you'll have to buy another ticket.

this was not the information i was looking for.

so, i got all enraged-customer on her and rather forcefully informed her that, if i had more time, i would stay and make a scene. but since i didn't have more time i would buy another ticket and deal with her later.

so there.

but then a significantly more helpful person came over the PA and said that everyone on my train going to bwi should get on that train instead.

so there 2.0.

it was now almost 4 o'clock. my flight was due to leave at 5:30. the train ride is half an hour. things were not looking good.


(is this story still going?)

(stay with me guys. we're not even to the best part yet!)

(i know, i know! the mind boggles that it could get better.)

(but it does!)

i got on the train, then on the shuttle from the train station to the airport, and ran into the terminal at approximately 4:40, waving my hands and shouting at the gate agent, "my flight leaves at 5:30! is there any way i can still make it?!?"

the gate agent was remarkably calm and assured me that i had plenty of time. he then set about retrieving my reservation information.

upon which he got a furrow in his brow and said, "you don't have a reservation on this flight."

luckily, i had already practiced my enraged-customer routine that day, so i was ready to go.

i can't remember exactly what i said, but i am sure i used the words "utterly ridiculous," "i know i have a reservation" and maybe even "i can prove it!"

whereupon i pulled out my (new! exciting!) iphone and pulled up the e-mail with my flight confirmation.

and then, without bursting into hysterical laughter or projecting any judgement and disdain, the gate agent said, "i'm sorry, you do have a reservation. for march 12."


that's right.

it was february 12.

and i had booked a ticket for march 12.

i wanted to throw up.

instead, in the panic and passion of the moment, i shouted, "you have to get me on that plane!" and threw my credit card down on the counter.

had i been desperate to get on the plane because i was racing after my soon-to-be-lost one true love the whole thing might have been sort of awesome. sort of like a scene out of a cameron crowe meeting with a kickass soundtrack.

as it was, it was more like a scene out of "planes, trains and automobiles."

or my worst nightmare.

somehow, maybe through the grace of god, they got me on the plane for a slight $75 change fee. but, as i dashed away from the counter at 4:50p.m., the agent shouted after me, "you're still coming back on march 15th!"

of course.

in short (though why bother with being short-winded after all this?) it took me three plane tickets on two different airlines plus two train tickets plus two metro rides (with transfers!) to make it to boston and back.

and somehow, maybe through the grace of god, i lived to tell the tale.

(did you live to read it to the end?)

(i hope so.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

heart to hearts

i have never been one to honor a strict observance of valentine's day, but the other day i was reading emily the cliff's blog and she had a link to her friend megan's blog, and megan was doing this "14 days of valentine's" thing where she asked 14 people to make a list of 14 things they loved, and while i am a little late to that party i figured the least i could do would be to make a list of 14 things i love, because valentine's day aside i certainly believe in love and think it deserves to be celebrated.

(i realize that whole paragraph was one, big, run-on sentence, so take a minute to catch your breath.)


here we go.

1. eating food cooked by someone else

2. laughing so hard i can't stop; also suddenly bursting into laughter about something that happened a long time ago; also reading or watching something that makes me laugh out loud on the train or a plane or sitting in my cubicle or when i am by myself. so, pretty much laughing

3. unexpectedly running into people i like when i am out and about around town

4. brunch

5. sending and receiving mail

6. my house filled with people having a good time

7. falling asleep in other people's beds

8. fresh flowers, especially when they are given to me

9. farmer's markets

10. james bond movies, the jason bourne movies and pretty much any other movie in the action/heist/spy variety no matter how dumb it is as long as it is not too violent

11. when i remember people's birthdays. of, of course, when people remember mine

12. my bike and riding it just about anywhere

13. writing, writing, writing

14. that moment when a new place feels like home for the first time

and you, of course. much love to all of you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

snowmageddon 2010: are we having fun yet?

my sincerest apologies, dear friends, for the lack of posting of late. as you might be aware it has been a little snowy here south of the mason dixon line. in summary, it has been snowing more or less non-stop since friday night. i have not been to work since friday at 2p.m., and have not left the house at all for the past 24 hours or so. i haven't showered before noon since last week.

so, quite frankly, there has just not been that much to write about.

but, i will do my best.


as with most things that end in tragedy, it all started with fun and games.

(not a bad opening line, eh?)

around wednesday last week people started freaking out about a big storm that was predicted for the weekend. around these parts a "big storm" could be a few flakes that don't even stick, so my hardened western constitution and i were not too worried.

but then lines at the grocery started stretching from the front all the way to the back and around the sides and suddenly you couldn't find milk or frozen pizza anywhere.

and then it started to snow.

and snow.

and snow.

being alone at the bennett homestead (bob and joyce were back in sunny utah), i recruited a brave band to come weather the storm with me. everyone made it over friday evening before the worst of it began and we made food and decorated cookies and watched "paper heart" (which is not as awesome a movie as you hope it will be) and drank hot chocolate and laughed so hard i got a headache.

we also shoveled the driveway.

four times.

when we woke up saturday morning it was still coming down.

so we made breakfast and then the emily h., todd, audrey and kelly set out toward home on foot as the trains had long stopped running.

i worried the journey would be so arduous they would just give up and curl up in a snow drift and die, but they made it back without incident.

lauren and i spent the afternoon sledding down the front stairs and making a snowman. we named him claude. appropos, no?

then we shoveled the driveway.


and it was still coming down.

and right around then it sort of stopped being fun.

lauren headed home saturday evening, whereupon jaron and i spent the rest of the night watching all three jason bourne movies in a row and eating an entire package of oreos for dinner.

by sunday morning the snow had stopped, the sun had reappeared and, after two hours of chipping away at the massive pile of icy snow left at the bottom of the driveway by the plow, i managed to get my car out to take jaron home.

(sidenote: there have been several times since i moved here that i have thought, "i should trade in my suv for a small, zippy city car." i no longer think this.)

the end-of-storm euphoria was shortlived, however, as they were already predicting another storm to hit tuesday.

i thought it was not possible.

i was wrong.

luckily, i got out tuesday morning before the next wave of winter hit to stock up on fabric for sewing projects, cheeze-its, gummi bears and some brief human interaction (thanks, emily h!) before the snow came again tuesday evening, along with 60mph winds.

and the rest, as they say, is history.

i think the total snowfall is somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 inches and even though nothing much is falling out of the sky anymore it will take days, at least, to dig the city out.

i'm going on four days of no work with the office closed again tomorrow, and i wouldn't be at all surprised if it were closed friday as well, which basically means i have no hope of ever getting back on the awesome (and on-time) schedule i had finally managed to commit to. it also probably means that i will not remember the code to get into the bathroom.

and so i will say what i never thought i would. which is this: i miss utah winters.

how can this be?

the good news is that i am definitely getting my money's worth out of my netflix account, i've had plenty of time to read a fabulous book about australia, and after two hours spent trying to figuring out how to wind my bobbin, i am on a total roll with the new sewing machine. (goal #10, consider yourself accomplished!)

and i have not lost power or gotten stranded by the side of the road or run out of anything essential, which makes me a lot luckier than a lot of people around here.

but not as lucky as everyone living in san diego. which is where i am seriously considering spending next winter.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


i have recently decided to suck it up and embrace the fact that i am a yuppie.

as much as i have longed, at different stages in my life, to be a hipster or a hippie or a small-town dweller/lover or an athlete or a power-broker or an earth mother or a charming eccentric, the fact of the matter is that i like cities better and i prefer to have a job and i look awful in skinny jeans and i am going to shop at anthropologie and williams-sonoma and i am going to care about celebrity gossip and i own a car and that's that.

i am a yuppie.

which also means that i am going to listen to npr and totally and completely geek out when emily h. invites todd and me to see the one, the only, the legendary carl kasell. live and in person.

he was just as charming and hilarious as he is on the radio, plus a dapper suit, a slight north carolina twang and a magic trick. (really. he did magic.)

carl talked about where he was when he heard that john f. kennedy had been assasinated, what it was like to cover the challenger explosion, and why radio will keep going strong for years and years to come. he talked about his early days as a country music deejay, how he landed the gig at "wait, wait don't tell me" and his biggest on-air faux pas.

he was smooth and gracious and unflappable and laughed at his own jokes. which i love.

the best story of the night was one about an episode of "wait, wait don't tell me" that included a quote from president reagan, likening the passage of a difficult piece of legislation to "crapping a pineapple." needless to say, most of the subsequent jokes ended up on the cutting room floor. as they say.

all in all, a truly fabulously wonderfully delightful evening.

maybe being a yuppie isn't so bad.

Monday, February 1, 2010

hoodies are for kids

i threw my favorite hoodie on over my dress just now to sneak downstairs and grab a piece of pizza while aunt joyce was teaching her group flute lesson. i like to slip into the kitchen while the kids are busy fluting away, and then head back upstairs to my attic kingdom before anyone knows i was there.

but tonight my timing was a little off, and i was still polishing off a piece of lovely cheese pizza (just for me) (can you name that movie?) when the lesson ended and the kids came flooding into the kitchen for seconds.

no matter. i finished my dinner and made my departure as inconspicuously as possible. except that, as i passed a small cluster of tween girls sitting on the stairs, one of them said to the others, "my sister has that hoodie. only she's 17."

and it hit me. maybe i'm too old to be buying clothes in the kids' section of target?

say it ain't so.