Wednesday, September 29, 2010

forgive and forget?

all right, friends. let's just call a spade a spade. the blog is a little pathetic lately. every monday i think to myself, "this is the week i am going to post every single day!" and then, well, we've all seen what happens then.

and here is the deal. my parents are coming into town tomorrow (best.news.ever) so i don't see any blogging happening until next monday. when i will think to myself, "this is the week i am goig to post every single day!"

and this time, i will mean it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

rain and monday go away

today was a monday in every terrible sense of the word.

for one thing, it rained all day.

for another thing, EH was supposed to be at work this morning at 7:30, which she remembered when we were leaving the house at 9a.m.

for another thing, i drove all the way to work, only to discover that i didn't have my keys to the office. so i drove all the way home, only to discover that they were in my bag all along.

and then it was e-mails and fires and crises all day long, all of which i think are making me talk out loud to myself in my cubicle a lot more than i ever have before/should.

i hope your monday was a little better, but just in case it wasn't i have something to perk us all up. namely, a video of my hip hop routine. i know you have been dying to see it. i think my debut performance at the birthday party talent show was a little better, but the only video i have is of my workplace dress rehearsal, so it will have to do.

video

turns out that in three hours of class i learned enough sweet moves to fill up 58 seconds of music (have i mentioned that before?). not a super awesome ratio, but in just nine more short hours of intense instruction, i should have a whole song's worth of booty-shaking.

stay tuned.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

and wiser, too

this morning i woke up and i was 29 years old.

this morning i put on my favorite ruffle-skirted dress and yellow shoes to celebrate.

this morning EH left me a plate of the most divine donuts i have ever tasted for breakfast.




and then i was flooded all day long with phone calls and e-mails and facebook messages and cards and letters from people who i love. if i could choose only one blessing to keep from my abundantly blessed life, it would be my people. i am blessed with such good people who make my life happy and special and full every single day.

if i could choose to keep two blessings from my abundantly blessed life, they would be my people and my cheekbones. but, i don't want to be too greedy.

this afternoon, i changed into these clothes...




... and did a little hip hop dance performance for my co-workers. because on a day when i receive so much, i like to give back a little, too. turns out, it's taken me three hour-long classes to master one minute worth of dance moves. but, it is a pretty bodacious minute if i do say so myself. i have a video, but i am performing again at my birthday party talent show tomorrow and i don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone. so you'll just have to wait on that.

this evening EH and i went out for some delicious sushi and now here i am, sitting in my cozy house, curled up with my sleek, stealthy stella, reflecting on another year when i got more than i ever could have asked for and certainly more than i could ever hope to deserve.

i had high hopes to lead up to today with some reflections on a few of my remaining 28 goals. but i think we can all see that didn't happen. so, i will have to do that reflecting later. i actually still have a few of those left over (there are sooo many smithsonians!), so i'll carry them with me into 29. and i have started so many things (sewing! dancing! cooking at home!) that i can't wait to keep doing forevermore.

as for this year, i decided to take it back down to the basics. well, first i thought about making one of those "30 things to do before i'm 30" lists. but then i got tired. so then i decided to take it back to the basics. one thing i've learned this year, and one goal for my next year.

here is what i have learned. and when i say that i learned it, what i mean is that i understand it for the first time, and believe it in a truly full way that has already changed my life. it is this.

it is possible to put our lives in the hands of the lord.

and when we do, he will take them and guide them. he will give us little promptings, small pieces of guidance along the way. and then he will let us do our best. and then he will make our best better. and then he will shine the light a little bit further out. and we will feel such peace and comfort. and we will feel that peace and comfort even when the things we were working for do not come. and we will feel that peace and comfort even when what happens and what we wanted to happen, what we hoped for so hard, are two very, very different things. when we have done what the lord has asked of us, when we have made him a part of our lives from the very beginning, when we have done it his way from the start, our confidence is pure and our peace is assured. even when nothing looks right to us, we can know that it is right in the sight of the lord, and that he will help us see it for what it really is.

i can't even tell you in words how deeply i know that this is true, how deeply i have learned this. i learned it because i lived it for what i really think is the first time. i could not have wished to learn anything better.

and my goal. this year i want to be a better friend. a better neighbor. a better community member. a better sister in the gospel. i want to keep plans, remember birthdays, return phone calls, make phone calls, give service, drop by because i felt like i should, send cards and letters and e-mails, know about people's lives from what they say and from what they don't say. i feel like for the last year or so i have been so focused on myself and rebuilding my new life in a new place that i have taken more than i have given and i would like to change that dynamic. starting now.

that plus my leftovers from 28. (i'm looking at you, perfectly fitting jeans!) so i've got my work cut out for me. but 29 is going to be just fine.

Friday, September 17, 2010

the office

the tables were turned on me today and paul, whose cubicle i usually invade, came and invaded my cubicle instead. him and a five pound bag of caramel popcorn and his massive straw.





if you're wondering whether there were three empty cubicles in the room, the answer is yes. but whatevs. i am always glad to have paul around because he shows me all the funny videos on you tube and he eats so many snacks (see: aforementioned five pound bag of caramel popcorn) that i don't feel bad about all the snacks i eat.

things did get a little crowded, though, when edward cullen stopped by.



smack had borrowed him earlier this week and returned him this afternoon. we had a grand old time hiding him behind people's chairs so when they turned around they were overcome with fear. or lust. depending on who they were, naturally.

and that, my friends, is a good friday at the office.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

smarty pants

earlier this week i had dinner with a bunch of really smart people.

sometimes i do pretty well in that particular situation, but this time it was a disaster. i just felt so out of it and non-interesting and un-smart and ended up hiding the whole night behind a diet coke with lime and a few lame jokes.

blech.

and then, the next day, i went to pick up my mail at uncle bob's and this is pretty much all that was waiting for me.





and then last night i read a few pages of this before i went to bed.



and then i thought, maybe that explains it?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

musicology

on saturday jaron and i made the trek out to merriweather post pavilion in maryland to see vampire weekend.

everyone told us that going to merriweather post pavilion was a total pain. that it would take forever to drive out there, that parking was a nightmare, that no matter what we did we would be walking along dusty paths for miles to get to the amphitheater and that basically it would be the worst nightmare of our lives. but, you know, have a good time!

i didn't see how it could be that bad. i mean, people still go there, after all. and the web site has directions to the venue from space. so i figure if you can get there from space in a reasonable amount of time, you can certainly get there from northern virginia.

turns out all those people made it seem approximately 1 kajillion times worse than it was. or maybe they just have bad luck. because we got there in record time, were directed to a sweet sauce parking spot, and spent the rest of the night dancing our heads off in perfect evening weather to a band for which my love only grows.

and, just to seal the fate of our magical evening, we made a list of six songs we wanted to hear them play and (drum roll, please) they played all of them! that has never happened to me before! every single one. you could attribute this to the fact that vampire weekend has only put out two albums. or you could attribute it to magic. i prefer the latter.

one of our favorites, here.

then last night we made the trek to the 9:30 club to see janelle monae. if you are not listening to janelle monae right now this very second, you are making a big mistake. and her live show is a wonder to behold. crazy strobe lights, a dude in a top hat, catchy catchy tunes (that lady can wail!) and superhuman dancing. if you are wondering whether the goal of my current hip hop dance training regimen is to be able to move like this, the answer is a resounding yes. check it out here and here. (the second clip is a little on the long side but so, so worth it.)

(sidenote: has anyone else noticed that practically every video on youtube has embedding disabled these days? what is that about?)

i am not usually one to have near-religious concert-going experiences, but this was pretty dope. i sort of never wanted it to end. and, luckily, thanks to the residual ringing in my ears, the party is still going on. care to join me?

Monday, September 13, 2010

light up my life

as you may or may not recall, EH and i have had a long-running dining room light dilemma.

because, as you may or may not recall, we suspended a bunch of paper globes from the ceiling to a) cover a truly atrocious light fixture and b) distract from our truly atrocious ceiling tiles, the only unfortunate outcome of this project being that one of the paper lanterns rested directly on the light bulbs that were left bare by the removal of the aforementioned truly atrocious light fixture. and turns out paper on top of a lightbulb is a hazardous combination. we polled all of our house guests for possible solutions, with the grand prize for the best solution being the chance to implement that solution for us, but oddly enough no one was really jumping at the chance to rewire our entire dining room, so we decided to take matters into our own hands.

the solution, we decided, was the remove the original lightbulbs all together, pretend as if the trappings of the aforementioned atrocious light fixture did not exist, and go with corded bulbs instead. the bulb could hang in the center of the globe, safely away from the flammable paper, and we could put the aforementioned atrocious ceiling tiles to good use by running the light bulb cords through the tiles, safely out of sight, and then discreetly down the wall to the outlet.

so, to review. the plan was: hang bulbs in the center of three of the globes. string the cords inside the ceiling, out of sight and out of mind. run the cords down the corner wall to the outlet. bask in glorious, artificial light.

{pause. i just sat here for five minutes playing through in my head that scene from mixed nuts when they are trying to decide what to do with stanley tenenbaum's body and felix proposes a two-step plan and phillip freaks out and says, "well, that's not really a plan, felix. a plan has to have more than two steps. a plan has to go, 'first we do this, and then we do this, and then we do this.'" i love that scene.}

this turned out to be easier planned than done. not because of any flaw in the plan, necessarily, but mostly because our arms are not 15 feet long and we could only shove the cord through the ceiling so far and then we would have to sort of guess how far the cord had made it and take down a bunch of tiles until we found it and then push it from there and rinse and repeat until the cord made it all the way to the corner. you might be interested to know that the space between the tiles are and the actual ceiling is big enough to fit my whole head. i know this from experience.

in the meantime, every time we popped out a tile, a steady stream of shards of sheetrock and other building materials would come raining down on our heads, dining room table and carpet. some of it also fell right down my shirt, a little surprise i discovered when i changed into my pajamas later that night. the fact that a dead bird or something even more disgusting didn't also fall out is proof that god lives and loves us.

it took us almost two hours. but, the happy ending of the story is that we did it! all by ourselves! and now, not only do we have cool paper globes hanging from our dining room ceiling, we also have lights in our dining room and our house will not burn down when we turn them on.

win, win, win.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

stealthy, like a fish

as i mentioned earlier this week, i have a new computer. a brand-new macbook pro, to be exact. and why not be exact about these things? she is slim and sleek and shiny and sharp and i am fairly confident she has the moves and attitude of a ninja. so i named her stealthy stella.

also, she sings when you turn her on.

unfortunately, ninjas are masters at secrets, and i haven't been able to get stella to give up the goods on how to download photos from my camera so my scintillating recaps of the weekend jaunt to philadelphia by way of gettysburg will have to wait.

in the meantime, perhaps you might enjoy this scintillating article about a weekend vacation at a nudist camp? (not my vacation, of course.) or maybe you'd enjoy this SNL sketch with christopher walken? it's one of my favorites.

very good, then.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

citywide rodeo

the first thing i would like you to know is that i am composing this post on my brand-new macbook pro. that is right. my apple conversion is complete and i have a feeling my entire life is going to be revolutionized. get ready.

the second thing i would like you to know is that the downtown crew has voted to change their name. they will now be known as the red line crew. it was determined that this was a more accurate nomenclature, even though sarah points out that it is also code for yuppie a-hole. which is so ridiculous because those kids are not yuppies.

see what i did there? joke! because they are not a-holes either.


the third thing i would like you to know is that the maryland state fair is a place where all your dreams will come true. it surpassed my absolute wildest expectations and i could not have asked for more, from a fair or from anything or anyone else, really.

even though i swore, after my other recent fair experience, that i would not gorge myself on artery-clogging food, i just couldn't walk away from a corn dog, or roasted corn or french fries or sips of everyone else's highly sweetened lemonade or pinches of cotton candy, and i certainly couldn't pass up the holy grail of fair food, the deep-fried snickers bar, which was one of the most delicious things i have ever tasted. truly. i recommend sharing a deep-fried snickers bar, though. it is really too much for one person to handle.



sarah also got a turkey leg, which we are pretty sure was actually ham. we are also pretty sure it was approximately the size of heather's head.


then there was pig racing, skee ball, the ferris wheel and the swings, which were just as fun as i remember them being when i was a kid.




and then, to top it all off, we watched a calf be born! yep. we totally saw a cow birth. it was incredible and so exciting and not at all gross. i sort of loved it.


i did not love that the woman sitting in front of us, also witnessing the cow birth, was eating a hamburger. seriously. you can't make that stuff up.

the only thing we missed was the justin bieber concert, which went down the next day. but, like i need another underage crush, so probably just as well.

i must admit that, after such a magical day, i was worried regular life would seem dull and uninspired.




but then i figured, it's nothing a little something deep-fried can't cure.

Friday, September 3, 2010

i'll pay you a dollar to come up with a name for this post

turns out i didn't need to worry about summer coming to a crashing halt with the first day of september because it is still a million degrees outside. so that's pretty awesome. (not awesome.) i think i am best suited to living in a place where there is only fall and spring weather. if you know of such a place, please enlighten me.

the evenings are getting pretty nice and cool, though, so last night andrew (codename: AWD) and i waited until the sun went down and then rode our bikes to del ray for some frozen custard at the dairy godmother. riding my bike to del ray is my new favorite thing to do. and frozen custard from the dairy godmother is my new favorite thing to eat. del ray is also a surprisingly happening place on a thursday night. you should ride your bike over and check it out.

in work-related news, i am on a new project these days and have been working a few days a week out of a different office. the only downside of this arrangement is that there is no desk for me there, so i am sharing a cubicle with my co-worker, paul. literally, we sit in the same cubicle. it's sort of like a clown car. no one can get in and out without the other person also getting in and out, and when one of us swivels our chair, the other person's chair gets swiveled, too. it is sort of amazing. the upside of this arrangement is that paul e-mails me links to thinks like ninjabread men cookie cutters. i feel like i need these and, why yes, my birthday is coming up.



in three-day-weekend-related news, i think it is shaping up to be a pretty good one. i have to stick around to teach relief society on sunday, but tomorrow the downtown kids and i are heading to the maryland state fair (because if there is one thing i can't get enough of it's fairs) and then becky the wise and i are going to drive to philadelphia for the day on monday, fingers crossed. i have been wanting to do that pretty much ever since i moved here, so i am pretty stoked that it looks like it will finally work out. if you have anything favorite things to do in philly, let me know. at this point my plan is to watch "national treasure" the night before and then do my best to recreate that itinerary. which i think is totally realistic.

i'll let you know how it goes. happy weekend, all!