Saturday, December 29, 2007

Best Friends Forever

For those of you who have seen the musical, my dream is to be Auntie Mame. My four year old niece, Keely, slept over last night. It was her first sleepover, and I was nervous that she wouldn't make it through the night. This may be because I was traumatized by MY first sleepover with Teresa Scanu when I was about 6 or 7. She came to sleep at my house and right before bed she started crying for her dad and had to go home. Of course in that case my brothers had been chasing her and beating her over the head with a frying pan which hadn't happened to Keely...but still...I remembered and I feared this would end badly.

I am pleased to report that she made it without once asking for her mom, crying or wanting to go home. Our girl's night consisted of Red Robin (with milkshakes - her request), a little shopping, and then pulling out the futon to make a big bed with pillows and blankets in the living room while we painted our nails ate treats and watched movies until we fell asleep. (Oh, I may also have bought her a few toys to open.) Her dad only packed her pajama bottoms (although Shawn and Lisa were still debating at breakfast who was REALLY at fault on that one)

so you can see we made do with one of my T-shirts which fit her like a glove. (The shirt hung down almost to her ankles, but she refused to let me take the picture w/o her pulling it up and holding it tight in the back so "it looked right." Wow.)

Because I was so nervous she was going to wake up and wonder where she was and where her mom was I slept pretty lightly. Once I woke up to see her getting back in bed. I'm still not sure if she used the bathroom or was sleepwalking. From there on out, I barely slept with each move she made. (What if she killed me in my sleep? She's small yes, but crafty.) She sat up twice and I thought she was She also stretched her arms quite a bit and rolled around a lot. I'm pretty sure I checked on her once an hour between the hours of midnight and 7am when she finally opened her eyes and said, "Good morning Aunt Shauri." Good morning indeed! There's a reason I'm not a mother and it's because God knows I would die an early death of sleep exhaustion.

This morning she told me some of her favorite HILARIOUS stories about poopie (which I'm here to report is the funniest word EVER to 4 year olds.) and which she blamed on learning from her cousin Gavin. They were pretty simple stories like, "This boy had poopie on his face and then he showed it to someone." HA HA HA!!!!

We rolled out of bed after sharing a bit more good bathroom humor, and got dressed for our grand finale - breakfast at IHOP. Lisa and Shawn met us there to pick up their daughter, who I think the sleepover may actually have been more traumatic for than Keely, and then we said our farewells.

When I came home and spent a few days with them in Michigan several weeks ago, Lisa told me that Keely was taking the "best friend forever" picture she and I took in one of those machines at the mall and was sleeping with it. She told Lisa that she was really sad that I always had to leave. This morning I feel the same way.

It's pretty great to be an aunt.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ed can't be a Mormon

And not because he doesn't want to. I don't know if he wants to be one or not, (I'm sure he does) but I had to tell him today that he's not invited. He seemed a little upset (understandably) and told me that the Catholics don't want him either. He thought the Jehovah's Witness people might take him since they come to his door so much, but then he realized they haven't been coming around lately either. Turns out last time he saw them he asked them "if they had to mention the bible in every sentence."

I told Ed his problem might be all the talking. If he could just be quiet and keep his thoughts to himself some of the religions might take him on. I'm still not sure we Mormons want him, but it makes the deal a little sweeter if he could hold his tongue.

A "Sweet-A**" Christmas

Christmas is never going to be the same again.

It's time for me to just understand that, and accept it. I am very glad that Shawn and Lisa and family came out to Utah and that Debbie and Steve were nice enough to invite us over to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but I'm just saying - having mom and dad gone has been eye-opening.

Here's what I mean. Christmas Eve there was high drama because the boys (as usual) were downstairs playing video games. And by boys I mean Steve, Travis, and Mike (close or well in to their 30's) not Gavin and Benji (ages 4 and 1.) I went down with the "real" kids to watch How the Grinch stole Christmas before they went to bed. I thought we could all watch it together. I was wrong. We were told to go to another TV and Mike and Travis said they would just go to Mike's house and play if we kicked them off the game. Everyone got mad (shocker) and we ended up watching it with the kids while Steve and Travis went upstairs in Steve's bedroom. Steve, to his credit did eventually join us and apologized - he just doesn't like not having options. 'Tis the season I guess.

The night did end better after the kids went to bed and we decided to play a game with the adults. Travis and I bought the Atwoods a new game called, "Chicks versus the Dudes." How can you resist a name like that?? It was pretty fun, although we started off kicking the dude's butts and they were furious and saying things like, "The girl questions are super easy and ours are soo hard---every girl knows that a pitcher gets measured on ERA and what that stands for." Anyway, we ended up tying one game to one, although I have no doubt they will tell you they really won both. Why? Because in order to win you have to pass a final challenge. The options for this challenge are: 1. Name the company that makes a given product 2. Spell a given word 3. Finish a given ad slogan or movie line OR 4. THUMB WRESTLE.

It's clearly a good game when the makers bring thumb wrestling in as a deciding factor, I mean how awesome is that?? Perhaps ro-sham-bo would have been more fair though. My fellow "chick" teammates told the guys this was not fair and that none of us could beat any of the guys at thumb wrestling. (I personally disagree, as I have a high level of patience and thumb flexibility, but I gave in to the pressure.) Because we wouldn't let them pick thumb wrestling as our challenge and we won, they don't concede the victory. Basically, they still gave us a different choice and read it, so I have to believe in a court of law our victory would stand up.

So that was Christmas Eve. Christmas day was lovely and Lisa and Shawn were super thoughtful to get extra gifts for the singletons (Travis and I) who weren't getting any packages to open. It was super nice of them to include is in their day.

But nice and good is boring, so let's move on to the....unique part of my day. I had told the basketball guys who got left behind that I would make Christmas dinner for them. You know, Thanksgiving went so smoothly, and, well, that whole matching shoe thing...

Ok, so I picked the guys up (There were supposed to be 4, but 2 changed their minds and I ended up with 2. This was good because the 2 I picked up BARELY fit in my compact car. James literally had the front seat pushed as far back as it would go he still had his knees up to his chin. Lamar was stretched out in back because his legs wouldn't fit with no leg room. Imagine if the other two guys (7'1" and 6' 7") had tried to fit in as well. Anyway, I had cooked for 5 people and I thought there was no way the three of us could put a dent in it. Oh wait, let me back up to what I cooked at their request:

Ham, Macaroni and Cheese (not Kraft, Ed), cheesy potatoes, beans, rolls, and that heath bar chocolate cake.

Ok - so we all sit down at my little table together (again barely fitting) the table filled with food, but mainly with a pot of Macaroni and cheese that was the size of a pan you would use to cook a roast and potato dinner. I had tripled the recipe. I was nervous they wouldn't like my first attempt at Mac&Cheese after the failed sweet potato pie, but they both filled their plates twice. Literally filled their plates twice - high and deep with just mac&cheese and then did the other stuff. They ate half the pot or more. It was amazing. It was actually very gratifying after my Turkey Day failure and I got a compliment which I think I can say with 99% confidence that I will never, ever again get on Christmas day..."Girl..that was some SWEET-ASS macaroni and cheese!" I wish Boob would say it to Delsa after one of her fine Christmas meals, but I doubt it.

We had a good (and entertaining) conversation where I learned all about how much life sucks in Provo for a tall, black man with no car, and what their favorite food is. Care to guess? It's chicken. I said, "Fried chicken?" And James replied, "Fried, baked, rib, breast, wing or thigh. Grilled it, batter it, whatever. Chicken." Seems like a great ad for Chicken farmers.

After dinner James wanted to go home and Lamar and I topped off our Rockwell-ian Christmas with a visit to the movie, "I am Legend." As Lamar looked around all the Utahns walking around, he just shook his head and said, "This place is weird." I couldn't disagree as I thought about my day. Merry Christmas and God bless us everyone.

The Nativity Story

I've never seen a version of the Nativity Story quite this compelling. The story so clearly stood on it's on that costumes weren't even necessary. Except for Debbie. Not sure why she had one, but I think she wore it well.

Let's recap.
The story began with Mary (Keely) and Joseph (Gavin) riding in on the donkey (Steve). Usually Joseph walks, but our Joseph didn't really think that was fair. I kind of agree. You can see the donkey is an ANGRY donkey.

First stop: The innkeeper. Mike. As you can see he is WAY too busy texting to find any room in the inn for our hapless protagonists. I think it was a great modern touch on an old classic.

Second stop involved Debbie as a shepherd and Julie as a sheep, but I'm confused by how and when they came in. They looked good though, which is obviously the most important thing.

Final stop was the birth of baby Jesus. Travis. There are several problems with this in my mind, and apparently in Keely's too because she refused him on two counts.
1. He was too old. She said she would NOT be Mary if Travis was the baby Jesus. When that failed...

2. She began to yell at him that baby Jesus would NOT text. Not because they didn't have texting back in the good old days, but because, "Babies Can NOT text. They are too small!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Waiting for the other Shoe to Drop

After being on the road for a week and a half, I got back to my Flash friends and filming last night. I didn't think I was gone that long, but I got comments from everyone asking where I was and why I hadn't been filming, and how they thought I wasn't doing the film anymore. You'd think I was gone for a month and not a week. I'm not sure if everyone was just missing me and worried I wasn't returning, or if they were relieved not to have a camera in their faces anymore and hopeful that the pain was over at last. I'm going to pretend it was the first, everyone wants to be a star!

While I was gone the team put together a little surprise for Travis & I to thank us for cooking Thanksgiving dinner for them:

It's a size 18 Jazz shoe that the whole team signed. And more importantly, it's a perfect fit. I thought it was a really sweet thing to do, and it almost made up for the deathly silent day of thanks. In fact, I've been getting some hints to cook a little Christmas dinner too....I was thinking definitely not...but now I'm not so sure. I mean I can't wear this shoe out without it's match. I guess I can handle silence one more day...but no sweet potato pie.

And P.S. Another exciting overtime win last night for the Flash. Shawn got his first taste of the joy. I'm starting to track two fans that are especially entertaining and die-hard. More to come on them in the next post.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

PMS - The cruelest joke

I am angry. Angry that I have no idea what I'm angry at.

It's a good thing I live alone, because I'm quite sure that if anyone else was in the house right now they would wish they weren't. And how do you think that makes me feel? That's right, horribly sad. Which is ridiculous right? I mean why am I sad that I'm angry and I don't know why, but I do know that I would hurt someone if they were here? That's frustrating.

And you know what else? I guarantee that after I took out my anger on an unwilling suspect and then started crying because I felt so bad, that it would only be moments later that I would be laughing hysterically through my tears at how ridiculous the whole situation was. Which wouldn't make me angry again, but the cramps that would probably start kicking in around that time would. Yup, I'd be angry again that there was a knife-like pain in my abdomen. I mean where's the justice in 5 days of pain every month? It wasn't enough to be an emotional basket case?

So that's it. PMS is the cruelest of all jokes, and it's played only on women. What, oh what, did we do to deserve this? Did a woman make God angry as he was thinking through the whole creation thing? I actually hope I never find out the answer to that, because it would probably make me angry. And so we come full-circle.

P.S. I yelled at Ed because he had the audacity to come in one of my internal meetings today. Here's why I was mad: he didn't tell me why he was there. Can YOU IMAGINE?? I snapped "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" and almost bit his head off. It might not sound like much to you, but that's because you don't have what I have.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I am unexpectedly elite

I fly a lot. This means I have "status." In fact, I am "elite." That's airline-speak for if there's room in first class you get to sit there... and still not see a movie or get any food.

Before I had "status" I always imagined first class a lot like it was on Seinfeld. Anyone see the episode where Jerry got upgraded and Elaine didn't? He got to sit next to a gorgeous supermodel. They kept getting ice cream sundaes and fresh baked cookies and massages, and the flight attendants were even (gasp) friendly. That was my dream.

I'm here to tell you, it ain't like that anymore. Don't get me wrong - it's better than steerage, but not much. Regardless, and even if it wasn't one iota better, I would still want to sit up there simply because most people don't get to which makes it special. It's like the whole big convention thing where people want all the free stuff being handed out, and take big handfuls of anything free, even if it was just a chunk of poo. Or a brochure. People love free stuff. And people like upgrades.

So what's my point? I don't really have one, but if I had to make one up, it would be that the unexpected upgrade is even better than the expected one so listen up. Today on my flight back I didn't get upgraded before my flight. I checked in and asked if there was any chance I could still get upgraded at the door. The answer was still no. There were 2 seats available and I was 4th on the list. I resigned myself to the back with the people of no status and made myself comfortable. Got all my bags put away and my reading material out. I was resigned to coach.

And here's where it gets good people. The plane door is about to close when a flight attendant walks back to my seat and says, "Ms. Quinn?" Of course my first thought was, "Oh no, they're kicking me out of the exit row." But NO, the heavens were smiling on me today. "Ms. Quinn, there's a seat in first waiting for you."

I smiled and nodded calmly as if I had been graciously waiting for them to realize this and as if it were expected, and then I calmly gathered my things together, nodded to the poor saps who had no status and were obviously not elite and walked up front (without tripping even once) where I belonged. First class. Where you DO get nuts with your drink.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kristin's Early Birthday Surprise

Sadly, I won't be with my beautiful sister on her birthday, so we decided (well, I did) to celebrate together early. How you ask? With that classic, age-old American birthday tradition - massage. What better way to celebrate the passing of another year than having a stranger rub oil on your naked body in low light?

Honestly, at this age it really should be a tradition - rub out the aches and pains of joints that are starting to creak and muscles that don't quite have that same resilience and elasticity of early years. I never thought I'd get to that age where you start complaining about how your knees aren't what they used to be and how you are worried about one wrong fall potentially breaking a hip, but we're both in our 30's now and frankly, the good years are past. So with no further ado - Happy Birthday Kristin!! May your hips stay intact through another year.

I think the massages were a good idea as we had both been a little stressed lately. We went to the Four Seasons, which was lovely. Kristin was lucky enough to get her massage in silence. I was regaled with tales of South Africa, how my quads were actually in decent shape (thanks- I really want my naked body rated while being rubbed by a strange man), and told what kind of stretches I should be doing in the morning.

After the massages, we wanted to take a picture to commemorate our little outing. As you can see from the picture, we really enjoyed it.

We were laughing pretty hard after we looked at the picture and realized how unhappy we looked. Kristin said she was just so relaxed for the first time she couldn't NOT look exhausted. We tried a few more, and while none are what I would call flattering, here's one of the, errr, better shots.

As a postscript, another moment we enjoyed was driving up to the ultra posh Four Seasons in Kristin and Abram's quivering, puttering, baby-goop filled, missing-door handled 1992 Honda. We only travel in style! I'm sure the valets drive better cars than we tooled up in, but hey, no shame in our game!

Excuse my blogging lapse

Sorry for the blogging lapses, I know I rarely miss a day but it's been challenging while traveling. I spent Thursday and Friday in Michigan getting caught up with all the work peeps and Keely's family. (Clearly the dominant member of the family.) We had our Christmas party for work on Friday and it was entertaining as always. Plenty of jokes about Gary being short which are ALWAYS crowd pleaser's.

I think my favorite moment though was pre-party when Ed and Gary were fighting over who gets the most attention on my blog. Gentlemen (and I use the term loosely), there's plenty of time to cover both of your quirks thoroughly. I would hate to think my blog caused a fight between the two of you when you usually get on so well. (By the way, so you can get a picture in your mind, Ed was going to dress up as the Jolly Green Giant and Gary as his sidekick sprout. I thought it would be even funnier if Gary just dressed up as a corn niblet.)

Keely and I got to go to Bob's Big Boy for breakfast one morning (just the girls) which was also a treat. Nothing like giant-sized portions of sugar laden food. She did tell me before we left that her mommy would not want her to eat sugar foods like french toast, so we very studiously avoided the dangerous french toast and chose a healthy pile of pancakes covered with very healthy sugar coated peaches and whip cream. Because she was so good to eat her healthy breakfast, I rewarded her with a candy cane for dessert. I love being an aunt.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Delsa NOT Hot???

This will be short and sweet. Whoever had the audacity to vote that Delsa was not hot at all stand up and be counted. Quickly--Gary is boarding a plane to wherever you are immediately and there will be hell to pay. (that's just an expression mom.)

Wrapping Presents is Hard

Brandt's wife Katie put together the Flash Foundation to help people in need, especially over the holiday season. On Monday after practice the whole team, plus some of the dance team and neighbors went to Walmart with lists of people to shop for. Then last night everyone gathered at Brandt's house to wrap the gifts. Listed below are some of my favorite moments from the night.

1. Aleksander (The Croation - not the Ukranian) holding up a gi-normous woman's bra and asking,"How do you wrap this?"

2. Large grown men who can adeptly dribble between their legs and sharp-shoot a ball in to a small hoop looking helplessly at paper, tape, scissors and gifts and wondering how you turn all those things into wrapped presents. (How do people get to this age w/o knowing how to wrap a gift??)

3. Mike C. wrapping one small toy for 20 minutes with no less than 3 sheets of paper to "cover all the holes".

4. 5 year old Zack coming in where we were wrapping, looking in awe at Mike C. and saying, "'re Cuffee!" Apparently he was so excited to meet him he invited Mike to his basketball game and Mike graciously accepted.

5. James asking me when I was making sweet potato pie for them again. NEVER.

6. Me trying to stir up some rivalry between Brian J. and Kevin K. on their wrapping skillz and Brian turning to me and saying, "Present wrapping is NOT competitive." Kevin won.

7. None of the guys taking crackers to go with their cheese at the buffet because "they looked funny." (It was those big round fancy multi grain ones.)

There were many more, but needless to say it was an entertaining and eye-opening evening for all involved. It was nice of them to come and volunteer to help and it was a great way to bring in some Christmas spirit!

How DOES marriage happen?

Ok, so Gary sparked a minor debate with his comment that you should and would know immediately on the first date if this is the person you can marry. That you will feel like you can't live without them. So for argument's sake I'm curious. Please weigh in with how it happened for you if you're married and how you think it will happen for you if you're not.
I know Delsa at least was MUCH more practical than that. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We can be.. Together Forever Someday

It was brought to my attention by Kris Hansen (one of my most loyal subjects - I mean readers) that I haven't been updating my love life. I want to remedy this travesty, but first I need to deal with Gary. Again. My dear and good (and certainly "special") friend Gary thinks that the purpose of this blog is to verbalize why no man is good enough for me. That simply isn't true. Well, it IS true that no man is good enough, but it's NOT true that is the purpose of this blog. Since he has no doubt been working 800 hours a week as a Rooter-ooski he probably just doesn't understand the content without the dreaded learning objectives. So for Gary's sake, after you have completed all the posts on this blog you will be able to:

1. understand and share the joy of my life with the world.
2. laugh heartily at least once but probably more.
3. explain the difference between Russia and the Ukraine
4. discuss why there are so many loony single men out there (most of which are more than good enough for me to date.) and what their problems are.

There. I hope that helps. Now let's dive into learning objective 4. I had a date last night. He appeared to be normal and nice and I even daresay dashingly handsome. After scrabble and playa, and player romantic dating dabbles though I have tried to set my expectations pretty low. Turns out that can be a good thing. (Just like when you think a movie is going to suck, but you go anyway and then you're pleasantly surprised. Get it?)

Our event for the evening was going to be a trip to the finest theater Provo had to offer. The Forgotten Carols. Scoff if you will, but I LOVE this story and the music. I know 88.8% of you think it's pure cheese, but remember what Fez says, "The cheese in the mousetrap is never free." Ok, that didn't apply here at all, but I've been looking for a good excuse to plug it back in cause it's so freaking awesome! I digress. So, it might be cheesy - but - I like it.

We go to the show and neither of us has seen the live production. Turns out at the end of the show Michael McLean goes a little nutty and does some improv. This is where it gets REALLY cheesy. First we all have to hum silent night and he sings this song "arise" and we all have to, well, arise. THEN...yes, THEN he pulls this little trick I wasn't ready for. He starts singing that good old Mormon missionary video song "We can be together forever someday." You know, the whole families are forever deal. This isn't it though. He makes everyone in the audience "Link up" (which is a little eerie since we met on linkup--do you think he knew? Maybe it WAS fate.) and hold hands or link arms and while you are linked to your very awkward first date dude that you're not sure if you should be touching, you are supposed to sing with him WE CAN BE TOGETHER FOREVER!!!!!! Are you freaking kidding me?? You can't make this stuff up people. It's sick. I just feel really uncomfortable because frankly, I'm not sure that's a promise I can keep to this guy. I hope I can, I really do, but chance are (Gary help me out) he's just not good enough for me.

So on "the real" (as Travis would say) it actually was a fun date and there is some potential...maybe. There's some oddness, but I'm fairly certain that you aren't going to find a 38 year old man who's never been married (or who has been for that matter) without some oddness. Let the games begin. Or continue.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Gary Loves Delsa

For those of you who aren't in the know, Gary Magenta is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing (I think--I don't really follow our org. structure that closely) at Root Learning. He also lives in Ann Arbor and has been kind enough to allow our family to break bread with him many times. He also has what I will loosely call an obsession with my mother. Delsa. I agree she is a lovely lady who has really stood the test of time, but I mean, it's my mother. I just don't know how many more times I can hear "Shauri's mother is SO hot." Especially when it is followed by, "Much better than Shauri." Seriously. Anyway, for those of you who don't check the comments, here is the latest online drooling he posted in response to my blog on Ed's "issues". I mean what do the two even have in common? Is the man obsessed? I leave it to you:

Gary: "I am truly stumped! How can we spend so much time talking about this gout ridden Neanderthal when we could be talking about how Delsa is the best looking grandma on six continents? Ed, no disrespect to you or your “ailment” but I want to help attract people to Shauri’s blog (aka here daily log about why no man deserves her), not prompt people to click over to web MD. Please see a medical doctor; I am not sure this type of group therapy is going to help you heal."

You'll see how he slid in the whole "Delsa is hot and Shauri is not" in new, cleverly disguised words. I guess it's time for a new vote...see top left.

It's beginning to look...

...a LOT like Christmas.
We got dumped on here in Provo yesterday which should make skiers across the world happy. It is truly a winter wonderland, and I have to say that while I am NOT a fan of winter, cold or wearing 10 layers of clothes, there is something magical about that first big dump. Especially at Christmas time. Garrett and Travis are singing carols (well the one or two lines of them they know- bob-style.) and all is merry and bright.

The downside of the snowfall was getting to the Flash game last night. Roads were treacherous and I think it kept away a good portion of the crowd. There still appeared to be about 1500 -2000 in attendance, but not the big weekend crowd they were hoping for.

The other big problem the snow caused was a leak in the roof. On to the court. We thought everything would be canceled, but apparently that was never an option. We watched as building employees stood by the dripping bucket watching drips and hoping for a Christmas miracle. Honestly, I never saw anyone actually do anything to solve the problem, so I think it must have eventually been a miracle that saved the day and kept Brandt's head from exploding. The funniest thing to me was watching men in vests stand by the bucket with heads up-turned to watch the drips and their wrists up. Why were their wrists up? Why, to time the drips of course. They kept me posted as we moved from 5 seconds to 20 seconds between drips. It seemed like a very helpful and relevant task.

Danny Ainge was in attendance, and I have to say meeting him was a disappointment. I think I built it up too big in my head. I mean, in High School I did make cupcakes every year at playoff time that I decorated in white and green frosting with the numbers of all the players on the Celtics team, so I kind of thought meeting him was this small dream come true. When I introduced myself, I must have interrupted something because he seemed slightly put out that I was talking to him and laughed a somewhat scoffing laugh when I told him I was hoping to do a more formal sit-down interview with him later in the year. Maybe this was in my head, but I will tell you--I wish that when he bit Tree Rollins back in the 80's that Tree had taken care of the little squirt then and there. At least I have interview footage of him from the night before that I can edit to make him say anything I want.

So sometimes dreams come true, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they're just not what you always imagined. Luckily my dream of living in Provo with Travis and Garrett did come true and is all that I ever dreamed. Who needs Danny Ainge anyway?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rootsters Please Read : Vote For Ed

Some of you may remember my "ED has Gout" blog. If you read it, you'll remember a guy with what could be perceived as pretty nasty foot disease, but also with a big tender heart who loves Little Women. The book people, not midget ladies. (He may like those too, but it's not my business.) This blog can be enjoyed by all, but is primarily dedicated to my "co-worker - subscribers" because Ed has a need. Maybe more, but there's only room in this blog for one. Here it is: Ed needs to be fun.

Last May I won the prestigious "Fun Award" at one of our Root-tastic events which was obviously well-deserved although I DO try to be modest about it. Ever since that day, and without fail, whenever Ed and I talk he makes a comment like, "Oh, well I guess that's why you won the fun award." OR "That makes sense since you won the fun award." You get the idea. He's bitterly jealous. He CRAVES the fun award, much like my brother Ryan when he was 5, "Craved Adventure." ("Mr. Thompson, I CRAVE adventure." It's a classic Quinn story.) Sadly, he hasn't received this award, so I make a plea to you, the voting public...GIVE HIM THE AWARD. I'd like to say this plea is for his benefit, but it's really for mine. I just want him to shut his yapper.

So here are some of the reasons why Ed deserves the award. All of which came from our conversation last night on the phone. (Where yes, he did bring up my award again.)

1. I discovered that Ed isn't as smart as I thought he was. And I said so. He thought this meant he changed from being smart, but I was forced to tell him it was more about me than him. I just didn't GET it before. His reply, "You know the smart thing is all I have going for me." Not anymore, so let's let him be fun. Frankly, if he's not that smart he deserves the Fun award. Look at the history of recipients: Me, Maria, Gary, Mark, Tricia, Jeff, Jason C must have been in the mix...Look, these are historically un-smart people. Ed's primed.

2. He's street smart. He was tossing out words on our call like hoodlum. But in much fancier ways than you or I might say them. His pronunciation: WHO-dlum. (he suggested I could phonetically spell this whoo-dlum, which to me is again an indicator of his intelligence and ability to think outside the box - why two o's in who? how clever!) I assured him it was hud-lum (with that fancy double dot over the u) and he replied, "Really, well then how would you say h-o-o-d?" Well my fun friend, it certainly would NOT be whoo-d. But people--how FUN is that?

3. Now this last one is fun. He's emotive. Just ask him to pretend he's fat Albert (his middle name) and to say "Hey, Hey, Hey..." If you want fun--put on your seat belt cause you're in for a wild ride down the boulevard of FUN!

That's it. There are so many more reasons, and I'm sure he'll continue the campaign, but for my sake, I beg of you...don't vote your conscience this year. Just vote for Ed.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Dream Wedding...Dance

A friend just passed on this link and it is way too irresistible to resist posting it. Please enjoy and should the blessed event ever happen for me, I just want you to know what you can look forward to.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Flash Lose

It was too good to be true---2 games in a row, well it was time to end that robust streak.

I have to say, the Flash are doing a MUCH better job of managing and operating their team than any other team in the league I've seen. There was literally no more than 35-50 people in that Anaheim arena tonight. It was dead silent at times. Bizarre. When you compare it to 3,000 at Utah and all rowdy, obnoxious fans, it's a pretty stark difference. Which makes for an interesting angle in the documentary -- what it takes to get fans and how that impacts the players.

I tried to interview Gabe Pruitt's dad (the Celtic player) at the game, but he wasn't having it. Apparently he was too busy trying to get Brandt to go down to the locker room and give his son messages about changing his sneakers to the right brand. Of course Brandt was NOT having that, so he told daddy-o, "I'm not a messenger boy, I'm the owner of this team." Hello, and check-mate. Gabe's not winning any points with dad's help.

The exciting news is that Danny Ainge is slated to come out to Fri/Sat's games this week to watch his players and I'm planning to grab some time to both interview him and tell him about the Celtic parties I used to throw where I decorated cupcakes in green and white with each player's number. I think he can't fail to be impressed by that.

I did forget to mention why I suck at driving in my last blog. That is because I was trying to straighten my car in Travis and Garrett's garage and I accidentally ran in to the metal thing-y that makes the door go up and down. Garrett and I were frantically trying to fix it before Travis got home, cause we knew once he saw the damage we would be spanked and grounded for life. Sadly, we were just one last blow away with the wrench to fixing it when Travis pulled in. He was very, very disappointed in us and even though we fixed it, I'm not sure if he will ever be able to look at me the same. I tried to explain that it's not my fault, I just suck at driving and it's so great that I can own that....he didn't get it. It was like I was talking to a rock. I thought it was a great explanation. Anyway, big thanks to garrett for using a wrench to weld the door thing-y back together. I think we found his career...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I suck at bowling. And driving.

But at least I'm willing to admit it, which I think is really commendable.

Yesterday was Garrett's birthday, and I am sad to say that I had completely forgotten (which everyone knows isn't like me) until he came over the night before and reminded me. Which I'm really glad he did.

So last night we got a group of party-people together and took him out to dinner, followed by cake and a sweet night of bowling. A Provo-show stopper you might say. I mean, we took every single thing you CAN do in Provo and put them in to one night of joy for our birthday boy.

I've always suspected I sucked at bowling, but it wasn't until after the first game when people were complaining about their scores of 150 and 170 that I glanced up to see my blazing 61 and thought, "wow. you're bad. and not in the good way." So hey, that's a lesson learned. We can't all be good at everything, and frankly I'm pretty busy right now being good at blogging and wearing twinner dresses better than other girls. I doubt if US magazine has ever had such a run-away winner. Hello- I'm beating the other girls by over 90%!! So, thanks for your support people. Honestly, I'm sure you were all voting authentically and not just trying to make me feel good. Right?

So back to Garrett. If you're reading this Garrett, and I'm sure you are after yesterday's comment of, "This bad internet connection is really killing my blogging" or something like that, I want you to know that I hope you had your best birthday yet. I was thinking about your complaint yesterday that it is very rude how all those people make jokes to you about never leaving the house, and I agree. So I've come up with a very special birthday present for you. It's the top five (ten is really, really hard) comebacks to their silly, stupid comment "You never leave the house.":

5. That's because I'm trying to break a world record here which requires great determination and willpower. Something you obviously know nothing about.

4. So?
(I like this one. It's simple, elegant, and hard to come back to.)

3. I know. Because when I do leave, I meet up with more stupid people - like you.

2. I accomplish more in one hour of not leaving this house than you do in six days of not leaving it. I mean, if you didn' know, leave it either. (The aim of this one is to just completely confuse them and leave them speechless. Turn and walk away.)

1. Pull a Chris McKay on them and say, "If you say that to me one more time I will knife you in your neck."
(Chris is a friend who got in the car for dinner last night and told us that he was going to "knife his ex-girlfriend in the neck if she showed up tonight.")

So, that's it. I hope this is the best birthday gift money couldn't buy. To my favorite youngest brother who never leaves the house, but does it on his own terms.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Heather got married yesterday and it was beautiful event. We noticed that they divided tables up by maturity level and ours was on the lower end of that scale. (We were trying to make ourselves feel better by saying we were the "fun table" but let's call a spade a spade.) Later that night Wallace asked Jamie and I if we thought she would be mature when she was 40. I reminded her it was only 4 years off, so chances weren't good.

Many of the wedding peeps requested copies of the pics I took, so I'm throwing up this little slideshow for your viewing pleasure. If you see one or two or eight you want, let me know and I'll be happy to send them your way!

Heather's Wedding

Who Wore it Best?

For those of you who read (or will admit to reading) US magazine, this title will require no explanation. For those of you who don't, here's the quick-ee rundown. US magazine finds women who are wearing the same outfit, snaps a pic, and then posts them together in the magazine asking the fans, "Who wore it best?" It's aswesome because it takes a situation where a woman is already embarassed or uncomfortable because she's wearing the same outfit as someone else, and then finds a deliciously evil way to make her feel even more self-conscious. Hey, take a look at this other woman wearing the same outfit and wonder if everyone thinks she looks BETTER than you in your twinner outfit.

Here's a link to the real one if you want to see how it works:

So last night was Heather Fortuna's wedding. All was happily sailing along until Wallace leaned over to me and said, "That girl is wearing the SAME outfit as you!" But it got worse, this girl's BFF walked by after her and was wearing another twinner dress! Wallace and Jamie were cracking up and thinking it was embarassing for me, but they have no idea of the power of the blog and how it has liberated me. I embraced the US magazine tradition on its face and said, "This is great! New blog material! Come on and take a picture of me with these girls so I can post it and find out who you the readers think "Wore it Best."

I got Jamie to come with me and round up the girls for a photo, and it was hilarious because once people saw us together posing for Jamie a big crowd gathered around and soon EVERYONE was taking pictures. Everyone loves Twins...or Triplets in this case. The lesson people? An embarassing moment handled confidently can become a celebrity moment. Just make sure it's not a Britney moment.

So now it's your turn to speak. Who wore it best? (Vote at top left of page)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Texting = Good Communication

Wallace, Travis and I were going to go out with Mike C. last night because he is one of the few players that does like to leave his apartment jail and actually get out, but we ended up staying home. (Because we couldn't think of anything to do!)

MC kept texting me to see if we were going to do anything. Let me just add a side note here- I don't get texting. People in this younger generation (I can't believe I'm saying "kids today") use it as their sole form of communication. Remember the silent Thanksgiving dinner? They weren't talking, but they sure were texting each other like mad. In fact one of them texted me! And as I ran across the room to grab my phone to get the urgent call, I was shocked to see the message was from someone sitting three feet away from me, and the message said, "Dinner was really good - thanks. Are you going to California?" I mean I'M SITTING RIGHT THERE- ASK ME!!!! Ok, back to the story.

At one point Mike randomly wrote, "Are you married if you don't mind me asking? Was that your friend that came to Thanksgiving?"

I was with "my friend" (wallace) when I got it and after reading it to her, at first pass, I thought - he must be interested in one of us. Then my little mind kept working and put two and two together and I realized....He thinks I'm a lesbian!! He's asking if we are just friends AND if I'm married!!! I tend to sometimes be impulsive, and Wallace slightly more so, so she insisted I tell him that we are not lesbians immediately. I wrote back and told him just that- I am not married, and I'm not a lesbian if that's what you are implying. He wrote back, "Lesbians? LOL, I just wondered if she was your friend."

Ok, so maybe I'm (I mean we're) a little paranoid. But come on, why would she be at dinner if she wasn't a friend? Of course he continued texting and let me know that he was hoping that all three of us could get together and be "friends". I think he was leaving it open for interpretation, but I chose not to go down that path again with my wild imagination.

As a side note, the activity we finally settled on for the 3 of us was Game Night 2007 live. This came about through the following texted convo:

M.C.: What is there to do in Provo?

Shauri: Well, movies, bowling, rollerskating, shopping, and games.

(I thought the response to this would be radio silence. As in - that's lame.)

M.C.: What kind of games? video?

Shauri: (in my head: he really wants to know what games?) Video games, card games, board games, reindeer games, you name it they love it!

(I figure this will end the conversation. Wrong. Turns out he loves...)

M.C.: What kind of board games?

Shauri (in head: Seriously?) What kind do you like?

M.C.: Monopoly.

(Does anyone else find this hilarious yet? I just can't believe this is real.)

Shauri: Awesome. Any others?

M.C.: Yeah. (Period. That's it, just "yeah.")

Shauri: Ok. Well, I'll tell you what. You, me, Wallace - game night 2007 Live.

I don't know why, but for a guy from the streets of Philly who is used to going out clubbing, has a baby-mama with twins, and is used to doing other, more, errr.. urban activities, it really tickled my funny bone that the activity he latched on to was "board games." And that he actually had one in mind - Monopoly. He's AWESOME! Just goes to show you can't judge a book by it's cover.

So that's it. Game Night is coming up and it's gonna be hot. I'll keep you posted as I know you are all glued to your seats in anticipation.

He's a lover, not a fighter

I am posting this specifically for Mom. If these pictures don't make you love our slightly confused Ukranian lover, I don't know what will. He's helping the "little guard" up after a foul. I mean their faces are precious! I'm sure Kevin doesn't know what's going on!

This one does seem to imply that maybe he isn't finding very many Utah girls. But c'mon - it's cute. (It was the post-game shot right after Cuffee here drained the winning 3.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh what a difference a win makes

If every Flash game is as exciting as these last two home games, I may have just switched my allegiance from college ball to the D-League.

Once again tonight, the game came down to a last second shot and with the Flash down by one point, with 1.8 seconds on the clock our boy Michael Cuffey took the pass, calmly looked down and took a step behind the 3-point line (note: he only needed 2) and drained the 3 getting fouled in the process. He made the free throw and put the game away.

The arena went crazy!!! 4 Jazz players were there tonight on the front row as well as Frank Layden, Smitty, and Jerry Sloane. These guys all said they would be regulars at the games they were so exciting. When Cuffey sank the winning shot they were all on their feet hootin' and hollerin'.

What's especially exciting is that Travis can take a deep breath and relax because there will be no anger in tomorrow's ops meeting. He was pacing the arena all night long looking like a caged lion. Brandt was on cloud nine hugging everyone and giving high fives. It honestly felt like we had just won the world championship of....well... the world.

The players are all starting to jell, and some are beginning to actually take floor leader roles, and you know what? I even think they are starting to TALK to each other and just people. Like me.

In filming yesterday, I did learn what a day in the life of a player is all about. Sleep until 10 am, go to practice at 11 until 1. Then come home and take a nap, watch a million Martin re-runs on video, lay around the house, take another nap, text and go to bed. It's like jail - no one leaves the house. And some of them actually like it. Brandon Wallace, the Celtics player said he would do the same thing if he was at home or in Boston. He'd just chill. Wow.

He also told me something kind of cool. One of his basketball heroes was Kevin Garnett. He was so excited when he made it on to the Celtics and got to meet him. He said Kevin took him out shopping and bought him 3 suits and told him to work hard and make things happen. Can you imagine how great it is to follow your dream and to succeed at it to the point where you become a peer to your hero? Pretty cool. Oh, and getting 3 free suits isn't too shabby either, although I'd prefer to just have the cash.

Everyone will be relieved to know that I did NOT try to vault any chairs tonight and managed to stay with my feet firmly planted on the ground.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sex Ed - Ukrainian Style

Time for another update on our favorite Ukranian (NOT Russian) player.

Yesterday, after filming at practice I was sitting on the couch talking to some of the players. Our old friend Fez, found his way over and started to chat with me. He told me about the player meeting they went to and how some of the sexual health material was rather unpleasant to look at. Then things got really interesting. Again, I bring you Fireside Chats with Fez:

Fez: Did you know that these, uh, how you say, yes, condoms are only...

Shauri: ..97% effective?

Fez: No..not thees. I am saying to you that they are only effective for 40% of time to prevent sexual disease.

Shauri: Ahh, interesting. That seems like a low number.

Fez: Yes. It is low and these doctors, they are the only ones who know thees and they tell no people. My brother is doctor and he tell me.

Shauri: Well that's good to know.

Fez: Yes. You should be careful with the girls that you are dating and things.

Shauri: Right. Like maybe even get to know them and date them before you need a condom.

Fez: Well, this is much. I think you should date girls that are wiz-heads...

Shauri: Wiz-heads?

Feez: Yes. You know, they are smart girl. They will go with you for these checks to be tested.

Shauri: That does sound like a wiz head. How often do you do this?

Fez: Oh I do it very regularly. Once a month I go for this check and I bring girls.

Shauri: Once a month?? Is Wilt Chamberlain your idol?

Fez: No. Magic Johnson is the best for women. I be like him.

Shauri: No, Wilt. Wilt definitely slept with the most women.

Fez: This cannot be true. I believe and I know that it is Magic.

The debate continued until we called in the assistant coach to settle the argument and he agreed that Wilt definitely slept with the most women. Either way, it is slightly concerning that our Ukranian lover has such goals. I have a feeling he will not be needing such a frequent check up here in the state of Utah.

The Home Opener

So on a less exciting note, I thought the first game of the season was a great success! Sadly, they lost the game on (literally) a last second shot. There was in fact, one second on the clock. Frank Layden did tell the camera (mine) that it was the worst call ever. But overall, it was a nail biter game with lots of excitement and the crowd seemed to be very in to it.

I know Travis was a bit disappointed that he sold 5,000 tickets to the game and only about 2-3 thousand showed up, but I think it was still a great showing and the crowd was loud enough to be 5,000. It was run soooo much more professionally then the road games I saw. They had red carpet, complete with paparazzi taking people's pics as they came in and interviewing them with questions like, "who are you wearing tonight? I love your outfit." They had a brand new, awesome Flash floor, professional media setup, fireworks to start the game, the whole team running out of the tunnel with the lights down and spotlights, and the mascot riding on the floor on the free scooter giveaway. All-in-all I thought it was an awesome production with lots of fun for everyone and a complete success.

It was really cool to see it all come together after following the ups and downs for so many months and not seeing any actual results. I think the players were a lot more pumped to play in front of a home crowd that really loved them too. Maybe now they will start talking. One can dream.

Crowd favorites were already starting to be picked too. I asked all the ballboys if they had a favorite and they all agreed on Michael Cuffee. In their words, "he's awesome!"

As mentioned in my previous blog, I also met the guy who's in charge of the D-league for the NBA. His name is Dan Reed and he wanted to talk to me about filming because apparently it's creating quite a stir. The league is very protective of their I.P. and already shut down one documentarian in Anaheim. Luckily I was able to shmooze him a little when I found out he went to good old Pi High in Ann Arbor and played basketball with Shawn. Shawn- he sends a shout out to you. We talked about Hayward and Donyell, and Quentin and all your old Quinn-daddy boys. Pretty crazy small world. Anyway, he still wants to talk and still has concerns, but the Ace Deuce may come through in the clutch for me.

So that's it. Nothing funny, but it was a GREAT game. Cuffee actually made a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left to tie the game when all hope seemed lost. The crowd was on their feet. Not a win, but the kind of game that brings you back. Or brings you to your back in my case.

Woooommmaaaannn Down!

I would love to write about the actual game experience last night, but I have been informed by reputable (and sensitive) sources (Janine, Wallace and Travis)that the highlight of the game was not even part of the game, but right after it finished.

Post game, I was walking around with my camera and backpack talking to some of the people on the court when all of a sudden I heard my name yelled. I turned to see my friends Wallace, Erika, and Janine sitting about 6 rows up on the other side of the floor. I broke into a grin and started to amble towards them. I got so close I could almost feel their loving arms embracing me, when I was stopped by a row of floor seats that were bolted to the ground. I looked right, I looked left and there was no close way to walk around them. I saw Wallace as if in slow motion, waving her arm and saying, "cliiimmmmbbb oveerrrr." I shrugged and pushed the seat down, thinking it would stay. One foot was up before I realized my error. Just as I was taking my second foot off the ground, I realized I was about to be catapulted upwards as the seat began to snap back in to place. The rest was in super slow-mo. I knew I was going down, but I had time to think through the whole process as it was happening. At first I thought I might just land awkwardly in the chair, than I thought I could protect with my hands and just land on my butt. Then I realized my camera was in my hands and it was more important to protect 3K of equipment than myself. I stopped moving to catch myself and instead tried to place my camera on the next seat as I was going down instead of watching it hit the floor. I did manage to save it but just as I fell flat on my back on top of the backpack strapped to said back. I looked like a turtle on it's shell with legs wriggling in the air. It was probably the most awkward fall known to human kind.

Moments later I see my brother's laughing face hovering above me. I search it for concern, but all I see is laughter...and embarrassment. He pulls me to my feet and burrows me in to his chest, not to hug me, but as he says, "To hide me." as in, "Let me hide you." Wallace and Janine come screaming down the steps with laughter. EVERYONE saw it, and the people behind them said, "She should have caught THAT on film." The outpouring of love and concern is overwhelming.

The worst part for me however, is the fact that there was a man there from the league (NBA) who I was supposed to meet with the next day (today) to talk about my film and the distribution possibilities. He saw the whole thing. I don't even know HOW I will be able to look him in the face and have a serious conversation as he thinks, "This person? This is the person we would trust to have a camera and capture interesting footage??" I'm so humiliated.

It does remind however of one of my favorite falls - at Steve and Barry's in Michigan. Kris, I think you know where I'm going. When you missed the steps and went down like a brick behind a shelf of shirts. And as we were laughing on the ground, the man who peeked around the shelf to see you and thought we were mad as loons and wouldn't crack a smile. Falling can be fun, I get it. But this one wasn't. Yet.

Next post....the actual game, a secondary story.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Game One - Sweet Victory

Saturday I flew to Anaheim for our first official game. When I say "our", I mean the Flash. I'm not sure they include me as part of the team, but I like to think they should after my potato pie efforts.

It was rather exciting. I thought we were going to lose, but we ended up winning on a last second shot by Gabe Pruett who had just been sent down by the Celtics the day before.

What was sad about that is it gives a little glimpse in to how fragile your dream is as a professional basketball player. On Thursday the guys had just been talking to Wallace about how you can get sent down or up at anytime during the season and that you are never secure in your spot. We saw that first hand the next day when Pruett came down and Gary got sent packing just hours before his flight to Game One. It's a tough business. (The top picture is of our two Celtic guys.)

It was really interesting to see how poorly attended some of these games will be. The Anaheim team only had about a couple hundred seats filled and felt very empty. (You can get a bit of a feel for that in this picture.) It will be interesting to see how many show up for OUR game opener tomorrow. I'm sure everyone in the Flash organization (especially travis) is nervously awaiting that moment of truth.

Nothing very exciting or interesting to post on the personal front. I'm suffering from major PMS, so mostly just trying not to talk to very many people. This is for their benefit, not mine so I hope the concern is appreciated. (Is it ok to say PMS on your blog? I think when you are experiencing it, it is.)

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm famous. In a very small way.

Ok...this is kind of cool. To me.

I found this picture of me on the Flash Website - I didn't know it was there. Check out this link: and once you get to the page you'll see a frame with pictures - I think the new Celtic Draft pick is in the first one. If you click through to number six you can see this pic of me on the job interviewing ex-NBA player Thurl Bailey at the open tryouts. As you can see, we are really enjoying the interview - or at least I am.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dinner of the Dead

Sometimes when I'm at home by myself eating dinner I will suddenly start out of my deep thoughts (yes, I have them. Mostly about The Office) and realize, wow, I must have drifted off because it's so quiet in this house by myself.

I had a similar experience today. Only it was much, much more startling. I was sitting at the table lost in thought and silence when I suddenly started back to reality and gave a double start to see myself surrounded by giant, silent men.

Men that Wallace referred to as "a Redwood forest" upon first meeting. As in, "I feel like I"m surrounded by the Redwood Forest." I wouldn't be surprised if that was when they decided to shut down. I mean, nobody wants to be thought of as a Redwood tree. Do they?

Wallace thought we should have dressed up in our mime outfits to see if that would have helped facilitate the conversation. Maybe I'll try that next Thanksgiving.

I did attempt to make sweet potato pie at their request, and I am here to tell you...I failed. Well, mostly I failed on the crust. I saw players scraping the insides out of the crust and eating that. Here were some of the comments, "It's ok - it was your first try." and "You should just get the already made crust" and "Wow, this DRINK is really good." A drink I made by pouring cranberry juice and 7UP in to a pitcher. Now I know that the best food for this group is already made, processed or bottled or packaged food. I wish I had known that up front it would have saved a lot of time and effort.

A couple of the guys were very sweet and did thank me for a great dinner, but there were a handful of not so nice, not so grateful guys too. Travis said we should think of them as really pretty girls. The girls who don't have to develop personalities because they are so pretty. You can't talk if you ain't got nothin' to say.

Anyway, it was definitely a trip. I have never, never had trouble pulling people out and messing with them until they loosen up and talk....until yesterday. Wallace and I did have a good conversation with the guys who sat at our table finally about jail and polygamists which they were REALLY interested in, and we also learned that women in Croatia are really hot. Wallace made this comment to the Croatian player and he agreed wholeheartedly. She then asked what he thought about women in America, and I said, "careful you have 2 at the table" this didn't really phase him as he replied, "Ohhhh...they are alright I guess."

It was a quiet, quiet holiday, so I guess it was, in retrospect, very like a Hallmark Card as I suggested in my previous blog. Both are after all silent.

Cooking Turkey is Gross

Two nights ago I had a flash of either complete insanity, or overwhelming generosity. Since I know I'm not that generous, I think we can go with insanity. Which, by the way, was one of the pleas I could make in court for my ticket of running a stop sign. You have no idea how tempting it was when the judge asked, "what do you plead to this charge?" not to say, "Judge, I was clearly insane." It was really funny in my head, but this time the gatekeeper was strong, and I resisted. Judges don't tend to have good senses of humor I've noticed. I guess I learned from my "Did you see my dad's picture on the porn site?" comment when the gatekeeper was not active this time last year. See - I grow.

Sorry for the tangent. Back to this moment of insanity. After many puppy dog eyes and comments about nowhere to be on Thanksgiving, I offered to feed the entire Flash basketball team. I thought maybe other staff would split them up with me, but no one else seemed bothered by the fact that they were not having a turkey dinner. I think I have overactive guilt complex. Once again, I have to give thanks to Delsa for that one. (It just means you're nice mom. At least that's what I'm telling myself.)

Anyway, I have no idea how much ten 7' ball players eat, but I'm guessing it's a lot. I'm a little nervous about guessing on portions - but mom told me if I guess too little to just send them to McDonalds. I asked her if that's what she would do, and she said, "No. But I wouldn't guess wrong." Very helpful.

I'm also a little nervous because half of the food I'm making I've never made before, so I have no idea if it turned out or not. For example, sweet potato pie. Never done it. But these boys seem to think it's a Thanksgiving staple, so I made some for them. I have no idea if the pies are right. I also am making mom's caramel yams for the first time and Kristin and I both struggled with directions like "wait until it turns a tan color" There are so many shades of tan! And whether it should be runny or not. I mean, please, just a bit more specific for the Thanksgiving rookies. Here's the worst part though - THE TURKEY. I'm not even going there. After reading online how to do it, with instructions that included "Break the neck and pull out the giblets and tie back the wings" ugh - no way. Seriously the grossest idea ever. I'm buying a pre-cooked turkey -ready to go. I have no time for making that anyway. I've been cooking for 24 hours straight and still going.

Guests today will include 10 players, Travis, Me, and Wallace. I can't imagine a more perfect, traditional, Hallmark Card Thanksgiving. At least I know I will walk away from it with plenty of blog material.

Happy Turkey Day to All!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ed Has Gout

And I'm also furious about the Bachelor. On many levels. But I'll come back to that.

Ok, let's talk about Ed and the Gout. For those of you who don't know, Ed is a co-worker. Apparently it's a big problem for him and he's been having a hard time getting it out there, and speaking publicly about it no matter how valuable it would be for him to educate the public. To help him with that first step, I told him that I would happily publish it for him on my blog and break the ice. I don't really understand the worry. He always tries to keep people away by putting on his Britney Spears headset--and it doesn't always work. With this blessing of a disease he simply has to put a sign over his desk that reads, "I have gout" and he'll get all the space he needs and wants. See image below:

The one thing I thought was a little strange was the fact that one of our clients and friends, Hannah of Holiday Inn Express fame, also has a strange and rare disease that few have heard of (sorry Hannah- had to be done) and the way that Ed finally figured out what they both were suffering from was his reading of the book Little Women. Yes, the little girl's classic. Can't you just imagine our 6'4" societally challenged (Elizabeth's words, not mine) friend curled up with a blanket, some candles (gardenia-scented) and his well-worn copy of Little Women? Oh - and his gout. It's cute.

So back to The Bachelor. I'm angry. The first step in any self-help program - admit you have a problem. And how you feel...angry. I admit that I shouldn't even watch such a stupid, trashy show. Yes, I am at fault, yes I am dumb. But please, please tell me that he did not represent the very man that is any spinster's worst nightmare.

I mean he has two great choices, he says he loves them and that he just can't make a decision. That when he is with one, he thinks of the other. What is that?? I think Chris said it best, "Any guy who can't choose one woman out of 25 beautiful women has a problem." Although, to the bachelor's credit, some of those 25 women tried to impress him with intriguing tricks like wrapping their legs behind their heads and doing break dance moves on the floor. Talk about societally challenged. Anyway I don't want to get distracted defending my nemesis.

So, not only can't he make a choice because neither one is "perfect" or "offers everything", but the most painful part for me is the fact that he actually had her dad fly out because he had every intention of proposing, and that he said he loved her and there was no reason he could identify why he couldn't go for it. WHY???? Please, please hand out some therapy as a take away gift for this fool. I don't know, there's a side of me that feels for him, but there is also a murderous rage boiling beneath the surface. I guess the big question is...why do I care about the bachelor? I would like to say I am quitting it, but I know it's a lie. I can't resist a good train wreck any more than the next gal.

One last thing before I let this go and focus on something important and real, like Ed's gout...I think the bachelor's punishment for breaking not one, but two girl's hearts should be that he is now forced to marry the pretzel twisted-wierdo bachelorette. Can I get an amen sisters?

While I'm on the subject of dating, let me just put it out there that I have officially been asked out on my first player-date. Not playa, but player. Well, I don't know, might be both.

Tonight as I was wrapping up filming the Flash meet and greet, one of the players approached me, sat down and rendered me (and this doesn't happen often) speechless with a casual, "So when are we going out?" As if we had discussed it before and were both planning on it. Being a silver tongued dating wizard, I said, "uh, ummm. uh...what?" Smooth as butter. He repeated the question, I sort of recovered and reminded myself that I could be his mother, and told him that I didn't think it was a good idea to mix business and matter how pleasurable going out might be. I also mentioned we wouldn't want it to cloud the bias of the documentary. I then gave him some great advice- I encouraged him to get some groupies like any good NBA bound fella. He said no thanks, he would bide his time. I imagine the invitation was more about him needing transportation, since he asked me last week if I would take him to Western Union. I haven't done that yet, and this could have been another clever way to get me there.

One last time, for Ed's benefit. He has the Gout.

You Can't Run from the Law - Part Deux

Speaking of running from the law, I've been doing a little bit of that myself. I spent the day in court yesterday in a plea bargain session.

Since I've been in this lovely state I've been pulled over twice. TWICE. In one week. I mean, doesn't law enforcement have anything better to do than pull over innocent, and hurried drivers? Clearly Utah needs to get a higher crime rate.

In the first "incident" I was pulled over by a woman. Clearly the WORST case scenario. I haven't had a ticket in over 10 years and that's not because I haven't been pulled over. Women are TOUGH. This one was no exception. She pulled me over because I ran a stop sign and didn't even care when I told her it was a genetic problem passed down from my mother. I never even noticed that sign. Then I told her I was lost and talking on my phone which is why I missed it. Bam! She threw the book at me for careless driving because apparently in Utah if you are talking on the phone when pulled over it's a problem. You can talk on the phone while driving, you just can't get pulled over while doing it. Basically, I got punished for telling the truth.

In court yesterday (I wasn't going down easy) they give you a chance for a plea bargain before your case is heard. I told the venerable prosecuter that I was not from Utah, didn't know of that law (which was a ridiculous law anyway) and shouldn't be punished. He said, "ignorance of the law is not an excuse for not abiding by it." Hello? Ignorance of the law is the best excuse for not abiding by it. We argued back and forth for a while about whether or not it was stupid and then finally we agreed to disagree. Turns out he is from Livonia, MI and a fan of the wolverines. We talked a lot about something we could agree on - how much we hated Ohio State - and then he agreed to cut the offense from a $300 dollar reckless driving offense to a $100 running a stop sign offense. I told him I still wasn't happy, but I would accept his offer. I'm sure the other plea-bargainers in the room were all suddenly Michigan fans too, but I didn't stick around to find out.

The moral of this story: Even when you feel like someone is letting you down all the time (the Wolverines) they can still come through for you in the clutch and in an unexpected way. Never give up the love. Think about it.

You Can't Run from the Law

I'm pretty sure we invented planes so we could stop riding buses.
Yesterday was the teams' pre-season game in Burley, ID. Apparently there is no way to fly to this location so we had to rent a Greyhound and pile on the bus. I assure you that while this is not particularly comfortable for me, it is even less comfortable for guys who are 7 feet tall. We left at around 2 pm and returned at 2 am. It was a long, long trip for a 2 hr game of basketball.

There are some things I like about the bus.
1. You can't fall 50,000 feet to your death. (Although the guy I sat next to at the game told me his college football bus caught fire once and exploded. But still, they got off right? Not depending on a seat cushion to save them or break their fall.)

2. You don't have to wait 20 min. before you can move about the cabin. Ok, I don't use this perk much, but hey, it's freedom.

3. You can watch movies. And the ones you select. Northwest is so cheap these days that you don't even get a movie on a cross-country flight.

4. Your seat reclines 3 inches instead of 2.

5. You don't have seat assignments and there is a wonderful sense of camaraderie. When everyone is awake.

6. When does a whole plane ever break out in gospel music? Answer: It doesn't. (See Gospel Bus blog.)

That's it folks. But I call that looking on the sunny side of life. Glass half full, that's the kind of girl I am.

I interviewed a couple players on the bus and asked them what they do in their off time. They said they go to IHOP and Walmart (both within walking distance of their apartments. They have no cars.) and when they really want to get crazy they go to McGraths fish restaurant. I asked if they went clubbing, and they said, "Have YOU found clubs in Provo??" They asked what I did for fun here (with a sad little hopeful expression in their eyes) and I said, "Pretty much IHOP and Walmart."

The other entertaining thing they told me were some of their misadventures as tall, black, men in the largely white Provo area. They said at night when they are WALKING to one of their hot spots, probably McGrath's, there have been a couple of times when cops have driven by and seen 6 huge black men walking together and literally broken their necks staring as they drive by. You can imagine the scene. Not just one black man (which would be huge in Provo) but six together walking at night by the freeway. James Lang (one of the players) told me the big debate between him and Lamar was whether to lay low or run if the cop stopped. I assured him his best bet was NOT running, but he would not be convinced. We were all laughing about it, but I'm not sure that type of event will retain it's charm for long. Good old Provo.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Art of Dating addendum

I feel the need to clarify after KA's comment on my blog. I don't want any of you to mistakenly think that I believe the cookie ding dong ditcher isn't sweet. He is. I definitely think it's high time the tables were turned and guys started, I don't know, pursuing the girls and cooking for them, or whatever. I mean, It's the 21st century and all. Just saying, it's oddball for Provo. Really, really odd. And the really odd part was more the dodging a face to face and picturing a 32 year old man dropping off cookies and running for his life from my door. I'm sure it made quite an interesting sight for the neighbors!

The Art of Dating

Dating lately has felt a bit like I'm in a wierd-o parallel universe. I'm back in Provo where I dated as just a girl, fresh and new to whole experience. Since I've been here things have turned upside down. I recently had a guy ding-dong ditch cookies on my doorstep. First of all, that's the girl's domain in Provo. I remember guys with plates of goodies on their kitchen tables, all lovingly hand-delivered by hopeful young ladies. I've been informed that the guy who did this for me, "must be gay." Stands to reason. (Second of all - does it strike anyone else as odd that a 30-something year old man has to ding-dong ditch???)

I have been mistaken several times for a divorcee. Men cannot grasp that I can be at this ripe old age and not have children and papers. A couple have just assumed this fact upon meeting, and asked how many children I have. Dating at this age is all about show me pics of your kids and I'll show you mine. I've started carrying pictures of Travis and Garrett just to have something to show. It's odd to me that the normal assumption these days on the dating market is that you are divorced. It's a strange, new Provo.

After a couple of particularly unfortunate dates, I was telling my co-workers, Brian and Micah, that I had forgotten (while living in the dating desert of Michigan) how much I actually disliked the ritual.

Here's the thing. You have about a 1 in 10 chance of actually liking your date and wanting to see them again. That's 10% people!!! If someone told me that 1 out of every ten times I participated in water ballet that I would be glad I was doing it, but 9 of those times I would hate it, I would say, you know what? no thanks. I guess I'll try basketball or knitting - an activity where the odds of enjoyment are greater. I'm not a betting woman, but I understand playing the odds.

Brian and Micah helped me come up with a solution. After this many years of dating (I mean, you put in some serious investigative time before you reach the title of spinster) I have a pretty good idea of who I am and what I like. I know the kind of person I click with and I know who makes me crazy. I'm also a great question-asker. I learn a lot about people in a short amount of time.

So here's the plan. (Thank you Brian and Micah.) I really only need 15-20 minutes on a date. At dinner, I simply ask my usually hard-hitting reporter-woman questions and decide if we connect. If we don't, I save us both some time and trouble, by informing the waitress that my meal will actually be to-go, leave enough to cover my meal and thank my date for their time and trouble. It's a win-win. Look, I'm not a mercenary. I'm helping men to save their time and money too.

Lest you think I am an evil man-hater, I'm not. This was after all, not my idea, but the idea of two MEN. It's really just one on one speed dating, with the option of dinner thrown in if things go well. I'm also not a "trophy-husband hunter" as I was recently dubbed by someone I met one time and don't think highly of. I have given guys that normally would never be my type a chance, and tried to make it work. I've even been dumped by a couple of them. Which really kills you by the way... to be dumped by someone you were just trying to convince yourself to like. Anyway,whatever. I'm open. I'm just trying to make dating better for everyone.

My next flash of dating brilliance will involve kissing when you open the door and meet for the first time. It gives new meaning to "you had me at hello" and you figure out if the attraction is there before the date, potentially saving even more time and trouble. I got this idea from Travis and it seems to be working out really well for him.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ghetto Slang

Being from the hood of Ann Arbor (Stonebridge specifically, or as my brothers dubbed it, "The BRIDGE" - Bomb-Riding-Illiterate-Dope-Gangstas - no "E" they're illiterate.)

I will freely admit that because of my upbringing, I am known to easily toss around the occasional dope, straight, or tiggity-tight bit of ebonic sweetness. It wasn't until yesterday though that I realized I am so much a part of my background, that the hood is indeed such an integral part of me, that I often do so without even realizing it.

We were wrapping up our final day of shooting (not the gun kind, lest I've confused you with all the hood-rat talk) when Noel, our project sponsor at LA Health Care came down to tell us thanks and goodbye. Let me set the scene. Brian, Micah and Nick (Root folk) are breaking down the last of the equipment on one side of the room, and I am standing at the other side of the room with Noel (the ethnically ambiguous LAHC boss), Karen Garman, (the white, 50 yr old consultant who sold LAHC this project), and Cherie (the African-American LAHC employee who was helping direct). Emily who was the project lead for LAHC found out her grandfather died that morning and was unable to be with us. I assumed with the funeral and what-not that she would be out of work for the next several days. Ok, so you've got the scene and the cast of playa's... I mean characters.

In the midst of my conversation with Noel, Karen and Cherie, I tell them that I will probably need to be in contact with them at the beginning of next week to finalize some details on a couple games, AND, "who should I contact, because I assume Emily will be OUT OF POCKET."

Noel looks at me with a baffled expression on her face and says, "What do you mean? What is this....out of pocket??" Now I'm confused. I can't figure out if she's joking or if she is speaking a foreign language or if I am on Candid Camera. (I'm hoping it's the last one, cause I'd love it if that show was back!) I then reply, "Ummm...what do YOU mean?" Karen looks a little confused too and all of a sudden Cherie jumps in and she says, "Oh, she doesn't understand you, cause that's Ghetto talk. Out of pocket is Ghetto slang." Noel looks a little less confused, because now she understands she SHOULDN'T get "out of pocket" she's not from the me.

At this point I am trying not to bust a gut, but at least I understand it's the phrase she is confused about and I explain that out of pocket is indeed my Ann Arbor Ghetto slang for unavailable, out of the office, or in some cases (not this one) really "tight" or "the bomb-diggity". As in, "Girl you are seriously out of pocket. Look at you in those jeans." Get it?

All was finally resolved, the project wrapped, and I am left incredibly relieved that Cherie was there to help bridge the gap between my crazy ghetto slang and Noel's ethnically ambiguous lifestyle away from the world of "street-cred."

** Editors note: I was just informed by one of my readers that this blog is confusing and that you can't tell if I was serious or not in thinking/writing that 'out of pocket' was ghetto slang. Let me clarify - NO. The thing that was so funny (and there's nothing funnier than trying to explain humor) was that it IS NOT ghetto slang, that the corporate boss lady thought it was, and that Cherie who the boss lady trusted as a ghetto slang spokesperson really thought it was too and believed she was clarifying the situation for everyone by saying it was. The whole thing was a bizarre English language fiasco. Somewhat like this post apparently.


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