Wednesday, January 30, 2008

If McCain wins I'm moving to Canada

These are not my words, although I can see that Jamie heartily seconds them. :)

I was sitting in Minneapolis waiting for my flight and staring at the TV which was of course spewing politics, when the man across from me suddenly turned to look at the TV, flipped his head back to me and angrily said, "If McCain wins I'm moving to Canada."

I told him with the way things were moving, I feared he might want to start looking in to the cost of property there. Luckily he was from Michigan, so he didn't have to far to trek. He might even be able to commute back to his job. Cause folks, it ain't looking good for Romney. I think with the Florida loss (and not even splitting the delegates) plus all the haters in the GOP who are dropping out and giving there support and delegates to McCain that the end may be near. I still think anything is possible (that's for my brother Shawn who is very angry at all the people who just believe the media that it's over) but truth be told it doesn't look great.

I was very interested to see all the comments that my last post provoked, even bringing a few closet blalkers out--Tiffany you know who you are--and a couple passionate comments.

I think it's quite clear who the strongest Republican is among our friends, and I won't name any names, but I've met her parents and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. ;) I appreciate the other side Aly, keep it coming.

So, it's time to vote. I'm curious who would win if the vote was today of the top 4 contenders across parties. Don't follow my example people--I'd like everyone's vote to count. If just the regulars vote, I think we know the winner. Let's get our finger on the political pulse of my readership.

Because I'm always trying to learn more about the candidates as well and I'm still open to change, I'd love to hear more about WHY you choose who you choose too. It's been interesting to hear people only give the reason, "Romney just looks more presidential" or "McCain is too old." Give me the goods.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Romney is the Red Sox, McCain is the Yankees

I am enthralled by the presidential race. This is unprecedented and completely unpredicted.

The sad truth (and I refuse to be ashamed no matter how many people look down on me and question my patriotism, call up memories of the revolutionary war, or otherwise tell me I don't deserve freedom) is that I have never voted in a presidential election. The criticism I get does seem a little at odds with the idea that maybe I not only have the freedom to vote, but also the freedom to choose not to vote if I don't resonate with any candidates, but I'm not here to judge my haters.

I grew up in a household where politics was NEVER discussed. I couldn't have even told you if my parents were Republican, Democrat or Communist. I suspected Communist, but one time in a family council they told us we were a "democracy" so I guess that kills that theory. I'm not sure what we ever got to vote on, but I'm sure my mom will refresh my memory shortly upon reading this.

I don't share this information to cast any blame on my parents, I just didn't grow up interested or particularly educated in this arena. I did live for 7 years in our nation's capital, but I found the over political atmosphere of DC, where there was zero grey area in anyone's mind, even more alienating. I'm an independent who believes that most politicians are full of crap and don't get too much done. The system is important, but put in any guy and not much changes. (This should fire up plenty of you.)

Everything is different this go-round. I started out about a year ago strongly in favor of Obama. To be honest though, my support was largely non-political. He was charismatic and likeable, I liked the idea of a black man breaking the glass ceiling, and he seemed to be more of a middle-ground kind of guy that listened to both sides. It didn't hurt that at every family gathering my brother-in-law Abram touted his Vote for Obama web site and all his charms.

About a month ago, I decided I liked a lot of the candidates. I went in hating Hillary, but toyed with the idea that a woman was a good idea and supporting a sister, but ultimately I'm not sure I can stomach her or Bill again. It would really be Billary we were voting for after all, which in my mind wouldn't feel much better than voting for that potent combo once known as Bennifer.

I still like Obama a lot, although I'm starting to wonder what that means I'd be voting for besides this very global and ambiguous "change" he touts. I'm not sure he's identified what is changing.

I liked Huckabee for about 5 minutes, then he got sneaky, annoying and anti-Mormon and way over-religious for a political campaign, so bye-bye Mike.

McCain I would like if he wasn't so explosive and undiplomatic which is not attractive. I'm also kind of sick of him and all the other nominees bashing Romney. I have a natural affinity for the underdog--I protect. It's who I am.

This brings me to Romney. I NEVER expected to like him. At first there was almost this strange, perverse desire to not vote for him just so it didn't seem like I was choosing him because we were both Mormon. I'm sold now though. I like what he can do for the economy, I like that he has been on both sides of the issue and maybe has perspective that could land somewhere in the middle, and I think he is a good man. And, I'm sorry, but I'm sick of all the other Republicans hating on him. I mean can just ONE say something nice. I feel like I need to save him from the bullies.

That's my general feeling on candidates, but here's the surreal, out of body moment I'm currently experiencing. I have had CNN and FOX NEWS on for the last 60 minutes and I can't tear my eyes away. Only 10% of the votes are in, and it could be hours before a final count and I am enthralled. Every time it switches a percentage point up and down between McCain and Romney, my pulse jumps. I find myself internally pulling for Romney and wanting him to win. I've never even watched a Presidential vote and I'm sucked in by ONE STATE'S PRIMARY.

Watching the primaries has become as compelling to me as watching the Red Sox and the Yankees and that is saying more than most of you can probably begin to comprehend. Part of the Red Sox charm was always the fact that they were the underdogs fighting the big bad Yankees. That's how I see Romney in his party and I want the big bad McCain squashed. (I get that the financial metaphor doesn't line up.) Anyway, I'm in. I want to see which population is going to overcome--a woman, a black man, a Mormon or well...that's it, but they are all viable candidates and the winds of change are blowing.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Home Sweet Bridge

Ok---I recently did this with one of Lisa's posts, but I have to publish another hilarious niece story from my sister in law Amy's blog. It's too priceless not to share with those of you who don't know her or stalk her blog.

Apparently they had some people from our church over at their home sharing a message and the topic of bridges came up. They asked what the kids knew about bridges. One question they asked was what bridges are for. Both if them came up with some solid answers (getting over a lake, etc), but Katie, with a flash of inspiration, said, "I know! They are so poor people have a place to sleep!"
I'm glad to know Katie is looking out for others.

This is sheer brilliance and so obvious, you're probably wondering how you missed it.

It actually reminds me of one night when my roommates were driving around DC and they passed a homeless man on a bench. One of the girls, said in a sympathetic tone, "Oh look - it's like, a homeless man." The "activist" and obviously more literal roommate, turned to her angrily and shouted, "He's not 'like' homeless! He IS homeless!"

We all sat in stunned silence, mouths gaping, before completely collapsing in laughter. The interesting thing is, he was sleeping right next to a bridge, and not on or under it which may be why my roommate thought he was only, "like a homeless man." She probably had the same lesson as Katie when she was a kid.

Sunday Inspiration

Last night, Wallace and I watched Seabiscuit. I hadn't seen it for a long time and couldn't remember the story at all. It's good. It's a story about a horse that's too small and that nobody thinks can race, and a jockey who's too big to race, carrying around a big old chip on his shoulder. The jockey struggles throughout his life as he gets abandoned, beat down and generally abused. Then he meets a man who buys Seabicuit and wants this jockey to race for him. The owner has his own tragedies to wrestle with. The third character is the horse trainer. A man everyone thinks is crazy who won't see a horse get discarded just because it is injured and people think it can't race anymore. He heals horses and brings them back. The owner gives him a shot to prove these horses are worth saving. In the process they show why each of them with their flaws and their strengths are also worth saving.

The story is about courage and about winning - eve when everyone counts you out, and mainly about the fact that you may seem physically, emotionally, or spiritually broken to the world, but when someone believes in you and shows you love...and you have can overcome all odds and win. Faith does precede the miracle.

Here's the quote the movie ends with:

"A lot of people think we found this broken down horse and we fixed him, but that's wrong. He fixed us. We kind of fixed each other too."

The truth is, we're all broken in some way, or at least at some time in our lives. When we look out for each other, and show love and compassion and faith in someone we would normally cast aside we witness miracles. In them, in ourselves and in the world around us.

So, look..I realize this is a departure in style but it is Sunday after all, and I am feeling touched, inspired, and a bit emotional. And no, I don't have PMS.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Good Comeback

I didn't fall today at all. I consider this a banner moment.

I did however sit next to a guy who is training with the Jazz and just happened to be about 6' 11" tall. I asked what position he played and he told me power forward. I told him I played center and he said, "Really?" (Very seriously) "What are you about 6'3"? I had this brief moment of glee thinking my tall personality must really be on show tonight--I mean, people have guessed 5'7" and even 5'8", but NEVER 6'3". Then he started laughing. Oh yeah, that's a good one big guy.

Then I told him I bet he always had people asking him how tall he was and if he played basketball and that he probably got sick and tired of it. I'm sort of a prophet I guess. He agreed that it did happen a lot and that he got tired of it.

I decided to help him out by sharing a comeback he could use that put me in my place once upon a time.

I met a guy who was about 6'7" tall. I said, "Hey, you're tall. Do you play basketball?"

Rather than give a nice polite yes or no, he looked down (way down) on me and said, "You're short. Do you play miniature golf?"

My mouth dropped, but I had to give him props. It was funny, clever and really called out how annoying that question must get.

I think my new friend really appreciated my help.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Beware..this is kind of serious

I try to not write anything too serious here...but I want to tonight. Sometimes you just have to take it there. To that serious place, I mean.

Coach Fisher & Mark were in town tonight with San Diego State basketball, and they gave Travis tickets for the game on the front row if he wanted to go. He was kind enough to give me a ticket and I drove to meet him.

Now it gets serious. Travis had already gone in to the game and left my ticket at will call. I was rushing to try to get to the seats before it started and I was wearing high heels. I was sort of running in a really awkward, I'm wearing ridiculous shoes kind of way, when all of a sudden....that's right...once again...WOMAN DOWN!

No offense to the short bus, but I don't think they would even let me on. Here's the best part, Not only did I fall flat, smack on my back in the middle of a huge crowd, but I also managed--and don't ask me how-- to get the heel of my right shoe caught on the hem of the back of my coat. Note: It's not a full length coat. My right leg was bent backwards at a right angle, and my foot was attached to the back of my coat, somewhere near my buttocks.

I heard a man as if from a far off distance saying, "Aaaarrrreee yoooouuuu ooookkkk Misssss??"

I just looked up at him confused, wondering how he could possibly ask such a ridiculous question. Had he perhaps met another human pretzel that was ok? Did he think someone who had their leg shoved all the way up their back maybe meant to do that? "Aw shucks, I'm fine Mr. I meant to fall like a fool and lay here with my leg behind my head. No worries, just carry on about your hot dog buying business. I"m going to stretch a little longer and then maybe I'll check out the game."

I did lay there for a while laughing in my pretzel state to the surprise of many passer-bys. I mean, what else can you do but enjoy you're own absurdity?

I'm a mess. And people...that is serious.

Monday, January 21, 2008

SIr Mix-a-lot Revealed

I really love my life. I do - I'm blessed.

This thought just struck me as I was sitting with some friends (and Travis) in a restaurant after the game. People. I have the best jobs in the world, I'm surrounded by great friends and family, and there is laughter to be had at every turn..even by, or maybe largely through, the mouth of strangers.

I'll start with my job-love right now. I just finished filming one of the Flash games when I had the thought, "how stinking lucky am I??" I love basketball and what do I do? You may have guessed, but it was sort of rhetorical. I get paid to watch games, interview players and coaches and meet really interesting people. That's freaking awesome.

Two highlights from this sweet job. One good, one not so good, but yes, still funny.

First, I filmed another interview with Fez, our Ukranian friend. Always entertaining. One of the highlights from today's conversation:

Reporter: You just came back from the Dakotas, how was it?
Fez: I hate it. It is horrible, cold place. I cannot even talk to Ukraine.
Reporter: Why?
Fez: There is no service there. They have nothing. People say America have everything, these Dakotas do not. I love Salt Lake.

There you have it. Utah may not seem great to some of you readers, but it's all perspective. Compare it to the alternatives and you may love Salt Lake too.

Second. I'm getting slightly stalked by the Anaheim team's coach. Here is our conversation when I was cornered after the game:

Coach: Hi. I gave you my card, why didn't you call?
Me: I was just planning to interview you when I saw you - wasn't sure it required a call.
Coach: I thought you would call.
Me: Ummm..sorry?
Coach: Next time I'm here maybe you can show me around.
Me: (high pitched laughter) Oh...there's nothing to see here! (edging away)
Coach: You can take me to all the bars.
Me: (all of them?? High pitched laugh again) Oh...there's no bars in Provo! (moving a little further backwards)
Coach: Then I'll show you next time you're in Anaheim.
Me: Okey dokey...(running away)..bye!
Coach: me!

I mean, he gets an A+ for persistence. I'm not good in those situations. Maybe you already picked up on this from my clever dialogue. The best part was when I told Travis he was ancient and he replied, "Yeah, he's what, a couple years older than you?" Thanks.

So that's the job-joy. Strange stalkers aside, or maybe even included - it's fun!

On to the laughs with strangers. After the game, Brian H, Travis, Wallace and I went to eat. We had a waitress that was VERY angry. And with good cause - she's a teacher. Which in Utah means she also has to work at a restaurant to make ends meet. That would make me angry too.

Anyway, she was a bit hostile, but about halfway through the meal she made this huge about-face. All of a sudden (and after we warmed her up a bit) she became the chat-master. She would just stand at our table reciting a monologue with no worry if anyone was really listening or contributing. I know this because Travis and Wallace were texting us about her new chattiness throughout.

There were a couple funny excerpts from her monologue that simply cannot be ignored.

She's a hard worker. Really hard. Travis told her she seemed pretty lazy to him because he bet she probably rested from 11:30 - 12 at night before she started working again. She kept talking as if that interruption was barely noticed and so Brian said,
"I bet you never hoed (sp?) a field. Why don't you hoe a field?"

He didn't think she was listening, but lo and behold she paused briefly in her theories on UFOs to say, "Oh yeah, I hoed a field last summer. Anyway, my dad really isn't in to conspiracy theories like UFOs, but I know the Clintons were having people killed."

I'll let you pick the part of that response that most intrigues you. I simply can't begin to decide.

This is perhaps the craziest thing I have ever, ever heard said by a perfect stranger in all seriousness.

She was telling us about how she knew the words to Sir Mix-a-lot, but they were a little dirty. I said, "come on sing it...I like big..." No hesitation. She jumps in and goes through a full verse. Yes, this is funny, but it gets....I don't know...funnier? I'm not even sure if this is appropriate for a blog, but I guess if I can talk about my breasts, why stop now? She begins to tell us about the video.

She said that she thought it was really weird that the whole thing was filmed with Sir Mix-a-lot standing on someone's butt. I didn't know that. Not sure I needed to. She said she learned, and I quote, "Sir mix-a-lot was sitting on someone's butt-crack (I'm sorry, it's her words, not mine) but then he had to change it up. Do you know why? (Here's the kicker) Because it made him look like a turd."

I'm sorry!! I can't believe it either. It's sick and wrong totally INSANE, but I just report the facts. I have never laughed so hard as I did after the 4 of us looked at each other in shocked disbelief--just waiting to hear what was coming after she said "He couldn't sit on her butt-crack". I mean what could possibly come after that..that might even be worse?? And then, there it was. I can't even imagine where she got that information, let alone why she would share it.

I tell you my friends---people are strange - bless their hearts - but I sure am glad they are cause they make life a heck of a lot more interesting. We should really pay teachers more, can I get an amen?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

All Womens are beautiful

I had a date on the last leg of my journey around the country. I realize that this in and of itself is pretty much the exact opposite of interesting, but guess what..there's more.

A little context: The way we were introduced was through…unbelievably..this very blog. Julie Gillespie-Weed called me up one brisk November day with the news that I needed to go on a date in less than 24 hours. That was when (in her words) my destiny, the hero of this story, planned to pass through Salt Lake on his way to his family Thanksgiving bonanza. After a little reluctance (mine… hello blind date – reference jail time and snippy experiences) and a bounty of information (Julie…what she remembered anyway) I agreed. Sadly, the flurry of activity and information came to naught. The reason - not sure, but some sort of illness we'll just call the gout (Can I get an amen Ed?) was given as the excuse.

Fast forward to today – the day I met destiny. Or, for the story's purposes let’s just call him Jimmy... cause, well, that’s his name.

After meeting at Jimmy’s house, we made our way to lunch. We left in a convertible which he insisted was not his car only after I commented on the key chain that said, “Live, laugh, love” and the Celine Dion tunes, but who’s to say? We explored the options a bit and ended up at a little Italian joint. What made this place fun was the fact that Jimmy… is fun. I won’t go so far as to say normal, but definitely the good kind of crazy. (FYI: For those of you in the know – he would excel at family game night, which tends to define people. Alice anyone?)

The whole "he's normal thing" is mildly disappointing, because it leaves me with less material to blog about - but I digress. Back to Jimmy - he talks to EVERYONE. Which I know some family members are thinking sounds a lot like me, but he is me times about.. let’s say, 5. Or 15. He is so friendly and engaging that when we sat next to a couple of Mexican cabrones (this we discovered means dudes and not something bad, after he called them that) he immediately started chatting them up in English and Spanish. He had them laughing their heads off and loving him in mere minutes. There were a few comments of note in the conversation:

1. Shortly after sitting down Jimmy announced that this was our first date to the guys, and asked the younger one (Carlos) “Do you think she’s pretty?” Carlos, looking a bit nervous replied, “uh, yeah...all womens are beautiful.” (Ouch. This I might add is not a huge boost to the self-esteem, but let’s just assume it’s a language thing. I’m still coming down off my all-men basketball trip where I was feeling like hot stuff, so I’m going to roll with this theory.) He then told them that we were engaged. We spent a good portion of the conversation after that discussing their fear over our rapid engagement.

2. He also announced that I was Mormon. They wouldn’t believe it. The reason? I quote, "she would dress differently." I’m still puzzled by how, but I was wearing jeans, a white button down and a sweater vest. I think he may have seen some Big Love and was expecting a pioneer get-up. My theory is that he couldn't imagine a Mormon would be with Jimmy because Mormons don’t drink or smoke and they were pretty sure at first that he was high. On drugs. This is what they said.

3. Carlos informed us that we should order some oysters. Apparently this makes you “like a bull.” I’ll leave that alone.

4. Carlos also told Jimmy, “You are so funny, that just looking at your face makes me laugh.” Again, let’s chalk it up to language barrier.

5. After one particularly crazy Jimmy moment Carlos asked him, “Do you ever get sort of strange looks when you are in restaurants?” I imagine Carlos thought this was subtle, but we were pretty clear on the message as we looked at each other and burst out laughing.

6. Finally, after leaving, and walking down the street to our car, we heard someone yelling to us from a truck and turned to see Carlos and friend driving by. In the restaurant, Carlos had told us how racist it was around here and how he gets pulled over all the time just for being Mexican. He began to rant about how he is legal and they need to step off, yo. Wow - Anger. And frankly, deservedly so. Anyway, I don’t remember the first things that were yelled from the car to Jimmy and back, but perhaps the funniest thing I have ever heard yelled from a car was in response to Jimmy shouting to Carlos to watch out for the police. Carlos screamed out the window (while pounding his car) “Hey!! I’m a Mexican!! Arrest me! Pull me over!” Everyone was staring at him on the street in this very posh part of town open-mouthed. It was priceless. Seriously – I’m Mexican –Arrest me! It’s burned in my brain.

There were many funny moments, but I'm stopping here. However, I feel like a shout out is due to our man Jimmy - especially as it ties back to what seems to be the theme of the week for me. (Note: Sean Respert blog.)

I don’t know Jimmy very well, how could I in 2 short hours? but here’s the skinny on the fat, people: I learned something today. He's got a gift for making people feel happy and for doing what he can to “lift” those around him. It's two-fold. 1. He makes friends with everyone without judgment. 2. When he paid our bill he also covertly picked up the bill for Carlos and friend. When they found out, Carlos wanted to pay him, but Jimmy simply said “pay it forward.” In different words – Spanish ones specifically – but hey, same meaning. This, in my book, is quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever seen on a date, or even not on a date. Let's say in a person. It may not be off-beat or funny (which is how I usually like to roll here) but it is most certainly deserved and inspiring. If you’re reading this, and frankly how can you resist, you've got a heart of gold Jimmy Kindred. Gout and all.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Kitchen Sucks

One more straight out of Boise.

Yesterday I went to lunch at a local restaraunt. We ordered an appetizer and salads. After about 45 minutes of not getting the appetizer we decided to ask what was up. As I turned to head up to the front, we heard another customer asking the waitress where their food was. This was her timeless and customer service based response:

"Sorry. Unfortunately the kitchen sucks today. They hate me and they won't give me the food. I wish I could help."

We all stared at her in shock. It was in that moment that I realized we were not going to be seeing our food anytime soon. I mean there's simply no remedy for a kitchen that sucks.

"The Convention"

Next stop...Boise.

I've been in Boise for a couple days covering the D-League Showcase. It's basically a giant convention for NBA types to meet and mingle and scout the up and coming players. Usually one or two guys get pulled up to the NBA after this event. Each NBA team has to send one rep - scout/owner/coach to..well...represent. It's also a great place to be a single woman as I was probably one of 5 I saw floating around this arena filled with men. It's great for the self-esteem, although I realize as one of the assistants told me, "We're just so desperate for ANY woman after being with just men all week."

I've had a couple interesting meetings - a surprising amount of Michigan or Michigan state alum have been running around so I met and talked to Daniel Horton and Air Georgia, but the most interesting meeting was Mr. Sean Respert.

I was up in the player's lounge (sounds sweet huh? like it should be on BET or something)interviewing Mike Cuffee about his recent trade from Utah to Bakersfield. When we finished and I was wrapping up my equipment this guy from the front office was talking to us. I noticed his badge said Sean Respert, which sounded really familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. Finally I said to him, "Hey, you played ball didn't you? Where did you play?" He responded that he didn't play and I said I was sure his name sounded familiar. Finally he said that maybe I meant his brother Mike Respert.

I didn't want to argue so I agreed and Sean said his brother played at Mich State. I said that was why it sounded so familiar, cause I was from Michigan. Then we started talking about all the people we knew from Pioneer and Huron and making some connections, and all the while I'm still believing that it's his brother Mike. I didn't realize until we left the lounge that I had been suckered. I did a google search on him and put all the pieces together. I'm kind of a sucker. I did bust him the next day when I saw him though and walked right up, looked him in the face and said, "You. Liar." He looked at me for a minute and then busted up laughing. "You believed me??" Funny for him.

Anyway, the good part is I got him to do an interview with me and he has an amazing story. He was a lottery pick and his rookie year in the NBA he found out he had cancer. He didn't tell anyone except his doctor and the trainer eventually found out. He wasn't scoring much and his play was unexceptional. Nobody knew that he was in chemotherapy, that he was sick half the time and had dropped 25 pounds. He just fought through the pain and stayed positive and in the process gained some perspective on what is really important in life. Now he shares that with the up and comers in the league. He said you don't know what to do with the information that you have cancer at the age of 22 when you're on your way.

I was super impressed with him and the way he interacts with people. It reminded me of Ryan and Dad's book "Lift." He calls everyone he meets by name and says something to make them feel good and smile and elevates the energy and positivity in every room he goes in. It's pretty inspiring.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kids are Wicked Smart

Ok-- a lot of you (like my family and hers) probably already read this on my sister-in-law Lisa's blog, but it's so awesome I had to put it on my blog too. Check out how smart my niece is---

The other day Keely went to her friend Eden’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese and she was all over Chuck E. when he came out to greet the kids. She had a great time and on the way home this was our conversation:

Me: “You really loved Chuck E. didn’t you?”
Keely: “Yeah, except he didn’t talk but that’s because he’s not really Chuck E. Cheese.”
Me: Oh, he’s not?”
Keely: “No mom, he’s just a robot that Chuck E. sends out to birthday parties when he’s too busy.”
Me: “Really? But you do believe that there is a giant talking mouse that lives at Chuck E. Cheese?”
Keely: “Yep mom, but sorry, that wasn’t him.”

So disappointed! I drive all that way and spend all that time only to get short changed with a robot! : )

I can't believe she gets it. I just figured out the whole robot scam last year. She's brilliant. Thanks Lisa for sharing!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I made it through another one. Since the age of about 28, birthdays have become the most conflicted day of the year for me. Partially because I am admittedly a complete and utter lunatic. Here's the way it unrolls year after year: I panic that someone will do something for me and that I will get all kinds of attention at a party, which makes me slightly uncomfortable, AND which means you get the question "How OLD are you?" A hundred times. This gets asked with the biggest of smiles like it's some thrillingly happy question along the lines of, "Is it a boy or a girl?" It's not. Once you answer you get a mixed bag of responses like, "wow- you look much younger than THAT" or "and you're STILL single?" Or the one wallace got from a 19 year old when she turned 27, "27?? Errr...that's a... fun age." Sure it is sister - like you know. that's the first stage of the psychosis.

Next, after I have completely convinced everyone NOT to do anything, the actual day rolls around and no one does anything. HELLO. I told them not to! But then I become tragically sad. Why? Because why doesn't anybody care about me? Oh, it's sooo desperately pathetic. Just writing it makes me want to smack myself in the head. Which, by the way, is stage 3. Despising myself for being so pathetic.

So this year, I took charge of the situation. I had to be in LA for work, so I decided to not talk about it to anyone and not tell anyone not to do anything and then to simply go in to seclusion all day where no one could reach me. I went to a spa for like 8 hours. That way, I could try to forget what the day was, I could put away all expectations because no one could reach me anyway, and the next morning it would be over and I could move on like it never happened. It worked, I think. I still had a couple moments of the traditional (and clearly well-loved) wo is me, but for the most part I didn't think about it. And I'll tell you what - I actually had an unanticipated surprise on my birthday which hasn't happened for a long time - The Hampton people had a balloon and a cake waiting in my room for me when I got back and a nice note. This is my plug for staying at Hampton - who surprises a guest with a birthday cake?

So this is my final thought on birthdays - and it's the whole age thing. The woman giving me my facial said to me (when I told her my age in a voice of despair) "Hey lady, it's better than the alternative. What? Look at me, I'm 62 - I should slit my wrists?"

And suddenly enlightenment at the spa.

Only slightly less enlightening was laying naked on a table getting a sugar scrub while a heavily accented Korean woman told me, "You have very cute breast. Perfect size." Are you kidding me? Are we looking at the same thing?? I realize this should be some sort of birthday gift, but the last thing I want when I'm naked (and I mentioned this on the Kristin birthday massage post) is someone commenting on my body...while they rub it. I'm trying to forget what's happening not have it called in to front and center attention. Silence is becoming a lost art at the spa. "Really, you like them spa lady? I was hoping you would. I'm sure your breasts are also really nice. Would you like to lay on the table and show me?" I mean, why is this ok? I guess it could have been worse. She could have said they were old and saggy and that she was surprised by the pockets of belly fat she was finding. So there you have it, the spa seclusion birthday - one woman's retreat from reality.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Friendly Skies

As I boarded the first leg of my flights tonight and got settled I suddenly heard an abrasive woman’s voice coming loud and clear over the PA system. It was a little puddle jumper flight that was tiny and crowded and about half the passengers had sat down and half were still trying to make their way up the aisle and to their seats.

The woman said, “Hey. You all need to hurry and get to your seats and sit down. We don’t have the slightest chance of making an on time departure if you don’t get moving.”

You could see fear and embarrassment in the passenger’s faces as they tried to hurry and get to their seats so they wouldn’t be held responsible for actually DELAYING a flight when the airlines work so hard to be punctual.

The woman wasn’t quite done. She continued, “Look at all of you. I can’t believe how many bags everyone has. You’re only allowed one on here or the flight will be too heavy. I don’t know WHY they didn’t tell you to check one piece or at least consolidate them. Most of the bags need to go under the plane to balance it or this flight will be way to heavy to fly.”

I look over at the woman sitting next to me and her face is white with terror.

Nazi-stewardess continues, “This would never happen in Minneapolis. Only in Madison. And look, I’m not going to make you put them back now, but don’t you DARE tell anyone that the stewardess on THIS flight let you take more than one. Got it? I just hope the flight goes smoothly.”

The woman next to me says timidly, “I could have consolidated, no one told me. I’m really not a good flyer, do you think we’re going to crash?”

Ahhh, yes. Nothing like the friendly skies.

Of course being such a good flyer myself, I was able to comfort her with, “Don’t worry, I saw on CNN that the turbulence is really bad today and that a flight had to make an emergency landing, but I think that’s good news, because it means in really bad turbulence they can actually land safely.” I don’t think that had anything to do with her consolidating her bags moments later.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy

Kristen Allen-R's blog reminded me of one of my favorite deep thoughts. After writing it for her, I thought - hey - why not share some of these with everyone? They never grow old after all.

Of course they do remind me of my very first job out of school where I did absolutely nothing meaningful, and so I took it upon myself to write a morning "newsletter" for everyone. In it I always included a new deep thought. Every day the Vice President would come up and ask me to explain it to him. He would always walk away shaking his head saying, "I just don't get why these are funny." Which of course made the whole thing even more hysterical to me as I picked more and more ambiguous choices for him. I have to say though--if you don't get these...what's wrong with you?

Let me know your favorite!

It’s easy to sit there and say you’d like to have more money. And I guess that’s what I like about it. It’s easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.

I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I’d just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.

If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid seeing yourself in the mirror, because I bet that’s what REALLY throws you into a panic.

To me, it’s a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, "Hey, can you give me a hand?" You can say, "Sorry, got these sacks."

Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you’ll be a mile from them, and you’ll have their shoes.

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it.

I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not our children’s children, because I don’t think children should be having sex.

I think a good product would be "Baby Duck Hat." It’s a fake baby duck, which you strap on top of your head. Then you go swimming underwater until you find a mommy duck and her babies, and you join them. Then all of the sudden, you stand up out of the water and roar like Godzilla. Man those ducks really take off! Also Baby Duck Hat is good for parties.

What are the deal breakers?

Lately the people who have wanted to set me up have tended to follow a certain pattern. First they tell me how great he is and then they ease in to the laundry list of potential deal-breakers.

A girl that Travis' roommate was dating met me and wanted to set me up with a "great guy." Once I agreed some other facts were pulled in to the casual conversation like, "is it ok if he's divorced?" Sure. You like sports, oh that's great, great. By the way, is it ok if he was divorced twice? We generally keep talking and more and more details tend to surface. Things like, well - maybe he was in jail once. Or, sure I guess he knocked his wife up. Maybe he can't have kids or doesn't want to anymore. Maybe he's never had a real job. Or he wants to live in Provo and go to a singles ward for the next 20 years. What about if he only eats berries? I don't know. I am in new, and slightly troubled waters here. Looking for you all to weigh in.

What are the deal-breakers? Or are there any?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Road Warrior

This month is going to be..well..painful from a travel perspective. I just left California, where I've been for the last 4 days, and crazy storms here and winter storms in Utah almost kept me from leaving. Welcome to winter, and welcome to flying. In the next three weeks I discovered I will only be home for 3 days.

Most of my trips involve filming for clients though, which means there are plenty of laughs to be had. I'll share a couple from the shoot this week.

We are sort of simultaneously filming three different videos for Hampton Hotels. One is a training module, and two are more internal marketing pieces. One of the marketing pieces we pitched is what we are calling "The Music Video". Hampton is trying to buy the rights to the song "Personality" as in, cause you've got personality, style and personality, walk, know? They are changing the word personality to "Hamptonality" which will mean that Hampton spirit and way of doing things combined with personality. I'm sure this was fairly simple to figure out, but I write for what we'll call "the low-hanging fruit." People who may not be as smart as we think. (You know who I'm talking about.)

Anyway, after one of our 14 hour days on set, we were out eating and perhaps a little punch-drunk (just punch) and started coming up with what I will loosely term brilliant ways to film the music video. We got some of our "characters" to sing pieces of the song in what I'll call disney musical style. So for example we had one guy coming down the hall of the hotel singing and as he traveled he would tap on room doors and people would come flying out and join him singing "Hamptonality!" while dancing and jazz-handing it behind the main dude. It was all quite cheesy and delightful, but my favorite moment came on about the third take.

Adam (the lead singer) started down the hall singing in his, well, not so great voice, when one of the Hampton team members who was participating came flying out of his room to join. He was inspired by hamptonality no doubt and actually came flying out of the room doing a CARTWHEEL. It was so unexpected and so funny that the brand manager who was watching (and who was quite serious and unsure about this production) actually lost it and was laughing hysterically. After that move the B.M. was completely bought in to the video.

Another classic was when I was forced to jump in on the last scenario as one of the guest's wife. (our scheduled actress didn't show up.) I was trying to teach our "actor" how to act natural when walking toward the desk. The client thought I should just join him to help guide him... as his wife. I'm not an actress. I was supposed to just be quiet and let him talk, but you know, that's not my strength. So, once they yelled action I couldn't resist chiming in, but I wasn't expecting the improv-ed comeback. You can see the result in this out-take. (which will be posted.. on You Tube until I figure out how to make it work here.)

Delsa Delights

Happy Birthday Mom!! Since everyone else did a top 10 list on why they love you...well, I'm doing it too. I hate being left out or outshined. I hope you were treated like a Queen and that you kept your clothes on. Which leads to number one...

1. I never met anyone else who takes their clothes off (inadvertantly I think ) so much in public.
2. Creating a home where every kid on the block felt welcomed and wanted to hang, and not being scared when big, strange, black men (Ian's own words) show up on your doorstep at midnight and you're in your pjs.
3. The Snack Closet (That's for Wallace)
4. Your Street Smarts. The way you casually throw out "That's the bomb" in a blog.
5. Your willingness to be my adventure and travel partner. More belly-aching laughs at wildly random things than I can count. (including bird poop in your hair in spain---it's good luck, remember?)
6. Your sense of adventure. How cool is it to tell your friends that your mom went sky diving in her 50's?? (which leads to of course another nudity story for you. Hang 10 baby!)
7. The fact that you can't bear to go to bed if anyone is still up and having a good time. Or not having a good time because "You're afraid if they start having a good time you'll miss it."
8. Your complete and total dedication to your beliefs and the way you share them in the selfless example of your life. I've never met anyone who so fully lives their values and beliefs without hypocrisy.
9. Your style and amazing good looks. (Can I get an amen Gary?) Every friend I've ever had comments on how stylish and hot you are. I mean, come on.
10. How you wrestle the boys when they finally need to be taught a lesson. Yes, you did pin Travis several times. Oh- and Kristin once, when she had a skirt on and you exposed her to Mark. Yup, when a lesson needs to be taught, you do it.

The list could go on, but it's midnight and I'm tired. I love you---have a g'day mate. xoxoxo


Tonight at the game I sat next to a 5'4" extremely loud man of Mexican descent, who had a wife that is 5'11" and likes to wear heels. When he told me this, my comment was, "Wow--she must be really confident!" He said, "No, I am." I'm not sure if insulted him, but I was so shocked the gatekeeper turned off (like it does a lot) and my thoughts popped out.

I'm still pretty sure I think it's her that must be confident. Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Fear is like New Years Eve

How did New Years Eve ever get built up to be the monumental holiday people believe it to be today? This baffles me. The whole point of the holiday is not to mark a spiritual milestone like the birth of Christ, or a historical figure who made a mark, Like Martin Luther King, but simply to celebrate that another year passed. It's like a birthday, and I can tell you that I (and most of my friends) got to the point years ago that another passing year is HARDLY cause for celebration.

So not only are we here just to celebrate another year beginning but on top of this, somehow, somewhere, someone came up with the idea that this holiday is all about KISSING. And that this is the night of all nights in the year that you had better get one and that all your hopes and dreams will come true and that it will be know the drill. (And this is clearly a single person holiday. I base this on Kristin's blog where she counted down to 8 pm before hitting the sack - likely without any kissing involved.) Basically, it sets up unrealistic expectations only to turn out to be another year, at another party, waiting, waiting for the big moment....counting down...and it's over. Kiss or no kiss, it probably was anti-climatic. But people, OF COURSE IT WAS. When you count down for something, it's gonna make you feel like something big is going to happen and then when you hit three-two-one, and you're still standing at the same party, either kissing your friends for a few seconds, or looking awkwardly at people you don't know so well and wondering how and if you should kiss them, well it's not that magic moment you counted for. AND NOTHING HAPPENED. I'm here to lift the curtain and expose the wizard. Let's put our celebration in to a more worthy and under appreciated holiday - like Columbus Day. I mean he discovered America and only DC and NY even give people the day off. Let's start kissing on Columbus day, and not just at midnight.

With that said, I did go out. And I'm glad I did. But not because it exceeded my expectations or because it was the most awesome freaking fun ever...but because I did something I'm proud of. I went somewhere alone - to a party where I didn't know anyone. In case you haven't been single for a while...this is really brave. No one goes anywhere without a wing-man. There's even a commercial about it.

I met a guy at a party a few nights ago and he invited me to meet him and his friends at the club they were going to for New Years. None of my friends wanted to go - they were going to a different party or abstaining completely from New Year's and staying home, so I had a nothing, go to a party where I know some people with friends, OR go somewhere alone with a group of people I never met. I ruled out the party my friends were going to and then I thought about it for a LONG time. I decided one of my New Year's resolutions should be let go of fear and do stuff that takes me out of my comfort zone.

I decided what do I really lose by going? If I hate it, I can leave - but maybe I'll meet a bunch of new people I like. And if I don't, chances are good I'll have a pretty good story to tell. It sounds simple, but it was scary. For me. So, I did it. And you know what? It was totally empowering. I felt brave and pretty freaking cool and confident, and I ended up liking all the people and having a good time. I met some nice people I wouldn't have normally met, and when I walked away I felt strong. I know it sounds silly, but I really felt proud of myself. So I'm sharing it-- and I swear there's really something to saying, "who cares what's normal or what people think?" So this is what I learned: Fear is like New Years Eve - it doesn't live up to your expectations. Nike is truly a sage for the ages - and they tried to tell us: Just Do It.

Other people besides Nike had some good things to say about fear....this is my New Year's gift to you. Enjoy.

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. -Dorothy Thompson

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
- 1 John 4:18.

Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom. -Marilyn Ferguson

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. -Rosa Parks

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
-- Ambrose Redmoon.

And my favorite:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
-Marianne Williamson


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