Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shill Shackson: A True Friend

This post is about my friend Jill. I promised not to reveal her true identity, so I’m using this very clever naming mechanism that will keep people from knowing it was her that completely threw me under the bus in this story.

Jill…I mean, Shill, and I were at church on Sunday with all the other “Elite Singles” (that’s what they call the old people who are still single in California’s version of the Mormon church) and chatting it up when out of nowhere a tiny little “elite” man popped in to our line of sight and chirped at Shill, “Hey, aren’t you online?”

After Shill managed to close her gaping jaw and lower her chin far enough to catch sight of the man chirping at her, she stammered, “what do you mean?”

He never committed to an actual online location where he might have seen her but rather, persisted in his vague line of questioning until she finally admitted that she might be online…somewhere. It’s a pretty clever opening line really as most people are in fact, online.

He then barraged both of us with a machine-gun like line of questioning for the next uncomfortable 10 minutes. Our friend Ryan finally came by and said, “Stay right there, I’m trying to gather the troops.”

Shill turned to me, opened her mouth, and I could tell the moment of salvation was at hand. She was going to give an excuse to extricate both of us from this conversation. No. I was wrong. All girlfriend codes of honor were thrown out the window as she reverted to a survival of the fittest strategy.

“Well,” she said brightly, “I’ve really got to use the restroom before the meeting starts. Shauri, you stay here. I’ll be right back.” She had only seen the interruption as her opportunity to flee.

My mouth dropped. Not, “Shauri, I’m going to use the bathroom, do you want to join me?” OR “Shauri, I’m going to use the bathroom” leaving the option open, just simply she was going and I was staying.

Oh no sister. Oh, no indeed. Staring daggers at her I replied, “I think I will be going to the restroom as well.” She answered that someone should stay put as Ryan had requested, so that we could all be gathered. I answered without concern or remorse that she was welcome to do that, but I would be leaving.

Poor little birdman had no idea what was happening or why we both had to go to the restroom so desperately, but we had become so embroiled in our battle for survival that we no longer noticed him.

The sequel to this story is that first thing the next morning Shill had an email online (where she apparently DOES go) from little bird-man. Apparently he didn’t understand what it means when two girls are fighting to go to the bathroom, and in cyberspace, Shill will get her just desserts, where there is no bathroom excuse OR nearby friend to throw under the bus while she escapes. Justice always prevails.

(I still love you Shill.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sharks Can be so Cruel

While being beaten to a pulp on the treadmill in this hour long "shredmill" class I let Rachel talk me in to participating in, I was watching a newsflash about a shark attack in San Diego. I have a special fascination and terror for sharks, so I was watching closely.

I thought perhaps the most wily, compelling and perhaps slightly twisted spin this newscaster came up with was when he said the following:

"This 66 year old man was a retired veterinarian. How ironic that a man who spent his whole life helping and saving animals would have his life taken by one."

Seriously? I mean, yes, how ironic and cruel for this shark to target a veterinarian. I bet if he knew how much this man helped animals he would have kept right on swimming. Possibly until he found himself a nice, tasty taxidermist. Or fisherman.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Gotta Have it

Last night, Garrett and I were driving home from a little brother-sister trip to the mall (Garrett LOVES these), when I realized I was sort of hungry and craving frozen yogurt.

I asked Garrett if he wanted some and he said, "No. I'm not hungry." And then after a long pause, "But you can get some if you want." Permission granted. Those of you who know Travis and Garrett understand how important permission truly is.

After more thought, I decided Coldstone was a much better option than Hogi Yogi and as I turned in to the parking lot Garrett said thoughtfully, "I might be able to do some Coldstones." The tide was beginning to turn.

We got in to Coldstones and he expressed how overwhelmed he was by all the options. He was about to revert to his standard choice of Peanut Butter Cup Delight (or whatever it's called) when he tasted the dark chocolate mint ice cream and decided to go with Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip. What he failed to pay attention to, was that this choice was made with the green mint ice cream and not the one he sampled.

Being the financial genius and saavy consumer he is, when asked what size he wanted, he quickly did the math and informed me that the biggest one was only 60 cents more so that was the logical choice. "Give me the Gotta Have it!" he proclaimed. After this decision he noticed they were making his concoction with green and not brown ice cream. I explained in hushed tones what his mistake was, and although disappointed that it wasn't what he thought he figured it would still be delicious.

I don't know if you've had the Gotta Have it size before, but I'd not seen it until yesterday. The finished portion is said to be 12 oz, but I swear it was as big as Garrett's head. Which by the way, does seem smaller now that he got rid of all that unnecessary hair he was lugging around on his noggin. When Garrett saw it his eyes, got big, but he was up to the task. (ps. this picture was taken after he had already been eating for a while.)

Until he tasted it. And decided he didn't like it. So here's the interesting part to me. He wasn't hungry and didn't want ice cream. He still orders the biggest possible size with an ice cream he doesn't really like. Then he goes to town on it and eats more ice cream than would be necessary to feed a small island nation. These are the mysteries of Garrett.

Two other items of note:

1. I ordered the peanut butter cup delight and was not disappointed. I might have just swung it tantalizingly in front of Garrett as he chowed on the ice cream he didn't like. After several bites he did end up eating mine too.

2. Garrett assured me that when people read this post the only comments would be about his hair and not about the ice cream. I don't know if I have now pushed the comments toward that path or away from it, but his hair does look marvelous. In fact, he caught me staring at it twice yesterday instead of listening to what he was saying, and I told him that it could have made all the difference in his dating this year if he had handled his business sooner. He made some comment about if that could have really made such a big impact and I replied, "In Provo, girls prefer to date guys who don't look like drug dealers." Just sayin'.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Shishtian Multz

I was just looking at some pictures of a bunch of my friends in DC at a birthday party when all of a sudden a shadowy figure from my past, lurking in the background of this photo, stood out to me as if a spotlight was shining on him.

"Shishtian Multz??? (If you EVER lived in DC you should be able to figure this one out.) Are you kidding me - that predator is still going to singles parties?" I thought with disgust.

And then I paused. Swallowed. And felt sick. I AM SHISHTIAN MULTZ. I'm not any younger, I haven't been in the singles scene any shorter, and if I lived in DC, I probably would have been at that party.

So how many people scanning blogs or other awesome web 2.0 areas see my face suddenly jump out at them and think, "Shauri Quinn is STILL at those singles events? What a predator!" Ok - maybe not the predator part. I kind of wish that was true. It's not.

I hate when reality smacks me in the face like that.

A Really Blind Date

I went on a date last night, and due to a new policy not to use real names, (not to protect the innocent, it just seems more fun) we will call him the "circus clown" aka CC. This is because his name reminds me of a circus clown.

Naturally this was a blind date - it's the only kind I go on. Which leads me to wonder, why do the men I date now need to be blind? (This is rhetorical, I don't want the answer in case of any of you get any big ideas to comment.)

Of course we all start losing our eyesight with age, so maybe there is some sort of correlation. In fact, give me about 15 more years of single-dom and my 55 year old blind dates really WILL be blind. Or better yet, maybe I will.

This blind date was a setup by someone I have met one time. I still haven't figured out why she was so dead set on lining me up since I literally spent 30 minutes of my life with her and in that time she came up with 3 guys (1 who did prison time) that would be perfect. She didn't stop there though. One month later I got a call from her ex (Travis' roommate) telling me she had someone to line me up with. I mean this isn't just a conversation starter anymore with a stranger, she's going out of her way to think of me and get something going.

Does this strike anyone else as odd? The funny thing is, when we went out, I told CC that I actually didn't know this all. He said that she was in his ward, but that he didn't really know her either. She just came up to him one Sunday and said she HAD to line him up with one of her good friends.

I know I make friends easily, I may have found a girl who has even stronger attachment issues (and delusions) than me.

All of this leads me to believe that

1. She really wants to help out the senior population around her (she's 20)
2. She thought I looked really, really desperate. Or he did.
3. She's just plain crazy.

The good news is, CC did not do prison time. Or have a red, scratch that, he did not have an afro.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A special discount

Getting older and single in the world of funny. Nay, hysterical. The kind of hysterical that is funny bordering on insanity.

Two things you have to understand before reading this if you aren't Mormon:

1. Mormons are famous for having little get-togethers for singles that typically involve food, dance, and games. The kind of stuff that is reminiscent of high school for most people.

2. Mormons have these events FOREVER. So if you stay single till you're 60, you can count on a rockin' oldies mixer. In my age group (31-40) we're called "Mid-singles." I don't even know what that means...maybe we're only halfway single? or that we're middle-aged singles? I dunno. It's weird though.

Ok, you've got the basic context. One more piece of info - a "mid-single" in the greater SLC area sends out a weekly email with upcoming events for the weekend. As I quickly scanned the usual compelling options, my eye caught this pearl:

"Mid-Singles Gone Wild Dance!"

You may think this is hysterical enough, but there's more. Just two more lines down was this great deal:

"$8.00 - Men & Single Mothers $4.00 before 9:30!"

I've heard of Ladies Night before, but now I think bars and clubs may be missing the boat. Where is the Single Mother discount?? And here's another question- how do you prove you're a single mother? What's to keep me from showing up to this wild and crazy dance and saying I'm a single mother and getting that sweet discount?

I know I say this a lot these days, but I never thought I would see the day where the activities I was being invited to involved discounts for men and single mothers. Looks like I gotta get me some kids.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The End

Everyone who knows me well is aware that I have this, er, issue, with serious separation anxiety. I sort of just start latching on to people and liking them much too quickly, and often without reciprocation until they are somehow brutally ripped from my life. You know, like when they finish filling up their tank with gas and have to say goodbye, or when the plane lands and they are forced to go along with their original travel plan. OK, I'm adding a bit of dramatic effect, but it's serious and pathetic and I am left to mourn the loss of many a person that has no idea the impact they made on my life or how sad I am to see them go.

Today was the last game for the Flash in their inaugural season and I am officially in mourning. My usual disorder was exacerbated by the fact that the relationship I built with these guys through documentary is one-sided by design. I spy on them all season long and ask them about their lives and get to know them pretty well, while I hide behind the camera. I tried to figure out why I'm so sad they are leaving, and it's not just them or their friendship, it's the fact that they (and their story) have been my LIFE for 8 months. So, what does this mean? I have no life. Once again I'm forced to start over and find a new life. Is this a single-person phenomenon? The constant starting over on creating "a life?" Or maybe it's just a Shauri problem.

There were so many good moments throughout the season, and as I sat in IHOP tonight with the whole Flash staff and listened to them re-hash all those memories I found myself extremely blessed and grateful for the opportunity I had to be part of this project and this whole Flash operation. I laughed (Fes), cried (Brad), and truly lived out a little dream of my own. The opportunity to make a film was gravy enough, but on top of the film, I was put me right smack in the epicenter of my favorite world - the world of sports.

There's more work to do (lots!) but as I say goodbye to the team and the season I feel the need to remind myself how lucky I am to have been part of the whole event.

And now to end on a more entertaining note I'll share one of the Fes stories that was shared at IHOP. They're always good for a smile.

Travis talked about how Fes came to him one game and said that he would need 2 tickets for the game that night. Travis naturally asked, "What are their names?" Clearly you have to leave them at will call for SOMEONE. Fes however was incensed and turned to Travis and said, "That is not your business!" Travis was so stunned by this answer that he could only stare at him with mouth open. He finally just gave the tickets to the team trainer and told him to resolve it with Fes.

Ah, Groupies. Could be a whole film just on them. Apparently, Travis has also been faced with challenging ticketing problems like when a player will have two girls come and give specific directions to "Make sure they are seated on opposite sides of the court." And people think athletes aren't smart. Pshaw.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Beauty of Sport

This is the last week of games for the Utah Flash. I may be slightly biased based on the fact that I have been shadowing these guys for about 6 months now and have built up a slight attachment for them, but I have been sold hook, line and sinker on the D-league.

It's the most intimate venue in sports at a professional level. These are guys that were stars in college, some have been in or are in the NBA and the tickets are cheaper than a college game. You can get close enough to shake their hands on the bench, or smack their booties if you're in to that. Most of the guys know the fans, and give them high 5's before and after the games.

Not only is it affordable, and intimate, but jump off your seat and hold your breath games are the norm. About 75% of the games this year were won on a last second shot or in overtime. There is no shortage of thrills and here's the best part: I believe the d-league represents everything good in sports. The stuff that starts to disappear at the college level when money and fame start to get involved.

The D-League guys are guys who are paying their dues and taking a lesson in humility and team work courtesy of shared apartments, 30 dollar per diem and coach travel, before they make the leap to the world of NBA indifference and the Me-mentality.

The following blog was written by a sportswriter at the Tribune about our game last night. I think he captures the spirit.

Luhm: D-League game had thrills, too

I didn't see the NCAA championship game between Kansas and Memphis on Monday night.

Instead, I went to the Utah Flash-Idaho Stampede game in Orem and -- while I know this late-season D-League battle was less significant than the Jayhawks' thrilling come-from-behind win for the national championship -- I can tell you that the D-League game could not have been more competitive.

Frankly, I was stunned at how hard the Flash and the Stampede played. I guess trying to carve out a niche in professional basketball is a great motivator.

Why else would Idaho veteran Randy Livingston drag himself up and down the court for 44 minutes on his rebuilt knee? (He finished with 36 points and 10 assists).

Why else would Utah's Kevin Kruger play end-to-end for 46 minutes, finishing with 19 points and 11 assists?

Why else would Idaho coach Bryan Gates do a spinning dance of delight when the Flash missed two shots that could have won the game in the final seconds of regulation?

Why else would Luke Jackson, a former NBA lottery pick, be mobbed by his teammates after hitting a fall-away baseline jumper to give the Stampede a 119-117 win that all-but-wrapped up homecourt advantage throughout the D-League playoffs?

This was good stuff.

Even the crowd of 3,174 added to the evening, because during most of the game it sounded like three times that many fans had found their way into the McKay Events Center.

Of course, the biggest story of the evening was Jazz rookie Morris Almond's return to the D-League.

Almond was reassigned to the Flash for the third time this season. If he was disappointed, however, he didn't show it. Almond scored 19 points in 17 minutes in the first half. He finished with 31 -- the 10th time in 45 D-League games he has scored at least 30 points.

After the game, Flash coach Brad Jones suggested that Almond is a better player now than when the season started. In other words, he is the perfect example of what the D-League can do for a player who probably would have spent the most of his rookie season on the Jazz's inactive list.

Almond spent last week with the Jazz, when injuries to Ronnie Brewer and Andrei Kirilenko left Utah shorthanded. He got into three games and played with far greater confidence than he did early in the season.

Jones saw it, too.

"He looks more like an NBA player now," Jones said. "I told him I was very proud of that because he has worked very hard down here and, you know, he looked legit when he was up with the Jazz. . . . He's going to finish out the season with us, unless the Jazz get someone hurt. I told him, 'Just try to keep getting better.' And I thought he was terrific tonight."

-- Steve Luhm

Monday, April 7, 2008

PMS - NOT a joke

Today in my in-box I got perhaps one of the most delightful forwards ever. Big shout out to Ms. Hannah Kahn CEO, I mean practically CEO of Holiday Inn Express. That is her pictured above, and based on her smile, I'm guessing she had no idea what "Aunt Flo" meant yet. If your name is Brian Donovan or you are a man who is sensitive to reading about "women" issues, now is your cue to stop reading. But I'll bet you can't resist...

This is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to Proctor and Gamble regarding their feminine products. She really gets rolling after the first paragraph. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best web mail-award-winning letter. Enjoy!

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from the curse'? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customer's monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy!

The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful
I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you f------ kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness, is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong', or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your
Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that's a promise I will keep.

Always. . .

Wendi Aarons
Austin , TX

Being a "sufferer", and some of you may remember one of my posts a while back about biting Ed's head off in a meeting during one of my more delightful "monthly visits", I so enjoy this woman and her venom. And the fact that she stopped buying their products JUST BECAUSE of the messaging inside. Now look--I for one can't give up the wings, I mean it's too critical, but I appreciate her ability to do so. I propose that they take up her idea about the messages like "Put down the knife". That's a product I would buy AND enjoy.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Falling is funnier when it's not you

Right after Michigan I hopped a flight to California and drove up to Bakersfield for the Flash's last game on the road. Sort of bittersweet. I am feeling pretty attached to them after following them around so much this year and I’m sad to see them go, and see it end. There’s no fanfare or big goodbye, they all just sort of disappear after the last game and that’s it.

There was a funny moment last night when the coach called timeout. It involved a very embarrassing and very public fall, which more importantly, did not involve me. Miraculous indeed. Our center, James Lang, accidentally (I believe) tripped the coach as he walked to the huddle and the coach went flying - sprawled out spread-eagle style on the floor in front of the team. I couldn’t hear what was said, but Lang stood right next to the coach during that huddle with his arm around him and kept patting him and smiling. Lorile and Geoff who were in attendance with their little family had a birds-eye view right behind the bench and really enjoyed it. Maybe the highlight of the game for them and their kids!

In the locker room post-game as I was filming, Coach made a comment 3 different times in his speech about how he didn’t appreciate being tripped by James, but considering they just broke their franchise record for winning streak (3 in a row), he seemed to be in a pretty forgiving mood. I am just disappointed that I missed getting it on film. A huge, wasted opportunity.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I flew back to Michigan because it was time to get my Lominger feedback. What this is, for those of you thinking it might be some sort of medical examination, which is exactly what I would have thought about 1 year ago, is a competency based assessment that let's you know what your strengths and weaknesses are.

And here's the shocker..I think you'll be just as surprised as I number one rated strength was....humor. I know - you're stunned. (Well some of you probably really are - like Blake who told me no girls are funny or certain exes who never got what I was laughing at.) Anyway, who could've predicted that one?

I told Nicky (who was giving me the feedback) about the time on my mission when we all had to sit in a circle and say something nice about each missionary in the circle. Everyone was getting all kinds of varied and nice compliments and I got about 20 variations on the same theme. "Shauri, you're really funny." "You make me laugh." "You have a good sense of humor." Yeah--that was when the laughter stopped, and the tears began.

I hope these people know that just like Smokey Robinson in "Tracks of my tears" I am CRYING ON THE INSIDE every time I find out I am completely one dimensional. Just once I want to be recognized for my incomparable business acumen, my organizational capabilities or even my sweet num-chuck skillz.

Ok, so I had a few other competencies at the top, but seriously, WHY DO I HAVE TO DO BE SO *&*^%$ FUNNY??? You think it's easy? Try it - just for one day, try being this funny. I just wish someone, somewhere would recognize my incredible depth.

As a final note, I found out that one of my raters actually gave me a 4 (5 is the highest) on humor even though all the rest were 5's. I don't know who this person (well I do know actually) thinks he is, or what he rates a 5, but he better recognize that this is my one and only competency and he better cough up a 5. The next time he tells me I'm hilarious, I will be forced to beg the question, and what can I do to notch that hilarity up from a 4 to a 5 for you Mr. "I'll say you're talented but not a towering strengths worth of funny?"


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