Sunday, June 29, 2008


I was at a barbecue on Saturday night, talking to some friends when the subject of birthdays came up. One of the guys there told us he was about to have a huge birthday in August (aka the big 4-0) and he wanted to make sure he had a big celebration of some sort. He said it was too big to just let it pass without some kind of momentous "marking" of the day.

I replied that it was interesting that he would want to do that because I thought most women would respond in quite the opposite way. A birthday like that calls for a "flight" reaction. As soon as I said that everyone started chiming in about this girlfriend or that girlfriend who had turned 40 and how they reacted. Most went out of the country alone or disappeared to some remote location and pretended it wasn't happening.

I thought about it, and about the fact that I went for "flight" this year by hiding in a spa all day. After listening to this conversation and thinking about my awesome life, I made a decision. When I turn 40 (which granted is still a few years off) I will NOT hide, I will not RUN. I may go out of the country, or I may stay local, but I'm going with the guy response...I'm letting everyone know and I'm blowing it out and making it one to remember. We've only got a short time to live - why waste time wishing you are something you're not or even trying to be something you're not? I'm embracing every moment I have from this day forward and doing the things I want - you gotta love who you are, even if who you are involves a wrinkle or two. Celebrate your life and make it count people! (No, I'm not on drugs.)

Caveat: Just remember... I don't expect anyone to throw this back in my face when I turn 40 and I'm hiding.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So you think you can dance.

The Quinn family (Ann Arbor contingent) has been dieting, which for anyone who knows us (especially Kristin) you KNOW how painful that is. I mean food = happy. Good food, I mean. So last time I was home and watching the show with Kristin and Lisa, Kristin exclaimed mid-show, "This is the only thing that makes me happy while I'm starving myself." I'm paraphrasing, but believe me, if she's putting this show on par with's a good show.

Last Night's synapsis:

Best Couples:
1. Kerrington and twitch - I really, really like them.

2. Chelsie and Mark - Favorite Performance of the night. I mean talk about great choreography and did they carry it off or what??

3. Katee and Joshua can dance ANYTHING

Worst Couple: Comfort and Chris - Goodbye. I can't bear to watch them one more week. Especially Chris. Blech.

Will is hot. He should just dance alone. All the time. Enough said.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Healthy, Delicious, and Simple

Home. Bistro. Three-ish words that may change your life. In just two days I feel they have changed mine.

Exhibit A: I like cooking, but not for one. After a busy day, or when I've waited so long to eat that I'm starving and can't bear to take the time to make a good meal, I usually pull out the crackers and cheese, or the cereal, or (let's be honest) the slab of chocolate, or some other substitute for real food.

Exhibit B: I'm also on a mission to dump the plump. For real this time. It doesn't help you do that by just munching on crackers and snacks or by eating huge meals filled with calories.

Exhibit C: I always wanted to try that awesome cooking/delivery service for zone dieters that all the celebrities in California were using, but it cost around 3K a month (or more) which I didn't really feel I could justify. I mean is it right to spend more on food than you do on rent? I had to say no.

(Cue the emotional music and begin to crescendo.) One day on Ellen, she gave her whole audience a couple weeks worth of meals. I was intrigued, I was hopeful, I googled, and I found...the answer to my prayers.

Ready made meals that you could cook in less than 20 minutes that were fully balanced, low calorie/low fat/low carb options, and looked like they would taste quite delicious- that is if photos can be believed. Oh--and cost. I got a weeks worth of meals for 80 dollars. That included shipping. HELLO.

So tonight I had my first meal - Raspberry chicken glaze, with wheat couscous, and beans:

Granted, it's only been one meal so far--but it FAR exceeded my expectations. It was delicious, simple and guilt free. This is my official stamp of approval - give Home Bistro a try, and see your life change too.

Shauri- 1, The Law -0

I'll keep this short and sweet. Meaning less than 10 paragraphs.

Today I won a victory for all civilians.

I got two speeding tickets in the same week back when I first moved to Utah. I didn't realize they didn't have enough crime here to keep their cops busy and off the streets - my bad.

Anyway, I went to traffic school for one ticket to make it "disappear." 8 months later I get a letter from the court that my school time and money wouldn't count because I got another violation after I did traffic school. Wrong- I got it the same week, that hardly counts as "after." I mean, I've clearly learned my lesson with an 8 month long clean record. I called the court and they said, No, no, no. Too bad. Finally the lady told me my only option was to come in to court this morning and ask the judge, but she didn't see any way he would agree. I disagreed with her and I went to court this morning.

I got called up to the podium to plead my case. I realized I had no idea how to explain my case so I just started talking a lot of gibberish about "Well, I don't know know, all in one week..this 'aint right." Finally, I stopped, looked up at the judge and said:

"Look, I realize nothing I'm saying is making any sense to either of us. Let me be clear - I got a ticket, I went to traffic school. Judge, I did the time, there is no crime. Can we agree?"

I thought it was kind of funny, but after the words came out of my mouth (which is when I usually realize these things) I thought it might not go over so well in say, a courtroom.

The judge stopped shuffling through his papers, looked down at me and said with a hint of a smile, "I think we can agree. Abeyance granted."

I'm pretty sure I confused him so much with the first monologue he was just relieved to be given an option we could both understand.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Smart Choice?

Abram, I hope you were watching our special show this week, because I am most curious to get your thoughts. Now that you are addicted too. Don't deny it.

I would guess of all the people reading this blog about 30% of you watch the Bachelorette. Of those 30%, I would guess 10% would admit it. I am shamed (well not that shamed, I mean I'm blogging about it) to admit that I am completely absorbed by the program.

The Bachelor is enthralling like a car wreck is enthralling. It's a sick and horrible, sad mess that you can't stop craning your head backwards in traffic to try and see what happened. You know you shouldn't look - but you do. The bachelor is a train wreck because it is such a pathetic display of how horribly insecure girls act when thrown together in one house to openly compete for the same guy.

The Bachelorette is actually less of the "oh no, no, please don't let her try to impress him by making herself a human pretzel..oh, wait, she's doing it, I can't watch...and yet how can I not?" kind of drama. No. The Bachelorette follows the natural order of things. 20ish guys compete for a girl, and that's the environment they actually prefer and even dare I say, thrive in. It's the hunt and the kill. And so, at the end of the Bachelorette, there is a much stronger shot that it will actually work out and end in marriage because the guy likes winning the prize, and the girl can choose wisely. Exhibit A: Trista and Ryan.

The reason the Bachelorette can succeed and the Bachelor is doomed to failure, is that the guy just goes for the hottest girl in the moment. I mean after 6 weeks let's be honest, they're not really thinking marriage. These guys aren't Mormon, and they do have access after all to the (gag) "fantasy suite" if you catch my drift. (who came up with the name the fantasy suite by the way? I mean kill me and try to stop me from rolling on the ground laughing if ANYONE ever invites me to a fantasy suite! Can you imagine your lover, husband, whatever saying to you, "Would you like to leave your room and join me in the fantasy suite?" Seriously?) A girl on the other hand, fantasy suite or not, is ALWAYS thinking, hmmm, do you think he would be a good father to my unborn children? And so she makes the long-term choice.

So that's the set up. And it leads in to what has become the question of the week. Do you choose a guy that is completely committed and head over heels for you even if you're not quite feeling the same, OR do you choose the guy that you are completely smitten over, but you know could dump you in the end because you're not so sure where he stands?

This question has come up this week on TV, on a book cover I was browsing, in a conversation with Wallace yesterday, and finally with complete visual clarity, tonight on the Bachelorette. It must be addressed.

For those who don't watch: The bachelorette, Deanna, is smitten--I mean over the top , head over heels for this guy named Graham. She lets him get away with murder, she gets all gooshy-eyed and shmoopy, he never does anything to try to win her and yet she can hardly stop touching him. And Graham, my friends, is the only guy who won't open up and really show her he likes her, he's committed, and he could marry her. He's never had a relationship longer than 4 weeks and he's 29. For crying out loud, even Ellen Degeneres warned Deanna to run not walk from this guy.

So here's the guy that she is clearly passionate about, but he's a risk. A big risk. At the end of tonight's show she had to choose which one of the 4 was going. I was SURE she would keep Graham and knew it would be a huge mistake. It had heartbreak written all over it. (And just for some background- the other 3 bachelors--good, good guys that are just 100% right on paper. Good looking, smart, committed, athletic, great family connections. But not so many goosebumps.)

She let Graham go. When she walked him out to the car, she told him it was breaking her heart because she was falling in love with him over all the other guys and yet she couldn't bear to be hurt again (like when she was on the Bachelor and got dumped on the last show) and since he wouldn't show his hand she had to let him go. When he walked away he left her a card he had written, that I am sure finally told her how he felt. Her comment? (in essence) I'm dying to think I am letting the one guy I love walk away because I am over thinking it and making the safe, smart decision.

And yet, I thought all the other guys were great. I think she can choose any of the 3 and have a happy life and get the marriage commitment she seems to be dying for. We all know women more than men can fall in love down the road. It doesn't have to be that first physical attraction. If marriage is the goal, she made the right choice. She will get what she wants. But what if Graham would have come around and not broken her heart in the end? Did she give up the real and natural connection just for fear of risk?

I'm not expert (obviously). I've never made either choice, but I think it's an interesting question, and I have a feeling many of you married ladies out there reading this have made a decision that might have been more heart or more head. I'm curious, now that you've made it how you weigh in. Did Deanna make the right choice? Would you tell a friend to marry the guy who loves her more, or the guy she loves more?


Friday, June 20, 2008

A Good Book

Can someone please recommend a good book for me? I'm DYING for a good book and I hate buying a book I may not love---it's such a guessing game.

Please, please help me find a good read - I want a real page turner. Send recommendations immediately.

Here's a few I enjoyed over the last year or so:
East of Eden
Water for Elephants
Eat, Pray, Love
The Kite Runner
The Other Boelyn Girl

The Lovely Anne Rice

I am in the world of stay-at-home workers. It's a lot like a stay-at-home mom, but without the kids. Why did I write that?

As I was saying I work remotely and have recently started utilizing the magical tool we call instant messaging, and video chats. It's a lovely way to stay connected.

Problem is, I'm working East Coast time in a Mountain West world. Which means this: I roll out of bed--no---that's not accurate. I pick my computer up from the floor by my bed and start working and don't get out of my pajamas, or wash the grease off my face or run a comb through my nappy-weave (I just wanted to say that cause it's sweet) until, oh, 5pm or so. The problem with this is that when someone wants to video-chat...I'm not thinking I should hurt them in that way. Ask Ed - I rejected like 10 kajillion chats with him.

I came up with a solution.

Yup, an awesome wig which will serve as a disguise for my greasy, uncombed-do. I'm just putting this out there for all you people at Root who may be wanting to chat. I don't want you to be startled when I answer and you think you're talking to (This was Brian's interpretation) Anne Rice. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Celtics = Love

I’m on a bit of an emotional high this morning. I dedicate this blog to my dad who taught me to love the Celtics beyond any sort of logical limits or reason.

The Celtics won. They beat the Lakers. They did it at home and won by almost 40 points. 39 to be exact. They killed Kobe Bryant – stopped him dead in his tracks. And Phil Jackson – the coaching master who was supposed to out coach Doc by a mile choked. Every single media expert picked the Lakers to win – even Bill Simmons the greatest Boston sports lover of them all. The last thing anyone expected was complete and utter domination, but that’s what we got.

When I was a kid in the 80’s, the Celtics and the Red Sox were our world. The Celtics played big playoff games on Sundays a lot and sadly, we weren’t allowed to watch TV on Sundays. Luckily, we understood that some things were bigger than rules – like Larry Legend. We had a small TV for video games up in my little brothers’ room, and one by one we would all sneak up there after church, crowd on to the bottom bunk and watch the Celtics. Not only on the tiniest TV ever invented, but also on mute so the TV police wouldn’t hear. My dad was the last one to sneak in, and because he agreed with the rule of no TV on Sundays, he would repeat to us periodically, with eyes glued to the screen, “You really need to turn the Television off.” We smiled and nodded and knew he didn’t mean a word of it. Of course, once my mom figured out she was the only one wandering around the house, and flung open the bedroom door, with a commanding more than questioning, “Bob?” you would suddenly hear my dad say in his most commanding voice, “I told you kids to turn that thing off!” And off it would go until we all filed back in 5 or 10 minutes later.

In 1987, when I was 16, we were playing the Detroit Bad Boys in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and we had moved to Michigan. All of our friends who came to watch the game with us were…well, Pistons fans. In Game 5, as we were watching the game (and eating the green and white cupcakes I decorated with the numbers of each player on the Celtics team) we saw the win trickle away before our very eyes. Our whole family sat stunned and depressed as Isaiah Thomas took the ball out of bounds with the lead and just seconds to play. My friends were jumping up and down, high fiving and celebrating, when all of a sudden they noticed we were jumping up and down and high fiving and celebrating too. They had no idea what happened because the game was so obviously over they had stopped watching. Larry Bird once again did the impossible by stealing the inbound pass and delivering a postage-paid bucket to DJ. I remember jumping up and down and hugging my dad and seeing the same elation in his eyes that I was feeling. It is probably one of the top 3 best sports moments I remember and it was just part of the life long love affair with Boston sports.

For years I had tried to get my dad to understand how important the Celtics were to me. With four brothers, I always felt he thought they cared more about “our teams” and engaged more with them in conversation around sports.

Our Christmas presents all came from mom and dad, but everyone knew mom did the selecting and buying and dad got his name slapped on the sticker. One year I got a present that had only his name on it. I was puzzled. When I opened it up I froze and I felt tears stinging my eyes. It was a framed autographed Sports Illustrated Cover of Larry Bird after they won a championship. It remains one of the most meaningful presents I’ve ever gotten from him. (Followed closely by a set of pictures he put together and framed of us with our tickets at the 2003 Yankees/Red Sox series when Pedro threw Zimmer to the ground.) I’m still not sure he can possibly understand exactly how much it meant to me that he understood how important the Celtics were to me, and in addition how tied that love was to my love for him. This was the first time I felt like he got it.

So this year has been a big year for our family. The Red Sox won the series AGAIN. The Celtics came back with the biggest one-year turnaround in the NBA to win the championship against our hated rival of yesteryear. And my dad isn’t here to see it or to be a part of it.

He’s in Australia serving a mission for our church for 3 years. Even if he had access to the games and the time zones weren’t ridiculously different, he wouldn’t have watched because of his commitment to what he is doing. Impossibly, he found something that he could commit to even more than his beloved Celtics or Red Sox. And while most people may believe that the reason we won is because Danny Ainge made an unbelievable set of acquisitions, and Doc Rivers put together a great coaching performance and the team played their hearts out and left it all on the floor, I know differently. I know they owe it all to my dad. This is his reward and even our reward for his ultimate sacrifice: giving up being part of the return of the Legend to serve. Giving up watching “The Truth” to live it.

OK, it’s a bit tongue in cheek, and even more hyperbole, but there is a small, small part of me that really believes that Boston sports could never have made this big and complete of a turnaround without a little nudge. So whether God cares about sports or not, I still believe that He, like me would dedicate this victory to my dad. I miss you dad.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kung-Fu Mouth

Yesterday I took my niece and two nephews (one sort of nephew) to see the most awesomest kid movie ever: Kung Fu Panda. I think that's what it's called. It actually was much better than I anticipated, but I'm not writing a review here.

We got treats and got settled in our seats a few minutes after the movie started. I was trying to arrange all the kids and get them their popcorn and treats and what not and of course they were already mesmerized by the screen which = legally deaf.

I called them in exaggerated whispers to try and hand them stuff, and at one point was trying desperately to get Gavin's attention. "'s your treat." I think I called him again a few seconds later with a drink or something. We had all just gotten settled and were quietly watching the movie when a girl (about 6?) sitting one row behind us and a bit to the left suddenly shouted out...


Both Gavin and I turned around shocked. Me, that she knew his name and dared to use it while calling him out to the whole theater, him because he wasn't saying anything at the time she told him to be quiet.

I was surprised, but turned around thinking that would be the end of the abuse. Nope.

"Gavin...if you don't be quiet I am putting you in time out!"

"Gavin...why don't you just shut up and move to the other side of the theater??"

It was an unbelievable and non stop chastisement to the world for about 5 minutes until her dad got back.

Poor Gavin was stunned and I was fluctuating between embarrassment, shock and laughter. I mean we weren't even saying anything, but somehow I knew it was my fault that she even knew his name. It might be the funniest thing I have ever experienced in a movie theater. And I assure you, I will be very careful in the future to arrive early, make sure the kids are settled and that I am not disruptive (and that I use no names) so that I can avoid this incident again.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Real Page Turner

I've been getting a beat down (verbally) from my brothers lately about the fact that I say I want the Celtics to lose a few games so it goes to 7 games before we win it. They think it doesn't make me a loyal fan. I also find myself cheering for the Celtics when I'm watching, and not wanting them to lose in the moment, although in the back of my mind I'm thinking "I should want them to lose this one."

I've been thinking about it a lot and wondering a. Why I'm shizo and 2. If my brothers are right and I'm not a loyal fan, but I came up with this analogy to help explain what's going on.

Unfortunately I can't use this analogy to help my brothers understand since most of them don't read, so I'm sharing it here.

Ever read a good book? A REALLY good book? Like East of Eden? (If you haven't - I highly recommend picking it up.) It's soooo good that you can't stop turning pages and you want to get to the end to see how it finishes up and to hopefully get to the happy ending. BUT, and this is a big also don't want it to end. It's so good that when it's over you know you'll be left wanting more and wishing you were still enjoying that little pearl.

That's it. That's how I feel. This is the series I've been waiting for and I want to look forward to it for as many nights as possible. I want to draw out the emotion and the excitement and even the despair because it's all part of that I'm engaged and living experience. I don't want it to end....and yet I do want it to end and I want to celebrate a Huge win when it's all said and done.

For the non-sports or book literate--it's like Friends. We all want Ross and Rachel together, but we know when they are it's the end. So there you go - that's where I am right now. And I'm going to savor every moment--and it looks like my wish won't come true anyway.....cause..BIG WIN LAST NIGHT.

So here we go. I apologize in advance. I know most of my "readership" could probably care less about sports, and the NBA, but after Thursday's game it is impossible to contain myself and NOT write about one of the single-best personal sports moments of my life.

The Celtics were down by 24 points give or take for about 3 full quarters or their game against the Lakers. I actually dozed off in the 3rd quarter knowing there was no possible way we (yes, we) could come back. I woke up what felt like about 5 minutes later, glanced at the TV and we were down by...TWO. 2 points!!! Somehow, while I closed my eyes and dreamed of victory, the Celtics found a way to make it really happen.

Thank goodness for Tivo, I rewound and watched the miraculous happen and the Celtics did something that was historical--they came back from the biggest deficit in the shot clock era to beat the Lakers...and on the Laker's home court. Unbelievable.

This is thrilling for several reasons which I will now enumerate:

1. I hate Kobe. (See picture above.)

I hate how over-hyped he's been. And now, bless the media, they are all saying that the Michael Jordan-Kobe Bryant comparisons will have to stop. Michael would NEVER have let his team lose a game they were winning by 24 in the 3rd quarter. Kobe had 2 points in the first half and he threw out all kinds of excuses about being quadruple-teamed---yeah, there was some help side defense---but rarely with the whole team on him. Let's give Pierce the defensive credit he deserves: he shut the fool down.
Here's one of my favorite Kobe quotes post game:

"We just wet the bed," Kobe said. "A nice big one, too. One of the ones you can't put a towel over. It was terrible."

In the famous words of Happy Gilmore, "You wet the bed?" I mean it sounds like he has experience going in to detail about "the ones you can't put a towel over." I wonder when the last time was he tried?

One other quote, "They were determined not to let ME beat them tonight." When did "us" become "me"? Remember all the great press he's been getting about being a "team-guy" now? Throw a little adversity his way - surest way to get to the truth.

2. Redemption. We are winning against the odds.

Everyone picked the Celtics to lose to the Lakers. Everyone thought this would prove that Kobe deserved the MVP (sorry back to him again.) and Everyone was wrong. We've won exciting game after exciting game and will forever have highlight moments like Paul Pierce getting carried off and running back on the court like a champ and overcoming insurmountable odds (24 points) to come back and show we are better than anyone believed.

3. Talk about the biggest season turnaround--from winning what amounted to no games last year to this year (potentially) the CHAMPIONSHIP. You can't write this stuff. Well, maybe you can---hello Hoosiers.

4. I want Paul Pierce to get his loyalty rewarded. 10 years with a losing team--my losing team, just waiting for this day and never asking to go. He deserves it. I want Garnett to get his ring. I want Ray Allen to get his too. I want to see these guys get what they came together to earn. They gave up personal recognition (sorry Kobe--too bad you couldn't learn to work with Shaq) and became a team. They agreed to do interviews in threes and not in ones and they share the ball and give up the individual accolades to strengthen the whole.

I'll stop rambling. Abram already told me he can't read my blogs because they are too long, but Bless the Celtics and bless sports...Where amazing truly does happen.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Keep it Realer

I tend to feel pretty comfortable with most people...kind of instantly. This means I often just sort of say what pops in to my head. I talk to all kinds of randoms and I think we all enjoy it.

An example of this is when I went on an out of state business trip for my old job. I arrived a day before my boss, and apparently that was enough time to get to know quite a few people. When she arrived we rode in the hotel van and to her surprise the driver greeted me by name and told me his girlfriend really liked the idea I gave him for a gift for her. Next we got to the restaurant for dinner, and coincidentally a guy I met on the subway and talked to was our server and greeted me by name, and everyone at the front desk of the hotel knew me too. My boss seemed stunned, and when she called it out that surprised me. I didn't really notice I was talking in any way that was abnormal (aka that everyone else didn't do) to these people (aka ALL people).

Because I'm so comfortable with people, sometimes this crosses over in to client territory. It's never caused me any trouble, in fact I think my clients all like me a lot (and if you know differently, keep it to yourself), but it tends to shock my co-workers when they are around me in a client situation for the first time. Today was a good example.

I was filming for Beaumont Hospital and it was the first time Kevin had worked with me. I got pretty comfortable with the guy managing the project for Beaumont and every time I joked with him or said something, you know, funny, I would see Kevin either look shocked or his mouth would fall open, or he would just let out a short burst of shocked laughter.

I may have suggested digging up some cadavers at one point for easy film release forms since it was so hard to get them from living staff, and the client may have told me that I was "making his life a living hell," but I'm pretty sure he meant that in a good way. My favorite moment of the day was when Brian (the client) and I were talking about food or something that I thought should be a perk that Beaumont gave to their employees and Brian said something along the lines of, "You obviously don't know how Beaumont.."spends"" Without thinking I replied, "Yes I do-- I saw the one ply toilet paper in the bathroom."

When Kevin let out his short burst of shocked laughter I realized that might not be funny to the client, and turned, but was relieved to see Brian laughing heartily and agreeing.

I don't know...why do we have to act different than we would at home just because we're at work? Keep it real people. If you have to call out a t.p. faux pas, so be it. I'm pretty sure that even though I made this guys day a living hell, he will always remember it fondly.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Reality Check

As I was riding the tram inside the airport yesterday from my gate to baggage claim, I overheard/saw a little gem of an interaction. Let me paint the picture first, knowing (sadly) that this will never be as funny in text as it was to witness the event.

The tram was pretty empty and in our car: Me, a business man sitting on one of the little benches with a bluetooth reciever in his ear,and his phone in his hand, Another man with two little girls (maybe 7 and 9 yrs. old) who both looked a little rough and rowdy, and a few other passengers 3 or 4 feet farther down the compartment.

The man with the blue tooth was talking on his phone, when all of a sudden one thing he said rang out rather clearly, "Do you want to know what I hate about flying Northwest?"

I glanced up thinking for a minute thinking that he might be addressing me or someone else in the car because the question was so clear, but then noticed his bluetooth. The 9 year old girl wasn't so observant. She stopped in the middle of playing with her little sister, took a hopeful step toward the man on the phone and with her hands clasped behind her, looked up at him at once serious and attentive and said:

"....OK. Yes."

The business man didn't even notice or ignored her, and I started laughing, because I realized I was almost as close to answering the question as she was. Meanwhile her father quickly grabbed her while she stood waiting for the story, and said, "He's talking on the phone!" (unspoken: you stupid little fool.)

It's a shame he didn't notice the little girl, because I cannot imagine that the person on the phone gave his question even half as much attention and interest as this little girl did.

The poor little girl looked so disappointed and crestfallen, but I think my laughter helped to lighten the mood, and I thought again about what a strange world we live in - talking in public places to invisible people in our ears and while staring right through and ignoring the ones right in front of us.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Butterflies...No Thanks

I've heard married people speak longingly about how they miss the beginning of relationships and the fun of first dates and dating. That they wish they still got "butterflies in their collective stomachs." Let me tell you, I'm one butterfly away from running a butterfly conservatory in my stomach, and I'm sick of being sick about dating.

Was Adam Sandler going for drama when he called his movie 50 first dates? Cause he missed the mark. Try 5 million first dates if you want to create impact. I assume we're on the same page now and you've figured out where I'm going: Yes, I just got back from yet another first date. How did we meet? How do you think? YUh-huh, the setup.

This guy was a gentleman, he was nice, interesting, and pretty attractive. Granted, he was about 2 feet taller than me, and I reckon a relationship with him would lead to many similar incidents to the one I experienced at the airport with Fes when he walked right by and didn't see me, but still he was a good guy.

What's the problem? I have NO idea. The chemistry just wasn't there. I could pinpoint a lot of things I noticed about him that I was cleverly starting to subliminally identify and catalogue, like hmmm.. he seems to have a bit of a temper. Or, that last comment made him seem really inflexible, or I wonder how smart he really is or if he has an outie bellybutton? Which we all know is just flat out unacceptable. Anyway, I started to wonder if I wasn't giving him a fair chance. I don't think it's that simple. I think it's the old chicken and the egg conundrum: which came first the knowing or the judging?

Meaning this: did I start finding problems with him and begin to catlogue them because I didn't feel that magical spark, thus making me feel the need to give that truly unexplainable (and clearly not happening) phenomenon a "name" OR did I never get the spark because I was too busy looking for problems?

I mean no one is ever satisfied with the answer "It just wasn't there." Everyone wants to know, but WHY? So when you don't feel it, maybe it's a defense mechanism to just start trying to come up with reasons. So you can answer that impossible question. (But WHY? Well..because he has an outie bellybutton. See? Simple.) Or maybe by doing the "cataloguing", you never give the "spark" enough time to develop - putting all your eggs in the surface level attraction basket.

It's a problem I clearly have no hope of solving, I mean I've been on 5 million dates and I haven't figured it out... but I can proudly tell you this...I may not have made a love match, but I also did NOT run in to any doors, take any spills or accidentally remove my clothes in a public place, so all in all I am thrilled to consider it a successful night and a personal victory.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Curse of the Kobe

Nostalgia is good, I'll always remember the 80's fondly, but reality is better... and baby we're baaaack. With a brand new Big 3, and a brand new emotional leader. Oh...and it ain't Garnett folks.

Let me back up and say I am thrilled to announce that the old rivalry is alive and well. It's the third quarter and I still don't know what the result of this game will be, but I know that we finally have a series that is chock full 'o storylines and passion and drama. No clotheslines yet, but a girl can hope - the potential is there.

There are at least two players that this series means something to on a deeper level than just being in a championship game. Two guys who want to win more than they want food, drink, and maybe even women. Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant.

Bryant has a lot to prove - like that he can win without Shaq. (Personally, I think it's hard to win anything when you have the added burden of such a heavy chip on your shoulder, but that's just me.) Pierce on the other hand remembers the old rivalry and although he was on the other side of the fence as a kid, he knows the chants, he loves what it all means, and he is committed to the Celtics. Never through the "ugly years" did he try to get traded. And he wants to win in a bad way. It's his time.

Kobe Bryant has all the finesse and "magic" of a certain old Laker leader complete with his new-fangled version of the Showtime Lakers. Speed, finesse, athleticism and offense. They've got 'em in spades. But there's something they don't have...and the Celtics do...

Larry Bird is back on the pseudo-parquet in the form of Paul Pierce. I'm sure many of you are shaking your heads and crying out "sacrilege," but stick with me as I illustrate my point. Paul aka Lary has:

1. Clutch, improbable shots. Anyone notice the shot he made in the beginning of the third quarter? The one he threw up like a prayer from the 3 point line as he was knocked to the ground? The one he BANKED in? On the playground you have to call that. In the garden, it's part of the lore. Celtics fans...believe. Again.

2. Strength of mind and body married with sheer determination to win. He got knocked to the ground and sprained his knee. He had to be carried off the floor and wheeled in to the back. The mood shifted to despair--the same as it would have in the old days if Bird was carted off. There goes hope - there goes the dream. Several minutes later with a brace on his knee Pierce comes jogging back on the floor. The place ERUPTS. That "feeling"--the one that goes with the leprechaun is suddenly back. Everyone knows what is about to happen - a lot of scoring. Bird was a work horse who really, truly cared about the game and laid it on the line in every single game. So is Pierce. When it counts in the playoffs, he's been there.

3. Clutch, consistent shots. Shortly after he comes back on the court from his knee injury, and to prove the Truth can't be repressed, he hits back to back 3's, and while he's shooting, there is NO doubt in anyone's mind that those shots are dropping. They do.

As a side note, and by the way, I noticed something interesting that has been reversed--the Celtics used to have all the white guys starting. Not the case any more. The Lakers are the whiter team, and I'm not saying this necessarily means anything. Just saying - it's different.

1:23 left in the game. Celtics up by 6--Garnett just dunked on Gasol's head. Forget posterized--you got served Pau. That's hardcore.

1:20 in the game and Kobe is dribbling left, dribbling right, he can't find anywhere to go and you KNOW he isn't giving anyone else the ball. This is where the Lakers will lose. Kobe won't trust anyone else to get HIS win.

It's over. Game one goes to the Celtics!!!!

Look, win or lose (the win doesn't hurt) this is the very best game I have seen all season, and throughout the playoffs. People are going to care about the NBA again. This wasn't a blowout and this won't be a sweep. It's east coast/ west coast back again. I'm sold hook line and sinker and I can't wait to see my boys get another banner for the garden.

This is how I know the Celtics will take it in seven: You've heard of the curse of the Bambino? Here's the real curse the Lakers are going to have to recognize--The Curse of the Kobe. When a criminal goes free, well justice has to be served in some way. Doesn't it? Don't worry if you're a Laker fan--you can get a win in 86 years. I hear that's about how long it takes these curses to work themselves out. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the rivalry.

Faith Can Move Mountains...but not doors

I dedicate this one to Todd. Because he enjoys my pain.

There are certain truths that I hold to be universal and consistent. Gravity, for one. That death eventually takes us all, If you walk in the rain, you'll get wet, and until today, that when you walk towards and "automatic door" it will open.

As I dropped off my rental car at the airport this morning and walked towards the so-called automatic doors, I had every confidence that when I got to the other side it would be scratch and bruise free. After all, I'd been through these very doors hundreds of times before. And a promise is being text..right on the door. "Automatic doors." OK, I've made my point.

As I walked towards them, they acted as if they were going to open, albeit slowly, and they opened leaving about a foot across of open air between the two doors. (Much like the above picture.) I figured they weren't REALLY going to stop there and that if I kept walking confidently toward them that they would finish what they started. I'm not sure why I never slowed my pace when I saw this wasn't actually going to happen, but I just knew that when you really believe...well, not so much. I ran straight in to the doors at my normal walking pace. My face and my right arm made it through the door and the rest of me got smacked, sending me flying backwards about two paces, fighting to regain my balance and my luggage.

I got a couple small scratches, but I think what hurt most was my betrayed trust. My faith was damaged today. And also my pride. I think the people watching me were puzzled by my faith in a door that didn't have any apparent intention of opening. But what can I say? I'm a believer.

Monday, June 2, 2008

God Bless Kevin McHale

Hallelujah and Praise be...the Celtics are back in the game and will soon be back on top. And we owe it all to Kevin McHale.

It's been a long drought, but we are returning to the promised land, and it is with complete confidence that I can promise a championship banner will hang from our rafters this year. I can promise this because we already have an Eastern Conference one to throw up. It is with almost as much confidence that I promise the big one.

I've watched Celtics games with my family for as long as I can remember. I used to make green cupcakes for the games in the 80's - one for each team member with their number on the cupcake. I have a Larry Bird scrapbook full of articles from the 80's and an autographed picture of him on my wall. It's been true love for a long time.

It was called to my attention today as I was texting someone about the Celtics, that in answer to a question about if they would win, I replied things like, "we have Pierce" and "We're on a roll now." As if I were in fact part of the team. Aren't I? Perhaps what was more interesting however, was when he asked if there was a chance the Celtics could lose and I wrote, "Of course there is a chance they could lose." He asked me why the we suddenly became they. It's a good point. And the answer is clear. I cannot accept that my team would fail. And they won't if Doc Rivers follows my advice. It's pretty simple: bench Sam Cassell, and let the starters get real minutes. Not rocket science, but also not a plan he's really stuck to so far.

I would also like to say thank you to Cleveland - scratch that, to Lebron, and Detroit for making it interesting, and thank you to my main men, Pierce, Garnett, Allen, Rajon, and most especially Perkins for coming together at just the right time with all cylinders firing to ensure we put Kobe where he belongs - the loss column. Well, actually if truth be told he belongs in jail, but since all cannot be right in the world I will make my peace with the loss column. It will bring joy to my heart to finally be able to shut down all the cocky comments flowing from his mouth in post-game interviews like, "I can turn it on and score at will." "I am the team." etc.. True or not, it's cocky and I can't wait until he meets the best Defense in the league and "The Truth."

It is with great joy that I begin chanting a phrase I haven't said for 20+ years, "Beat La, beat LA, beat LA." May Red Auerbach's spirit settle comfortably in the rafters of the Garden for the next 7 games to enjoy one more battle and eventual title against an age-old rival.

And yes, I want 7 games please. I'd like it to awaken the rivalry, and to win on our home court.

Let's Go Celtics!

Cheering for Dummies 101

OK. I've debated, I've gone over all the arguments, and I've decided I have no choice but to share some of the top secret Mormon cult rituals we perform at Duck Beach. I feel it's time for full-disclosure.

So here are some of the strange rites that were performed on this year's vacation. I'm sure that no one outside of the family will find these humorous, although most will find them slightly disturbing. And create no little amount of wondering at our mental capacity. A little context.

The night Abram that was in charge of game night he made.. I mean asked..everyone to write one thing they had been convinced to do in their life that they may or may not have regretted. Once the items were in the bowl, we drew names for teams and we drew one of the events people wrote and had 15 minutes to come up with a cheer, that's right, a cheer about the activity we drew. Let me tell you there were some weird things written in that bowl. I will not identify what the activity was or who was involved, but if you figure it out, well nice sleuth work.

I will just show some small excerpts from each performance. And please keep in mind that the camera adds something like 30 lbs. I'm pretty sure.

Abram & Lisa:

Shawn & Amy:

Kristin & Ryan:

Garrett & Shauri:

Wallace & Travis:

I spoke to soon

Just when I thought traveling couldn't be any slower I got a smack in the face. "Yo, travel girl (this is the God of travel talking in case it isn't obvious) you think you're so smart, you think you know slow? Try this on for size!" And bam. Worst travel day ever.

Travis and I left for the airport at 10 am on Saturday and got there only to find out that our flight had been cancelled. Would have been nice to know. Our lovely and adept customer service lady told us she would make everything right and re-booked us through Atlanta to SLC. She said it was just a short stop. I'm curious what she thinks a long stop is since we later discovered our short stop was 4 1/2 hours.

Travis and I had big plans to spend that 4 1/2 hours seeing a movie in Atlanta, but discovered it would cost us 80 bucks in taxi fare to get there and back and after a serious brain summit decided that "Baby Mama" might not be a 90 buck movie. We hung out in Delta's Crown Room instead, which let me tell you...G-H-E-T-T-O. Do not sign up for this awesome deal unless you think the money you invest will be covered in all your drinks.

Travis and I paid to get in and they wanted to charge us for two people until the guy accidentally called me a "He" and then I made him feel so bad he let us in two for the price of one. I'm still not sure that covered my emotional damage, and was clear it didn't once I saw how pathetic their room was. NWA definitely has a nicer set up. And that is probably the nicest thing I will ever say about NWA.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we arrived in SLC at 12:15am and got home to Provo at 1:30 am. A mere 15 1/2 hours later. I won't mention that's how long the straight shot from LA to Australia is...but it is.


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