Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Plea for Prayers

I find it much more difficult to write in my blog when I'm at my parents' house. This happens for several reasons. First of all, I'm usually pretty busy helping my mom do something around the house. Normally I'm kept busy doing this or that cleaning project, washing dishes, vacuuming, picking up the living room etc. Along with all the cleaning, I'm also often occupied with entertaining children, especially if my siblings also happen to be around, which is fine because I love the kids. I might also be busy chatting with my siblings, getting my trash kicked at Hearts (well I almost won the other night, but last night I got beaten rather badly) or even watching Animaniancs. The gist of this whole paragraph is that being at my parents' house keeps me occupied, and it's harder when I don't have my own computer. In fact, I should probably be helping with the dinner dishes right now, but here I am, writing in my blog instead. . .

I'm sort of writing because it's been a stressful last few days. My dad woke up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve with terrible pain in his back. He spent most of Christmas Day sleeping (doped up on what pain pills my mom had), as a means of dealing with the pain. However, it's now three days later, and he's still in terrible pain. We think it's very possible, and in fact likely, that a cyst he had removed from his spine about 7 years ago has come back. My mom is at her wits end trying to figure out what to do to help him, and the truth is there's not really much she can do except pray hard. She gets stressed out when there's a problem she can't fix, and she's a worrier, both traits I have inherited from her.

In desperation my parents went to the emergency room at the hospital in Burley yesterday. The verdict was: the doctor couldn't do anything to help them because my dad needs an MRI and, get this, the hospital's MRI machine is broken and has been for a week!! The closest hospital is in Twin Falls, about 40 minutes from here, and the doctor said it wouldn't help for him to send my parents there because they'd have to pay another emergency room visit. He suggested my parents try to get ahold of the surgeon in Boise who did the surgery before. In the meantime, my poor father is suffering and in terrible pain. My mom's also a basket case trying to deal with the stress, and have her tiny house overrun with her family. I suppose it's just as well that my sister and brother in law and their family and me are going to be heading back to Utah tomorrow.

The point of this post is to ask for your prayers for my dad, and for my mom too. I hope you don't mind this request. However, I think at this point prayer is pretty much the only thing that can help my dad, so if you think about it, please do so. Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

I'm thinking that it would be fun to do an entry to commemorate what a special day it is. However, since I decided that this afternoon, I've been wracking my brain to figure out precisely what said entry will be about and I've found it difficult to narrow down what topic I want to talk about. I guess that means I will write about several of them. This may be kind of random so just bear with me as I try to communicate what's in my head and heart on my blog.

First of all, one of the things Christmas means to me is family. Christmas is one of my most favorite times of the year for many reasons, but one of the top would be because I get to spend an extended period of time with my family. I used to anticipate Christmas break when I was in school and I still do now that I've graduated, even though I don't technically have a break since I work full time. It's the one time of year when I get to spend an extended period of time with my family.

This year is just a little bit sad because most of my siblings couldn't come for Christmas. We did get to all be together for Thanksgiving, which was great, but I sure do miss having them (especially the kids!) for Christmas. Plus, now that my parents, my brother and I are old and boring, it's fun to have little kids around on Christmas morning. They get so excited, and it just helps bring the magic of Christmas Day back again. It helps me to remember what it was like when we were all little kids and we couldn't wait to get up on Christmas morning (usually earlier than the 7 a.m. time frame my mom established) to find out what Santa had brought us. I just love being around my siblings, and since I have no children of my own, it's doubly special to be around their kids and get a small taste of what motherhood will be like someday. Plus, it's such a hard job but somebody's got to be the favorite aunt. . . Of all the things I am known for, that one's probably my favorite. The point of all this chatter is that Christmas, to me, is about family. I'm incredibly grateful for what a wonderful family I have and that we're so close to each other.

I was also thinking it would be fun to share some of my favorite Christmas Day memories. I'm going to narrow it to my top 5 because I know that given the chance, I could write something about many Christmases.

1) When I was 5, I found a little red spot on my behind on Christmas morning, but I didn't think much about it. I was a little kid after all. We had a fun day and it wasn't until that night, when my mom was putting me in the tub, that she discovered I was covered with little red spots, commonly known as chicken pox.

2) My mom set a rule that we were not allowed to open any presents, or wake her and dad up, before 7 a.m. However, that didn't mean my siblings and I couldn't sneak out into the living room to check things out before then. Every year my sister and I would make a "Christmas schedule" about waking up at 6 a.m., going out to the living room to see the presents, playing with the present we were allowed to open the night before and then waking our parents up on the stroke of 7 a.m.
One year we had asked Santa for a doll stroller, and we were delighted to discover that's exactly what we had received. We got up at our customary early hour of the morning and snuck into the living room. The strollers came assembled which I'm sure made them difficult to wrap so they were both covered with bags, my sister's with a paper sack and mine with plastic. My sister kept poking holes in hers and I kept lifting mine up so we could "preview" our gift before opening time.

3) In light of the fact that our family has grown so much, we decided to start doing a sibling exchange and only getting a gift for whichever sibling's name we had. My younger brother had my name. He knew that I wanted an iPod really badly, so he set out to make it a reality. With a little help from my parents (okay, let's be honest--a LOT of help from my parents), he was able to get one for me. He was so pleased with himself.
Part of the fun was for him to disguise his gift so I wouldn't have any clue what it was. He took the tiny little iPod box, and put it in about 8 other boxes, the one on the very outside of which was ginormous. He took great delight in watching as I went through each successive layer, only to discover yet another one beneath. The crowning moment was when I opened the final box and found my iPod. He even had it engraved so it says "Tammy's iPod" which I love. The gift means that much more to me since I know the love that went into it--and that it was accompanied by teasing.

4) One year when I was really little, my family went to my aunt's house in Sandy for Christmas. I have vague memories of the trip itself (I think I was under 5 at the time, judging by the photos we took) but I remember being so excited to spend Christmas with my cousins. That's part of why it's so touching to see my nieces and nephews now, because they love their cousins so much, just as we did at their age.

5) Two years ago, my brother had been on his mission for about four months when Christmas time rolled around. Of course one of the highlights of the day was the phone call with him. This call was especially memorable because it was the first time we'd talked to him since he went into the MTC (except for me since I made a little illegal trip to the airport to see him for the 10 minutes between the time when he came and when he had to go up the stairs and through security :) ) ,and we had such a wonderful conversation. I think he was pretty excited about his captive audience that was gobbling up every word he said about his experience in Paraguay. Who could have foreseen that almost two years later, my parents and I would have the chance to see it for ourselves?!

Anyway, I know this is a long post, and I should go now so I can help with the final dinner preparations. However, I hope everyone has had a delightful Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fickle, fickle weather!

I was supposed to drive home to Idaho for Christmas today, emphasis on the supposed to. When I originally looked at the forecast, today was supposed to be the window of nice weather in between storms. However, this is Utah, and weather is prone to change suddenly and unexpectedly, so therefore, I will not be heading home to Idaho until tomorrow.

The most direct route to Idaho from Utah is via I-84, and that interstate remains closed due to inclement weather. The other option is to stay on I-15 and then connect to I-86 at Pocatello. That way takes longer, but if it's clear, then big whoop. However, my aunt, who is coming with me, called my parents and said it had just turned into a major blizzard in Sandy, where she lives. It was just gently snowing but then started coming down in a frenzy and freezing to her windshield no less. That became the kicker which helped us decide to wait until tomorrow.

I know it's not the end of the world, and at least I'm not like some of the travellers stranded at the Greyhound bus station. However, it makes me frustrated all the same! I only have a limited amount of time off work, and I was looking forward to spending it with my family. Oh well! One day doesn't make much difference in light of safe travelling conditions.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Storms of Life

Once again it's really late, and I should be going to bed. I'm exhausted enough to do so, but I have something I want to write about, so hopefully I can do it quickly. I apologize, but this is going to be somewhat of a sentimental post, but that's the mood I'm in at the moment. Proceed no further if you don't want to read about it. I'm also trying to express deep feelings of my heart, and I'm not sure I quite accomplished exactly what I had in mind, but I did try.

Tonight I went with a friend from work to see the Glenn Beck movie. It's based upon his new book "The Christmas Sweater." It's kind of detailing his conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although the story itself has been changed some, the basic gist of it is the same. He talks about how his father died of cancer when he was 10. His mother was doing everything in her power to help make ends meet. For Christmas the year he turned 12, he really wanted a shiny new bike and had it all picked out. He was really upset when all he received was a sweater his mother had knitted. They went to his grandparents' house for Christmas dinner and he was further disappointed when he didn't receive the bike he wanted so badly. His mother wanted to stay overnight because she was too tired to drive home because of all the long hours she had been working, but he was insistent. They drove home, and he fell asleep--but so did his mother. She was killed in the accident. He talks about the ensuing "storm of life" that he had to face which concluded with this vision he had of an older guy in the cornfield who taught him that he has to face the storm and not be afraid to walk through it so he can experience the brightness and beauty on the other side. It was a strong parable about the power of the Atonement to help us make it through the tough times. I'm crying right now as I write about it because I find it that touching.

This is very basic description of the movie and I don't know that I'm doing it justice, but I was so moved by the story. Yes, I cried buckets as I watched it. There was a sort of 10-minute intermission in the middle which talked about Jon Huntsman, Sr. and how he overcame poverty to become a millionaire. Later, he faced his storm of cancer by building the Huntsman Cancer Institute to provide hope for cancer patients and their families. I don't know exactly what in that struck a chord with me, but something touched me, and I cried all the way through the segment.

The whole show made me reflect on some of the things I've been through this year and brought up feelings that I don't particularly want to think about. It has been a tough year for me, and I've been through some tough "storms" this year, some of which were so difficult that I didn't know how in the world I was ever going to cope with them. It was during that most difficult time that I watched all my external supports being taken away (or so it felt like) and I wondered why in the world my Father in Heaven was doing this to me. In looking back though, I realized some important insights. Not only was this an opportunity for me to learn just how strong my faith is (which was a goal I set this year) but it was also an experience that humbled me and helped me realize just how dependent I am on my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ for strength and comfort. I am such an independent person that it's often hard for me to allow myself to rely on other people and especially those I can't see; hence the desire I felt to strengthen my faith.

I felt so alone at that time and didn't understand how Heavenly Father and Jesus could have left me, but I realize that they were there for me all along. It was a period of intense testing, but I am better and stronger for it, even if what was so difficult for me doesn't really go away. It's just something I had to learn to deal with and accept. I handle it well except at times when it is brought front and center, which causes me to falter but mostly I hold strong.

Later, when other tough times came, my faith was stronger so I could bear it. A few weeks ago I was reading in Ether chapter 12, which is all about faith. I came to the scripture that talks about how you receive "no witness until after the trial of your faith" and I realized that I know that with all of my heart. I have been tested and proven myself true, and now I have a witness of that for myself. I wish that I had a better understanding of the Atonement at the point I was struggling so much, so I could have applied it more to my situation, which would have been a great comfort to me. However, I am pleased that I have made it through this year's storms. I'm sure there will be plenty next year as well, so I'd better start strengthening myself now. . . and keep in mind that I am never alone.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do you HAVE to be right?!

I must admit that today was not a great day by any stretch of the imagination. Through a series of events, that I'm not going to discuss here, I spent a good portion of the day frustrated and upset because of things that were going on around me. Over the course of the evening (and after a nice venting session with my roommates and a few others), I've mostly been able to shake the events of the day off, but there's still a topic I want to discuss here in order to get it off my chest. If I would have known how liberated my blog can help me feel, I would have started it months ago!! Now that I know I can use it to the fullest extent.

When I was growing up, there was a series on the Disney channel that I used to really enjoy watching. It was about a single mother with her five children living in Oklahoma. I remember one of the episodes was about the oldest daughter, Dorothy Jane, calling into this radio show for some reason or another (which I think may have involved relationship advice). The lady on the show was this boisterous black lady who ended every conversation with, "Am I right, baby? Come on, you know I am!"

The events of today have made me think about that for one particular reason: why is it so many people around me feel the need to be right all the time?! More importantly, why does it have to be an "in your face" kind of right instead of a more subtle I'm right? I can be opinionated but for the most part, I take a softer approach to the opinions I have. Unless I have a vested interest in a topic, feel pretty certain I'm right or am up against someone with unreasonably strong opinions, I'm not going to make an issue out of something. As I admitted in a previous post, if people get carried away in the opinions they express (i.e. "my opinion or none at all" mentality), then I sometimes feel the need to take the opposite stance simply because I can. :) And you all thought I was nice!

Anyway, I had two situations happen to me today where people decided they were right, and it was the "in your face" right that I can't stand! I'm not going to talk about one of them but I am going to mention parts of the other one, partially because I kind of brought it upon myself.

I was writing a script based on something that another person had written when I noticed what I was pretty certain was a mistake. Here's where the bad side of me comes out: I got excited to point the mistake out to the person because they'd pointed something out to me only the week before, so I must admit, I was feeling a little vindictive. And boy did my choice ever have consequences! Well, maybe not so much consequences as backlash.

I went in a started a polite conversation with this person and then kindly, but firmly, pointed out to them that they'd made a mistake. I could see that the person A) didn't believe me and B) had no intention of being wrong, so she started searching for any and all evidence to the contrary. She kept insisting, "I believe you, I really do" but yet she had to search her three dictionaries, 20 Web sites and consult with her lawyer brother just to be certain. All the while she was collecting evidence (which took about 20 minutes, BTW) she kept insisting that she was convinced I was 85 percent right but she wanted to find out for sure.

I was so incredulous at the lengths she was taking, and the fact that she made me stand there to watch when I could have been doing something more productive, that I started to laugh. I tried to keep it in at first but as I got more fed up with her constant assurances (which were nothing but baloney) and incredulous that she couldn't take me at my word, that I was giggling pretty hard, more out of annoyance than anything else. As I left her office, she calls after me, "You're so cute, Tammy." That only made things worse because I knew that she was only trying to butter me up because that's what she does anytime she's in a conflict with you. However, I was having none of it! I was thinking, Don't you try to butter me up when you've just spent the last 20 minutes doing everything in your power to prove me wrong!!

I finally escaped from her office and then, feeling the need for some vindication, recruited my other team members to help prove my point. See, I now had a stake in the situation, so I was determined to find out that I was right. Yes, I know I was being contrary, and I freely admit that. The results: we were both kind of right. In some usages it's more common to use the word as I said it needed to be spelled and in other cases, it was the way she spelled it. I was just galled at the intensity she exhibited while trying to prove she was right and that she couldn't possibly accept me at my word. But really that's what I get for being vindictive!

I get frustrated sometimes because I am a nice person so I don't know how I keep ending up around all these people with strong opinions, which is fine, until they decide their opinion is the ONLY right one, so they try to steamroll over me with it. Even some of my favorite people to be around do this to me, and it irks me almost beyond belief! I am getting better at standing my ground, and I've been delighted to see my contrary streak developing to the point that I will sometimes take the opposite side, just because I can. Mostly I'm opposed to that idea just because I hate it when people do that to me, but at the same time, it's sometimes a good way of pulling myself out from underneath the steamroller. . .

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An interesting day at church

I mentioned when I wrote on Friday that I went to my sister's house in Logan this weekend to see my nieces' dance recital. I had a lovely weekend, and as always, it was great to spend time with my sister and her family. I also surprisingly enjoyed watching winter descend, in the form of a bad snowstorm on Saturday, which might distress me normally because I hate driving in the snow, but this time I quite enjoyed it (probably because aside from a trip to the gas station to fill up my car, I didn't have to drive anywhere until today).

Sorry, I'm getting sidetracked. What I'm leading up to with all of this is that I went to church with my sister today. I was struck with just how different a family ward is from a singles ward, and since I think this will make an amusing post, I'm going to write about it. First of all, there was the little drama with my niece. The five of us (my sister and her husband, myself and the three kids) were arranged in the bench. My nephew was originally sitting next to me, but his 6-year-old sister wanted to sit by me so badly that he was finally persuaded to trade her places. She was having a grand time until she started singing a song during the Sacrament, and I told her she couldn't sing because it wasn't reverent.

She was mad enough at me that she traded places with her brother so she could sit next to her mom again, giving me the "I can't believe how mean you are" look. Oh well, that's what I get for being such a strict aunt. Imagine telling her not to sing during the Sacrament of all times!! Later she forgave me and sat by me again after the Primary children sang until she and my nephew got a little too rowdy (which I'm ashamed to admit was kind of my fault because I was playing find the ring with them, where I put one of my rings in my hands and hide it and they have to figure out which hand it's in) and their dad had me sit between them.

Today was the ward Christmas program. The first number was the Primary children singing a couple songs. My sister is the Primary chorister so she has been working hard to teach the kids the songs they were singing for the program. (In fact, the song my niece was mad that I told her not to sing was one of the songs the children were performing.) The number would have been cute and rather uneventful except that during the second song, this little boy saw his sister up there singing and decided he wanted to go say hi. He escaped from his mother and walked over so he was standing right underneath, waving at his sister. She was singing so she didn't really look at him. Finally he got bored, so he grabbed the ends of the little podium thing and started hanging from it. There was a ripple of laughter throughout the congregation, until the boy's mom finally recaptured him and brought him back to the bench.

Don't worry--his antics weren't over yet. Both his parents sang in the ward choir so when it came time for them to perform, he was up on the stand with his mom. He escaped again (I don't really blame his mom because my sister told me that he's pretty much a busy little boy) and came over to the chairs at the front. At first he was just standing behind it and then he started trying to climb over it. His mother had to leave the choir to come over and bring him back to where she is. I felt bad for her.

The adventures didn't end after Sacrament meeting. Since my sister is in Primary and my brother in law is the executive secretary and it's kind of weird to go to RS and Sunday School by myself, I usually just go to Primary, which is a fun change. To help the Nursery kids transition into Primary, they are having them come for music time for the next couple weeks. My 3-year-old niece is in that class. Of course since her mom is the chorister, she felt the need to be her shadow and then while my sister was trying to teach the kids to lead music, which was the activity she chose for the day, she grabbed her mom's arm and was wrapping it around her. It looked mighty difficult and distracting for my sister to be teaching with that going on, so I walked up to the front of the Primary room and picked her up so she could come sit by me. She can be quite a handful because she's such a smart little girl, but she's so cute that you can't resist having your heart melted when you're around her. It was interesting trying to entertain her, but she is pretty well behaved for the most part.

I went with my sister to do music with the Nursery kids. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be participating in the song (a.e. standing up and spinning around) but I was anyway. I must be the interesting new commodity because all the little kids were watching me, which I just found funny/cute. Plus, let's be honest, it's just amusing to be around a group of kids all age 3 or under. I went back into Primary for my sister's music time with the Senior Primary. Nothing really eventful happened, except I have to wonder why it is that boys find such fascination and need to balance their chairs on only two legs (which the class sitting directly in front of me did in both the junior and senior primaries). The boys used to do this in Primary when I was growing up, and I've witnessed for myself that the trend continues. If anybody has any suggestions for why this phenomenon is, please let me into the secret!

I don't mean to poke fun at the family ward or to say that it's inherently irreverent or anything. I just sometimes find it to be such an interesting contrast to the silence of a singles ward. Although you sometimes hear an interesting talk here or there, generally speaking the most eventful thing in my normal ward is a random comment in Sunday School. However, when you bring small children into the mix, things can often spin in a new direction.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dave Ramsey would be so proud!

It's pretty late right now and truthfully I should be going to bed. However, I had an experience tonight that was perfect blog material so therefore I have to share it!!

Tonight my two nieces (ages 3 and 6) had their dance recital. I decided it would make a perfect weekend excursion to come see it, especially since I've only ever been to one of the older niece's dance recitals. I was hoping to leave work at 4:30 so I could head out and arrive in Logan, where my sister lives (which is an approximately 90 minutes from Salt Lake) in time for the event.

Of course things don't always turn out as you expect. First of all, I was held up at work so I didn't leave until after 5. I had a little mishap in which cough syrup spilled on my jeans, so I had to run back to my house (which I also wasn't planning to do) before I left, which also delayed me. I got onto the freeway around 5:40 and was making great time! Traffic was lighter than I expected, especially for a Friday afternoon. The problem came in that I wanted to make a quick stop at the Layton Hills Mall. I arrived in Layton around 6. I was debating if I had time to stop and figured I really didn't, but then the stupid part of my brain took over and decided I could do it really quickly so I should go ahead. However, this little stop provides the basis for my post, so perhaps it wasn't a total bust, even though I wasn't able to find what I was looking for.

I was so proud of myself. I parked by Macy's and walked into the store and booked it through the mall until I found the place I wanted to stop (which only took about 10 minutes). Once I had established that I couldn't get what I had come for, I made one more brief stop and then started heading back towards Macy's and my car so I could continue my little journey. Time was definitely of the essence, so I was hurrying as fast as I could (and I was proud of my speedy walk!)

My goal was in sight when this guy at one of those kiosks that are all around the mall came at me with a bottle of lotion in hand. Figuring a little lotion was surely harmless I let him put it on my hand. He starts explaining how it's some special lotion made from Dead Sea salt, or something to that effect. He proceeds to pick my hand up so he can examine my fingers and then offers to show me something pretty cool. I'm not really interested but since I'm too nice I end up letting him do it anyway. He takes the clear polish off the middle finger on my right hand then buffs it with this special buffer, explaining how I need to do it only once a month. Then he uses this other side to bring "the natural oils in my body" to the surface and suddenly my nail is nice and shiny, just as it is with the polish. He starts telling me about how this is superior to what I already had on my nail. I have to admit, it was neat, but the coolness factor was dimmed by the fact that I was so short on time!

He asks if I want to know more and I decline, so he brings out a set with the little buffer, a cuticle softener and lotion telling me it's only $49. Here's the part where Dave Ramsey would be so proud of me. I looked straight at him and told him, "No, I can't buy it because it's not in my budget."

For anyone who reads this and is unfamiliar with Dave Ramsey, he's this financial guru who was a real estate hotshot in the 80s who become a millionaire at a young age and when the economy and real estate market crashed, he basically lost everything and had to work his way back to the top. However, this time he did it without any debt, so he's now a multi-millionaire with zero debt. He teaches his formula for success as a 13-week course called Financial Peace University, which I just completed. I don't necessarily feel like I have implemented it as well as I should have, but tonight it sure came in handy!

The guy looks at me and says he's had a very successful day so he's going to give me a special deal: he'll sell it to me for the low price of $19. I still had no intention of buying it but found myself slightly interested anyway. He takes me over to his cash register so he can show me two receipts for $300 orders so I can see for myself how successful he's been and why he wants to sell it so cheaply. And this is the kicker that just about killed me. He says he will even throw in a plastic sack I can carry it in for free!! Like he doesn't give those to every person who buys his products anyway!! Jeez Louise! This is when my humor helped my common sense overcome what would have been an unnecessary impulse buy. I told him thanks for the offer but I really was in a hurry and had to go now. Boy-oh-boy did I ever feel powerful!! Not only did I use the budget line, which is true BTW, but I also saw firsthand how negotiating can work, like not letting yourself get too attached to something because it gives you more power to make a deal. I'll have to remember that for future reference. . .

I found the situation quite humorous and I was laughing about it the rest of my drive to Logan. Who knew I could be so good at saying no to someone?! I know quite a few people, including myself, who would be quite surprised to learn that.

As an end note, the recital was great! My little escapade made me quite late and then I went to the wrong building (not totally my fault because my sister didn't explain where I was going very well!), so I missed the girls' first two dances, but I did see their second ones!! Three-year-olds mostly stand up on the stage twirling, doing a few moves here and there with their teachers' help and look cute, but it's precious all the same. I was proud of the 6-year-old though. She's on a competitive team for the first time this year, and she did well! Okay, I think this post is quite long enough and I'm exhausted so I'm going to close now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Correction, please

Have you ever heard the expression, "Nobody's really paying attention until you make a mistake?"

Today I learned firsthand that this is true. It doesn't matter if you've done the same thing if not perfectly, at least at an acceptable level for weeks, if you make a couple tiny little mistakes, then you're in trouble. It's kind of frustrating actually.

Here is my story about what happened that set this train of thought in motion. I have this one assignment at work that I was given almost a year ago. As far as assignments go, it's not something that I really stress about (well part of it isn't and the other part, well it is rather strenuous). I have to edit stories for this newsletter that we put out every week. One of the writers is terrible, and I normally end up re-writing almost the entire article. I was annoyed at first, but now I've accepted it as something that just has to be done. But it still takes motivation to edit that article.

This week I read over the article as usual. It wasn't very long, which was nice, but again, I did rewrite quite a bit of it. I always read over it 4-5 times before I send it on to the next person in the process, to make sure that it reads well and hopefully I didn't introduce new errors. The problem with reading it immediately is that after you've looked at something for so long, it all starts to look the same so sometimes you don't read it as carefully as you should. Apparently that's what happened.

I got to work this morning and an email was waiting in my Inbox telling me about two minor errors in the piece. I don't mind being corrected; in fact I often welcome it so that I can improve and not make the same mistakes again. I'm thinking maybe I was slightly out of sorts this morning or something because it just rubbed me the wrong way. I found myself on the defensive about it. I knew that I was being completely ridiculous because I'm certain the person who pointed it out only wanted to help me or caution me, one of the two. It's also a good reminder to me to not be complacent.

I've learned that it's much better to wait until after the initial anger has passed before you talk to someone when they made you mad. I waited for about half an hour before I responded, but I'm afraid that I was still rather defensive. It only burned my biscuit even more when this person offered to become "a second pair of eyes" for this particular piece and kind of told me to focus more attention on it (by dropping the other pieces that I edit for the newsletter). In all honestly, I'm currently undergoing changes in job responsibilities that will take affect in a few weeks, so now's probably a good time to tell me, but sometimes it's the mode of delivery as much as the message itself. The message was fine but the delivery burned me all over again.

Another thing I've learned is that anger is a secondary emotion so if you're feeling angry, it's usually a cover for something else. In analyzing why I was upset, this is what I deduced (I know, what a great word!): not only does my perfectionist self hate to make mistakes (I know that everybody does, but I still expect a lot from me and then get upset when I can't be perfect all the time. *sigh* unless of course you're Speak so you think you're perfect all the time :) J/K!) but to have that email be one of the first things that greeted me when I came in and to add insult to injury, to have that person suddenly act like I needed additional supervision was just too much. The irrational part of me was like, "I have been doing this now for almost a year, and while I know I don't do it perfectly, the majority of the time I do it well. You don't say thanks for all the weeks it goes smoothly but now that I made a mistake, you not only shove it in my face but also act like I now suddenly need you to look over my shoulder. Ugh!!" (As an explanatory note, I'm a pretty independent soul so I HATE feeling like someone is watching my every move or monitoring where I don't feel it's necessary.)

The good news is that while it probably sounds like I'm still mad about this situation from the tone of this post, I'm over it. The irrational part has been put to rest and the rational part, that knows I made an error (albeit small ones, but mistakes nonetheless), has taken over. That means I know I just have to step it up next week, hopefully without someone looking over my shoulder. . .

Monday, December 8, 2008

Whoops-a little TMI, I think

So I have been surprised at the response that I received about the posting I made last Friday entitled "A Breakthrough!" I felt good at the time I wrote it because I had a moment of actual honesty with my roommate, which can be difficult to do with her. I mean she's honest when I talk to her, but about what she really thinks, directness is not her strong point, which is frustrating. I realize this is something I struggle with too (perhaps part of the reason why it bothers me), but I'm working hard on it, especially in light of this situation.

However, as I've thought more about this post and three different people who mentioned it to me today, I'm beginning to think perhaps I shouldn't have written it. While I'm glad to know that people are reading this blog (that's what a blog is for after all), I still feel like I made a bit of a faux pas. I promised myself when I started my blog that it wasn't going to become my official forum for airing my dirty laundry for the world to see and this is part of the reason why.

One of my co-workers has an aunt who uses her blog for exactly that reason. She follows her children around with her cell phone camera, documenting the things they do or say, or in some cases didn't do when they said they would do it. Of course she calls them by name and has photos posted, and her one security measure is to change the spelling of the family's last name. I admit to being entertained at the things she writes and find myself wanting to read her blog just to see what she writes next, but at the same time I'm appalled and feel bad for her kids that things don't stay in the family in certain circumstances when they should.

While I don't think that I did anything to that extreme in this circumstance, in many ways I still feel like I crossed the line a bit. Plus, although Stew has expressed no interest in reading my blog or finding out the address, part of me is terrified that she will and then I'll be a bad roommate for talking about things like that when I shouldn't. She's very private and would be horrified if she knew what I said. That's a situation I would much rather avoid.

I realized last week that I struggle with a condition The Fashionista refers to as word vomit. It's when you either A) just let it all out when you really shouldn't or B) talk about things you shouldn't talk about. I think I'm a little too prone to do that, which I definitely don't like. It goes along with the whole "embellishing for dramatic effect" thing that I sometimes like to do. (Thanks to Gilmore Girls for supplying that phraseology!) I think I'm going to have to be more careful in the things I write in my blog. In the meantime, watch for more fun and random topics of things I choose to discuss here. I promise never to delve into trashiness level, although I may at times be shallow in my topic choice. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Culture anyone?

Opa!! (In case you don't know what that means, it's hello in another language although I can't recall which at this point in time.)

So last night I had the opportunity to go to Provo to see my cousin perform in Christmas Around the World. I really enjoyed myself too!! I've never seen it before, but dance shows like this are right up my alley. A friend of mine told me the other day when I mentioned that I was going that this means I'm more cultured than he is. I don't know that I would say that so much as it means I enjoy dance performances (probably because a secret desire of my heart has always been to be a dancer, but I'm not really so I just like watching other people who can) and was especially excited to see this one! I do enjoy learning about other cultures, and this was also a good opportunity to do that.

Anyway, I thought I would go through and talk about each dance and what I liked or didn't like about each. I realize this may mean that this is an extraordinarily long entry, but be that as it may, oh well!

Poland--Truthfully, this dance didn't do a lot for me. I liked the colors and the dance itself, but I just didn't find it very exciting.

India--This is the number my cousin was in, and I really loved it (not just because she was in it either.) It was very upbeat and apparently depicts a new dance craze that's a combination of classic and modern dance (another plus, IMO) and the costuming was great. As a general rule, you will probably notice that I like the upbeat numbers more so than the slow ones.

Mexico--Love this one, particularly the part where the men threw the machetes (fake ones I'm sure as I'm sure they didn't want to injure themselves) into the air and skillfully caught them again. They even threw them to the next person down, and I think only one machete fell the whole dance. Pretty cool! Magnifico! Me encanta much! It was also a fun and upbeat number, and I thought it was cool that the men were dressed like the Three Amigos! The girls also had these full skirt costumes that I thought were awesome!

China--Okay, this one was very rhythmic and was done with the assistance of umbrellas. While it was very graceful and beautiful, I found myself impatient for it to be over so we could move on to the next.

Canada--Magnifique!! Apparently Turlette is "a captivating form of 'mouth music' found in the music of Quebec" and three soloists performed in the center of the floor and were accompanied by Mountain Springs, BYU's folk music ensemble, which was just cool! I had never seen anything like it before. The dance that followed was pretty awesome too. If I'm not mistaken, it seemed like they had these little clickers on their feet that made it more interesting. Who knew our neighbors to the north had such a fun dance tradition? Certainly not me.

Israel--First Mountain Springs played a musical arrangement of Oy Chaunukah, which was cool and then the dancers performed. It was another upbeat number with fun costumes that I liked. I'm also basing my overall impressions on what I remember from it, and nothing really stands out, so I guess that means it might not have been quite as memorable to me.

Scotland--Loved it, loved it loved it! How can you not with traditional Scottish dance by three soloists in full Scottish regalia, accompanied by a bagpiper and then joined by the BYU Men's Chorus!! I'm going to say it here and will probably say it again, but I have to admire these dancers. Those moves they were doing, frolicking and skipping around (for lack of the proper terminology) definitely didn't look easy and I decided they must have some wicked strong calves too. Anyway, cool dance all around! Loved getting to hear the well-known BYU Men's Chorus!!

Wales--From what the program says, this number "is a collaboration of Welsh folk music and dance, depicting the spirit of this Celtic nation." The emcee mentioned that the wording, I believe, was done by the director of the BYU Men's Chorus, who is Welsh. Loved the collaboration and the part where some of the choir boys came out and stole the female dancers from their male counterparts and then had to run back into place. Also, when the men started dancing with the chorus director and ended up tossing her into the air three or four times (don't worry--she had plenty of men below to catch her). She came back to her podium and ceremoniously bumped the person directing in her absence off the podium to finish off the number. Loved it!

Ireland--Another performance by Mountain Springs, which I loved better than the Israeli one because, let's be honest, I'm more of a fan of Irish music, and I have a tie to it since I've been there before. I just love the lilting sound of it. I have also always loved Riverdance so to get to see that style of dance performed was pretty darn awesome! I think it's terrible of me to admit but there was a sort of lyrical part in the center where these girls came out and were dancing slowly (without shoes even!) and I was impatient to return to the Riverdance stuff! The ending was my favorite when all the dancers got in a line and were dancing in perfect unison. Awesome!!

Armenia--Another slower, lyrical number, performed with candles. I liked it okay, but it just felt long.

Turkey--They started out singing this sort of melancholy sounding song that I really kind of liked. The dancing was different than anything I've ever really seen before, but I quite liked it. I was surprised at the amount of pieces that combined singing and dancing, such as this one. I bet the dancers didn't realize that they had to be a double threat. . .or maybe they did and they're all just multi-talented or something. One of my favorite parts of this dance was the chest shake they did! Perhaps that's shallow, but I think it's kind of cool because it's something I definitely can't do. Later, my aunt and my cousin referred to this as the "zombie dance" because they have such rigid movements and said some little kids who came the night before were scared. Who knew?! I just thought it was cool!

United States--The first number was a little too cliche for me and was a mix of country dancing. I felt like it was a little too stereotypical. The second I liked a lot better it was kind of a funk clogging number, and I loved it!! I felt like it was a better representation of American dancing since although country dancing is an important dance form, hip-hop/funk also is and the fact that they were clogging while hip-hopping, well that's just impressive!

Romania--I liked this one pretty well, but it wasn't terribly memorable to me. Plus, this entry is way long, so I'm trying to close soon.

Philippines--Loved this one many times over!! First they had a part where these girls were dancing with candles on their heads (I'm pretty sure they were battery-operated or something since it would be dangerous to do it with real flame and they probably had something to attach them to the girls' heads so they wouldn't fall off.) which was just cool! I liked the second part, the stick dancing or where they put the poles down and bang them on the stage, even better! I thought it was unfortunate though because one of the guys beating the sticks messed up and accidentally smashed a couple dancers' feet. Whoops! One of the things I found most interesting about this dance is that I've seen it before and liked it but didn't realize that it was from the Philippines. Cool beans!

Ukraine--The emcee said they like to close with this dance because it's a crowd favorite. They started with this funny little number about a taller, high-flying dancer paired with an unlikely and unsuspecting partner. I found the parody quite enjoyable. The Ukrainian dance begins with the traditional ceremony of bread and salt, which they hand out to their audience, and involved some very colorful costumes, cool kicking out moves by the men and lots of energy. I can see why it's a good one to end with.

Anyway, I found Christmas Around the World to be quite an enjoyable experience!! If liking it means I'm more cultured. . . so be it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A breakthrough!

Okay so it's Friday night right now and I'm at home. I was thinking perhaps I might be at home alone, but such was not the case. Both my roommates are also home. I have to confess that I was a little bit sad because for whatever reason, I was thinking that alone time sounded nice today. However, it's fine. In fact, Stew and I and another good friend of ours were decorating the house tonight, and it was really fun! I love Christmas, and putting up Christmas lights is such a joy and a delight!

Now, on to the thought that spurred this blog post. I have delightful news: for the first time since I've lived with her, Stew actually spoke her mind about something!! (Please imagine the hallelujah chorus playing here, complete with a full symphony.) I haven't mentioned my name for her, but Stew is my other roommate. She is very passive aggressive and has this little cycle that is constantly going on where she thinks or feels something but instead of actually saying it to whomever it concerns, she tells the other roommate. Yes, this drives me completely insane! Sometimes even asking her outright doesn't work because she'll lie, especially if she thinks you're going to be upset with her.

Tonight I went to run errands after work. We've been talking about getting a Christmas tree but hadn't yet because we thought it would be expensive. However, I found a great deal on an artificial pre-lit one tonight. I was super tempted to buy it, but I decided I couldn't yet because I needed to consult my budget first. I mentioned something about this to Stew, wondering if we might want to go in together. She actually spoke her mind and told me no since she already has a tiny little tree. I don't even mind that she told me no because SHE SPOKE HER MIND directly to me!! Yeah!! This is a breakthrough. There is hope yet.

Okay, I realize this is kind of a catty entry but if you knew how frustrated I had been about this and how happy I am about that something finally changed, you would understand. Miracles do happen!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Blast from the Past, so to speak

Okay, so it's still the same night and I'm writing another post, but this topic is on my mind and I want to write about it before I think of something else to address. Since it's my blog, I guess I can do whatever I want anyway, so I'm going to press on.

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to my parents' house in Idaho for Thanksgiving weekend. I had a wonderful time, and it's always a pleasure for me to be around my siblings and their families. Anyway, as much as I love the hubbub and chaos that is my parents' house, it was also nice on Saturday when just my parents, my younger brother and I were left. I had some time to burn so I went into my former bedroom (which is more of the guest room now) and happened to see my high school yearbook sitting on the shelf.

On a whim I picked it up and decided to look through it. Part of the reason I wanted to do so is because somebody I graduated with who is now married added me as a friend on Facebook. She used her married name and hasn't posted any pictures of herself, so I've been trying for weeks to figure out who she is. I guess I could just write and ask, but I felt silly doing so. I could have refused her request, but when she added me, she had just started out and only had like two other friends, so I felt bad. Since we graduated together I thought it would be fine to accept the request.

I looked through the listing of my classmates and didn't see anybody that I thought could be her. Oh well! Someday I'm sure she'll post a picture and I'll figure it out. . . Looking through the yearbook started bringing back memories of high school, both good and bad. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment because I saw all three of my junior high yearbooks and decided that I had to look through them too. I was laughing out loud as I read the very stupid things people wrote when they signed it, probably thinking they were super cool at the time. Things such as, "Have a hot summer but stay cool," "Life is like a roll of toilet paper--long and useful," "Crave the wave!" or "I bet I'm the first one to sign your crack. . ." (It sounds dirty but really means they just signed the place where the binding is.) Anyway, only junior high kids trying to feel cooler than they really are would write stuff like that. I'm sure I would be embarrassed at some of the things I wrote in other people's books.

I was surprised at the tide of emotions that just looking through the annuals brought out. I've never had a horrible life or anything but junior high and high school were such hard times for me, and I would never, ever want to go back again! I could feel the awkwardness all over again, of not knowing my place and who I really am. I could feel the me from then struggling to feel accepted and yet trying to be an individual all at once. And I could feel the loathing I had for myself at that point too. It made me laugh and in many other ways, it made me want to cry too.

As I've thought about this in the two days since then, I guess the comfort for me is that A) I never have to go back again B) Everyone else was most likely going through the same thing, even people who seemingly had it all and C) I've grown so much and changed since then that I'm very happy with the person I am now. The Tammy of today is the new and improved version, and while the junior high/high school Tammy will always be a part of me, hopefully I can always remember that I'm not the same person; I've learned from my experiences and am on a path to becoming the person I know I have the potential to become. I also hope that this reminder helps me to have empathy for others in a similar situation.

What an adventure!

Good evening anyone and everyone who actually reads this blog! (which I'm not sure how many that is because it's impossible for me to tell. I was delighted to learn that one of my sisters reads it faithfully.) However, I am happy to have you! It's been a week since I last wrote, and I definitely didn't mean to go that long without writing, but that's just the way it works out sometimes! I even have a couple topics in mind that I've wanted to write about but just haven't. I might do a couple of posts tonight (not sure how long it'll take me and I've been feeling pretty yucky all day because I have a nasty cold so I need to go to bed soon) but we'll just see.

Over Thanksgiving weekend I went to my parents' house. This can be quite an adventure because their house is no longer big enough to fit their children, grandchildren, in-laws, everyone's pets (a total of four dogs when all my siblings bring them), so it gets a little cramped. However, we are a very close family and we love being together so much that we just overlook the cramped quarters. Anyway, my four older siblings are all married and they have multiple children. (Not that they had six babies at once or anything--they all have more than one child.) The gist of this whole paragraph is that we weren't going to be able to fit in my parents' house so we had Thanksgiving dinner at the school where my dad teaches. It worked out great because then the kids could be free to run up and down the halls, play hide and seek, go out on the playground and even do stupid things (like try to hot water from the water cooler, but then again, they're kids and kids just do dumb things sometimes). Anyway, it was great fun!

The next night we decided to go see the Christmas lights on ceremony at the next town over. I am from small town Idaho, and I would be the first to admit this was definitely a small town Idaho celebration. However, it was great fun, even though it was freezing. This brings me to the topic I want to address in this post: activities with small children.

Although I have no children of my own, being that I'm single and definitely don't believe in pre-marital sex, I have had a lot of experience of travelling, shopping, driving, vacationing, etc with small children because I've been around my older siblings a lot. Working on kid time is a lot different than adult time. They are still learning about the wonders of the world (things we boring adults find ordinary) so sometimes they dawdle or as I mentioned before, do stupid things because they don't know better or just need to try something out for themselves. Going to see the Christmas lights didn't involve the kids doing anything stupid, but it did involve walking several blocks with eight children in tow, finding a place in the town square to wait for Santa's triumphal entry on a firetruck and keeping them all warm until then.

Traffic was pretty minimal since the square was mostly closed off for the ceremony. (We wouldn't want it to be blocked because there was a tractor in the road or something. . . LOL!) But there's still the worry that comes from making sure everyone's accounted for and nobody got lost or anything. I think it helped that it was so cold because they wanted to stay close by for warmth. My oldest niece has a serious heart condition and is more fragile than the others. She couldn't handle the cold so my mom ended up taking her, my other niece (who goes anywhere she does) and one of my nephews back home again. I decided after they left that it would be wise to do a quick headcount just to make sure we hadn't lost one along the way or anything. . . which we didn't. Well, I called my mom because I didn't realize that my nephew had gone with her, but once he was accounted for, it was all good.

Anyway, I really do love being around the children, and they make things so much more interesting. I don't think it would have been nearly as fun to go see the lights turned on without having the kids with us. I mean we might have, but I just love watching their reactions and seeing them experience new things firsthand. I hope that I never stop finding wonder in this.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Life is worth laughing about!

For anybody who knows me well, you know that I am very much a giggler, prone to sudden and unexpected fits of laughter or laughing over seemingly small things. I refuse to believe this makes me silly; rather I decided that it just shows I have a great sense of humor and believe life should be experienced (as much as possible) with laughter and a smile. If that means I'm sometimes overly giggly, so be it.

Why am I choosing to talk about this, you may ask. Well, why do I choose to talk about any of the topics I address in this blog--it was on my mind, so here's me writing about it! Just kidding! Of course there's a reason. There's usually some sort of method to my madness, or in this case silliness!

Today I was quite busy at work trying to get a bunch of work done before I leave for the holiday tomorrow. I needed to be super productive and felt like I was only moderately productive, but I was trying desperately to work as efficiently as I could in spite of this. Well, my co-worker across the way, whom I will refer to as the Fashionista, decided at about 4:30 that she was done. We had been IMing off an on all day, which is typical (I promise we still work while we are doing it), so she decided since she was done that I should be done too. I tried to resist, I really did, but I sadly discovered that resistance with her is futile!

Earlier our co-worker down the way told us a gum wrapper myth (basically if you can pull the tin foil away from the paper without ripping it, that's your pathway to kissing. why or how this works I don't really know so I wasn't much inclined to do it. However, she's sort of dating someone, whom we refer to as Mr. Hot Lips, and they might be going out this weekend so she has more at stake than I do.) so she was working hard at that. We started giggling at various things and pretty soon we'd hit the rummy point so EVERYthing was funny.

Our co-worker came over because he wanted to help the Fashionista with her gum wrapper and then he joined in on the fun by starting to make a monkey noise, referring to my very cute and adorable giggle, meaning that I laugh like a monkey!! Of course I most certainly do not, but his teasing accomplished its purpose: both of us broke into fresh peals of laughter, despite the fact that he was mocking me! Every time he walked by for the rest of the afternoon, he had to make the monkey noise, which I suppose I could have been insulted about, but instead chose to find amusing. It just made me laugh harder, and I'm pretty much a fan of anything that makes me laugh, even sometimes when it's at my expense.

Even after he left (because he knew the Fashionista and I still hadn't made it out of the office yet), he couldn't let the joke die, so he called her phone, requested to be put on speaker phone and made the monkey noise again, which had the desired effect of more giggles.

I feel kind of silly even telling this story because, let's be honest, it was silly. However, I am a strong believer in the idea that life is much more desireable when you can laugh about it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Pre-Thanksgiving Day!

So I accomplished a major feat today, and I am so proud of myself: I cooked my first turkey!! Okay, so really it's in the oven right now cooking, and I'm hoping that it's done in about 45 minutes when all the friends we invited over for our "We're so thankful for good friends pre-Thanksgiving dinner" starts in about 40 minutes, but I looked in the oven when I got up from my nap, and it was looking' good. The button is also popped so I consider that a good sign as well. However, I was putting the leftover cooking bag away, and I realized that I forgot to cut slits in the bag for it to vent, so I hope that doesn't cause any problems. I guess we'll see soon enough. I'm hoping old Tom Turkey is going to cooperate though. Don't worry--I already told his frozen carcass thanks for sacrificing his life so we could enjoy him. Umm, that sounds kind of morbid so moving right along. . .

So my roommate, Speak (yes this is a brand new nickname I came up for her so I don't always have to say one roommate and the other), and I went to the grocery store last night. They had a deal where you could get the turkey for $.08 a pound if you bought $25 in groceries. Don't worry--we more than doubled that amount, so we got the deal. I thought this was a pretty good deal but it wasn't until I called "The Expert" (a.k.a. my mom) to ask about baking the turkey that I realized just how great of a deal it was. Anyway, this turkey is huge (18.8 pounds), and I didn't realize how long it takes for a 20-pound bird to thaw. On the package around the turkey it says to let it thaw for 2-4 days! That would've been nice, but I'm not quite as well prepared as all that. I only decided on Wednesday that we were even going to have this dinner so I did the best I could under the circumstances.

I got up for church super early this morning (6:30 a.m.) so I could put Mr. Turkey in some cold water in the sink to continue thawing. I left him there all through church, and when I got home he'd made good progress. Speak helped me work on pulling out the turkey's innards, a task that was not terribly pleasant but still doable. She wanted to take pictures of this special occasion for "my posterity." I told her that was fine, but then she didn't end up doing it anyway, probably because I didn't give a strong enough reaction. . . . she's kind of a reactionary person so it makes sense really.

Anyway, our company is due to arrive in not very long so I'm going to close now. Plus, I'm such a wordy person that I always end up writing stinkin' long blog entries, so I'm hoping to curtail that just a bit. I'm also excited that I can in fact make a turkey, that it wasn't too big for the oven and that cooking bags expedite the process!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Living in the "Twilight" zone. . .

So today I had the opportunity to experience, and participate in, an important piece of pop culture. I just saw one of the fall's most anticipated movie releases (now that Harry Potter's postponed until next summer): Twilight.

I should start off by saying that I dearly love the Twilight books (with the exception of "Breaking Dawn" which just didn't do it for me). I have read and re-read those books over and over again. Okay, really I've only read them several times each, but still. I was anticipating and dreading this movie all at the same time because I was so scared that I was going to be disappointed by seeing something near and dear to my heart ruined. However, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was afraid it'd be. However, instead of just talking about this, I mean to use this as my official movie review. I've never done an official review before, so bear with me!

For anyone unfamiliar with Twilight, the basic premise is that a human girl falls in love with a vampire. However, he's not a traditional vampire as he and his family are "vegetarians," so to speak, and choose to exist on the blood of animals rather than humans. The conflict in Twilight is that Edward is in love with Bella and wants to be near her, but a large part of him also wants to drink her blood which "sings" for him, meaning she's his ultimate match. In spite of this, the book still boasts some steamy scenes. . .

The movie opens with Bella packing all of her stuff as she prepares to move from Phoenix to Forks, Washington. She meets up with her father, Charlie, chief of the Forks Police Force. Charlie's life pretty much consists of work, watching sports and eating at the local diner. I'm going to stop right here and interject that I really like Kristen Stewart as Bella. I think she plays Bella's understated character very well. I also liked the guy who played Charlie, even though I can't remember his name.

Bella starts out at Forks High School, and everyone is really excited to meet her, especially males. She's mystified on her first day at the unearthly beauty of the mysterious Cullen family who pretty much keep to themselves. I have to say that I wish it were possible to really portray the full beauty of the Cullens. Although I think they got the actors for most of the Cullens right, with the exception of Edward and Jasper, I didn't really feel the sense of mystery they're shrouded with because they looked kind of regular. Oh well!

I know there's been a lot of hype about Robert Pattinson playing Edward, and it's really that you love him or you hate him. I couldn't stomach him as Edward. He wasn't nearly dreamy enough (or let's be honest--bulked out enough) to be the fabulous and super attractive Edward Cullen. My roommate and I thought he got the brooding aspect of Edward okay, but otherwise he was pretty much lacking. The guy playing Jasper wasn't what we had pictured either, but again, there's not much we can do about that.

On the whole I liked the movie. I thought it flowed well, had good characterization and acting and the music complimented the action nicely. One of my favorite aspects of it was the funny lines such as the one where Edward says, "The lamb fell in love with the lion." Bella replies, "What a stupid lamb." and Edward answers, "What a masochistic lion." Everyone in the theater was laughing at that! There were quite a few other scenes like that too, and I think it made the movie much more pleasurable.

My roommate and I had a four-way conversation with our former roommate and her sister about the movie just before I started this post. One of the things her sister pointed out that I agree with was that the movie didn't do a good enough job portraying Edward's true conflict of being with Bella, the sexual tension between the two of them wanting to be together but Edward not yet sure he has enough control (over his desire for her blood) to do so. In the movie it was more like, "I want to eat you!" and that was it. You can't expect every detail to make it into the movie when the book is over 550 pages long but still.

I think I've rambled so much that I'm not even sure I communicated my central point. The movie was good, and I would recommend all true Twilighters or Twilight girls ;) see it, but go with the full understanding that no matter what you're expecting, it's going to be different. If you're like me, you'll have to continue searching for the perfect Edward because I don't think you'll find him in this movie. I am grateful to participate in this important part of pop culture while it's still very much in its initial hype. . .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hark the Sounds and Sites of Construction in Downtown

So I work in downtown Salt Lake City and in case you weren't aware, it's pretty much a major construction zone. Right now The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is building its City Creek Center, a mixed use residential and commercial development, which will be so great once it's finished but right now it kind of sucks while they're constructing it. My building is in the center of the block where they're taking down the former ZCMI Center, so for the past few weeks it's been crazy being in the middle of it. Yesterday I wrote a list of all the "fun" things about working in the middle of it. I hope you enjoy it!

Top 10 Reasons why it’s so much FUN to work in the middle of a construction zone
1) It gives you practice for what an earthquake might feel like since your building regularly shakes.
2) It’s often a surprise whether or not the walkway on Main Street will be open or not, depending on what demolition is occurring that day. . . (okay I know this is really a good thing since I don’t particularly want to be crushed by a piece of falling rubble, but it still makes for an interesting trek from the parking garage to the office when you don’t know if it’s really open or closed or when it closes for 20 minutes and then re-opens again).
3) There’s so much color in downtown with all those orange vests running around.
4) South Temple might look like a street but it’s actually a maze and if you navigate it successfully, there’s a prize at the end. . . ;)
5) It’s much more fun to look out the window to see what’s going on below than it is to do actual work. (Okay this is really true when the last part of the Food Court comes down in a big chunk and the whole building shakes, and I mean really shakes, so you have to rush over to see what’s going on, and you’re having writer’s block so not much is being done anyway. . . and it’s Friday so you have the weekend on your mind. Basically you’re in the mood to waste time and this is an interesting way to do so. I promise this was a one-time only deal, and I do actually work very hard.)
6) Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like watching buildings fall down?! I think there’s a 12-year-old boy in most people that finds it kind of fascinating, even if it is a tad distracting
7) Speaking on little boys, I suddenly feel like one of my nephews because I also find it interesting to watch the construction vehicles at work, loading the rubble into trucks to be hauled away, using the backhoes to clear it away, etc. (If I were really my nephews, however, I would know the exact name of each construction vehicle, but I don’t so I guess that just makes me a faux construction fan.)
8) The landscape (okay really it’s the skyscape) keeps changing as the buildings, or what’s left of the buildings disappears.
9) The window washing business is booming because of all the dust said construction kicks up. . . (kind of a fruitless exercise, IMO, since they’re just going to get dirty again 10 minutes later, but we wouldn’t want the buildings to look dusty, now would we J )
10) There’s Port-a-Potties all over the place so if you have some kind of potty emergency while walking around downtown, well, you get the picture.

I keep telling myself that no matter how annoying all the construction, closed roads and walkways and dust might be, the end result will be worth it! City Creek Center’ll be awesome when it’s done. I’m just ready for them to be done DE-structing and move on to CON-structing, well at least in the block where my building is located. The former Crossroads site is coming along quite well. If you haven’t checked it out lately, you really should!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tammy's Secret Code

Did you know that I'm actually a secret agent and I have a code I speak known only to me (and those closest to me)? If you didn't know that, I guess you are now aware that you learn something new every day. Awesome huh!

Okay, so the truth is that I don't really have a secret code. But sometimes, those who know me well can see when I'm laughing about something known to two of us but perhaps not known to someone else who may also be in the room. Does that sound confusing? I promise that it's really not. This is an example. So this weekend my roommate and I were having a discussion. We were talking about something that made us really upset and although we were both pretty steamed at first, later we had convinced ourselves to laugh about it. However, as I mentioned in my first entry, the world is my private joke, so I kept thinking about this, partially because I was still miffed about it and partially because the other roommate had made me laugh so hard about it.

Tonight my two roommates and I were sitting in the living room talking. The discussion was fine and mostly we talked about the one roommate's day at school. Things eventually led around to a book she had purchased online. Don't worry - she bought it from the used book section on Amazon and with shipping, it probably cost her less than $5, so it was not like it would break the bank. However, the other roommate has been somewhat disapproving of this roommate and seems to think for whatever reason that she's going to run out of money and expect us to pick up the slack (aka rent) for her, which is absurd, but whatever. Anyway, I started giggling because I was thinking about this very thing, and of course, the roommate who knew what I was laughing about asked why I was laughing. I told her, and she was amused too. She didn't really even have to ask because she already knew what was on my mind, knowing me as well as she does. She said it was like she was temporarily in my brain (frankly I don't want anyone in my brain because it's a confusing enough place just for me, much less anyone else!) but I would modify the statement to say she was speaking in "Tammy's Secret Code." (Insert smarmy secret agent music here.)

I have to be honest that I know this is catty, but sometimes I can't help it! Laughter is one of the best ways I can deal with things that are bothering me almost beyond belief, and trust me, in this case, I needed some pretty serious laughter so I wouldn't be mad. This isn't the first time that my "secret code" has manifested itself either.

When I was in college, one of my roommates was kind of interesting. She used to whine about the same things all the time (usually they involved boys and the fact that she was the "dateless wonder" - her words not mine) and of course after you've heard a story so many times, you either A) get really annoyed about it or B) find the potential for mocking. This is what one of my other roommates and I did. Every time this roommate would start into her "I'm the dateless wonder" or telling the same dating stories over again, all we had to do is exchange a look, and both of us knew exactly what we were thinking. I usually had to turn away so I wouldn't laugh, or try to hide the fact that I was laughing. Another of our roommates used to get mad because she always said she had to cover for us when we did that so she wanted me to stop with the silent communication already.

Anymore, this "secret code" is mostly manifested with looks between myself and someone else when we know that we're thinking the same thing, usually if someone is being ridiculous or telling the same story for the 10th time. (Yes, I know I do that too and I'm sure my roommates roll their eyes at me when I do it too, so oh well.) Maybe I should modify my statement--it's not really a secret code but more like good silent communication. It's more effective with someone whom I know very well than with than a casual acquaintance. Oh my goodness! Where do I even come up with these topics?! Hopefully tomorrow I will have something more interesting to write!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Talking can be so cathartic!

So this week has been pretty tough for various reasons. I don't really want to talk about that here. I'm kind of depleted, but it's going to be okay. I just need a little time to rest and recover and then I'll be fine or else something really great to distract me.

I want to share an experience that I had tonight that made me feel so much better. A good friend of mine called this week to ask if I wanted to go to dinner. He was teasingly telling me that I could also ask my roommate because "we're all tight like that" (meaning we're good friends, which is true). Anyway, this friend has a great talent for making me laugh, and I think I can make him laugh too, so it works out well. This dinner has been a bright spot for me and something I could look forward to.

My roommate was going to cancel out at the last minute but then she was persuaded to come after all. We had a lovely dinner and enjoyed talking, laughing and everything in between. Then we had a little dessert, which did include ice cream. (I am a strong believer in the idea that ice cream is good for the soul and sometimes it helps open the lines of communication.) This proved to be true. Yesterday I started thinking about a situation that involves so much needless drama, and I got completely riled up to the point that I could hardly handle it anymore. I've thought about this situation before and it's not really a new thing, but with everything else going on this week, I'd had enough. We started talking about this situation, which is also something my roommate is bothered by. We talked about all aspects of the situation and what really bugged us about what was going on. Our friend put his two cents in from time to time but mostly he listened. However, he also pointed out a few things about this situation that neither of us had considered before. It was a pretty long discussion, but it just made me feel so much better to talk about it and to consider it in a different light than I'd thought about before. To sum it up, it was a cathartic experience!! I know that both my roommate and I are now ready and prepared to tolerate it so much more.

I've said it once and I'll say it again--talking is very cleansing to girls. I have told my guy friends this before, and I don't know if they always believe me but it's true. Sometimes we just need to talk about a problem or vent about something that's bothering us and then we start feeling better. We don't necessarily want someone to solve our problem with us; mostly we need them to listen. Sometimes in listening, they can offer an outsider's perspective (as this friend did) which may be just what we need to help us feel better.

Going to dinner was step number one in overcoming my difficult week and talking over this particular problem was step number two in helping me to feel better. I can't even believe how much more at peace that I feel now. The plain fact is that nothing has changed, but my perspective has altered and now I'm ready to deal with it again. The funny thing is I actually talked about this situation with another friend yesterday, which is part of what stirred me up in the first place. However, this friend is a girl, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't talk to girls about your problems or anything, but in a lot of ways what she said only made it worse. Maybe there's a lesson for me to learn from all of this. . . . I'll have to think about it some more and decide. Well, a lesson aside from the fact that I need to talk about my problems with someone but perhaps that I should consider who it is that I'm talking to. I am sometimes afraid to let myself lean on people because I'm afraid they won't be there for me the next time I need them. Yes, this has actually happened before, and as a result, I don't trust very easily. But maybe it's time that I changed this mode of thinking and decided instead to let someone into my life instead of being so stubborn. I'd better close now before I get any more personal. Thanks for reading, anyone who actually looks at this on a regular basis!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


And now it's time for a post that I hope to make a tradition on my blog: Kidspeak! I am the proud aunt of 11 nieces and nephews (with one more on the way) and they are the joy and delight of my life! Kids have the tendency to say some of the funniest things, in innocence of course. Today I got to spend the day with two of my nephews while their dad was at the hospital. I'm going to start with examples from two of them.

Zack, age 6, was frustrated when a key chain he wanted to buy had the wrong spelling of his name (Zachary instead of Zackary) so he said, "Mom why did you have to spell my name wrong?"

I wish I had a picture to post, but on the way back into Salt Lake, we were listening to a hip-hop song, and my nephew, Kasey, age 10, quite amused me. He started doing this ghetto hip-hop arms thing that was so funny that I couldn't stop laughing! Anybody who is my friend on Facebook will be able to see a video with those arms in it because I'm going to post it very soon.

My nephew, Taylor, age 9, was riding with me to my parents' house in Idaho a couple months ago. He and his sister rode with me so I didn't have to drive by myself. Taylor was great company and talked to me the entire two hour drive there and back. I was most amused by several things he had to say. For example, he noticed the "green light" which indicated I had cruise control on and remarked, "You have the green light on - that means your foot gets a rest."

As I was preparing to take the junction from I-84 to I-86, I realized I was going a little fast so I had to hit the brakes to slow me to a safer speed. I had been talking to Taylor and trailed off. He said, "Aunt Tammy, did you just get nervous?" I told him I wasn't nervous, just slowing down a little bit on the curve, and he answered, "I can always tell when my mom gets nervous when she drives." (You'd have to know my older sister to know why that's funny. She can be rather of a neurotic driver sometimes.)

My niece Katriel, age 6, asked what was taking me so long to get married. (This was soon after she had watched "Enchanted" though so I think she had that "We've been together one day and tomorrow it'll be two" convo in her head. Ahh, if only it was that simple in real life. . . )

A few months ago, Katriel was asking me when I was going to have a baby. I told her that I have to get married first and since I'm nowhere near that, pretty much it's going to be awhile, so she said, "Well, hurry up then!"

I went to the temple while visiting my sister in Boise a few months ago. Her kids woke up on Saturday (I was staying at their house) and wondered where I was. My sister told them I went to the temple and they asked why. She was explaining the importance of temple attendance until her 5-year-old son, Preston, piped up, "She went to get married!" Amused, my sister asked what had happened to my husband if I was getting married. Preston shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know." I wasn't there for this conversation, but I still thought it was cute!

I was visiting my older sister a couple weeks ago and a friend happened to call. It's very common for me to greet any female friends as "chica" which I did. My 3-year-old niece, Alyssa, turned to me after I hung up to ask who "chica" was. When I explained it was just a nickname, she was kind of like "oh" about it. Teasingly, I turned to her and said, "Hi, chica!" She looked at me and said, "I'm not chica, I'm Alyssa!"

I'm quite certain there are even more I could write here, but it's late, and I'm tired so my brain isn't working as well as it normally is. However, since I intend to make this a tradition, I'm sure that there will be more sometime in the near future.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tammy, Tammy Quite Contrary. . .

Sorry - it's been a couple of days since I last wrote. I have ideas in mind sometimes about the topic I want to address for the day, and then it gets closer to bedtime, and I'm distracted by other things. . . Well, you get the picture. Basically I'm kind of wasting time but doing other things instead of this. However, I had an experience tonight that I'm just dying to write about so I decided to go for it, late or not.

Generally speaking I am a very sweet and nice person. I get along well with people and even though I have my opinions on certain subjects, I don't always voice them. (The philosophy I developed back in junior high, sort of in response to the loud-mouth boys in seminary who just couldn't shut up, was, "Your opinion will be more valued if you don't always voice it." I still tend to stick to this philosophy.) Anyway, I have my opinions on things and given the right situation and circumstances, I'm always happy to repeat them. However, I seem to have a knack for finding people with very strong opinions who seem to feel it's their duty to persuade me to think and feel the same as they do. I'm happy to respect other people's opinions even when they don't match mine (even though I may think they're wrong ;)) and hope they would offer me the same courtesy. Lately I find myself in company with people who have extremely different viewpoints than me who can't handle that I might think differently and I often feel like they're trying to quash my opinion with theirs. It's the "I'm right, you're wrong kind of a deal" where they won't be satisfied until I think and feel the same as them.

I hate this for so many reasons. Honestly, though, who likes to feel like their opinion is being steamrolled by someone else who is more vocal or more strongly opinionated on a subject. The last couple of years (and one very-much opinionated roommate later), I have learned that I have to stand up for myself (and in this case my opinions) or I will be trampled. I thought I was getting better at it, but it just seems to keep cropping up, so maybe I'm not quite so good as I might hope I am. Darn it! I don't know why I seem to draw these kinds of people, but I do. I'm a magnet for highly-opinionated people and weirdos - not sure which is worse. . . J/K! I could tell story after story about it, but I'm interested in sharing one in particular.

Tonight my two roommates and I went to dinner at a friend's house. We had a lovely meal and an even better conversation. After we were eating we started talking about some various subjects, including the recent protest at Temple Square over the Church's involvement in the passage of Prop 8 in California. Don't even get me started on my views on that!! Bigotry all over the place, but that's once again a topic for another post. Anyway, I happened to bring up a talk from General Conference a year ago that received a rather heated response. I meant to comment about what was said in response to the negativity towards it. Little did I know I had opened a can of worms! One of my roommates (again very strongly opinionated but not the same one as before) and one of the friends we were visited started going off about everything that was wrong with this talk and why it bugged them. I could see their point, but I also felt my hackles raising, so to speak. I felt a sudden urge to express an opinion contrary to theirs in hopes of them seeing this in the light it was intended rather than the way it was delivered. It wasn't that I felt so strongly about this but I just felt the need to offer a second perspective that these two very opinionated ladies could consider. I really don't think it made a whole lot of difference but oh well. I did take my stand and of that I can be proud!

A little while later something happened, but in a much more dramatic fashion. The five of us started talking about a certain influential figure and how people tend to become lemmings and follow what she says blindly without thinking why they might be following her. This has affected everything from reading material to the presidential nominees (and yes I believe at least some of the people who voted for Obama did so because they listened to her, but that's beside the point). My roommate has extremely strong feelings on this subject and she climbed right up on her soap box to start dispensing these opinions. The three of us sitting on the couch and even the other friend were all amused by this diatribe because we could almost see the steam coming out of her ears. I must admit that she had a good point, and good for her for having such strong opinions. However, I again felt my contrary self pulling at me, so I took an opposite position to hers. I definitely didn't feel anywhere near as strongly on the issue but something inside of me was not content unless I took the opportunity to express an opinion contrary to hers, if only for her to consider the other side. I have a pretty strong stubborn streak complete with just enough contrariness that I'm not just going to sit by and let this happen without speaking up. This was the case here. I know, I know it's shameful for me to admit that, but there you have it. With my comments, she conceded that this person wasn't all bad and really the root of the issue was that she was bugged by people blindly following someone, without bothering to think about it for themselves. I had to agree that this is true; anytime you let someone else do your thinking for you it's bad.

For anyone who's known me for a long time, you might be surprised by this little confession, but honestly, I can't help myself. I hate feeling like whoever has the loudest and strongest opinion is right no matter what. That's often what happens because it's the vocal people who are heard and whose opinions are listened to. Okay, I'm not going to step off my own soap box and head to bed, hopefully to dreams free of strong opinions. . . :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Wish, I Wish

Okay, so it's really late right now and truthfully I should be going to bed, but I'm still super excited about my blog, so I want to take a few minutes and write. I have two friends who are chatting with me on Facebook right now so I'm trying to chat and write this at the same time. Who knew I was so talented?! Well, I am a woman so multi-tasking is an innate part of me!

So, I have to say that I am not completely pleased with the results of last night's election. I'm not an Obama supporter, and I was hoping that he wouldn't win, even though I was pretty certain he had it in the bag. However, instead I've decided that it's not a prophecy of doomsday or something (plus if I was being a ninny like that, I'm pretty sure my roommate, who is much more liberal than me, would loudly tell me I was being ridiculous, and she'd be right), I'm trying to be hopeful that his "change" slogan will really come to pass, and it will help take our country in the right direction. Who knows, maybe a fresh approach is just what we need since the current one isn't working so well. I just hope the direction he takes us in is NOT a socialist one. I think that's quite enough said on that subject.

The "I Wish, I Wish" title of this post refers more to the fact that I am a hopeless romantic at heart and always have been. My roommate and I were just watching a few episodes from the first season of "Pushing Daisies" which is one of my favorite TV shows. (I'm quite distressed that it's in danger of cancellation because it's so clever, and I have enjoyed watching it!! Hopefully the network decides to keep it on for awhile!) Anyway, for those who haven't seen it, the premise is that you have a boy who learns in the first episode that he has a unique gift to touch dead things and bring them back to life. However, it comes with conditions A) One touch will bring it to life again. B) A second touch means it's dead forever and C) If he doesn't make it dead again within one minute, something else will die in its place. Someone finds out his secret and they use it to form a private detective agency where they go wake the person who was killed up to find out who the killer is and then collect a reward.

This is going along great until Ned's childhood sweetheart is killed, and he ends up bringing her back to life. He can't bear to kill her again, so she joins in their business venture. The problem now is that Chuck (that's her name) and Ned are in love but they can never touch each other. However, they find ways around this (like kissing through saran wrap. :)) Anyway, I love this show because it's witty and clever and because Ned's character is just so lovable!!

The whole point of this long drawn-out story is that my roommate and I were talking tonight about how wonderful it would be if someone like Ned existed in real life - a nice, sensitive (and completely attractive) man who is not afraid to show his sensitive side but is still fun to be around. Good men are hard to come by. And good men without some type of issue are even more difficult to find. I know that I am being completely idealistic, and I can't help it, but it's true. This is the problem with being a hopeless romantic. . . Someday my life will involve an interesting and intriguing romance, but until then, I will have to content myself with enjoying interesting fictional men.

While I'm on the subject of wishing, I seriously wish that A) it were still spring/summer/fall - anything but winter really and B) that it didn't get dark so early! Winter arrived with a vengeance today and it snowed for most of the day. We probably have an inch and a half outside, and it's about 30 degrees tonight. BRRRR! I enjoy the snow to a certain extent, I really do. I like that it makes the world pretty and white and that sometimes you can play fun games in it. However, I get tired of the cold, and the trek into the office from the parking garage (It's only a block and a half but still) is not fun when it's freezing outside. I must admit that it does help me appreciate the other seasons much more though! Last year I was afraid winter was NEVER going to end because it just kept snowing and snowing and snowing, clear up until May 1! Yikes! Hopefully, it won't last as long this year.

Anyway, I meant to make this a short entry, but as always, my wordiness prevails. I am exhausted now and need an excuse to end my chats, so I'm going to close. I wish I could sleep in tomorrow too. . . . :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

The World As My Private Joke

So this is a new endeavor for me. I've been wanting to start a blog for several weeks now and just haven't gotten around to it. However, I've started thinking about my daily experiences more and have developed the desire to share them with someone, even if it may just be random people in cyber space. I've even started formulating my entries in my head, which seems silly, but today I finally decided to make it a reality! (Well, that and I finally fixed the settings on my computer so that it's no longer in Japanese. How I ended up with YouTube and Google in Japanese, I'm not quite sure, but I have now happily fixed it and all by myself too! :) )

A few weeks ago, my roommates and I were having some friends over for breakfast and to watch General Conference. I love having people over, so of course I was delighted with this. A few minutes before something had happened which I was quite amused by, and I was still smiling about it. My roommate looked at me and said, "Tammy, I swear that sometimes the world is your private joke."

Perhaps in saying this she wanted me to share the reason for my happiness, but I just smiled cryptically, without offering explanation (which is sometimes a very amusing thing to do) and kept my thoughts to myself. I should explain that I'm kind of funny in a lot of ways. I tend to remember things that I am amused by, long after they happened, and I can still laugh about them hours, days, months, weeks and even years later! For example, I almost feel nerdy sharing this but be that as it may, here goes. I remember something funny that one of my classmates said back in junior high. We were doing a lesson on probability and had been presented with a list of story problems and had to come up with several options for how this could have occurred. I remember one of my classmates said something that was completely absurd, but very funny, and the whole class laughed. I'm sure 95 percent of the people in that class have long since forgotten this happened, but I haven't. A few months ago I was thinking about it and found myself laughing all over again. I know, I know, it's completely silly but it's just the way I am. Perhaps that's part of what helps me be so happy all the time. . .

I enjoy walking down the street, thinking about these funny things and just smiling to myself about them. Sometimes I wonder what people who see me do so think about these cryptic little smiles, but who really knows?! I am well aware, and that's all that matters, right?! Plus, life is hard enough, especially with the economy so crappy, so I'm glad that I can find things to be happy about.

Today I had another funny experience along these same lines. My co-worker was having a hard day, so in an effort to help her feel better, I went to and copied some quotes from a few of the very best Office episodes. We share a mutual interest in The Office and have even incorporated a few of the sayings into our vernacular. This had the desired effect, and I was pleased to hear her laugh at each of the quotes I sent. Later, the two of us were leaving the office and we got onto an elevator together. I started thinking about The Office (and let's be honest - there are quite a few episodes chock full of funny moments!) and an episode in particular that I found amusing. A couple floors down from our floor, a lady had joined us, so there were three of us in the elevator. As I thought about the particulars of this episode, I started laughing, suddenly and without explanation. Andrea (my colleague) is accustomed to my sudden outbursts of giggles, so she wasn't startled. (I am also very much a giggler, and I laugh easily, so this happens on a regular basis.) However, she said the lady turned around and gave me the weirdest look, like I was some kind of crazy person. She said something to the effect that nobody had even said anything. I told her that I don't need anybody to say anything because the pictures in my head entertain me most effectively. In thinking over the situation, perhaps I should have found a different way to say this, but oh well. She walked away very quickly after getting off the elevator. Andrea and I talked about it on our trek to the parking garage (which is a block and a half from the office - oh the joys of working in the middle of a construction zone, but that's a topic for another post). I thought it was the funniest thing ever and was still laughing about it once I got to my car.

I supposed the point of all this prattle is that I like to remember things that make me laugh and think about them later, after everyone else has long since forgotten about them. The world is my private joke, but only because I make it so.