Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Having a Holly Jolly Christmas . . . wish you were here!

It's the most wonderful time of the year! (Besides all the stress and tension, of course.)

And this year is even more wonderful than usual because (are you sitting down) I am already finished with my shopping AND wrapping.

(Nani nani.)

I don't know what's wrong with me. I've never been done this early in my life. Maybe because this is the first year I haven't been RS Prez or YW Prez or PTA Prez. Maybe because this year I didn't have to grade 60 research papers or host my in-laws for 42 days or campaign to win a 30 K blogging gig. Or maybe I have successfully completed the five stages of culture shock and awe and I'm officially settled.

Whatever it is it feels good. I'm even done with my grocery shopping, peeps. Been done since Friday. I'm ready to get snowed in and pretend I'm living inside a Thomas Kinkade puzzle. I'll build a crackling fire, make fudge and gingerbread houses, drink freshly squeezed orange icees and piping hot cocoa, and watch old movies. And none of my teenagers will bicker or sass or force me at gunpoint to poke their eyes out.

It was actually easy to get ready this year because my hub had an ingenious plan of attack. A plan to give back. To the kids. For all that they gave, or didn't give, to us this year.

So far under the tree we've got six bags of leaves they didn't finish raking, four bundles of smelly socks they didn't pick up, and twelve boxes of dirty dishes they didn't put away.

See why my hub rocks my socks!

For the first time in years I feel like a little kid at Christmas. The anticipation is killing me.

hee hee hee

ho ho ho

Wish you were here to see my face on Christmas morning.

hee hee hee

ho ho ho

Merry Christmas everyone! LY!

Gotsta go wait for the snow.


P.S. Something has crashed at blogger. Something other than me. Every blog link on my sidebar suddenly disappeared. POOF! Just like that.

(Is it just me, or has anyone else had this problem?)

I thought it would magically reappear, but it hasn't so I will take it as a sign from the universe that I need to change my word from WHATEVAH to IMPROVE!

I'm on it, peeps. Gonna do some renovating to this creaky old blog over the holiday. I'll see you bright and merry at the New Year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cookie Cutter Wisdom

A few months ago, while video taping my nephew's reception, I noticed that people give the worst marital advice at weddings.

I like to call it, the 11th commandment: Thou shalt never go to bed angry.

Who thought of that anyway? Some sweet little single lady in Japan?

Everyone knows Asian people don't go to bed angry! They have no reason to, because their food is so deliriously delicious. If Americans got to eat Asian food every day, we'd never go to bed angry either.

Am I right? Or am I right?

The thing about Asian food is that it doesn't just taste delicious in your mouth as you're chewing and swallowing, it's yummy in your tummy too. For hours afterwards. Ever noticed how the satisfaction lingers on and on and on? Especially after you eat Korean Bulgogi. Mmmmmm. From Sam Hawks in Provo. Mmmmmm. Mmmmmm. Mmmmmm.

It's a quintessential What-about-Bob experience.

There would seriously be peace on earth if everyone on the planet could eat Korean Bulgogi before they go to bed each night.

And it would solve the world hunger problem too.

I wonder if that sweet little single lady in Japan had any idea how many people would tell two friends not to go to bed angry. And they'd tell two friends. And they'd tell two friends. And so on and so on and so on, until the whole world was laying in bed at 3 a.m., refusing to close their eyes until they were no longer breathing fire through their nostrils.

I figured out the trick to not going to bed angry years ago. It's called sleep! Not a whole night's sleep, just a 6-8 hour cat-nap, until the sun comes up and I feel rational again.

Works like a charm.

Never go to bed angry is what I call cookie cutter wisdom--a one-size-fits-all piece of advice, which works well if you're the right shape and size. Or the right age. Age four, for instance. Or size four. All advice fits perfectly at age four. Or size four. But as your brain starts to age and put on a few lbs., cookie cutter wisdom starts constricting your blood flow.

I'm not saying it's impossible to squeeze yourself into cookie cutter wisdom after you've grown out of it. With a little creativity and a lot of deep thought you can fit the mold forever.

Take for instance, the popular adage, If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. The deep thinkers of the world have figured out that it's not rude to be rude, as long as you preface it with "Not to be rude."

And then suffix it with "Just sayin'" or "Bless her heart."

They also know that an apple a day does keep the doctor away. If you're throwing it at his head.

What I'm trying to say is for Pete's sake, go to bed angry if you must!

And say something rude while you're at it. Maybe as you're throwing an apple at your doc's head, (which works particularly well if your doc is also your hub.)

Bless his heart, he rocks my socks, (even though he doesn't match them correctly).

Just sayin'.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Evil Twins and Myth Busters

Yesterday on the news I heard that The Muppet Movie is spreading communism, the post office is closing, planet Earth has an evil twin, and you can no longer wear skinny jeans at BYU Idaho.

HOLY SMOKES! (Can I say Holy Smokes ?) (Or should I say Holy Nicorette!?)

First book stores and now the post office?????

First mini skirts and now skinny jeans????? I just bought my first pair of skinny jeans last week!

I wonder if they wear skinny jeans on our evil twin planet? I wonder if they deliver mail and read books on our evil twin planet? I wonder if Miss Piggy is trying to control the world on our evil twin planet?

(Ewww, I wonder if they show that new K-Y Jelly commercial on our evil twin planet?)

Wait! What if WE are the evil twin planet?

As if that wasn't enough shock and awe for one day, yesterday was also family picture day.

(Thank goodness I didn't wear my skinny jeans.)

We look like the happiest family on "evil twin" planet Earth don't we?

But you didn't hear us in the car. Or during the 45 minutes before the car when my bangs were having an identity crisis. Curly or straight? Straight or curly? They couldn't decide. And neither could I, until finally they were just poking straight up and out.

My daughter refused to document it with photographic evidence because she said I would regret it later, but trust me, if I had an evil twin I know what she would look like, (minus the skinny jeans).

Anyways I stuck a clip in it and ended up looking like the sticky-sweet twin.

Seriously, I look like I could give you a cavity, huh? But you know better right? You know mo' bettah!

Before I go, last time I promised to share another one of my busted myths about Utah. The one about Utah having a high depression and stress rate. Remember? huh? huh? huh? Sure you do, because I've been busting Utah's chops about it for years, partly because I can. But mostly because I am.

That's right, I am Utah. Of it and from it, baby! The deep south of it. And the South Park Provo of it.

Yes, there were times when I twisted this truth--like at that West Point dance when I pretended to be of Connecticut. And of Mercedes Benz. And then there was that phase I went through in my early marriage when I lived in Utah, but not of Utah.

And then of course there were the apologetic years . . .

But that's over now. Now I am in Utah and of Utah.

I am UTAH, here me ROOOOOOAR!

(Did that scare you as much as it scared me?)

What I'm trying to say is I know what I'm talking about when I tell you that it's not the people in Utah who are depressed, it's the houses. The houses here practically slip into a coma when you're not looking. Turn your back for five seconds and their eyes roll back into their heads until you shake them alive again.

In Hawaii the houses wake you up each morning. Good morning sleepyhead, they smile. Which of the five senses can I get for you today? For your listening pleasure I've got cooing doves, tumbling waves, or a light rain. And for your aromatic pleasure I've got freshly cut grass, sweet gardenia, or . . . a light rain.

In cold places you have to wake your house up each morning. And then you have to cheer it up. You have to tell it it's good enough, smart enough, and doggonit, people like it.

When I get rich and famous I'm going to hire someone else to do this for me. If anyone wants a job I'll pay you big bucks to wake my house up 30 minutes before the rest of us roll out of bed--turn on all the lights, start a roaring fire, bake a batch of bread maybe, or squeeze some fresh orange juice. And most importantly, push play on my iPod, paleeeeease!

We the people of Utah are not depressed. And if we seem stressed it's only because we are trying to keep our homes from slitting their wrists.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Throwing compost on the weeds

You know what's better than curling up to Cake Boss when you're sad? Curling up to Cake Boss while simultaneously eating cake batter.

I learned that from my daughter.

But that's not what she did when she found out that her friend had cancer. She did this:

Sometimes it makes you feel better to do nice things for the people who make you want to inhale cake batter.

I also learned that from my daughter.

There are other things, which I didn't learn from my daughter, that make me feel better. Like going to my happy place.

I call it my happy place, but it's actually just a bunch of big ol' fields between the two high schools my kids attend. My daughter wouldn't be caught dead calling a field her happy place, but my other daughter would.

That's right, Lulu and I have the same exact happy place. I'm not sure why we both love it so much. Maybe because it's full of weeds.

Beautiful weeds that grow tall and strong and bloom where they're planted, despite the fact that they're planted among a bunch of weeds.

When we get to our happy place I take the leash and harness off Lulu and let her run free.

I also take the leash and harness off my mind and let it run free to throw compost on the weeds.

Get a load of how artsy fartsy I look when my mind is throwing compost on the weeds.

(Btw, does this photo make my chin look hairy?)

So yesterday Lulu and I were in our happy place and my mind started roaming free about why I'm back here in Utah, and I realized that I'm here as a student, to learn a thing or two, and to challenge the Utah Mormon myths and stereotypes.

(I also came back because my hub was coming back, and I'm a follower if you ever did see one.)

Some of the things I've learned since I moved back to Utah are things I remember learning during my childhood, like how some people have way too much, and others don't have close to enough. But hey, that's life beyond Marxism, even for the Mormons.

Other things I've learned are personal things I've been trying to put my finger on for years, like why I never take anything edible from my MIL.

It's not her fault, it's her technique. She doesn't know how to sell the food she's offering. I'm talking about proper rhetoric. For instance, when offering a piece of cheese she should refrain from saying things like, "I already cut the mold off."

Aged to perfection. That's alls she needs to say. You get me?

Other phrases she should avoid include, "This fruitcake has been in my freezer since 1990," or "These nuts are bland and no one else will eat them, would you like some? I have plenty. No really, I have plenty."

And then there are the Utah stereotypes I've been busting. Like the one about Utah drivers. It is a mystery to me why we have such a bad reputation across the nation. I only see one problem with our driving and I don't blame us, I blame Harry Potter because he is the one who came up with that whole cloak of invisibility dealio.

Utards love the cloak of invisibility, though I concede we need to use it more responsibly when driving. See we don't use it to make ourselves invisible, but rather to make all the other cars on the road invisible. This is the reason our state song is that Beatles hit I'm Looking Through You.

Our cloak of invisibility allows us to become completely unaware of the great other. This is why we don't smile or wave you on, or let you turn in front of us, or scoot over when we are blocking your path. It's nothing personal, we just don't see you there waving hello with your middle finger.

This is also why our greatest crime on wheels is driving 25 mph in the fast lane without getting over.

Can you blame us though? Seriously, how else can we feel like were living in the fast lane without actually putting the pedal to the medal?

While I was in my happy place throwing compost on the weeds I think I may have also busted the myth about Utah's high depression and stress rate.

But I'll save that for next time.