Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Thomas Kinkade Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in Hawaii--I always LUBBED it! The comings and the goings. The hap hap happy happenings.  The endless ebb and flow of neighbors coming in and out of our day. 

Thanksgiving in Hawaii was just like every other day in the hood, only with Turkey and pie.

(See, when you live in a townhouse far far away, your neighbors are your ohana, which means family, and family means no one gets left alone.)


(Even if you scream "LEAVE me ALONE!" at the top of your lungs.)

On the other hand, when you live in a single family home close close at hand, your neighbors are not your ohana. Your ohana is your ohana, and the last thing anyone around here needs is more ohana.

So this year we spent Thanksgiving with our very own ohana for the first time in 20 years. 

And it was sooooo weird--in a magical-hot-apple-cider-roaring-cozy-fire kinda way. 

For a second I thought I was living inside a Thomas Kinkade puzzle.

I've always wondered what the people inside these charming cottages do all day. 

And now I know.  They are listening to the Carpenters Christmas album and baking hot buttered rolls and devouring Black Friday ads.  And their kids are making gingerbread houses and playing Madden 09 and watching the Macy's Day Parade. And their ohana is dropping by, in and out they come, bearing smiles and hugs and fruit salad with chocolate whipped cream.

I wonder if Thomas Kinkade realizes there is such a thing as chocolate whipped cream and that people inside his puzzles are putting it on their fruit salad?   

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think chocolate whipped cream is a Mormon thing because I'm pretty sure my apostate brother thought it up himself  (WHO does that?)  And when he couldn't find any chocolate whipped cream in the grocery store (because DUH! no one has invented it yet because EWW!) he took matters into his own hands with a bottle of Hershey's syrup and some cool whip and then he forced us all at gunpoint to eat it.  

And doggonit, it was delicious. And we liked it. 

But still . . . kinda kooky.

And he's not even my kookiest brother.  I have another brother who runs his car on vegetable oil that he gets from a sushi shop.  And when he drives it smells like french fries.  

True story. The universe is a little bit more at risk for high cholesterol because of my kooky brother.

So if my Dumb and Dumber cooking blog doesn't make me rich and my Windex cologne doesn't make me famous, I'm going to start a sushi shop gas station. Only instead of making sushi I'll make SPAM musubi and instead of pumping vegetable oil, I'll pump soy sauce. That way the universe will crave fried rice, which is lower in saturated trans fat.

So anyways, I had a weird thanksgiving--in a magical-hot-apple-cider-roaring-cozy-fire kinda way. And I even learned something new about darning socks from my mother-in-law.  In fact everyone at the table learned something new about darning socks from my mother-in-law. 

Did you know that darning socks involves a needle and thread? 

And all these years I thought I was darning my holey socks to helk by simply screaming at them. 

P.S. Black Friday stories tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Secret Life

In Utah everyone has a secret life.  

We have to.  To get through the winter.  (And all the ward counsel meetings and the BYCs, and the PECs and the PPIs.) 

(Was that TMI?) 

We have secret santas and secret grandmas and secret sisters, and I'm even thinking of taking up the secret life of bees.  My real name means honeybee anyway, so it might be a good winter to get in touch with that side of myself. 

But first I have another secret life to confess. The life of pie. 

Father forgive me. Today I went to Macey's and I fell into temptation. I was walking down the frozen food aisle minding my own business when SUDDENLY I noticed the Sara Lee apple pies on sale for $3 each.   

I'm sorry, but with thanksgiving upon us I've been feeling the Betty Crocker blues so, YES, I took the easy way out--the shortcut--the quick fix. I took the road most travelled. And honestly, I think it might make all the difference. To my sanity. 

I bought four apple pies. 

I mean, I bought eight apple pies. 

(And three pumpkin pies, because yesterday a little neighborhood girl knocked on my door and asked me why I still had pumpkins on my front porch. How cute is that? (The little brat!) So I made my front porch more relevant by replacing the pumpkins with pumpkin pies.) 

But seriously, peeps! Can you blame me for buying the pies? Huh? Huh? Huh? I can't even make a pie for $3.  And let's not even talk about how many hours it takes to travel the road less traveled from scratch.  Not to mention the mess I make when I travel that road from scratch. 

PLUS, I've got a lot of pie holes to fill. If I had a dime for every family member who expects me to feed their face for Thanksgiving I'd be like four dollars richer. 

So why do I feel so dirty?  

Why do I feel so unindustrious . . . and unamerican . . . and unattractive?

(I bet honeybees make their pies from scratch, huh? And I bet they don't put on five lbs. in the process.)

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  

P.S. I guess you heard that Utah has the #1 soccer team EVER, huh?   

And I guess you also heard that Utah has the #1 ballroom dancer EVER. Looks like all that smiling worked in Donny's favor.  Well, that and all of his kids holding every Walmart in Utah at gunpoint until they texted their vote for Donny.  

But shhhhh, that's a secret, so keep that on the down low.  

And did anyone hear Marie say, "Bless his heart" during her interview after the show? 

I did too!

LOL, Marie!  Your secret's out.  

But it's safe with us. (Mwuahahaha)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey bowl-ing

Traditions are hard to start, but even harder to stop.  

The Laie Elementary School annual Turkey Trot, for example, is a hard habit to break. Especially when it means I can no longer rely on my children to win our entire Thanksgiving dinner in a single (bare) foot race.

It also means I don't get to watch my x-door neighbor, Martha tripping all the other mom's in order to win her piece of the pie.  Click here for photographic evidence.

(I miss watching Martha push people around.)  

In Utah they have a Turkey Bowl rather than Turkey Trot.  Sounds like fun, huh? 

That's what my twins thought too when they heard their school was having a Turkey Bowl. They were stoked. 

Until they realized that the Turkey Bowl had nothing to do with throwing footballs and making touchdowns and everything to do with bowling.  A turkey.  Literally.  

I think their principal is Amelia Bedelia because they seriously bowled. With a turkey. 

And they had to pay five box tops for every time they bowled.  With a turkey. 

So of course I searched high and low, through the house for box tops. (Ziploc boxes, peeps. That's where you'll find them. And Chex cereal.) I found 15 box tops and I crossed my fingers and hoped to die that that would be enough to win us a turkey or a pie or at least a yam for dinner.  

But my boys didn't win because there are no winners or losers in Utah.  Everyone's a winner.  And everyone's a loser.  And when you're a winner/loser like everyone else, participation is it's own reward.  

In other words, my boys didn't come home with a Turkey.  They came home with 17 candy cane sticks. 

Not the crooks, just the sticks. That's what I have to work with.

So if anyone has a good recipe for how to stuff and baste a candy cane stick, I'm all ears.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Up, Up and away . . .

Over the weekend I ate lots and lots and LOTS of Japanese rice crackers.  And I made LOTS of SPAM musubi, which made me extremely pop-U-lar on the home front.  And then I made a ginormous pot of orange soup with the leftover Costco Rotisserie chicken.  And then it snowed and my kids went wild with excitement all over the front lawn. 

For 10 minutes. 

But the honeymoon ended as soon as my daughter burst back into the house and declared: 

"Snow is not that fun." 

Shoots.  Why do honeymoon's have to end so quickly?

So we lit the fireplace and snuggled up on the couch and watched UP because I had not yet seen it. 

But now I have seen it.  

And it made me bawl like a newborn baby that gets what it's like to try and fly her townhouse over the Pacific ocean with a bouquet of helium balloons but has to let it go somewhere near Catalina Island because it's not as easy as Pixar makes it look to drag your past behind you with a rubber hose. 

But what a cute movie. I love action/adventure movies about grumpy old men seizing the day with a bunch of helium. (But then I love anything that advocates seizing the day with a bunch of helium. Especially if it involves the Bee Gees.) 

One thing I thought about while watching the grumpy old man get overcome by the spirit of adventure was: Ain't life just so unexpected!  And yet so predictable. 

If you had told me in June if I was going to gain five pounds before Christmas, I would have said, "AND HOW!"  

But if you had told me I would learn to make apple pie and that my twins would go to scouts in FULL uniform and that my daughter would be playing basketball for a high school in Utah where she would be voted team captain, I would have said, "Whatchyou talkin' bout Willis!?" 

My daughter quit playing organized basketball four years ago because no one would pass her the ball. 

Yet somehow, here we are. In Utah. Baking pies and wearing scout uniforms and playing basketball. 

btw, my daughter finished up her soccer season and was voted by her team mates as the Best Defensive Player.

I'm sorry I didn't say as much about her season as I did last year, but, remember how Jack Johnson used to show up at the soccer games when she played for Kahuku? 

Yea, well that never happened this year.  

Insert frowny face here. 

But back to the post . . .

I predicted that my thirteen year old son would play basketball, but I didn't expect him to play in his socks and in the snow and in his socks in the snow, or to watch YouTube (in his socks) so he could master the Allen Iverson killer crossoveror the Steve Nash counter streetball move or the Manu Ginobili jab counter.

And I never would have expected him to be invited to practice with a high school varsity team or to play a whole game without letting his feet touch the floor. 

You just never know what's around the corner, or when a a ginormous bouquet of helium balloons will lift you out of your comfort zone. 

It was a wonderful life in Hawaii, but if they ever make a movie about my life in Utah, Jimmy Stewart could totally play me. 

But he'll have to gain 5 lbs. 

P.S.  For those of you who don't believe me about my twins wearing full scout uniform, here's some photographic evidence:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

Yesterday morning I put on one of my daughter's sweaters for a party.  

"How come you never wear any of these uber cute sweaters I bought you at D.I.?" I asked her as we leaned over the sink together applying our make-up.

"I'm waiting for it to get cold," she said.

What a sassy pants! 

But no worries, I didn't flinch or bat an eyeball or spray Windex in her face or anything. I was a picture of poise. 

You know why? Because I am so done telling my kids what to wear and what not to wear.  If my daughter wants to wear her fuzzy house slippers to Young Women's and to parties and movies and basketball games, that's her prerogative. (No, I didn't spell that wrong, you just say it wrong.)

And anyways, as long as they're not getting skin cancer or cavities, then whatever! 

That's what I always say (now that I'm on valium).  

(j/k peeps!  I'm not on valium)  (I meant to say, now that I'm on helium).  

But don't kids just say the darndest things? 

Like last week my daughter told me that she thinks the young women in the ward are really going to like me as their prezident. 

"Really?  You think so? Really? How come? How come? How come?" I asked.

"Because you're more like a teenager than I am," she said.  

Hmmmm . . . 

Then yesterday one of my twins asked me how old I am.  I told him I was forty, plus two. 

"FORTY TWO!???" He said, his chin hitting the floor.  "You don't look FORTY TWO!" 

"Really? You think so? Really?" I said. 

"Really," he said. "You look THIRTY EIGHT."
Hmmmm  . . .

But last night was thee beeessst, as Nacho Libre would say. Last night, over dinner, we were discussing this year's History Day theme, which is Innovation in History, and my kids were throwing out topic ideas.  

"Louie Armstrong would be good," I said.  

Louie Armstrong?" my daughter said.  "The bike rider?" 

I practically choked on my Costco rotisserie chicken from LOLing. 

"That's Lance Armstrong," said my hub. 

"Louie Armstrong is the guy who landed on the moon," said one of my twins. 

More choking and LOLing. 

"That's Neil Armstrong," said my hub. 

 "Louie Armstrong is the father of Big Band Jazz," I finally said. 

"That's not Louie Armstrong," my thirteen year old son--who just so happened to win 2nd place at the National History Day competition last year--said.  "That's Duke Ellington." 

Hmmmm . . . 

I guess mom's sometimes say the darndest things too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Pride and the Prejudice

It's been 20 years since I've lived in Utah, but it's all coming back to me now--the pride and the prejudice. People here appear to be compliant and tolerant, but when the weather turns cold their true colors shine through. 

I hate to say it, but around here they discriminate against coats, hats, gloves and scarves.  

The more the temperature drops, the less clothing people wear.  

The first day my kids wore their new coats to school everyone pointed and laughed and called them marshmallows. 

They haven't worn their coats to school since.  

It makes me wonder sometimes if we're in one of Stanley Milgram's psychological experiments because not only do they not wear their coats anymore, they also don't wear their jeans. In fact, since it's now 30-40 degrees outside, they have reverted to shorts and t-shirts. 

And it's because everyone else has reverted to shorts and t-shirts too.  

Or less.

Today at Target I saw a lady in the parking lot wearing nothing but a spray tan and a spaghetti strap tank top.  

What's, uh, the dealio?

A few weeks ago I caught my son riding his bike to scouts in full uniform and . . . BARE FEET! 

I've also caught another son running down the street in the snow in his . . . SOCKS! 

And this is not because they are Hawaiian--I could understand that--this is because they are Utarded.  

It's gotten so bad that my kids now taunt and tease ME when I go outside with a pair of mittens and a scarf, or wear boots to church.  

"It's not THAT cold," they say, yet just a month ago they were saying, "It's freezing!"

I used to try to protect them and force them to bundle up, just like I used to force them to wear sunscreen in Hawaii, but you know what? You can't get skin cancer from frost bite so what's the point?

I came to this conclusion quite suddenly one day last week when I was getting my kids ready for school and found my son sitting at the fireplace tying his shoes . . . without a stitch of clothing on.  

Buck Naked! 

With Shoes! 

I wish I was joking because then I wouldn't have the image burned into my brain.  

I thought of giving him my usual lecture about how he should probably wear a jacket, but I just stood there, speechless.  And then I turned and walked away.  

Some lessons you have to learn on your own. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

An Ancient Chinese Secret Bedtime Story (in bed).

I think some of you may have gotten the impression that I don't want to do personal progress along with my young women.  

It's not that I don't want to. Of course I want to. But do I need to? That is the question.

It's always good to weigh your wants against your needs. At least that's what my hub always says. 

Frankly, I'm worried that I if I progress any more than I have in the past six months I might be translated.  And what good would I be to the young women if I were translated, huh? huh? huh? 
(Unless I were translated correctly.)

(Plus, the leaders don't get medallions anyway, so what's the point?)

Question: do you ever get the feeling you're being watched? 

Me neither, but sometimes I get the feeling that someone somewhere is trying to tell me something.  Via Richard Marx. 

Strangest thing ever. The other night Richard Marx came on the radio as soon as I started the car after my training meeting. He kept telling me over and over that he'd be right there waiting for me. I didn't think much of it--mostly because I was preoccupied with how many times I made out to that song during the 1980's.  

But then yesterday morning, as soon as I started my car, BAM, Richard Marx came on the radio again. This time he was telling me to hold onto the night.  

Either Richard Marx is trying to send me a message via the universe, or the universe is trying to send me a message via Richard Marx.

So I did what I always do when I'm trying to decode a message from the universe (or Richard Marx), I went out for Chinese food. The universe often speaks in ancient Chinese secrets and ancient Chinese secrets are often found in fortune cookies. 

(Plus, I LUB LUB LUB Chinese food.)

When I finished the all-you-can-eat egg drop soup and salad bar the waiter brought me my fortune cookie and I ripped it open.

Learn Chinese--Dry Cleaning, it said, and then there were a bunch of Chinese characters, which I think was probably the secret added ending: (in bed).

But why would Richard Marx want me to learn Chinese dry cleaning in bed? 

I ordered some take-out just to get another fortune cookie. 

This one said, Learn Chinese--Tomorrow. Once again the added secret ending was in Chinese.

On my way out I told the waiter that his fortune cookies were defective. 

"They're telling me to learn Chinese dry cleaning.  Tomorrow.  In bed," I said. 

He took my fortunes, turned them over and handed them back to me.  Then he muttered a few expletives in Chinese that sounded a lot like "dummy."

Apparently I was looking at the flip side of my fortune.  The side that advocates Chinese literacy.

The other side of my fortune said this:

1. You don't get out of life what you want, you get what you are (insert secret added ending in Chinese here).

2. Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten (and here).

Obviously these ancient Chinese secrets were written in New Zealand or Australia because Learnt is soooo down under.

So then I went to a Mongolian restaurant to get a more authentic ancient Chinese secret.

(BTW, The thing I love most about Chinese and Mongolian restaurants is that the employees aren't afraid to vacuum around your table while you're eating.)

This time my fortune said, Commitment is what turns a promise into reality.  

I've got major commitment issues, which stem from my abandonment issues, which stem from my lack of sleep issues. 

So I went home and took a nap. 

And I had a dream (if that's what the universe wants to call it (wink wink)). In my dream (wink wink) Richard Marx was vacuuming and dry cleaning.  Then suddenly he was in a red curly wig and he was singing The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow in Chinese.  Then suddenly he turned and looked right at me with his piercing eyes. Closer and closer he moved towards me until I was afraid he might just lean down and make-out with me.  

But instead he poked my eyes out and said, "I told you to hold on to the night, dummy"  

And then in Chinese he added the secret ending.   

That's when it finally clicked for me.  All of my fortunes had one thing in common--the secret added ending.

The universe is trying to tell me to get more sleep.

(Either that or I need a new vacuum).  

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We're all in this together

Oh my goodness peeps! 

Last night was YW night.  I was feeling so good about things, like let's DO this thing, girlz! 

Until the stake showed up to train me.

Is it just me or does anyone else ever feel like they're living in an alternate universe? 

A universe where Donny Osmond dances with the stars.  

Donny Osmond dancing with the stars is symbolic of something. I just don't know what it is. 

It's not that he doesn't rock the dance floor--the boy can dance--but watching him dance makes me ponder one of the deepest mysteries of the universe.  

I pondered the same deep mystery when Marie danced with the stars. And when those five Mormon clogging sisters tried out for America's Got Talent. And every time I look at photographic evidence of myself.  

Why the freakishly ginormous smile? 

I mean, seriously!  Me and Donny and Marie and the clogging sisters . . . our smiles could take your smiles down with one lip tied behind our backs. 

What does that mean?

Sometimes I fear that if I'm not careful I will smile my face right off. 

I have the same fear every time I watch Donny and Marie and the Mormon clogging sister's dance.  

And I had the same fear last night when I watched the stake YW prezidency train me. 

If I don't get rich and famous with my cooking blog project or my windex cologne I'm going to start a rehab center for smile-aholics called Curb Your Enthusiasm

(Wait! Did I plagiarize that?)

I can smile like a freak with the best of them, but my poor counselors, bless their hearts, aren't as desperately needy to please as I am, and they didn't stand a chance going lip to lip with the prezidency.

I kid not, my 2nd counselor did more Hail Mary's than a college quarterback during our training. 

I was like, "Uhhh, wrong sidelines, sis! Get'cha, get'cha, get'cha get'cha head in the game!"

When the stake told us we need to start transitioning the Beehives into Relief Society as soon as we yank 'em out of primary, she hailed Mary.  

When they told us we as leaders need to do our own personal progress along with the girls, she hailed Mary.  

But when they said that we need to tell the mothers of the girls to do their own personal progress with each and every one of their daughter's, (only please don't make it a competition,) she stopped hailing Mary and started screaming, "I've got to get out of here!" at the top of her lungs before racing from the room. 

(She's pregnant though, and you know how pregnant women are.)

I personally think screaming and running from a room is inappropriate so instead I made like a school girl and giggled. 

Unfortunately, before I could get a handle on it I was giggling my guts out.  And then I had a sudden urge to suck on helium and sing like the Bee Gees. 

That didn't impress the stake. 

But honestly, I couldn't help myself.  I kept thinking about my 1st counselor who has three daughters--which means she has to do her personal progress four times--once as a leader and thrice as a mother--and it seemed like the most heelarious thing in the world. 

At the time.

But just as I was settling down and wiping the tears from my eyes the Stake YW Prez asked me to bear my testimony. 


The first thing that popped into my head was that I know the Bee Gees are true. 

Is that a bad sign?

And is it a bad sign that the training ended at exactly 10:13 p.m?  You know how superstitious I am.   

But I'm not going to think about that today. All's well, that ends well. That's what I always say. And it ended really well. 

The stake brought in the High School Musical marching band and we closed the meeting by singing "We're All in This Together." 

I tape recorded the whole thing so I could pipe it to you guys.  


It helps drown out that nagging little John Mayer voice inside my head that keeps whispering "something's missing."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It ain't that lonely at the top

In my last post I was pulling a Braggedy Ann about Utah being the happiest place on Earth. I'm sorry, but I refuse to make apologies for my false pride because it feels like just yesterday we were accused of being the most depressed state. 

(Does that make us bi-polar?) 

Anyways, I'm enjoying the high! 

In my last post I also mentioned that I was going to do a little googling to see if Utah uses more superlatives than other states.  Unfortunately, if you can believe it, there's never been a study done on superlative usage.

There have been other, equally important studies done, however.  I found one important study by a BYU-P Professor, who shall remain nameless (because name dropping about BYU-P gets you in trouble), but you can find the study on the BYU-P home page if you look for the headline: "Lemon-scented windex makes people more virtuous."  

This nameless BYU-P Professor concludes that clean smells unconsciously promote moral behavior and that people in rooms freshly spritzed with citrus Windex were more fair and generous than people in normal smelling rooms.  She is encouraging companies to start pumping clean smells into their offices to encourage more ethical behavior. 

What a good idea. I've decided to pour Windex into my daughter's perfume bottles when she starts dating. 
(You can plagiarize my idea if you want.  Just give me credit when your kids get married in the temple, k.) 

And if my Dumb and Dumber cooking blog project doesn't make me rich and famous I might start my own line of Crash Cologne. I will call it Parfumeur a la High Road, (written in cursive and said with a french accent).

But back to superlatives . . . I'm no expert on the matter, but I've got ears, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Utah is not only the most superlative state in the union, it is the most superlative state EVER! 

We KNOW how to use superlatives, baby!  If you don't believe me, watch Good Things Utah.

Good Things Utah is a show hosted by four stinkin' hottest, uber enthusiasticest, hippest women on speed that share with the rest of us all the glimmery, shimmery, glossy, glitzy, frosty, sparkly things about Utah. They tell us how to have a rock star bum and how to be a hipster and how to get that WOW factor. 

Everything they say and do is soooo cute.  And soooo awesome. And soooo FABULOUS! (Or FAB for short.)  

And they lub lub lub chocolate. 

Surprisingly, one of the good/better/best things about Utah is their chocolate. Move over Madagascar because in Utah chocolate is like fine wine. 

I did not know that. 

I also did not know that Utah is killing it in the world of chocolate shows. In other words, the best chocolate is coming from Utah.

Oops, do I sound like Braggedy Ann again? 

But seriously, I watched the ambassador of chocolate give samples of Utah chocolate to one of the hipster hosts with the rockstar bum and she said it was the most leathery, smoky citrusy, cheesy chocolate ever.

And I believe her (at least the citrusy part). 

So bottom line, once again we're at the top.  And you know what? It ain't that lonely at the top.

(Although just between you and me . . . not to be rude, it's all well and fab at the top, but . . . sometimes I feel like . . . something's missing.  And as John Mayer would say, "I don't know what it is." )

Monday, November 16, 2009

No one likes a frowny face

First of all, before I get to my post, can I just get something off my mind? 

I was stretching the truth when I said I have standards and that I only flirt with destiny. Sometimes I flirt with danger too.  And sometimes danger flirts back. Especially when I tease it in my fish net stockings and seven inch heels on a Friday the 13th. 

I think danger is a U of U fan because it didn't flirt with me until I was on my way to a BYU (Provo) basketball game. 

First, I almost got Kung Fu Panda kicked by a semi-truck on I-15. 

Then I almost got a Carl's Jr. french fry lodged in my wind pipe. 

Then I almost sang the Cougar fight song during half-time.

(They say close calls come in threes).

The BYU (Provo) basketball game was an appropriate Friday the 13th flashback.  The last time I attended a BYU (Provo) game was 20 years ago when my hub played point guard on the team--before Roger Reid told him (and the point other guard) that he had prayed and received revelation they should no longer be part of the team because his son Randy, who was also a point guard, was on his way home from his mission.

Have I ever told you this story?

Well then, pull up a chair and lend me your ears. (But cover them first because, if you haven't noticed, I like to drop names.)

My hub was recruited out of high school by Coach LaDell Anderson. 

Scholarships were offered and contracts were signed.  It was a done deal.  

My hub then followed the prescribed mission slash marriage blueprint for eternal salvation, but it wasn't long before he was awakened by the reality that the blueprint for celestial (fame and) glory isn't always (cougar) blue.  

The awakening began on our honeymoon when LaVell Edwards retired and Roger Reid became the new head coach. It wasn't a Friday the 13th, but it was bad luck for us anyhow--at least we thought so during our bitter voodoo doll stage. 

After the bitter voodoo doll stage we used to chuckle about it. 

"Maybe Roger Reid really did receive a revelation to renig your scholarship," I would say--usually while I was reapplying my sunscreen and digging my toes into the sand. 

"Maybe so," my hub would say in his hang-loose voice as he turned over on his swap meet beach towel to brown evenly on both sides. "They say Gad works in mysterious ways." 

Funny how one single revelation, when executed correctly, can knock your destiny onto it's Okole. It spun us, and three other BYU (Provo) basketball players, around and threw us for a loop.  

When we got back up we weren't in Kansas anymore. baby!  We were in Laie! And we were BYU-Hawaii Seasiders.  For life.  

And we liked it! 

Best revelation ever! 


But now we're back in Utah.  And yes, we have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad life, but gosh dangit, we're happy.  And we like it.  


Being miserable ain't the worst thing in the world. Especially when you live in the hap hap happiest place on earth.  

Disneyland, eat OUR dust!  

Utah is NUMBER ONE again! (hurkey kicks and cartwheels) In this recent article we top the list of happiest states. We're even happier than Hawaii, who got the silver medal in the happy olympics.  

Looks like I made a good move.  I've gone from happy to happier!

Wyoming got the bronze medal (not to be RUDE, but . . . bless their hearts . . . just sayin').

I have to admit it feels good to be happy.  But it feels even better to be happier than others.  I'm not a nani nani boo-er, but we are 12% happier than Kentucky and one of my best friends lives in Kentucky.  
You do the math.

According to the study, states who have "No one likes a frowny face" on their license plates are the happiest. 

Also states who have access to the most resources are happier than states who only have access to sun and sand and surf. I think this is where our access to porn, anti-depressants and prescription meds works in our favor.

I bet Utah leads the nation in access to superlatives too.   

I'll check into that and report tomorrow.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Dearly Beloved . . .

We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. 

Actually, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called Life cereal. 

Remember when I got five for five at Macey's (five boxes for five dollars)? Well I've discovered that Life cereal is a lot like life--too much of a boring thing is a . . . boring thing. 

I've got a box and a half to go (Yawn!!!!)

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

Friday the 13th is the only holiday I celebrate on my blog because I love tempting fate. I may seem like a good little dummy in public, but behind closed doors I'm a HUGE tease. My philosophy is that it's okay to be a tease as long as you set standards. For instance, I only flirt with destiny. 

What better day to flirt with destiny than on Friday the 13th? It's the one day of the year I can put on my fish net stocking with my seven inch heels and kidnap my neighbor's black cat. (Believe me, when you're wearing seven inch heels you need a side kick.)  Usually we spend the day walking under ladders and breaking mirrors and stepping on cracks, but today I simply pulled out all the lava rocks I've stolen from the Big Island and opened my University of Utah umbrella inside the house.  

Come hither, Universe!  I double dog dare you.

You don't have to duck.  I pinky promise I won't get struck by lightening.  I was born on Friday the 13th so I'm immune to bad luck. 

Oh, wait.  I was born on Wednesday the 13th . . .

(Never mind.) 

Anyways, since we're all gathered here together let's go on a field trip. 

Let's go doorbell ditch Swirl.  It's her birthday today.  For those of you new around here, Swirl was my neighbor and one of my bestest friends back in the hood.  Allow me to introduce you:

Here's a picture of me and Swirl.  Oh, and there's my X-door neighbor, Martha on the left.  I don't know what she's doing in the picture.

Oh wait!  I think it's because me and Swirl lub her so much.

So you guys go freshen up, grab some Code Red and meet me here in her comment box so we can sing happy birthday, k. 

Martha will you be in charge of bringing the swirly kupcakes, and Anjeny will you bring the kute krafts? (I have to practice bossing everyone around since I'm a prez now).

Anjeny is another one of our friends from the hood. She and Swirl are big time kute krafters. (If I was a kute krafter you guys would call me Utarded, but in Hawaii you can get away with anything.)  

After we surprise Swirl, come back here and I'll tell you a bedtime story. 

And don't forget to bring some kleenex.


Once upon a time (this morning) my twins woke up early and actually got out of bed before me.  
Chalk it up to maturity, or chalk it up to the ginormous alarm clock I bought at Target, which I think Target ripped off from the local fire station. 

Anyways, they went from their bed into my bed.

"I had a dream last night," said the younger twin. 

"I have dreams every night," said the older twin.  "About Hawaii.  And Jimmy and Nana. I dream about all of them. The whole neighborhood." 

When I asked him what happens in the dreams, he said, "we play.  At the basketball court. And in the back field. And at the farm." 

Then he shook his head wistfully and said "I see them allevery night."  

The end. 


My son is psychologically moonlighting with his old pals on Kulanui Street. 

*Apply kleenex to your eyeballs now. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rue the day!

That's what my youngest twin said a few nights ago.  

Only he said, "Rue THIS day!  RUE it!"

Let's just say it took me by surprise--totally knocked my socks off, actually, being as I've never heard him use the word RUE before in this lifetime. 

I think it caught me off guard because I was making creamy pototo soup at the time and I was thinking it needed a little thickener. 

Coincidentally, I was simultaneously thinking that I could really use a new sweet scent and since I only own four of the Rue 21 fragrances . . .

You see where I'm going with this?  For a split second I thought my son was going to be the next prophet. 

But then he told me he was plagiarizing iCarly. 

Tonight he told us to "rue this day!" again, but I wasn't making soup or thinking about smelling sweeter so I'm pretty sure I jumped the gun on the prophet thing.  Plus, after he told us to "rue this day!" he asked me "what does rue mean?"

I told him that to rue the day means to regret the day.  

Then he asked me, "what is regret?" I didn't have my google dictionary at my fingertips so I told him "regret is . . . thick and . . . it smells sweet." 

And then, and then, and then, I KID NOT, the most remarkable thing happened.  He broke into a song. It was like a High School Musical moment.  

No, it was more like a Mormon High School Musical moment because the song he broke into was Yoohoo-ooo Unto Je-eee-sus. 

And he didn't just sing it, he BELTED it.  And there was nothing pitchy about it. He was in tune and on key! Randy and Paula would have said "DUDE, you're in the dog pound now!" 

But most stunning of all was that he knew the words.  Every. Single. Word.  

(Do you think maybe he still has a shot at that prophet gig?) 

Anyways, that's not the only surprising thing that's happened this week. My twins had a field trip and guess what?  They said they had the best sack lunch in the class.  

HA! Take that, Hawaii!

Then the older twin checked out art books from the school library!  Did you hear me? I said ART books. The kind of art books that teach you how to draw animals.  And draw animals he did.

Rue the day his 3rd grade teacher told me he couldn't draw to save this life! 

And Rue the day I said I thought Facebook was creepy.  I've decided to eat my words about Facebook because, honestly, there is nothing creepy about being a fly on the wall of those you haven't laid eyeballs on in months.  Flys are people too.  And they have inquiring minds that want to know what their friends are saying to their other friends while they're off fraternizing with the honeybees in Utah.  

Get it!? Honeybees? Utah?  (Hardy har har). 

And finally, rue the day I said I didn't have time to fall in lub with a bunch of teenage girlz. 

What was I thinking? Tonight we had our first date, and ironically I wasn't the one falling. 

But fo' reals, why would anyone NOT want to fall in lub with these girlz? 

It's a done deal!  

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eyeballs stuck on your plate

Sometimes I wish I was Sean Kingston. 

Not because he's a big-time, rock star, raggae rapper who's been incarcerated and homeless (though sometimes I dream about how much more writing I would get done if I was incarcerated and how much material I would have if I was homeless), but because his latest song inspires me to cook the kind of food people could get addicted to. (Food porn, as Mariko would say.)

Is it too much to ask that when I set a plate of food down at the dinner table the heavens open and a choir of angles begin singing the Hallelujah Chorus?  

That's what I asked my kids after they called my baked potato soup nasty.

"You know, like that Sean Kingston song," I told them. "Where he talks about how his eyeballs were stuck on the plate."

For some reason it made perfect metaphorical sense while I was singing it. 

But not as much sense when my kids were rolling around on the floor, doubled over with tears streaming down their faces.  

That's when it hit me that maybe that song is less about food, and plates, and eyeballs, and more about a boy who's ipod is stuck on replay.

An easy mistake though, right? Back me up here, peeps. The song is playing on my playlist right now. I double dog dare you to tell me you don't think it sounds like Sean Kingston's eyeballs are stuck on some girl's plate.

You can see how it would be confusing, right?

But anyways, this post ain't about Sean Kingston's eyeballs, it's about my post traumatic cooking stress syndrome.  

Many of you know that my dream is to become rich and famous with my Dumb and Dumber cooking blog project. So lately I've been practicing by cooking my way through the America's Most Wanted Recipes cookbook, which I picked up from my twin's elementary school book fair. 

SUPPOSEDLY/ALLEGEDLY, it's the best recipes from some of the most popular restaurants in America. 

Last week I made Sante Fe chicken from Applebees.  I followed the recipe exactly word for word, measurement for measurement, ingredient for ingredient, (except I didn't beat the chicken flat with a meat mallet, I beat it with a ceramic jar of pump hand soap.)  

(Which also works well as a paper weight, btw.) 

After all the exactness and correctness, my hub simply said, "It tastes kinda like Chicken Cordon Bleu. Only with less flavor."  

So then I made Rice Pilaf from The Crab Shack. I was not familiar with The Crab Shack or Rice Pilaf, but bottom line, rice pilaf is nothing more than rice (CALROSE, of course) boiled in steamy, buttery, spicey water and combined with sauteed vegetables.  

When I asked my kids what they thought, they said, "It tastes just like . . . rice." And then they drenched it in soy sauce.  

Then I made Salsa from Chili's and I accidentally rubbed jalepeno pepper into my eyeball. YEEEEOOOOUUCH!  Don't try this at home, peeps. Better to have your eyeball stuck on your plate, if you ask me. 

Then I made a pumpkin cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.  Only I had forgotten that my hand mixer is busted (sorry, Rockstar Brother and Skeet).  This meant I had to beat the cream cheese into submission by hand, which would have been worth the 40 hours of elbow grease had I not absentmindedly added twice as much pumpkin puree as needed.  It sat on my counter for four days without so much as tempting anyone to dig in.

Then I made some Broccoli Cheese Soup from T.G.I. Friday. 

"This porridge is too hot!" said my son. 

"This porridge is too cold!" said my other son. 

"This porridge makes me nervous," said my daughter. 

When I asked why, she said, "Because it's white.  In Hawaii, your porridge was always orange." 

"THAT'S IT!" I said ripping off my IKEA apron and wadding it up into a tight little ball. 

"Open wide!" I told my daughter.

The next night I made rice-a-roni.  

And no one said a word. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Against the Grain

So yesterday was the primary program, which means that when I was sustained as the new Why Double You Prez, my mom just so happened to be seated to my right and my MIL just so happened to be seated to my left.  

There was a moment of stunned silence on both sides when I sat down. 

Finally my MIL leaned over and whispered, "Bless your heart!" 

That's what she said. 


Then she eyeballed the stack of old journals I was using for my Sunday School lesson and said, "May I please read those?"

At least she's polite when she's rude.  I'll give her that.  

My FIL isn't as polite. But then he's not as rude either. He doesn't mean to be rude, anyway. It's just really important to him that things get done correctly. Especially things like cutting roast beef. Between you and me, sometimes I invite him to dinner just to listen to him tell my hub how to cut roast beef.  I never get tired of hearing it.

I used to get tired of hearing it twenty years ago when we first got married, but now I almost get giddy over it.  Take yesterday for instance, I could hardly contain my giggle fits every time he told my hub to "Make sure you cut against the grain!" as he hovered over him eyeballing every slice. It was the cutest darn thing you've ever seen. 

Now if I were the one cutting the roast beef it wouldn't have been quite so darn cute because it would have been my MIL hovering and eyeballing and saying things like "you didn't add curry to this did you? That's one spice I don't care for much."

"No, of course not," I would say.

"Yes you did! I can taste it!" She would say.

She has a highly developed curry radar. If you so much as think about adding curry, she can taste it.

Which reminds me . . . I haven't cooked with curry for a while. In fact, I've cooked with everything but curry. Oh, peeps, I've been cooking myself silly lately, with everything but curry. 

Maybe that's my problem.  I need more curry in my diet. Since I've been cooking my way through America's Most Wanted Recipes, my kids keep telling me I've changed. I'm different now.  They like the old me better and can't understand why I don't just make them some chili and rice or some mac and cheese. 

Funny thing is, I haven't made mac and cheese in years. What's up with that?

Tomorrow we'll talk about my post traumatic cooking issues, k.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


That's right, peeps.  I said, OMG!  And that's because OMGOSH just doesn't cut it today. 

Are you sitting down? 

Well, then maybe I better sit down too.

I am not the new RSP.  Or the new RSV.  Or even the new RSVP.

And I'm not the new PP.   

I'm the new . . . YWP. 

For those of you who don't speak Mormon acronym, that P stands for Prez. 

Insert Home Alone scream here: 

Or insert Edvard Munch's Scream:

Or just go ahead and insert both screams for alls I care:

This is exactly what I looked like when the Bishop called me into his office a few weeks ago and told me that the Activities Committee was not my perfect calling after all. 

Get this!  He actually handed me a chocolate covered macadamia nut when he retracted my calling and told me I was needed elsewhere.

I kid not.

What happened after that was all a blur.  I vaguely remember those three little words falling from the Bishop's mouth in slow motion. 

Yyyyyyyyyyyyyoung . . . . Wwwwwwwwomen . . . . Prrrrrrrressssssidenttttttt. 

The next thing I knew his first counselor was giving me the heimlich.  

"Are you insane?" I cried after the mac nut had been dislodged from my throat. "Has all that spandex cut off the circulation to your brain???? We don't even live here yet!"

"We're playing the odds," he said with a smile.

We then spent 45 minutes doing rock/paper/scissors, and arm wrestling and declaring thumb wars, but the universe was clearly on his side.  

So I told him the truth. "I didn't come all the way to Utah just to fall in lub with a bunch of teenage girls. Those girls are just going to try to crack open my stone cold heart. And when they do they'll let themselves in and make themselves comfortable. That's how teenage girls work!" 

He handed me another chocolate covered macadamia nut and told me to sleep on it. 

"I'll call you during your Sunday nap for an answer," he said. 

But I couldn't sleep on it--you all know that. Instead I tossed and turned and thought about grown up things like houses and schools and coaches and wards--not that I don't lub this ward--who wouldn't lub a ward where their home teacher does Chris Farley motivational speeches better than Chris Farley himself--but there are so many variables in my uncertain future and how can I make grown up decisions if I'm busy falling in lub with a bunch of teenage girls? Huh? Huh? Huh?

You get me?

(Plus, what about my dream? My grail? I've been trying so hard to make sure all my fam is warm and comfy so I can head on over the rainbow to find it.) 

(Just sayin') 

But these bridge-over-troubled-water-thoughts are sooooo last week. Just catching you up to speed.

Plus there's a lesson here: Sometimes a little tossing and turning ain't half bad for you.

Truth be told, while I was tossing and turning the thought did cross my mind that maybe it was time to give up blogging and pick up a more edgy addiction for the winter. But I couldn't even decide between depression or porn or prescription meds. That's how bad it had gotten! 

So I got up and slipped on my pink microfiber robe and my fuzzy sweater slippers and opened my blog to break the news that I was going to have to grow up and become a real boy and that I was going to have my shadow reattached that very next morning.  But when I opened my comment box, April was there and she was teasing me about becoming more Utarded with every holiday. At 2:30 a.m. that seemed like the funniest thing I'd ever heard and I couldn't stop LOL'ing out loud.

Then a blog post hit me. (And believe me I WILL hit it back next week, so stay tuned for my definition of utarded vs. mormonic vs. oxymormonic!)

For some odd reason that commet was a little life raft for me. And it's been uphill (both ways) ever since. 

You know how I hate to get verclempt, but I'm fanning my eyeballs right now because so many of you have unknowingly sent me little life rafts in my comment box since that day. 

MAHALO! I needed that. 

I now see, (thanks to my friends and a little Erma Bombeck and Akela winning the spelling bee and Hugh Jackman singing me to him from Australia) that with Gad, nothing is impossible.  

And that you can take the dummy out of Neverland, but you can't take Neverland out of the dummy. 


So bring it on, girlz!!!!!! There's plenty of stone-cold-heart to go around round here.