Sunday, October 26, 2008

My first tagging...

I have noticed in my blog reading that people occasionally mention being tagged and then share random details about themselves, but I wasn't really sure how they got tagged. I sometimes wondered if I had been tagged at some point and didn't even realize it. Did I even want to get tagged? I don't know. This is all so new. Is there a blog manual I was supposed to read first because I just jumped right in. I don't really know what I'm doing. Does it show?

Well, as far as I can tell, Lori tagged me. (Thanks for that, by the way. It made me feel special.) So I'm guessing that I am supposed to answer the same question that she did. (Again, there were no instructions.) And I guess I'm supposed to list 5 things. (Again, no instructions. So if Lori took any liberties with her tagging, don't blame me cuz I'm just following suit!) So here goes my response to my first tagging...

Okay I already forgot the question! Oh wait, I think I remember it.

I'm a weirdo and I know it because...

1. I'm a consummate perfectionist.
I don't know why but I have high expectations for myself and everyone around me. I think everything can be done better. When I watch a movie, I think of all the ways it could have been better. When I read the paper, I think most of the articles could have been written better (of course, everyone thinks that about the Herald). When I see Broadway musicals, I think that the story line and/or lyrics and/or dancing could have been better. (I don't judge singing too harshly because I am pretty tone deaf.) I think most businesses could be run better. I think all schools could be run better. I can't sit through a high school assembly without thinking of all the ways it could have and should have been better. (Again, I know I'm not alone in that one.) It's a sickness and I can't turn it off. I wish I could. I'm really not trying to judge because I surely don't want to be judged by the same measure. I just can't help it!

2. I have a secret desire to be a guest on Oprah one day.
I have no idea what it will be for. Maybe I won a contest or, better yet, I was nominated for Mother of the Year. Hopefully, I wasn't indicted for something (but with the way our luck is going that is the likely scenario.) In my fantasy world, Oprah has somehow gotten ahold of a collection of my Christmas letters and she just has to meet the author.

3. I have been married for 25 years and I still complain about how long cooking takes.
Simple meals should not take hours in the kitchen but they do! By the time you get out the ingredients, prepare the meal, serve the meal and clean up - it's a min. of 3 hours for any decent sort of meal that has more than one item. When I do take the time (and it's not often these days) to make a "decent" meal and I am finally finished with the whole process, I generally feel very proud of myself but I inevitably tell David, "That sucked, I was in the kitchen for 4 hours today." I think that is way too long to spend in the kitchen in any one day. My favorite meals are the ones that take more time to consume than they do to prepare.

4. I fix blow dryers.
Most people don't know that blow dryers lose their efficiency if you let the air intake screen gather dust. It's a simple remedy - just clean with an old dry toothbrush. I discovered this one day and now I clean most blowdryers I come in contact with. I especially delight in fixing old hotel blow dryers. (Yes, I keep an old dry toothbrush in my make-up bag and, yes, I truly am a weirdo.)

5. I don't like to ask for directions.
It must be slightly elevated levels of testosterone in me or something, but I would rather drive around lost and figure it out for myself than roll down the window and ask a random person for directions. I hate it when you ask someone for directions and the second they open their mouth you know you have asked the wrong person (for a variety of reasons) and that you are going to have to pretend to be interested in what they are telling you (with a lot of uh huhs and head nodding) - only to have to ask another person that is out of sight of the first person (cuz you don't want to hurt their feelings). Aaahh, I hate it. David, on the other hand, likes to ask people for directions even when he knows where he is going.

Alright, so that's my first tagging response. I hope I did it right. Now, I guess I need to tag others. Is there a set number? I think Lori listed 5. I am not sure if that was her choice or part of the tagging rules. Oh what to do? Also how do you know if someone has already been tagged? What if some people are sick and tired of being tagged? Man, I am such a rookie! Well, here goes... I am not sure who all reads my blog but I would be interested in the answers of the following people:

I tag Kristy, AubRee B., Susan P., Lindsay B., Samantha M.

Lindsay has probably been tagged hundreds of times but she is so funny I just can't resist! I don't even know if AubRee has a blog but I just looked at the cute family pictures they took before they left and it made me think of her. So if you have a blog, Aub, let me know.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's a girl!

We have an exchange student living with us this year. Her name is Yi-Ching Kuo (Tricia) and she is from Taipei, Taiwan. This is our third exchange student... Linda was from Macau and Paola was from Bolivia. We have loved them all. We are really enjoying Tricia. Her english is very good and even though she doesn't think it is, she laughs at all the appropriate times so we know that she is understanding a lot. She says she has only studied english in school but she understands so many sayings and slang. She just gets it. She is a dancer so she is really enjoying dancing at our studio. She is 18 years old and technically she has fulfilled all of her graduation requirements so I think this exchange is just for the experience and the extra help in english. We just love her and are really honored to be her host family. So if you see a random Asian in our family pictures here and there, you might think it's Lindsay or Linh but it's not - we went out and got our very own cuz it seems like every good family has an Asian in it, doesn't it?

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Big Apple

Every year I attend a costume preview show in New York City with my two best friends and business partners, Lori Baker and Janet Bergeson. We are getting pretty good at navigating our way around the city. We generally only have 2 days to play and 2 days for business. Some year when we are rich and don't have so many kids at home, we are gonna stay and play longer - at least that's the dream! Danielle (Lori's daughter) came with us this year because she didn't get to go the year we took Tanae and Courtney, and it was really fun to have her along.

Top 10 things I learned in New York this year:

#10 White cupcakes with white frosting from Magnolia Bakery are highly overrated.

They were not life changing, they were not amazing, they were not even good. What is all the hype about cupcakes? They are on every movie and tv show and I keep thinking that someone has created a cupcake that appeals to adult palates but they haven't. Now I haven't tried Oprah's mail order cupcakes, but I have tried a few other famous brands and so far they are just cupcakes. Come on people! Now Chili's Molten Lava cake - there's a dessert worth buzzing about!!

#9 If you are interviewed for tickets to The David Letterman Show and you are asked "What is your favorite part of the show?" and you are stumped for an answer, you are not likely to get chosen to be part of the audience no matter how uninteresting the rest of the people in line look.

We have been to the Letterman show a couple of times and we get rejected about every other year. They don't really like all women groups, they prefer men. Last year we got in to see the show (they must have been desperate) and the musical guest was... "Fitty Cent" - lucky us! You should have seen the look on that rapper's face as he looked out over his mostly white, mostly over 50 audience as he tried to get us to wave our hands over our heads to "Ayo Technology." It was comical to say the least. His look of utter discomfort made it all worthwhile.

#8 If you want to get up early and go see a taping of The View in hopes of receiving any type of free gift... don't go with my friends.

I think the very first year that we went to NY (6 years ago?), I talked them into getting up early to go see Regis and Kelly. That was the first and last early morning show we saw. I'll never know what semi-fabulous prize may have been mine last Tuesday on The View. I don't even watch that show - I just wanted a prize.

#7 Grey's Papaya is supporting Obama for president.

How can poor McCain fans compete with this?

#6 Jersey Boys is chock-full of great singing, great music and bad language.

Shouldn't they have to put a warning on the ticket or the posters or the Tony award? Awesome voices but f-bombs galore. Apparently the storytelling of the rise to fame of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons just wouldn't have been authentic without the bad language. The music lives on and apparently the bad language does too. My advice - wait for the edited version. (Good news - I only paid $27 for my Standing Room Only ticket! Bad news - I had to stand the whole time.)

#5 When it comes to the Wicked lottery, the 5th time is a charm!

Some of the broadway musicals hold lotteries. About two hours before the performance, you can submit your name in a drawing and the winners are able to buy front row tickets for $25. The regular price of this show is $180-$300 so it is quite a deal if you don't mind a sore neck. We have tried every year to win lottery tickets. There are usually about 60-90 people who line up. They draw 10 names and if your name is drawn you can buy a max of 2 tickets. I finally got picked!!! (So it was a "no" from Letterman, but a "yes" from Wicked!) We only got one of our names drawn so that meant that only 2 of our group could attend so we sent Lori and Danielle cuz Danielle hadn't seen it yet. Wicked is a treat. I have seen it once from the very front row on the left (partial view). I am looking forward to some day seeing the whole thing!

#4 Everyone with a New York or New Jersey accent sounds like a character from a movie.

It is so hard to take those people seriously when their accent is real heavy. They all sound like comedians or mobsters. I just want to look around and say "Am I on Candid Camera?"

#3 If you want a job where you get to wear a uniform and do a lot of standing around and talking to other people in uniform, then go to work for airport security at JFK.

How many people does it take to screen passengers at JFK? 20... 1 to check ID, 1 to check the xray screen and 18 to stand around talking (mostly in ebonics). Honestly I have never seen so many people standing around doing nothing. It was unbelievable. I wanted to tell someone. I wanted to blow the whistle. I wanted to report all of them, but I think their superiors were also standing around visiting. I wanted to demand a refund of my aiport security fees. Aaahhhh!

#2 Don't let young children go to the bathroom by themselves at JFK.

There were 2 young black girls (about ages 3 & 5) who were escorted to the bathroom by their brother (about age 8). Well the plan looked like a good one but the brother was a little perplexed about how to escort his sisters into a girl's bathroom and was unsure so he sent them in and waited outside. Then he had to go to the bathroom so the girls were waiting outside the bathroom by themselves for him. At some point an airport security officer (okay, okay - so I guess some of them actually work although honestly I think she was on a break) spotted the situation. The security guard was a bigger black woman (I am not trying to sound racist here but you just have to know that this woman was black to get the full picture.) She kept asking the girls were their mother was and the girls were sort of looking at the boy's bathroom like maybe she was in there. They didn't really articulate the situation. Then when the boy came out of the bathroom she asked him where their mother was and he said she was downstairs. She grabbed the girls hands and said to no one in particular with a voice full of black attitude, "You don't send children to the bathroom by themselves in New York City." Then she asked the boy to lead her to their mother. The boy asked in the cutest little voice, "Are you going to arrest her?" She said, "No, I'm just gonna talk to her." I really wanted to follow them and witness the rest of the scene for myself. I think it could likely have been something one would see in a Tyler Perry film. All I could think was, "There but for the Grace of God go I." I am sure that at many points in my mothering career, I trusted an 8 year old to be the bathroom escort for two younger sibs. I wonder how that mother handled her scolding?

#1 Purse shopping on canal street is something everyone should experience at least once in their life.

I am not so much hooked on owning fake designer purses as I am on the shopping experience. We have been ushered into vans parked on side streets. We have been shown through secret doors at the back of their stores and led down the stairs to secret basements. We have been led down alleys and into large buildings and up 5 flights of stairs and past rows of seamstresses and through more secret doors. It's an experience! Each vendor sells something just a little different than the next. All claim to have the latest and greatest and best price. You find 1 or 2 you like and then the negotiating begins. If they have a poker face type expression through the whole negotiation, then you have been suckered. If you throw out a price that makes them frown and look like they want to spit on you, and then you negotiate your deal from there - you know that you have done it right. I don't really know if it's legal or illegal, ethical or unethical but it's as close to living on the edge as I get.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Homecoming '09

Another homecoming has come and gone. What is homecoming anyway? Are graduates really supposed to come home for it? Is that what it means? Well, I don't really know where this whole tradition stems from. I guess I could look it up on Wikipedia. I'll just add that to my To Do list! Whatever homecoming is supposed to be about - it always seems to evoke a feeling of happiness and community. It's just a nice feeling... and even nicer when you win the game! That doesn't happen very often here but it did this year!

Kylie is a junior this year and went to the dance with Dylan Signorelli. She looked gorgeous (and her date was wasn't bad either!) It is so fun to see all of the girls in their beautiful dresses. Unfortunately, I only have Kylie's pictures right now. Times have sure changed. When I was in high school we went through two different dress styles. The first was Gunne Sax. Yes, everyone who was anyone wore a Gunne Sax dress. They were so popular for the longest time. Looking back on it, it looked like we were all going to prom at the little house on the prairie! Then the styles changed a bit and there were long flowing gowns made of polyester and which seemed like an awesome thing but now looking back they looked more like nightgowns. I don't know when the beautiful ball gowns came back in style but it was long after I was done with high school dances.

Also, back in the day, we didn't have our hair and nails done by professionals. We pretty much just washed it and dried it and hoped for a good hair day. We didn't even have that many hair products at our command. A good old blow dryer and curling iron and oila! We painted our own nails and just prayed that none of them broke - which they always did. Nowadays these girls look better than I did on my wedding day!! Why did I have to grow up in the 70's?

P.S. - Kylie actually did her own hair and nails for this one so I better give her her props!

My baby turned 13! How did that happen? I swear he was just born a few months ago. Bryan has always been a burst of energy. One of my favorite memories of him was when he was about 18 months old and I was holding him as I was checking out of Safeway. I put him down for a second while I signed my check and he instantly took off. I said, "I'll be right back" and I left my checkbook wide open and my purse there cuz I knew this kid was fast. He only had a few seconds lead on me and he ran right down the front of the store, past about 5 check stands and out the front door. I was running as fast as I could (and I was younger then) and he was still out in the middle of the street before I caught him. He would have been toast if a car had been coming. I remember saying to him, "You better be a good athlete when you grow up after all this trouble!" Well, he is a good athlete so I guess I can't complain. Happy Birthday Bryan!
Easton Baker (on left) and Bryan at UW-BYU game.