Friday, August 29, 2008
Such an Activist Now
I went to a local presidential campaign office and did some volunteer work this week. Are you shocked? Me to. I've never been so involved, and even now am wondering just what it is I think I'm doing? I signed up to do some data entry, but when I got there found out that they needed me to bring my own laptop, and I don't have a laptop, so that dream was over. I told them that I'm really not brave enough to make phone calls, so they had me man the reception desk. That was kind of fun. I answered the phone, answered questions, and in my down time put together yard signs for people to buy. I was there for two hours.
There's a funky atmosphere in a campaign office. People talk about why they've volunteered, how they feel about all that's going on in the world. They have strong opinions on all things politics, and they're all jacked-up about their candidate. Lots of energy. It was fun to see, but I felt like an outsider looking in. As much as I like the candidate, I'm really not so...what's the word...committed? Fanatic? They were organizing a canvassing event for Saturday, where people go door-to-door with information. There's just no way I'm doing that. I went tracting on my mission for something I'd believed in all of my life, and even then never got over the nerves I felt with every door. So, while I feel good about being involved, I really can't see being that involved. I tend to think that people have plenty of opportunities to research the candidates for themselves and then make a decision. Is door-to-door necessary? I might just make another contribution, get to the polls and vote, and call it good.
Amazon.com is awesome. I found a hardcover copy of "Jane Eyre", one of my favorites, that was printed in 1847 on sale for just $25. I had heart palpitations when I saw it. Of course I bought it. The book's not here yet, but I'll let you know when it is. 1847! I can't imagine holding a book that's 161 years old. So exciting.
I'm sorry, other than that, I just don't have much to tell you. It's been a quiet week. I am looking forward to the weeks coming up. My parents and brother's family will be in town for my niece's wedding on September 12, and then I'm leaving on the 17th to go to Minnesota for a cousin's wedding. Lots of weddings! My brother and his wife and two boys will be staying at my place, which will be fun. His little boys are adorable. It'll be very good to see them. And, when I'm in Minnesota I'll be with relatives that I haven't seen for years. It'll be a jam packed September.
I guess that it's for now. Thanks, as always, for being the coolest people alive.
You are loved.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
This week I found something I've been wanting for years. I will tell this story from the beginning. A long time ago, in a land far, far away (Murray, Utah) I worked for a company called TSI. One day at the office, I found an old copy of a book called Song of Years by Bess Streeter Aldrich that someone had left behind. I decided to borrow and read it. I absolutely loved it! I read it several times over. I didn't want to give it up, but at the same time was worried that someone in the office owned it, so I asked around. No one claimed it back again, so I kept it.
Since then, I've moved home, been on a mission, moved back to Salt Lake, and lived in eight different homes. I've kept that book with me the whole time. It's an old copy, paperback, torn up a bit, and yellow. I've wanted to get a nice hardcover version, but learned that it had gone out of print. The copy write date is 1930something. I have over the years, every now and then, checked different places for a nice used copy with no luck. Until Monday. I decided to get on Amazon.com and look it up. They had a new copy, in hardcover, available to order. I bought it and paid extra for two day shipping. It arrived Wednesday, and it is beautiful! I almost cried. The cover is a nice light blue, the cloth kind like they used to put on books, with the title embossed in gold on the side. No dust jacket, which I like. The pages are a nice, smooth paper...it's just perfect. It looks brand new. I don't know how Amazon came to have a new copy? But they did, and it's mine now. I gave it a prominent place up on the top of my bookshelf where I can see it all of the time. So happy!
All of my family have joined the Facebook craze. Wanting to be a part of the group, and to better stay in touch with my sisters-in-law out of state, I decided to create an account too. I guess it's kind of cool. You can put all kinds of information in your profile, post messages to people, post pictures. I've done more reading on other's pages then writing on mine. I do have a blog after all. There's only so much computer play time a person can get in while at work.
I've discovered, or slowly come to admit, that I have something in common with 85 year old men. I cannot sit down in the afternoon without falling asleep. Well, more exactly, if I go into my room later in the day, it usually leads to a nap. I have for some time now taken good naps on Saturdays (when I don't have other plans) after work at the bookstore. I figure that after working six days I have a good reason to rest up a bit. I usually sleep for two hours. Well, my Saturday sleeping has started to move into other days. Yesterday, I got home from the office a little before six and went into my room to read for a while. I woke up two hours later. This is getting pathetic. I do get up a little after 6:00 am, and work long days, but still. I'm a healthy girl in her thirties. I really should be able to get through a whole day without sleeping in the middle of it. Honestly.
Is anyone else bored with the Olympics now? Well, I shouldn't say bored. I'm still watching it here and there. I had no idea that the trampoline was an Olympic event. That blew my mind. And I watched the beach volleyball girls win their gold, only because my roommate had it on, and it turned out to be more fun than I thought it would be. It's always fun to see how happy people are when they win. Still, I'm wondering when the closing ceremonies are. All good Olympiads must come to an end.
Yesterday I got my invitation to my niece Cortni's wedding. It's really nice, and still really unbelievable. The wedding is three weeks from today. My parents and brother will be here from Minnesota, which is always fun. It'll be a really good time. I'm preparing myself, though, to not be too emotional. It just seems that once the oldest moves on to the next stage, it isn't long before they're all following closely behind, and I can't believe that any of these kids are already so grown up. Still, she's very happy. It is good to see her so happy.
Let's end with some pictures. The other day one of the men I work with had me come into his office to see the shadows on the temple. We're along the west side of the COB, so our windows have a great view. This week, as the sun's come up in the morning, it's hit the Angel Moroni just right to cast a shadow onto the spires behind it. It's really very pretty. He said that it happens during the summer solstice (I'll pretend to know what that is), and happens only a few days out of the year. This morning I took some pictures. I had to do it through the window, so they're a little spotty, but you can still see the view.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
We took about 10,000 pictures each of the Eiffel Tower. My first glimpse of it is still clear in my mind. We had been to Notre Dame, and were wandering the streets making our way to the Louvre. We crossed a bridge over the river, and from it I took a picture of the Concierge, one of their landmark buildings. I took the picture, turned around, and there it was. Just the top piece, but it still took my breathe away. I think I actually shrieked. So exciting. Here's the picture.
We walked all of that day, went to the Louvre, through the Tuileries Gardens, and then down the Champs Elysee, and every time we saw the tower we took another picture. I've got pictures of just pieces of it, and of all of it. The Tower through trees, by the river, between buildings, from a distance and close up.
This one was taken from a bridge on the river.
We walked all day, and by the time we got to the park where the Tower is, it was getting dark. We wander through a residential street trying to find our way to into the park. That's where I took this.
There are white lights sparkling all over it. They do this every night at 10:00, and it really is pretty. The lights flash for about 15 minutes. I don't know if you can see them very well in the picture. See the white lights across the middle? That's it.
Our second day we spent some time at Versailles (gorgeous! I'll have to post those pictures another day). We got back to the city about mid afternoon and went right back to the Tower. We needed some day time pictures.
Yesterday I made enlargements of these three to put up on my bedroom wall - a little collage. They're framed and look really nice, if I do say so myself. It's really fun to have them right where I can see them. It was a wonderful trip.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
After giving well-earned praise, I started the lesson. It was on Samuel the Lamanite. The second I mentioned his name, someone shouted that they'd already had that lesson. I team teach with another lady, and so am in class every-other week. It's very possible that we got mixed up, and that my lesson was a repeat. I was feeling a little tired yesterday, and would have been OK with going for a walk outside or allowing 30 minutes of hangman. So I asked them to each tell me one thing that they remembered from the lesson on Samuel, not telling them that if they passed then we'd skip the lesson all together.
I got nothing.
Oh they talked, but not about anything that had anything to do with Samuel. I decided to go ahead with the lesson.
"No! We've already had this one!"
Me, "OK. I need to know that you learned something, so tell me what you know about Samuel the Lamanite."
One little girl, "Well, I don't know if I was here last week."
One little boy who was looking at the pictures in his Book of Mormon, "Who is this in this picture?"
Another child, "We had a video about Nephi."
Me, "That's the lesson that I taught two weeks ago."
Little girl, "I don't think I was here."
Another boy tried to list off who was and who was not in class the previous week, and then tried to remember who their teacher was.
All of this helpful information was mixed in with a bunch of chattering to each other about who knows what.
Finally me, "FOR CRYING OUT LOUD PEOPLE, GET IT TOGETHER! DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT HAVE THIS LESSON LAST WEEK?"
I didn't really yell at them, but I was tempted to take back all of the nice things I'd said about what a good class they are. Geesh. But instead, I simply gave the lesson. I don't know what they learned the week before (I'm afraid nothing), but clearly it wasn't about Samuel.
Once we got started they settled down, listened and participated just like good Primary children should. We finished up with about five minutes left for hangman. Why is that game so popular with the Primary kids? I don't know, but they sure do love it.
Friday, August 15, 2008
The Olympics are exciting, aren't they? I'm not one to watch sports on TV, but when the Olympics are on, every free minute is spent glued to it. I'm very into the swimming this year. And, like so many, have developed a bit of a crush on Michael Phelps. He's just incredible. Although, I have to say that as much as I'm rooting for Micheal to make his goal of a gold medal sweep, the most exciting race so far was the men's 4x100 relay. If you missed it, go to this link and watch the video titled "US Men win the 4x100m free relay". You won't believe it.
One of the commentators for the swimming is a kick in the pants. He can not control his excitement. By the time the swimmers make their final turn and are coming in for the win, he is yelling - really yelling. He yells through every race. I know it's intense, but dude, bring it down a notch.
I have to wonder what it is about the Olympics that is such a thrill, and I think it's in the inspiration that comes from watching the athletes accomplish impossible things. Every time I watch gymnastics, especially the floor and beam routines, and they jump and twist and flip so many times before they land I think, "It's not physically possible! A person should not be able to do that." But they do, and it's mind blowing. And it's so easy to get caught up in the emotions, to feel so happy for them when they win. To know that an entire life's work has built up to this one moment, and then they pulled it off. No wonder we tear up just watching them.
Yes, I'm reading it. It's the one thing I have in common with the "tweens". The first three were entertaining. I didn't eagerly await the fourth book. Actually, by the time it was released, the glow of the first three had worn off, and I didn't know if I cared anymore. But there's a feeling of obligation to finish a series once started, so I bought it, finished the book I was reading, and then got started. It's ok. I'm not in love. There have been several sections that I just skimmed through. The quality of the writing is average at best, but still I find myself caring just enough about the vampires and their girl to read to the end.
I've thought about why the Twilight series is so popular. It's certainly not great writing. Some have referred to it as the next Harry Potter, but it's not near the same all-around quality as Harry. Still, millions love it, and I think I've narrowed down a reason. It's a love story. More specifically, it's a story about an ordinary girl being absolutely adored, loved to the point of obsession, by a more than ordinary guy. Girls want that. They want it for themselves. They want to believe it's real. It's all of the same reasons why fairy tales where written hundreds of years ago, and why little girls are still watching them in Disney version today. Is that healthy? Maybe not, but then again it's not going to do any great harm. If there's one thing that Stephanie Meyer has done right with her series, it is that she created a love that girls long for. They might not ever get it, but at least they can read about it.
I'm taking Jonah to "Star Wars the Clone Wars" after work today. He's so cute. He's been wanting to see it since seeing the first commercial for it. He even memorized the opening date. I told him some time ago that we'd go. Last Saturday when I was babysitting, he asked me very seriously, "Angie, what time will you be here on August 15?" He wanted the movie plans to be set well in advance. So I will be there at 5:00 and we'll go. It's fun to know that he's excited about it.
People think I'm pretty great for doing these things with the kids, but I'm not. Really. I'm not. It's 100% selfishness, and is all about one simple point - vanity. I want very much to be adored. That, and I honestly have fun with them. Lots of fun. So, it's all about me. Shouldn't everything be all about me?
I've thrown off the blues I was feeling last week, and am back to myself again. Well, except for the sleep deprivation that comes from the Olympics showing until 12:30 every night. I have, though, taken seriously my goal to get into shape, and am happy to report that I've lost 4 pounds! Ta Da! I've lost 12 all together over the last several months. Still such a long way to go, but some progress feels good.
My good friend Tiffany and her family left on Thursday for the big move to Delaware/Pennsylvania. Why two states? Her husband will be teaching at the University of Delaware, but they're actually living in Pennsylvania. She made me promise to visit, and I hope she meant it because I do. I definitely want to go. Tiff - good luck. It's going to be great. You're one of the coolest people alive.
Viva la Vida
I found the Coldplay "Viva la Vida" video online this week. It's cool. I realize that this is my third mention of the band in a review, and if your thinking "enough already!" you're probably right. I'm seeking professional help. They've diagnosed an obsessive compulsive disorder. Treatment is pending. In the mean time, here's the video link.
That's it for this week's edition. Thanks, as always, for your awesomeness.
You are loved.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
And finally, Courtney and Andrea. Court is my youngest brother, and he and Andrea live in Rochester, Minnesota. They have two little boys, and are due to have another baby in March.
Spencer is 3. He'll be 4 on August 27.
There they are, all of my nieces and nephews. It's quite a group! They're so much fun. I've just loved all of my time with them.
Hope you enjoyed.
She and Mike have four boys. Joshua (on the left) is 11, Zachary 13 and Jonah 6. This picture was taken a couple of years ago, so they look older now, but I'm using it because I just love it.
And here's cute William, 5 months. He really is sweet.
This is Jonah going into his killer cannonball, and the often mentioned pool. Nice, huh?
I will interject here that I am the next in line of my brothers and sisters, number four of the six.
In the next installment, the kids who live out of state.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Let's start with Aaron's family. Aaron is my oldest brother, and he and Kristi live in Herriman with their two children:
Cortni is 20 years old. She's engaged to be married to a very nice boy named Brad on September 12. She'll be 21 on September 16.
Noah - He's 5 and just started Kindergarten.
Barry comes next in my line of siblings. He and Melody live in South Jordan with Sierra, Mariah and Savannah, also known as "The Girls".
Sierra. Here she is in her prom dress. She's 17, and will soon start her Senior year at Bingham High School.
Mariah comes next. She's 15. She'll be 16 on September 23, and recently finished driver's ed, and passed her written test! Very exciting.
And then there's Savannah. It's hard to get a picture of her alone, because she really doesn't like to have her picture taken. She's in the Dr. Pepper shirt on the left. She's 14 and ready for 9th grade. It's her last year as a middle school student. PS - This was taken at Sierra's last dance recital. That's why the leotard and flowers.
To be continued....
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Turns out, having a baby is a snap. I don't know what all you women are complaining about. Of course I'm kidding. It's a little trickier than it looks. He was a very good boy, not fussy, pretty easy-going, cute as can be, and lots of fun to play with. But when it came time for bed, things got a little bit difficult. Marla showed me the entire procedure to exactness before she left, but when I tried to put it into play myself, William didn't respond the way I'd expected. Apparently he hadn't read the script. He cried his little heart out. And then he screamed. So, I picked him up, wiped tears, gave kisses, whispered "shhhh" while rocking back and forth, and then tried it again. More screaming. I remembered all I had heard about letting a baby cry it out and go to sleep, so I tried to wait before picking him up again, but he was making it pretty clear that he wasn't going to go to sleep. So, we went back to the living room, where I held him and tried to comfort him to the best of my never-practiced abilities. At this point, I was mentally preparing myself for a full night of walking the floor with him. After a while, I decided to try the swing. He went right to sleep. "Huh" I thought, "So that's what he wanted." After letting him sleep for maybe ten minutes, I thought I might try to gently carry him to his room and lay him in his bed, where he would sleep peacefully for the night. I immediately regretted that decision. We didn't make it down the hallway before he was crying.
In the mean time, a local event of some sort was shooting off fireworks. So Zac, Jonah and I, with William, went out into the street to watch. The poor baby was so tired he could hardly keep his eyes open. He looked drugged (I promise you I did not drug the baby). After going inside, I decided to try the bed again. This time he went right down. He wiggled and sighed and jabbered a bit, but no crying, and soon fell asleep. Fantastic! I guess he just needed to be ready on his own terms. Who knew a baby had terms? He was suppose to go down at 9:00. He went down at 10:30. An hour and half late isn't so bad, is it?
He woke up and asked for a little attention at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:00 am. I slept in the same room so that I could be right there when he squirmed. He had a little bit of a bottle, and then went back to sleep. Each time he woke up, it was about fifteen minutes worth of care before he was asleep again. Not bad. It took me longer, though, to go to sleep again, which meant that by the time I was finally dreaming, he was awake. Oh well. One sleepless night won't kill me.
The next morning, after some cuddles, a clean diaper, breakfast and a little bit of play time, he took a two hour nap in his swing, which I'm told is something he never does. I guess dealing with the new girl's incompetence was exhausting for him.
That afternoon I drove all four boys up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Brighton, and we spent some time at Silver Lake (side note - I've noticed that there are maybe 1500 Silver Lakes in the area...?). It's beautiful up there, and relaxing. Jonah had bread to feed the ducks. Zac and Josh just walked with us, and did a good job of helping me take care of the little ones. Those two really are good with their younger brothers. Surprisingly good. In fact, Josh, who's only 11, gave a lot of attention to William during our walk. Every time he made a noise from inside the cocoon that is the covering over his stroller, Josh was right there to see what was wrong. Very sweet.
In spite of my long night, I really loved spending the time with them. They're great kids. It's always hard to come home after a weekend with the boys. Although, I have to admit that I am looking forward to going to bed early tonight. I'm sure William is too, now that he has his mom back again.
Kudos to all of you who do this every day. You have my compliments and deepest respect!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
There is one little boy in my class named Joe who really is cute - he's got bright red hair. My first week teaching, he gave the talk in opening exercises. He stood up at the microphone, and was silent for at least a full minute. His mother went up to help him, and with a little prodding he got through it, and did a good job. When he sat down in his chair next to me with the class, I could see that he was shaking. The poor kid was terrified. After a few minutes, he leaned over to me and said, "Will you please tell them that I'm never giving the talk again?"
If only it were that easy.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I finally saw it, and at the risk of being shot dead in the street, I'm going to say that I didn't love it. I liked it fine, but love? No. My first issue - what happened to the theme song? You know, "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!" That was a great song. Why change it? And I didn't see one exploding bubble with the word "POW!" when Batman hit someone in the face. They messed with a classic.
(I certainly hope that I'm not the only person here who's old enough to remember the tv series and to get this little joke.)
I had been told by so many people that this movie is the greatest ever that I expected to be really entertained, and I just wasn't. It's long; the plot goes in all kinds of different directions; it feels heavy, and by the time it was over I just felt sad for every character onscreen. The Joker is right - why so serious? This is, after all, a comic book superhero movie. Shouldn't it be more fun? I do agree with the praise that's been given to Heath Ledger. He was brilliant, and his scenes are the best in the show. Of course, I wouldn't discourage anyone from going. It's worth seeing, and should be seen on the big screen. Maybe I've just lowered your expectations enough that you'll enjoy it more than I did? I hope so.
Would you like a story about my teeth? I thought you might. My dental history is stellar. I had two cavities when I was eight, and two more about six years ago. That's it. Can't get much closer to perfect teeth. I've never had Novocain or a drill or any of it. But, I have one tooth that's been bothering me for a few years. It hurt to bite down on something hard or chewy - kind of felt like hitting my funny bone. I told my regular dentist about it several times. He looked at it, said it looked fine, and sent me on my way. The last time I went, I must have been more convincing, because he finally believed that there might be a problem and sent me to an endodontist. The endodontist said that I had some cracks in my teeth, and wanted to do a root canal on the problem tooth and the one behind it. Why the other one? I still don't know. But, having had so little experience I didn't know better, so I went along with his recommendation and scheduled the appointment.
Luckily for me, my sister-in-law has terrible teeth, and knows just what to expect from dentists. I told her about the root canals. She thought it sounded a little strange, and suggested that I go to her dentist for a second opinion. I did, and his opinion was that I did indeed have a crack, but only needed a crown on the one tooth that hurt. Hooray! I'll go with that. So, Wednesday I went in for the prep work. It was pretty much awful. Well, compared to root canals, it probably wasn't bad at all. But being new to the drill, I was a little shaken. He ground my tooth down on all sides so that a cap will fit over it, took a mold of what was left of my tooth, and then put a temporary cap on it. I go back in a few weeks for the permanent crown. It still hurts. He said it would hurt for a while, and he was right.
On the bright side - I saved $650 by going with a crown instead of two root canals. This dentist is really nice and explained all that was happening very well. I'll stick with him from now on. And, they had this cool visor thingy that held a small movie screen about three inches in front of my eyes, and I watched "Pirates". It was a great distraction. Honestly, looking at Orlando Bloom makes everything better. What an advancement in dentistry.
A Private Pool
Marla has a swimming pool in her back yard, and it's the best thing that ever happened to me. A swimming pool is one of life's greatest luxuries. Swimming with her boys, though, means keeping your eyes open for potential dangers. Jonah thinks it's a lot of fun to do cannon balls off of the diving board straight at me. He likes that I get a good splash. I was relaxing in the water, talking to Marla, when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Jonah in perfect cannon ball form, in the air, grinning like the devil, and about to land six inches away from me. It is kind of funny, now that I think about it.
I love the British comedies! In fact, there's a series called "As Time Goes By" starring Judy Dench that is one of my all-time favorite shows. It used to be on PBS every night at 10pm. Now they're showing "Keeping Up Appearances", which is pretty good too. Anyway, I'd heard about Ricky Gervais Brit com "Extras" and decided to try it. I rented the first season on DVD, and laughed from beginning to end. I bought the complete series from Amazon this week. The comedy is smart and subtle and so good. He has a different celebrity guest star in each episode, and it's fun to see them acting it up, often in self-mockery. Kate Winslet, Orlando Bloom, Daniel Radcliff, and Chris Martin from Coldplay are some of those who've been on. It's great. A word of caution - the dialogue sometimes gets a bit crude, and there is some language. Just keep that in mind if you decide to check it out.
I've mentioned him twice now, and that might make you think I love him. You're right. I do. I have ever since "The Lord of the Rings". He's the most gorgeous man alive. My sister-in-law thinks he's too girly, but she's dead wrong. He's perfect. Absolutely perfect.
"Viva la Vida" is still in my CD player and I still love it! Best CD I've ever owned.
I'll wrap this up with another story about Tim. He was at my desk yesterday with a printed copy of an email in his hand. He asked me how to find the email address of another recipient so that he could write him a message. On the paper was “mailto micheal.somthingorother@". I told him that that was it, and he said, “So I don’t need this ‘malito’”, pronouncing it like it’s Spanish. I told him that it was "mail to". He said, “Well why the hell don’t they put a space in there then? I’m not dumb, I’m just stupid.” I love that he cusses right here on the floor of the Church Office Building. It’s my favorite thing.
Thanks again for your continued support.
You are loved.