Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Daily Affirmations

I used to say that my life's goal is to live so that when my biography is printed, Deseret Book won't carry it because of inappropriate material. This tourist attraction idea might actually be better...?

Monday, November 24, 2008


I think I've mentioned before that the average age of my coworkers here at the COB is 68 years old. All of them are hard of hearing, which means that all of them have the volume on their computers turned up to its maximum level. Every now and then, someone will get an email with a video or song or some other loud thing attached, and it comes blasting out of their offices for the entire floor to hear. Sounds like a dance party is going on. Sometimes the same email will get passed around to all of us, and so I hear it about 15 times in one day. Right now I'm listening to the noise from two different computers. I'm not kidding. Two different email attachments are coming at me in stereo.

Aren't there noise ordinances or laws? I'm sure they must apply here. I'm going to turn these people in as public nuisances.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Week in Review

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to another edition of a Week in Review. I'm all out of witty opening lines, so let's just jump right in.

An unnatural disaster
A pipe broke above the ceiling of our apartment on Wednesday and leaked buckets of water. I got home a little after 8:00 that evening, and when I came through the door could hear something that sounded like rain. Melissa wasn’t home. I was wondering if she left a faucet on, and went down the hall to check the bathroom. That’s where I found the problem. Water was literally running out of the two light fixtures and the fire alarm in the ceiling. The carpet was soaked, and the paint on the ceiling and walls was bubbling. I could see where the water was running behind the paint down the wall. All of the water had shorted out the fire alarm so that it kept beeping. It was a shock, walking in on all of that. I honestly stood there dumbfounded, wondering what to do. Luckily a maintenance man showed up within minutes. He’d gotten a call about a leak in the apartment below us, and came to see if it was coming from our place. Yes, yes it was.

I managed to think well enough to get some buckets and bowls under the leaks while maintenance searched for the problem. They finally found a broken pipe between our ceiling and the floor above us. They cut a big hole in our ceiling to replace the pipe, and then a man with a wet vac came to suck the water out of the carpet. I don’t know how long the water had been running before I got home, but it was enough to saturate that carpet. The wet vac man set up a fan that has something like a tube on it, pulled up the carpet, put the fan so that the tube blew underneath, and it’s been there drying the floor ever since. He said that it might take 48 hours, so I’m hoping that the fan will go today. Then I’ll vacuum over and over until it softens up a bit. Right now the carpet is kind of crunchy. I don’t know how long the hole will be in the ceiling. The maintenance staff really is good, so I bet they’ll have it fixed up soon enough. It’s times like this when I’m very grateful for a maintenance staff. I don’t know what we would have done if we’d left on our own to deal with that mess. I’d probably still be standing there staring at the water coming through the ceiling.

Extreme irritation
I took my car in for its annual inspection yesterday, and the jokers there failed it on the safety test because of a burned out tail light. Honestly! How annoying. Replacing the light won’t be any trouble, but then I have to find another evening after work to go back to the inspection place and have it rechecked and get the renewal. Stupid inspection people. Just give me my sticker already.

Madagascar and 30Rock
Cute Jonah and I went to see Madagascar last Saturday. He has become one of my best movie pals. Whenever there’s a kid’s flick out that I want to see, I tell myself that it would be nice to take Jonah, and his brothers if they want to go. That way it looks like I’m being so nice to the nephews, when really it’s all about me. Anyway, Madagascar was good – very funny. I love those crazy penguins.

I’ve also become a big fan of 30 Rock. I know, it’s been on TV for some time now, but I just recently started paying attention. I watched it last night and laughed out loud for the full 30 minutes. The show’s viewer ratings aren’t very good, so it’ll probably be cancelled now that I’ve fallen in love, just like Arrested Development was (which by the way I’m determined to buy on DVD), but until then you know where I’ll be on Thursday night.

I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday. I think it has all of the same good things that Christmas has – family, food, the spirit of gratitude, food, some time away from work, food – but is so much more relaxed. There’s no pressure to make Thanksgiving magical. It can just be itself, and that’s enough. I really love it. This year I will be with Barry and Melody and the girls, and will eat all of the potatoes and stuffing my tummy can hold. Mmmmm, I love that stuffing!

I think that’s it for now. I’d like, in closing, to share with you my favorite quote of all time. It’s from Ralph Waldo Emmerson, and goes something like this:

To laugh often and much,
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends,
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition,
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
This is to have succeeded.

Each one of you have at different times in my life been there to help me breathe easier, some of you at times when I was finding it hard to breathe at all. You should know that I am grateful, and that it’s meant more to me than I can say. Thanks, as always, for everything.

Happy Thanksgiving!
You are loved.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Evening at Deseret Book

I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to pull this off. I have a story to tell from the bookstore, but I don’t know that telling it here is going to be as funny as it was at the store last night. It might not be funny here at all, but at the risk of great failure, I'm going to give it a try.

Last night Melanie, Elise, Tom and I were working on a little project. For those of you who remember Terry O'Brien, Tom is her husband. He's Scottish, speaks with a great accent, and is a bit of a character. We were trying to hang a poster from the ceiling to advertise a movie that will soon be released on DVD. The poster has plastic sticks that run along the top and bottom so that it will hang straight. I had one of those sticks and wasn't being very careful with it and almost hit Tom in the eye. Melanie, who was up on a ladder, hollered about me almost taking Tom's eye out, and then she said, "Tom, it's too bad you didn't loose your eye because then you could wear an eye patch!" Too bad indeed. Tom didn't think he could pull off an eye patch, but the rest of us assured him that he could. I said that it would make him look mysterious and adventurous.

Then Tom said very seriously, "I've always thought that if I needed a glass eye, I would just go with an eye patch."

Elise, "Hey, my grandpa has a glass eye!"

Melanie, "So does mine!"

Then there was lots of that giggling that girls do, and Elise said, "It's just funny because Melanie and I are constantly finding all of these things that we have in common, and this is another one.”

I'm thinking to myself, "We're actually having a conversation about glass eyes." Of course I was laughing through all of it, and then said, "The best part is that Tom said he'd go with an eye patch as if he'd honestly given serious thought to the patch vs. glass eye issue." He told us again that he'd rather have a patch, and I agreed that glass eyes are creepy, which made Melanie and Elise come to the defense of their glass eye wearing grandfathers.

We've had lots of random and weird conversations at that store, and this is definitely one of the best.

Later we were putting away games on the games shelf, and had boxes of cards that go along with a game called, "Hold to the Rod". Melanie and I were handing the boxes to Elise, who stacked them on the shelf. She said with great feeling, "Together we're building a wall of Hold to the Rod." I'd never felt so good about myself.

This reminds me of another night when we were putting away games, and I was complaining loudly about the fact that we had way too many and no room for them. Elise got after me. "Angie, you should just be grateful that we get the opportunity to spread the gospel through games." I faked repentance. She was being sarcastic, of course. That girl really is funny.

This is why I still work at Deseret Book. Well, this and the money. You can't find such quality entertainment anywhere else.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Week in Review

Hello All! It’s time once again for the ever popular Week in Review. By ever popular, I mean that the four of you who read my blog always read this specific post, and I thank you.

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I bought the complete series of “As Time Goes By” from Amazon.com. I think that I’ve also mentioned Amazon.com several times. Once more? Amazon.com. There you go. I am loving having this show on DVD. Now there is always something to watch. On those nights when I’m flipping through the channels and thinking, “For crying out loud there’s nothing, NOTHING!” I then think, “Hey! I’ll watch my DVDs!” So fun. It really is a great show, funny, charming and smart. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Melissa and I saw “The Secret Life of Bees” Monday evening. I never read the book, so went in without much of idea of the plot. It’s a good movie. Not fantastic, but good. Most of the cast is African American, and one of the minor plot lines dealt with Jennifer Hudson’s character going into town to register to vote, and then she was beaten by some white men for trying it. It seemed a significant reminder of how far our society has come in the last 45 years, especially considering the recent election, and I’m grateful for that. Certainly not as grateful as those who lived through the 60s, but still glad that we’ve made some progress.

Isn’t it time to let go?
Speaking of voting, everyone knows how into this last election I was. The whole thing was very exciting. But, now that it’s over, I’m feeling the need to let it go. I’m a little burned out and ready to just step back and wait to see what happens. We’ve got a new president and other new officials who need some time to settle in and get to work before there will be any real results – lots of time. Nothing to report yet, right? Wrong, so wrong. Politics is still all over the place. Apparently I’m the only one who is bored by it. “Who’s going to be in Obama’s new cabinet? Where will his girls go to school? What did Michelle and Laura talk about during their visit? What kind of puppy will the Obamas buy? What color curtains? Is the beeping sound of the White House bedroom alarm clocks to their liking?” HONESTLY! Let’s bring this obsession down a notch. I’m sorry; I just don’t have the energy to be that wrapped up in it anymore. I’ll check back for the inauguration on January 20th. That’ll be something to talk about.

So odd
I’ve observed a strange phenomena. I come in to work between 7:30 and 7:45 every day, and on my way to the office usually drive up West Temple past the Family History Library. There I see a line of people waiting to get in. At 7:30 am. At the Family History Library. The building opens at 8:00, and they start lining up at 7:30. I can’t come up with one good reason for this….yeah, I’m stumped. Maybe on Monday I’ll stop and hand out a questionnaire, and the first question will be something like, “What’s wrong with you?”

I’ve been to the library to do family history, and think that I arrived there sometime between 10 and 11. There was no trouble getting in, or finding a seat, or doing what I wanted to get done…? Those people were lined up at 7:30! Kind of disturbing.

I think that’s it for now. I learned this morning that it’s the birthday of Impressionist painter Claude Monet. He was born in Paris in 1840. Here’s a quote, “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”
Thanks, as always, for your constant awesomeness.
You are loved.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why do I do this to myself?

I lost a bunch of weight before going to Minnesota in September (well, by a bunch I mean 12-15 pounds). Nothing like going to see family to give a person some motivation. Since then, I haven't worked on it so much. In fact, I kind of forgot the whole thing. I don't have a scale at home. Not having one keeps me from becoming so obsessive compulsive that I weigh myself every half hour. There's a health unit here at the COB where a couple of nurses are usually on duty to look at your sore throat and listen to you complain and give out ibuprofen and decongestants. It's very nice. There's also a big doctor's office type scale. This morning I decided to get on the scale for the first time in a long time to see where I was at. I've gained back almost all of my 15 pounds. AAAAAAAG! The screaming is still echoing off of the walls.

I went from there to the cafeteria for breakfast, and got low-fat cottage cheese and a banana instead of the usual chocolate muffin and a banana. I also drank a very tasty new juice called Fuze Empower with Pomegranate and Acai Berry (Oprah's new "super food"). Antioxidants, low calorie, low sugar - sounds like it'll change my life. Or at least get my diet back on track. There's always hope.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Daily Affirmations - for the Christmas Season

Things are getting busier at the bookstore, and it'll get worse before it gets better. Tis the season. All of you who have worked retail through the holidays know just how taxing it can be. I try so hard to keep even the smallest hint of the Christmas spirit during December, and all of that effort is just exhausting. This year, I've lowered the bar. I'm taking my goal from a greeting card that Sierra found, took a picture of with her phone, and posted on Facebook. I copied it from there - hence the bad picture quality. But the words ring true:

It says "You know it was a good day if you didn't hit or bite anyone." Nathanial, age 4.

Good advice. That's how I'm getting through the holidays this year.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Her Royal Highness

I stole this picture from Sierra's facebook page, and I hope she doesn't mind me posting it here. It's not like I'm going to ask for permission or anything. Here are Melody, Sierra, Mariah, and Savannah in the teacups at Disneyland. It's a good picture of all of them (such pretty girls), but I'm posting it especially for Sierra. What she's wearing here sums her up better than anything I've ever seen. A picture says a thousand words.

Yes she is wearing a sash, and it says "Princess" across the front. Princess indeed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Week in Review

It's Friday. That day of the week when I flatter myself by thinking that you are dying to know what's going on with me. Here it is - A Week in Review.

There was an election this week. I went to Barry and Melody's to watch the returns with them and Sierra, who turned 18 in October and voted for the first time. She was so excited. We had snacks enough for an army, and watched CNN. What a great news channel. The special effects are outstanding. They had holograms people, holograms! I don't know how to spell that word, and hope that a misspelling doesn't detract from the mind-blowing intensity of it all. They actually beamed a person into the studio from Grant's Park in Chicago to be interviewed by Anderson Cooper. We can't let this kind of technology fall into the wrong hands. Only CNN should be trusted with it. Those jokers at MSNBC would screw up the whole world.

One reporter was in charge of demographics. He had a giant board with a list of options including gender, age, race, income, education, etc., and then he'd hit a line and a pie chart popped up with the percentages of how those people voted. The category options were endless. He must have had have had more than 100 choices. Those who wear flannel, those who prefer Velcro straps to shoe laces. "Let's take a look at those who answer yes to the question, 'Would you like any sauces with that' at the Arby's drive thru." or “Do you dream of Anderson Cooper's icy blue eyes at night?" And of course, the ever present qualifier - do you prefer Coke over Pepsi? There was a line on that board for everyone, and that man sure had fun playing with it.

I had fun hanging out with the family, but at about 9:00 was getting sleepy. By that time the results were clear, and not wanting to drive too tired, I decided to go home. I heard the official announcement that Barack Obama won on NPR, and then was home in time to see the speeches. John McCain was gracious and classy. Obama was, well, Obama. Can you imagine being a part of that crowd in Chicago? Seeing them cry made me cry. What a remarkable night. I was kind of glad to be home alone then, and to just experience it without any distractions. I got out my journal and wrote down a few thoughts. After the speeches, it was time to turn off the TV. I didn’t want any more commentators or pundits, just to absorb what had happened all on my own.

A day off
I think I’ve mentioned before that the political atmosphere here in my corner of the COB gets pretty heated. These guys have strong opinions that they like to share very loudly, so I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to be and work and around all of that the day after the election – regardless of who won. So I scheduled a day off, and it was wonderful! I needed a new windshield in my car – it had a crack – so I got my chore done first. How nice to have brand new glass! Free of nicks and rock chips that cause the sunlight to break into prisms of color and blind me. I can see the road so well now.

I met Marla about noon, and we went to Pei Wei for lunch. Their chicken lettuce wraps and ginger broccoli are to die for. And then we did a little shopping. I was home in time for some laying on my bed and reading, and a nap, which always happens when I lay on my bed and read, and then I still had an evening to kill. So, so nice! Working like I do I hardly ever have even a Saturday free, so it was nice to take a full day like that. I’ll have to do it more often.

Working at the COB, I see my fair share of protestors marching around our building. It used to infuriate me, but over the years I’ve tried to develop a mentally healthier attitude. Me going home with knots in my stomach certainly wasn’t going to do any good. Today is one of those days. The protestors are gathering to share their feelings about the passage of Proposition 8 in California. I imagine the crowds will be large by the time I leave here this afternoon.

I don’t hold any bad feelings toward anyone. If anything, these protestors have more ground to stand on than those who stand out there and yell at people on their way to General Conference. At least there’s a reason for the anger this time. My own thoughts on the issue at hand – it’s always best to stick with the Prophet. If there’s anything I’ve learned from reading the Book of Mormon this year, it is that the prophets have always been right. So even though I can’t always reason out the gay marriage issue in my mind (that issue and others), I know that there is safety in listening to the prophet.

I guess that it’s for now. I read a good quote on the Writer’s Almanac today: "I only know that I will maintain what I believe to be true in my own universe, and as an individual I will give in to nothing." Albert Camus

Thanks, as always, for being an important part of my life, and for letting me carry on about me.

You are loved.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Copying Ricky Gervais

I was reading Gervais' blog today, and found this link. Because I'm not a good enough blogger to put the video right here into the blog, you'll have to click the link. Believe me, it's worth the extra work.

By the way, if anyone wants to come over here and show me how to put a video into a post, I'd love it.

And, Ricky Gervais has a movie out called "Ghost Town". If you haven't seen it, you should. Very funny.


I celebrated Halloween with Marla, Jonah and William this year. Zac and Josh were off somewhere with their friends (they're at that age now), so it was just the four of us. We went out for some good old-fashioned trick-or-treating and had so much fun.

Here they are before going out. Jonah is a Star Wars Clone Wars character. If you look closely, you'll see that William's cap has a pumpkin stem on it. So cute.

The whole neighborhood was out in full force, including a father dressed like a werewolf, sneaking around in the shadows, and scaring to death all of the children. Jonah can really run when being chased. Good fun.

William lost interest and decided on a nap.

Jonah lasted for about an hour and a half before he was tired enough to want to go home. It was a euphoric tired. At one point, he turned to us with his big bag of candy slung over his shoulder and yelled, "Mom, this is a dream come true!"

Those kids really are the best way to spend Halloween.