Thursday, December 28, 2006

I did it!


I actually found a *mostly* modest dress. There's a few alterations I need to make to the sleeves, but for the most part, it works! Thank the retail heavens for Macy's! My personal favorite part is that it isn't black. I get so tired of seeing everyone in black at these formal events. BORING!

The Rant Within

It is 1:32 a.m. and I am wide-freaking-awake. I've been attempting sleep for nearly 2 hours now, but have finally caved to my selfish desires and have turned on the lights and sat back up in bed. Why, you may ask, am I this awake at such a late hour? Two things. But two things that are very related to just one thing. The freaking singles conference. As I do in the nights before all major events, I become a complete insomniac and find all sorts of stupid ways of filling up my head.

1. I spent several hours tonight doing some last minute shopping for a dress to wear to the New Years Eve Eve Dance I am putting on. Do you have any idea how completely impossible it is to find a modest dress, that isn't a mother of the bride gown, for a reasonable price? After hours of searching every single store in a very well stocked mall, I finally gave up and started looking at less than modest dresses. After all, I have a sewing machine now (thank you Santa) and if needs be, I can take matters into my own hands, right? Wrong. Whatever. Hours of looking at sleeveless dresses just depressed me even more because it turns out that those stupid little bolero jacket things fit me about as well as all other regular suit jackets. Which is to say, not at all. So basically, I have a really boring dress to wear that really isn't fancy enough at all for the big event I have just spent 6 months planning. Yeah freaking me.

2. Now we've been planning this conference and dance since June. And by we, I mean me and Jeremy. No one else really got involved till August or September. And we started sending out massive email blasts in October for it. I have sent emails on a pretty regular basis to listserves far and wide. And I kept noticing that for some reason the listserve in Washington DC for a singles congregation there wasn't posting it. But I chose to just keep on sending them. Today I sent out the last and final announcement for the dance, and added a special note to the moderator of that list that this dance was taking place in Washington DC and was for people exactly the age of the people on their listserve. His response?
"Having consulted with the Bishop about the price of this activity, we have decided not to post this message. Please let me know if you haveany questions regarding this response."

Now, I won't argue with a bishop and/or his logic for long. And I know I am taking this personally because I have spent countless hours planning it. But this has got to be the stupidest thing I have seen in a very long time. Basically this means there are several hundred people in Washington DC who have no idea that there is a New Years Eve event being held in their city, specifically for them, because someone else determined it was too expensive for them to even know about. This does at least answer some of my questions about the serious lack of registrations coming from the central area.

And yes, there you have it people. I am wide awake and blogging at 1:47 am because I have nothing to wear, and I'm annoyed that someone felt it was their job to keep other people from knowing about a freaking church dance.

Now, I must go find my Tylenol PM. It's my only hope.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dating Embargo

Last year my girlfriend Boo tried something she called "Down With Men" year. And Rachel Ray is now touting something she calls the "Single Girl Challenge" where women refrain from dating or involvement with men for 90 days. And now it is my turn.
Last year my big goal for 2006 was to date more. I stopped saying no to dates with guys that just didn't spark my interest, and put myself out there just a little more. For better or worse, there was a lot more dating in 2006. And it wasn't all a good thing. In fact, I'd say the last 4 months have more or less sucked with relationship drama. Which is why I am now embarking on my own personal dating embargo for 60 days.
I applaud Boo and Rachel Ray for their long term efforts at reducing the influence of men in their lives, but, I am choosing to be realistic instead. 60 days is pretty freaking long for me.

The rules I am imposing upon myself-
no dates for 60 days
no asking Jules, Sherpa, Steph, or any other friend, for advice about men
no giving any man a second chance for 60 days
no giving any man a first chance for 60 days
I may still socialize, flirt, and enjoy the company of men. However, I may not go on something that feels or smells like a date.
no asking myself (or others) why he hasn't called/IM'ed/emailed/texted/etc for 60 days.
no daydreaming (except as required to write a book) about men
I will assume that all men who do approach me want to be my friend and nothing more.
Watch and/or read "Bridget Jones Diary" (parts 1 or 2) at least once a week to remind myself that dating is pretty much never worth it.



Monday, December 25, 2006

You knew it was coming- Happy Christmas

Anyone who has ever lived with me knew this was coming sooner or later...

Ladies and Gentlemen, it just isn't Christmas until we've had our Hippo Song!!





To be fair, I don't care for Momiji at all, and don't even know what or who it is. But it was the only You Tube version of my all-time favorite Christmas carol.

(hee hee- rhinoceruseses)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas All!

I am in Fredneck, pretending to sleep in my parents' guest room. My parents converted my old bedroom into the laundry folding room ages ago, so now I hide out here in the ginormous guest room with way too many windows. Why am I only pretending to sleep? Because in the room next door (the room formerly known as the seminary classroom), my parents have given us the big Christmas present a few days early. A 62" rear-projection hi-def TV with surround sound. What? The McBrides are watching TV on a Sunday? Ha, don't be silly. No. My dad has discovered the TV with its massive speakers can blast Christmas music throughout the house, all the way from back in its furthest point in house location. So he has the satellite on one of those bizarre all-music "radio" stations (i will never quite understand tv's with radio stations), and has the TV set to "ear-splitting" volume. Right now the MoTab is belting "WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND" at a decibel liable to make me never want to hear Christmas music again. Granted, I could get up and go somewhere else in the house, far far away from Parson Brown and his snowman, but that would require far too much effort and energy.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I have cracked the Hollywood code

I have finally figured out what it takes to get big in Hollywood.
Aaron Sorkin
You want to have continuous, steady work in Hollywood?
Get a spot on an Aaron Sorkin show.
Why? Because the man uses the same actors over and over again.
Don't get me wrong, I like the guy. I like his shows. I even like the actors and actresses making a living on his shows. And they are some pretty lucky actors. Because I'm pretty sure that all you have to do is get one small part on one of his shows, and you are pretty much guaranteed another part on another one of his shows.
Case in point- Aaron Sorkin is credited with writing (or contributed writing to) "A Few Good Men," "Malice," An American President," "Sports Night," "The West Wing," and "Studio 60."
Joshua Malina has been in 4 of the 6. But I will bet you dollars to donuts that it's only a matter of time before we see him in a guest role, or late season permenant role, on Studio 60.

And then there is Teri Polo- she's played the love interests of a major character on both "Sports Night" and "West Wing." Who thinks we're going to see her show up as Bradley Whitford's character's love interest on "Studio 60" any day now?

And oh yeah, Bradley Whitford- the star of both "Studio 60" and "West Wing."

Felicity Huffman? Not just the star of "Sports Night." Oh no! She was in an episode of the "West Wing." And she was in the first episode of "Studio 60."

Timothy Busfield, king of the smallest but most memorable parts ever, has credits on ALL Sorkin projects.

(random sidenote, Bradley Whitford, Teri Polo, Joshua Malina, Felicity Huffman, and several other castmates (except busfield somehow) have also all played guest parts on the X-Files.

You know what I'm thinking right now? I spend WAY too much time on IMDB. I'm also thinking that there's a pretty good chance that I will be seeing these people again, since they keep all popping up in my favorite shows, over and over again.

My point? Like I said, if you want steady work in Hollywood on a show worth watching, get cast on a Sorkin show. If nothing else, I'll like it.

(PS- someone really ought to cast Sabrina Lloyd in something good again- are you reading this Sorkin? You need her on Studio 60!)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Exhaustion

I am officially exhausted and it has nothing to do with the Christmas thing happening next week. Christmas is still pretty much just something people are doing on Monday, there's a tree at my parents' house, and I noticed there are a few wrapped things under it, and rumor has it we're eating good that day. But other than that, I'm pretty oblivious to the event. I'm exhausted because the biggest work event of the year is happening two weeks from Saturday. And the big, gigantic, overwhelming singles conference starts a week from tomorrow. I wasn't going to give anyone any presents this year, but on Tuesday night I caved and bought 4 of the 6 family members presents in just one store, in less than one hour. I rock. The other 2 family members got Amazon.com presents, and that took less than 5 minutes during a lunch break on Wednesday. There are no decorations in my house, I've only sung what Christmas carols were on the program on Sunday, and I've only received one card (thank you Anne!). I'm telling you, Christmas is just something some people are doing on Monday. And it is no cause of my overwhelming exhaustion.
My point? I'm tired. And if I fail to act interested in your excitement in Christmas, forgive me and excuse me.
I asked myself for a few days if I wanted to have some emotional and spiritual experience next week. And whether or not there is something wrong if you don't "experience" Christmas? Why can't it just be another day that some people care about and others don't? Would it really even be noticed that much if gift giving wasn't a major part of it? And the stores didn't go all out crazy for it?
A few years back I spent Thanksgiving-Christmas Eve in Prague. My experiences and memories there are for another day, hopefully one that will never come. But the one thing that struck me there is how the stores weren't all decked out. And the closer we got to Christmas there wasn't some crazy massive flurry of activity. But then about a week before Christmas in the middle of the town square lots of trees appeared and the fish vendors (in Prague you have a big fish, not a ham or a turkey) with their big buckets and big nasty fish were on the corners. But the stores never went wild. And trust me, I went into a lot of stores. I'm pretty sure that I went into every store in the Stare Mesto, Nove Mesto, and Mala Strana, and everything in between.
My point... yeah, I'm getting there. I'm exhausted people, it's hard to think straight. My point, I hate Prague. It's really not the town for me. But I really liked the way they did Christmas. Americans could learn a lot from that.
If I wasn't so freaking tired and overwhelmed and thinking about direct boxes and monitors for a band right now, I'd go off on the whole reason we even have Thanksgiving when we do just to boost the economy and sales and make Christmas bigger. And you know what? That makes me less thankful for Thanksgiving. But I'm too tired to really fully develop my thoughts on that, because I've moved on from direct boxes and wondering about transporting poinsettas, and more importantly, how do you spell poinsettas?
I'm stopping now. Did I mention I'm a little tired? And maybe just a little scattered?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ed and Alicia's Wedding


Today I had the absolute pleasure of attending one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen. My good friend Ed married the absolute most beautiful inside and out woman I have ever met, Alicia in the DC Temple, and then had a lovely reception in Arlington later. I met Ed a year ago when he converted to the LDS Church and started attending my ward (congregation). It wasn't long after that that we became friends and started talking about our love lives. Back in April or so he told me about Alicia, and how great she was. But then told me that he wanted to make sure he didn't move too fast, and wanted to date lots of LDS girls, just in case they were all as wonderful as Alicia. Having never met Alicia, this seemed like a decent theory at the time. So I was a supportive friend and even set him up with a few girls. But after giving it all a very good try (at figuring out if all Mormon women are created equally wonderful), he told me that no one quite measured up to Alicia. I told him I trusted his taste, but wasn't going to agree with him until I had met her. It was just a few days later that I very unexpectedly got to not just meet Alicia, but share a bed with her at Duck Beach! And from the very first moment I saw them together I knew that they were perfect for each other. Have you ever seen a couple and just known they would get married some day? That was Ed and Alicia for me. So, being friends with the guy, this meant I had to set out to become friends with Alicia as well. That took just about no effort whatsoever, and I have enjoyed getting to know her throughout their relationship. And one of the happiest moments of the reception tonight was when I realized that, for a change, this couple wouldn't be moving away or disappearing now that they are married. In fact, it will only get better since Alicia will now be in our ward!



Fun little silly facts about Ed and Alicia, and my connection to them.
Ed's last name is Walters. This is my maternal grandmother's maiden name.
Alicia is also my mother's name. So Alicia Walters is sort of my mother's name as well.
Alicia is an interior designer, just like my mom.
Ed is on my email list at work for top DoD officials to send press releases to.

Now! On with the pictures!



Alicia dancing with her nephew. How cute!!



Somewhere in the course of the evening Leah and I thought it would be funny to pose as drunk people. But we're sober.


Mucho props to the bride for wearing absolutely stunning shoes!!






Caleb (Ed's son) definitely inherited his father's dance moves!



I loved that the DJ played "She's Got Legs (she knows how to use them)" for the garter removal and toss. Cracked me up! But can you also see how beautifully decorated the wedding was?

Me and Deb. We may or may not have cried during the ring ceremony. Not that we would ever admit it if we did.

Alicia did not disappoint on decorations (you knew an interior designer wouldn't!). She brought in a huge tent that filled the entire cultural hall, hung lights, and had gorgeous flower bouquets on each table. BEAUTIFUL!!!

Lance scored extra points with the ladies tonight by twirling around with Ed's daughter Abbie. (How cute are those flower girl capes and dresses??)


Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mr. and Mrs. Edward Walters III

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Give us this day our daily blog

Just a few fun pictures from the wedding luncheon for my cousin Cassandra today. (Oops! I forgot to get a pic of the bride!)
Michelle LaRee and me. Michelle is single, 24 (I think?), and loves basketball. And caffeinated beverages, but we don't talk about that in front of the children.
Colette Elisabeth and me. Cettio would not appreciate me telling you she is 30, single, and a fabulous world traveler. Some people say we look alike. I say some people are wierd.

Katy Serena is not old enough or single enough for me to reveal her age or marital status. I feel it is my job to protect her from pedophiles who would care. She's the darling cousin that at the ripe old age of 3, once BEGGED me to take her inside the Provo Temple (while we were skipping across its lawn on one of her "Big Cousin-Little Cousin Days") so she could go inside and meet Jesus. When I explained to her that we couldn't go inside because that just wasn't how it worked, she spotted a group of missionaries exiting the building, and very dramatically and loudly announced that she would ask one of them to be my husband and take us to the Temple. This caused several poor 19 yr old boys to turn red and walk the long way around the fountain. It took me several years to get over that day. I intend to return the favor to her on her wedding day (which better not be for at least ten more years!).
Tamigene is the only cousin that I can call my older cousin. She's having a baby girl in January. She says it is due on the 20th, but I've decided she should have it on the 17th.

Mom and me. Mom doesn't like it when I take self-portraits. She says it makes her head look big. I say it is just her hair that makes it look big. So Dad took this picture instead.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Offensive Christmas Lights Alert!

I have seen the most offensive Christmas display ever! Those stupid white light reindeer things BOWING DOWN before a Christmas tree.
Someone go buy that family a Bible and explain to them that there were no reindeer present at the birth of the Baby Jesus!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

you've been properly warned

Due to some professional and personal endeavours, this blog will no longer be Google-able by the end of this week. The blog will still be here, but I need people Googling me to find other sites, and not this personal one. I'm giving a few of you time to see this entry and figure out how to bookmark me, rather than just Google it every few days. How do I know you Google it? I just know these things. Troger, Bev, and that Hater who thinks I don't know who he is, I'm talking to you.
How much longer till Googleable becomes a real word?

Sister Bonding Time


You know it was a good weekend when the best evidence you have of it is a picture of your baby sister sleeping on the couch. The wisdom I imparted on the little precious was invaluable. We discussed all of the important things in life- Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Veronica Mars, different types of cookies, knitting, and, naturally, the difference between ground ladders and extension ladders, and the importance of the bowline knot.
Good luck on your fire exams, Baby Sisty Ugler!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Retro Week Continues Here at Moments of Clarity and Chaos

I have had so much fun going through the old pictures this week. I found a few I had never seen before. These three pictures are all of the "Big 6." The six oldest granddaughters- Tamigene, Erin Ann, Karmalee, Colette Elisabeth, Natalie Ann, and Anne Marie (and yes, doublenames run in the family).
In this picture we have kindly allowed Seth to join us for a rare moment. Please note that is 6 little girls under the age of 3 (7 kids if you count Seth). We appear to be on the lawn of our grandparents' old Illinois house. See that hideous yellow car in the back? I have scarring childhood memories of my uncle putting me in the trunk!


I love that someone thought to pose us on the ugliest couch ever seen by man, and have us fold our arms, as if that made it a good picture. (Too bad they forgot to tell us to smile.) For those who think I never tan, check out the little brown legs!!! I'd love to see the six of us try and fit on the same couch together now!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Poem by the 5th Grade Me

We're cleaning out old boxes of pictures, mementoes, etc around here these days, and we've come across a folder full of essays and poems I wrote in the 5th grade. Some of these are just too funny to not share. So prepare for mockery people, cause here comes the good stuff!


Freedom (by the 5th grade me in 1984)
I am free
You are free
We're not controlled by comis

People speak their rights,
Others are banned for theirs,
That's what we are here for,
Others wish they were.

Freedom bells ring,
Some cannot hear,
Senate, Cabinet, President
Communists, and Gorbachav

We stand with civics,
Some in the cold,
We speak out,
for them it's jail,

America, England, Canada
Soviet, Germany Mongolia,
Free, Free, Free
They are comis.

Nothing for granted there.
Everything for granted here.



And Juli has weighed in with the first review of my poetry-
Jules: LMAO!! let's hear it for Soviet era poetry! You were an abnormally patriotic child.

I'm telling you people, when your very first memory is of being lifted up on top of an elephant at a John Warner for Senate rally, you just can't help it!

Another Dallin Story

Whenever you are in need of a good laugh, there's always a good Dallin story right around the corner. I've cut and pasted the latest email from Dallin's mom (my sister Natalie). Enjoy!



A few minutes before taking Tell to school, the boys began rough-housing around. Of course, it escalates to fighting. Dallin got a good kick to Tell, and Tell retaliated by charging at Dallin and shoving him into the carpeted stairs. Dallin hit his back on a step and his head snapped back. He bent over crying and so I sat on the stairs and cradled him. Then he looked up and his eyes dilated real huge and they went all loopy. His expression left his face and he went limp. He was "out", with his eyes open, for at least thirty seconds. Being frightened by this I called 911, by the time they came Dallin was all better but of course they still had to check him out. And they said that it would be best to take him into the emergency room "just in case".

So, of course I am attracting a lot of attention as families are on their way to school at that time. Within a few minutes the Bishop shows up and the primary president/friend/neighbor is outside. They take Tell to school and Porter goes to a neighbors house.

Now remember, Dallin loves medical attention. He is puddy in the paramedics' hands. He is as meek as a little lamb. He is loving every poke, prod, and sympathetic pat they give him. Remember the scene in the movie "The Sandlot" When the boy with the glasses gets mouth to mouth resistation from the pretty lifeguard and he gives that ridiculous smile? Picture that on Dallin's face as they strap him to a board and put a tight head/neck restraint on him...

Oh, good grief! They took him in the ambulance and I came later in the car. I knew he would be having a good time, so I quickly took a shower and got somewhat cleaned up. Why do these things have to happen when people are still in their pajamas? Stupid looking pajamas?

So, when I got to the hospital two of the firemen where still with him and Dallin was bouncing around on his bed saying "This is fun!" Oh, good grief! So, needless to say he is fine but my nerves are shot. We stayed there for about an hour and a half for observation. The doctor thinks that maybe it wasn't a concussion but more that he fainted from the pain. (He is a chip off the old block!)

I just wanted you to have the ridiculous image of your grandson/nephew with a huge smile on his face while being strapped to a board with a neck brace on. Only Dallin.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I hereby declare the big bad 80s hair blog war


I hereby declare the great 80s hair blog war. I tag Tara, Hardy, Jules, and Steph. I have a hunch they will have some great material! (And don't even think this is my only entry. Bring it on people! I want to see your 80's hair!)

Blogworthy

I'm not in the Christmas Spirit, nor do I expect that I will get into it anytime soon. However, Juli's blog today on her Christmas Spirit coming from Imogene Herdman from the "Best Christmas Pageant Ever" childhood book, just about has me thinking about Christmas positively. Check her out, it's good.

Also, there's a great debate over on Sherpa's blog about the overuse of LOL. Sherpa and I agree on many things, and one of those things is our ability to completely disagree. But this time, we are in total agreement. Down with the LOL!

Also, if you aren't already a reader of the Caring Bridge sites, please check out the story of little Gage, already a one time cancer survivor, and is now fighting AML. He's just started his new course of chemo, and awaiting his bone marrow transplant.

And feel free to check out my Romney for President blog. Some major moves have been made in the past few days as several potential candidates begin gearing up for the campaign season.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Weekend Wrap Up

I officially declare the weekend... interesting?
On Friday night I had a little family bonding time and joined my parents to see "Deja Vu" with Denzel Washington. Normally this sort of movie wouldn't tempt me, but it was all Dad was willing to see. Wow! I liked it! I really really liked it! It's different and unique, and for once I didn't see the end coming by mid-movie. In fact, I had a guess as to how it would end, and I loved it when I was wrong. I highly recommend it!
After that the cinematic joys were not quite over, as I introduced my baby sister to Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Sometime after midnight she and I tucked in the water bed to watch "Pillow Talk" together. Unfortunately I was asleep before Doris Day finished her opening solo. But Steph informs me that she loved it ("I didn't know people could talk like that back then!"), and we are looking forward to watching, "Lover Come Back" together soon.
On Saturday I convinced my parents to go look at a log cabin with me. I really have my heart set on buying and building one sometime in the future. But to be honest, I know very little on the subject. However, my parents did manage to buy and sell (and even build a few) over 5 houses (all in Northern Virginia) in my lifetime, so I wanted their opinions and advice. Dad's advice- don't waste money on a cabin. Mom's advice- buy something cheap. My decision- I really love log cabins. We'll see what will happen. There's plenty of time before this all comes together, but I want to start getting my ducks in a row now.
The highlight of my weekend however was taking more Vicodin and settling down with 3 more Netflix copies of "Veronica Mars." If you haven't caught this show yet, I highly recommend it. However, it won't be for everyone. If you can't appreciate "Gilmore Girls," or any other fast paced, quick wit humor show, you won't appreciate this one. It's sort of Nancy Drew meets Scooby Doo meets the O.C. Whatever it is, I'm hooked. I'm halfway through Season 2 on DVD, and trying to figure out Season 3 on live TV right now. Any show with its beginnings on UPN and a new home on the CW is definitely not your mainstream show. But it's good. Try it!

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