Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Guess Where I Am?

For the next three days I will be off on a trip. Rather than tell you where I am going, or what I am doing when I get there, I think we should play "where in the world is Erin Ann Diego?" (you should sing that to the tune of "where in the world is carmen san diego?" a game i played and won many times as a kid.) Pics will be sent from my cell phone and sent in real time. The first person to correctly guess the most locations will have a blog post devoted entirely to them upon my return. Julipalooza, you are disqualified from the game since we had a lengthy conversation about the trip earlier today. Sorry. Also, my co-workers are disqualified for unfair disadvantage as well!
Let the game begin!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

random pictures of the week

Time for fun with pictures I haven't bothered to post before. Why? Because I want to.
Here we have my darling cousins Merry Brooke, Christopher and Savannah. Robert is missing from the picture. I had the four of them (plus friends Josh and Sean) over for dinner on Sunday. These 3 cousins are all BYU students, and it made my day to get to invite them over. I remember all too well my sad and lonely days at BYU when I had no relative to feed me on Sunday. I can't wait to have them over again soon.
Can you see that my hair looks darker? Probably not. But it is!


This is another picture of Mt. Timpanogos as seen or not seen from my office window. This was taken a few weeks ago when the smog and clouds were so thick you couldn't see the mountain at all.



This is my office mate, Sweet Pea. He doesn't get a lot of play on the blog because he's mean. Sadly, he's also my best friend in Utah. When he's not beating me up or kicking me for no reason, I make him business cards with new job titles. Sometimes it says "Cabana Boy," but this one says "Scruffy Nerf Herder" in honor of his new less-scruffy look. (to protect his real identity and my jealous tendencies, i have airbrushed out his contact information. you'll just have to trust me that it was a funny business card.)


This picture is a few months old actually. I went with Dena, Denae, and Kim to a Ryan Shupe Concert. This is Denae and me!



In order, me, Denae, Kim and Dena. Denae and Dena (you try getting that right every time) are my Settlers of Catan playing buddies.

And me. Can you tell that my hair is a lot darker in this picture? Probably not.

Goodbye!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Utah Friends and the VA Friends Coming to Utah for Cougartail

First, if you don't know what CougarTail is, click on it and go find out. Because you should all come!

Next, I am inviting all y'all to the Tavernacle the night before CougarTail. The Tavernacle is a dueling pianos-singalong bar. (you may have noticed in past posts that I LOVE these kinds of places.) And by "all y'all" I mean all the bloggers, Utah friends, and friends flying and/or driving into Utah for Cougar Tail.

And if you don't come to one or both parties, I will be greatly offended and hurt, because you know how hard I have been trying to make friends. And I will consider this a great slight against me that you ignored this very personal invitation to a party.

So Friday, Nov 2- Tavernacle
Saturday, Nov 3- Cougar Tail

So many fun ways to scream and sing yourself hoarse!

Now for the catch- Tavernacle requires reservations. So if you want to join our merry band, you must simply click on "comments" or send me an email and say you will be there.

Strangers welcome. This is how we become friends.

Utah Friends and the VA Friends Coming to Utah for Cougartail

First, if you don't know what CougarTail is, click on it and go find out. Because you should all come!

Next, I am inviting all y'all to the Tavernacle the night before CougarTail. The Tavernacle is a dueling pianos-singalong bar. (you may have noticed in past posts that I LOVE these kinds of places.) And by "all y'all" I mean all the bloggers, Utah friends, and friends flying and/or driving into Utah for Cougar Tail.

And if you don't come to one or both parties, I will be greatly offended and hurt, because you know how hard I have been trying to make friends. And I will consider this a great slight against me that you ignored this very personal invitation to a party.

So Friday, Nov 2- Tavernacle
Saturday, Nov 3- Cougar Tail

So many fun ways to scream and sing yourself hoarse!

Now for the catch- Tavernacle requires reservations. So if you want to join our merry band, you must simply click on "comments" or send me an email and say you will be there.

Strangers welcome. This is how we become friends.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mental illness? Or just from Springville, Utah?

Actual conversation at the grocery store:

Pregnant Clerk: (holding up large red and green fruit) Ooh, what is this one called?

Me: That's a mango.

Pregnant Clerk: I've never tried one of those. You're really adventurous!

Me- blank stare back

Pregnant Clerk: Ooh, green peppers! I just tried my first one a few days ago.

Me: Your first green pepper?

PregnantClerk: Yeah, it wasn't what I thought at all. It wasn't spicy like I thought. And it was real crunchy.

Me: Wow. That's crazy.

Pregnant Clerk: Yeah, some people even put green peppers on their pizza. I bet you're one of those people who tries everything, aren't you?

Me: That's not a green pepper, those are granny smith apples.

Pregnant Clerk: Oh, I know, but they're green like peppers. I don't eat green.

Me: Oh.

I fear for the unborn.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

And when I say tonight...

... I might mean tomorrow night. The Anderson Cooper website is saying it is on tonight. But my uncle informs us that it got moved to tomorrow night.

I have no idea.

As Seen On TV

Tonight (Thursday) on Anderson Cooper 360! The talk will be all about Mitt Romney and his faith. My uncle, Dane, will be talking about Mitt Romney. As will Elder Ballard of the LDS Church General Authorities. My uncle is good friends with Mitt, and was his mission companion in France.

In other TV appearances, the little X-ray machine, the NOMAD, that I work for has been making appearances on CSI: NY.

Recently the NOMAD has been seen in several episodes of CSI:NY. In case you arent already watching this hit show, you can now see it online. The NOMAD only appears for a few seconds during the weekly episode autopsies. It isnt necessarily used in a completely believable way, but its TV, and it is great exposure.

To see our little X-ray machine click on the following link.

You will see each episode listed. Click on Watch Now.

A short commercial will run first, then the episode.

There is a small timer running below the screen. You can see what time you are at in the show. Ive listed at what moments you can spot the NOMAD.

All CSI:NY shows online

Episode: You Only Die Once: Nomad appears at 7:57-8:50

Episode: The Deep: Nomad appears at 6:02-6:40 (roughly)

Episode: Can You Hear Me Now?: in Part 2, 00:26- 00:32

Ill keep you updated throughout the season with other NOMAD cameos.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Better Things Going On

In better goings on in the ErinAnnie family-

Natalie and company- moving! Again! To Reno! Yes, they have only been in Vegas for 5 months. It's crazy. I'm trying to pretend I'll forgive her for moving further away from me. But let it be known, I'm only pretending.

The Nephews- continue to be cute. I love telling them bedtime stories over the speaker on cell phone.

Scottie Boy- my brother graduated from boot camp at Lackland AFB in September. While his sisters were hoping he'd get kicked around a bit and learn some humility. Instead, Golden Boy graduated top of his class with honors. His sisters are proud of him. He's now in Monterrey learning Arabic for the next 15 months. I'm looking forward to him visiting me for Thanksgiving.

Steph- The Baby of the family is busy kicking a** as a fire fighter back home. She's got a Marine boyfriend and is counting down the seconds till the Marine Ball next month.

The Folks- Mom is working a nearly full-time job for the first time in my life. I'm not sure that she loves it, but she doesn't seem to hate it. Also, they just sold their house and are moving on Saturday. They are moving into a rental house for one year (in the same town) until Dad retires. This is the longest they have ever lived in one place- 8 whole years. The longest I ever lived in one place with my family was 6 years in Fairfax City. We moved away when I was 10. This may explain some of my stir craziness.

Me- the other news- I'm going insane here. This is no secret. So I've been looking for roommates, a condo, and volunteer jobs. I've signed up with the Sundance Film Festival and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. And yet, I still have time to watch 4 hours of TV a night. Anyone know of any other good volunteer activities?

I Think I've Finally Lost Me


For months now I have just told myself over and over to "just hang in there." "Give it a few more months." "You're still new here." I keep thinking things will get better. But really, I just can't take it anymore. I'm admitting defeat. I'm admitting I'm just miserable. I'm not the girl I used to be/always was. I can't recall the last time I actually had to use my brain or put forth an effort. I watch 4-5 hours of TV a night because I have nothing better to do. I hate this. I have signed up for volunteer jobs. I attempt to meet people. I'm doing everything I know how. But I am still miserable.
I realized today I am living my worst nightmare. I am a 30 something, with a very average, uninteresting, nothing of a job. I have few friends, no social life. I don't own my home. I am nothing but a total waste of space. This is the one and only goal I ever had for myself- that I would always be engaged in a good cause, and that I would own my home. And none of that is happening.

And I hate it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fall Cleaning

I finally gave in and accepted the seasons have changed to autumn today. I don't dislike autumn. I just really like to hold on to summer for as long as possible. But the continuous fog and sleet, coupled with the snow-capped mountains today forced me to accept there will be no more summer.
So I enjoyed it while I could. I cleaned my house like it has never been cleaned before. We're talking dusting behind the TV and organizing the sock drawer clean. I even ironed all of my clothes and put away the summer t-shirts. It will be months before I will get to wear short sleeves again. (So sad.)
My favorite part of accepting (albeit reluctantly) autumn is switching to flannel sheets and a warmer blanket. And eating pumpkin pie. I've made three pies this week, just messing with the recipes. My favorite involves adding a little bit of brown sugar and maple extract to the ingredients. SO GOOD.
Now I just have to buy a pumpkin and call it a decoration. And then it will really be fall.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

LDSBlogs.com

As of today I am writing for a new website, LDSBlogs.com.
This website is written by LDS Church members for both other LDS members and non-LDS members. Most of the topics and writers are serious religious topics. It's a great place for non-LDS people to learn more about Mormons from actual Mormons, and not from the media who just never do seem to get it right.
As you can imagine, I'm not writing on a serious subject. I'm writing about singles (no surprise there), and mostly in a funny light (really no surprise there). I think there will be an occasional sober subject though. I even get my own URL, so if you want to just read me, feel free to go straight to http://singles.ldsblogs.com/ . I'll be honest, I get paid not just for entries, but for page views, so feel free to link it on your personal blogs and share the link with others!!
(I'm still working full time at my real job. This is just a side writing gig.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

No wonder I feel like crap

18 days of a "bad cold" turned into-

bronchitis
sinus infection
and an ear infection

in one short trip to the doctor's office this morning.

Let's hear it for antibiotics!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

New Fall TV Shows

I admittedly love the beginning of the Fall TV season. Part of it is just my TV junkie side, part of it my college education (broadcast journalism, media communication, and history of movies and entertainment courses). I love not just watching TV shows for their entertainment value, but also following the ratings, network lineups, critics and commercial value. This fall has not disappointed with interesting new story line, commercial values and lineups.
No one is going to bother reading everything I could possibly say on the subject. So I'll just give a few short wrap ups on some of my new favorite shows.

Gossip Girl -on the CW network. It's a little too "OC." But if you like watching high drama tv shows about spoiled rich kids in really expensive clothes, it may not disappoint. I give it a 2.9 out of 5.

Pushing Daisies - I read about this show in a few different magazines before actually catching the pilot. All the critics promised something new, unique and colorful, and they were right. The premise is a shy, quiet, pie maker (Hello, he calls his store the Pie Hole, and for that, you should love this show.) who has the ability to raise the dead- but only as long as he only touches them once. When he touches the newly undead twice, they go back to being dead. If the undead stays alive for more than a minute, someone else dies. While this sounds like it would/could be a gruesome show, instead they do it in a fun, colorful and unique voice. The show has so much potential that you can just feel yourself holding your breath hoping they didn't use up all their creativity on the first show. If this show stays as clever as the pilot was it has potential for being one of the most unique shows ever on television. WATCH IT!!! 5 out of 5.

Dirty Sexy Money- Don't be turned off (or on) by the name. This is another show with a unique premise. A lawyer for a rich family. Nothing interesting except that the lawyer thinks a family member murdered his father. And the whole show is mocking the rich family, which is more or less loosely based on the Hiltons, Bushes, and the Kennedys. It has potential, if it doesn't turn too dark. 4 out of 5.

Private Practice- the Grey's Anatomy spinoff. I don't know. It's just a little too much like Grey's so far. But the reviews promise that this will be lighter and funnier. If that is true, than I'll keep watching. But as for now I'm only giving it 2 more episodes before I stop watching. I'll give it credit for making me cry more in the last 10 minutes of the pilot than I have ever cried at a TV show. 3 out 5.

Cane- The Cuban Floridian family drama about a sugar cane dynasty. It has more plot lines in just 2 episodes than any other show I've ever seen. The acting and scenery is beautiful. Jimmy Smits is going to be legendary for the role. But it has the potential for being too much of a soap opera for my taste. Nonetheless, 5 out of 5.

Chuck- I love this show. An action comedy on TV!! I am so happy! This show is so fun and cute already. The premise is a computer nerd who unwittingly sees/learns all of the government secrets. It's sort of James Bond meets Revenge of the Nerds meets Clueless.

Shows that are not new-
Grey's Anatomy- I keep watching it in spite of myself. I like the new Lexie character. It's like they know they've got too many freaks and brought in a normal person to balance it out. If I could quit the habit I would. 2.9 out of 5.

House- I was unsure about them losing the supporting cast. But I'm already loving the new possible supporting cast. Especially the possibility of a regular Mormon character. Not just because I love seeing the Mormon church in the mainstream, or because I love the way the character is written and played so far. But mostly because I think a Mormon vs. House set up promises for some great story lines. 5 out of 5

The Office-
still one of the best shows ever. I love Pam and Jim. And Ryan. I just wish they would focus less on Michael. Especially as my real life begins to resemble the Office more and more each day. Sooner or later, something is going to show up in jello.

Heroes- also still one of the best superhero shows ever. I can't wait for Kristen Bell to show up! (I want her to kick butt on this show just to stick it to the stupid CW for canceling Veronica Mars.)

Bones- The House/Bones combo on Tuesday nights makes me very very happy.

I admit I watch a few more shows than this (let's hear it for Tivo!), but on the grounds that it makes me look really stupid (we all knew i have no life), I won't be sharing how many shows I manage to watch in a week. Especially since there's a few more shows I still need to catch- Bionic Woman, Life, and Reaper.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Amputated Leg Found In Smoker

1. CNN article on it- best quotes- "We're looking at split custody," and "Anybody who knew me knew that leg was in there."

2. Local news article on the subject- best quote, "It ain't too healthy looking."

3. YouTube -



All I can say is, so your leg gets amputated. You lose all your money and put your belongings in a storage unit. You need a place to keep your leg. So you put it in the freaking bbq smoker??

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ginsu Knives, Ninjas, Lamb and a Good Rotisserie Chicken

Actual (emailed) conversation held at work today:

Context: Deciding if we lead off our ad campaign with "routine uses" or "exotic uses" of our product.
Editor's Note: Name of our product has been substituted with Product, because the last thing I need is people googling our product name and finding this blog.

Me: I think everyone has a product already that does the routine procedures. And if we sell ourselves as just another way to be routine, we’ll never get anywhere. Setting ourselves apart as the product that does the routine AND goes above and beyond and does cool stuff- that gets us noticed. I’m thinking of those great infomercials on TV. Ginsu knives. We all have knives. Why do we want more? Because just in case I ever need to cut through a diet coke can, and then cut a tomato, I need to have a Ginsu knife. My regular routine knife only cuts through a tomato. And it only does it relatively well. A Ginsu knife must cut tomatoes better because it can also cut a can.

All vets have (edited for content) "things". Why do they want the Product? Because just in case they ever do need to figure out how to get a wedding ring out of a Kimodo Dragon, they need a Product. Product do paws, but it must do it better because it also gets amazing angles on Kimodo Dragons.

Ricardo: I agree as long as it comes back to the benefits of the Product and if a practitioner can relate it to their own practice. I can relate to how a knife that can cut through a coke can and then through a tomato can benefit me. I can’t see how the Ron Popeal rotisserie would benefit me. Both are gee wiz but I can see immediate application in my kitchen with killer knives.

Me: The Rotisserie benefits you because you could just make chicken in the oven. But now you can use your oven for pies. Your rotisserie improves your life by making what you already have even better. And your rotisserie will make even better chicken, and makes hot dogs and lamb too. But it’s no Ginsu knife. Or Product for that matter.

Ricardo: True. But I don’t like rotisserie chicken. I like fried chicken. Buttermilk dipped to be specific. Now I can use my killer serrated ninja knives to cut up my chicken prior to frying. Knives have much broader appeal even if presented in a dynamic bubble gum pop culture sort of way.

(sidenote: our boss and another co-worker were CC:d on this entire exchange. I had just dared Ricardo to find a way to incorporate bubble gum into this conversation, for no other reason than we enjoy daring each other to say certain things in odd contexts.)

Me: I would like to point out that you have now proven my point. Ginsu knives, which do the same thing as all other knives, are only popular and purchased because they do cool extra things. If their ads only talked about tomatoes you wouldn’t buy it. But cool ninja serrated knives that don’t have cords or wires and are battery-powered and go everywhere you do (except through airport security and high schools), those are worth buying!

Ricardo: Ah… but you are wrong. Ginsu knives do NOT do anything more than regular knives. They cut. It is the routine done better that is the draw… Not gee wiz for gee wiz sake but interesting application to improve the usual and routine.
The rotisserie *does* however do more than a usual toaster oven. Because of the *extras*, it becomes niche and unusable to me. It shrinks the potential market of the product.
P.S. Lamb sucks.

Me: So close, but oh so far away, my friend.
You don’t like your table knife. You like the serrated ninja knife. Is it still just a knife? Yes. But you bought it because it does routine cutting AND ninja stuff. I think we should rename the Product the Product Ninja. Cause everybody likes a ninja.
You are right about the rotisserie though. It just isn’t worth it because it is too specialized. But if an oven had a rotisserie adaptor, so you could rotis (um, it’s a word now!) things in your regular oven, you would buy it. Because items that do routine things AND do the unusual, you’d buy that. I think I will invent that oven. And call it the Ninja Oven.

PS- Lamb Curry is good.

Cabana Boy (who was also cc:d on the entire exchange but remained silent until this point): For clarification, not everybody likes ninjas. Ninjas and pirates are natural enemies.
PS: Lamb is greasy.

Would any of my marketing guru friends like to help continue this debate?
(PS- Lamb is really good rotisserie style!)

Keep on, keeping on

I have now lived here a full 5 months. I'm not sure how I feel about that. It isn't the life I expected to have when I came, and I have accepted that it never will be that life. I've moved all over the country and never had the problems I've had since moving here. But I'm working on it. I've signed up to volunteer as a "big" in the Big Brother, Big Sister program. I've picked up the new writing gig (which terrifies me). And I am house-hunting. All things I think will improve my spirits some.
It's funny though. You can leave, you can make changes, but somethings will always remain the same. For instance, the singles activity I went to on Friday night. 70 women, 14 men. I met several really nice girls there (obviously, meeting men was not going to happen). 2 girls had lived in DC for 5 years, and knew my name from the activities I did. And another girl is on her way to move out to DC soon. And a fourth girl came up to me (this was in the dark by a bonfire) and asked, "Are you a McBride? I knew it!" On one hand, it made me feel better. I'm not invisible after all. And people did appreciate the activities work I did. On the other hand, it just further frustrated me that I do feel so invisible and small here.
Maybe I just have big fish, small pond syndrome. And right now I'm living the invisible fish, Utah lake version of it?
On the bright side, I have to start buying some furniture. I have practically nothing in the way of furniture out here and I'm looking forward to decorating and designing. I have a beautiful dark gold colored comforter I got for Christmas last year. It has deep green and burgundy accents in it. That will be my centerpiece colors to start from in my bedroom. Anything cream or deep red/crimson/burgundy will make good matches for it. (Rugs, drapes, pillows, linens, etc). So if you happen to see any furniture or accent pieces that go with it, please let me know! (My colors and style aren't easily found at Target or other run of the mill stores.)

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