Wednesday, November 28, 2007

christmas and winter may now begin

Because I said so.

more ways utah is different from dc

1. There's a nativity set on the front desk. Obviously, I have no problem with it. It's just strange to see it there. And that no one is threatening a lawsuit.

2. Today we got an order from SAIC. And nobody else had ever heard of them. Now, granted, half my readers aren't in or from DC, so that won't mean much to them. But in DC, it's impossible to have not heard of SAIC.

3. It snowed 3 inches. And no businesses, schools, or work was closed or delayed. (That's mocking DC, not Utah.)

more ways utah is different from dc

1. There's a nativity set on the front desk. Obviously, I have no problem with it. It's just strange to see it there. And that no one is threatening a lawsuit.

2. Today we got an order from SAIC. And nobody else had ever heard of them. Now, granted, half my readers aren't in or from DC, so that won't mean much to them. But in DC, it's impossible to have not heard of SAIC.

3. It snowed 3 inches. And no businesses, schools, or work was closed or delayed. (That's mocking DC, not Utah.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

YEAH!!!!!


+


=



In the best Christmas present EVER, my BFF Jules will be eating some serious crow in the very near future!! Her husband, the Big Hairy Man, has accepted a job in Utah! Woo-Hoo! Erinandjuli will be reunited soon! YEAH for us!

(not unlike me and not all that long ago, juli swore she would never return to the mothership utah. hence the crow feasting.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Let the Post-Thanksgiving Blogging Begin

Not my turkey. My turkey was even better!


It is well known that when no one else is around and I am left to my own devices complete chaos tends to break out. Sadly, or possible fortunately, no one else is ever around to witness the insanity. But then again, if someone else was around, the chaos would probably not ensue, because I'd have someone to help me and help prevent the near disasters.
Cooking my first ever Thanksgiving meal on my own was one of those times. To say I was nervous about cooking several recipes I have never tried before for my cousins (Merry Brooke, Savannah, Chris and Rob) would be an understatement. And thanks to the discussion boards on LDS Linkup, I got really wrapped up in the excitement of something called "brining* a turkey." One week ago I had never even heard of brining. But then, somehow, thanks to my online friends, I decided to attempt it.
That was my first mistake.
Several more followed.

Here's what I wrote on the subject late Wednesday night (with a few edits)



I'm not sure which was my favorite part of the last hour
1. when the olive oil bottle fell off the top shelf, hitting the tiled floor of the pantry, shattering all over the place, BEFORE I got all of the necessary ingredients out of the walk-in pantry.

2. when the effing turkey slipped out of my hands and went sliding across the counter, NEARLY falling off onto the really not clean floor, so that i had to dive across the counter to save it, slipping in my socks on the tile floor-

3. when i finally got the 15 lbs *&^%* bird into the trash bag and filled up with brine (so that the bag now weighs closer to 30 lbs or more) just to discover the little plastic ring thingy had a sharp edge on it and popped right through the indestructible hefty bag, spraying brine all over me, the floor and the counter i had just cleaned

4. having to leave the freaking turkey naked in the sink while i rescued the rising dough for the Aunt Toots' rolls, sanitize the counter so i could knead the dough, etc

5. wrestle the slippery blasted turkey into an oven roaster bag

6. have to stop mid-wrestle, soaking wet, wash hands, and again knead the dough

7. return to attempting to get the damn 15 lb turkey and 10 gallons of brine into a new bag and onto the top shelf of the refrigerator (which is about eye level for me) with my sore back and bad shoulder

7. get it onto the top shelf just to realize that the bag now falls to the side and the brine is no longer covering the dang bird, THEN realize that the crisper drawer, if emptied of all the veggies, just might be the perfect size

8. move dumb stupid fowl from the top to the bottom while NOT slipping on the soaking wet floor, again with my bad back and shoulder

Am now completely covered in raw turkey and brine.

This had better be the best damn turkey since the freaking Pilgrims landed on effing Plymouth Rock!!

To wrap up the story, it did turn out to be the best damn turkey since the freaking Pilgrims landed on effing Plymouth Rock. It was amazing. I took it out of the brine at 9 am, stuck it in the oven with no seasoning whatsoever, and pulled it out at 12:30. Perfect. Amazing. I have never had a better turkey. When we went to go carve it we had no reason for a knife. In fact, when I picked it up to move it from the cooking pan to the prettier display pan, the legs just slipped off. It was that moist and tender. The legs just fell off the turkey. 5 people, 15 lbs turkey, and we ate nearly all of it. The rest of the food was amazing as well- mashed potatoes, cranberry relish (Jules, your recipe was divine- again we ate nearly all of it!!), "Aunt Toots' Rolls" (a 3rd generation family recipe), sweet potato souffle, salad, fried apples, and more. It was all good.

After we ate and digested I talked them all into playing Settlers with me. Robert kicked our trash. I think a rematch may be in order. And now they are crashed out on the couches watching my Tivo'd shows. And in about 6 hours Savannah and I will get back up and brave the Black Friday craziness. And then I have to go to work. That should be fun!

It was a great Thanksgiving!


*brining- (from wiki)-
is a process similar to marination in which meat is soaked in a salt solution (the brine) before cooking. Brining makes cooked meat moister by hydrating the cells of its muscle tissue before cooking

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wednesday Night Dinner Club

Come join us for Wednesday Night Dinner Club!

This week we'll be eating at the Bombay House in Provo.
463 North University Ave
Provo, Utah 84601

7 pm

Come alone or bring some friends! It's a great and easy way to make new friends. Last week (our big debut week) we had 12 people! Considering no one knew each other- that was great! WNDC is a simple way to meet new people, have a good meal, and just chat. Don't be shy! We'd love to meet you!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Taking the Mountain to Mohammed

Or is it taking Mohammed to the mountain? I always forget.

I've been making a very concerted effort lately to find happiness here in un-Happy Valley. I've made no secret on my blog that I'm pretty much been miserable here. The facts are simple- the job is... well, we'll figure that one out later. And I'm stuck in a social black hole. So I've been trying harder. I've signed up as a volunteer pretty much everywhere and anywhere. And I'm making my own happiness. I've set a few personal goals and I'm working every day on each goal. (more on those later) But three big things happened for me this week.

But first let's back up to last week. Last Thursday I had every reason in the world to just throw in the towel and call it quits here. I really did. But after much prayer and contemplation, I'm still here one week later. And in most certain and definite answers that God does love me more than I trust Him to at times, three key things happened this week to make my life more tolerable and happy here.

1. Back in August- AUGUST- I signed up to be a volunteer with a very well known film festival held right up the road from here. Considering the international acclaim of this film festival, I had no reason to think they would give me a job of any importance, and they probably wouldn't even accept me. I was hoping for a ticket taker or street sweeper job. But after so many months of not hearing from them I figured they didn't even need me for that. (My sources tell me that most of their volunteers are actually experienced Hollywood types who come here on their own dollar hoping for a leg up in the business.) So you can only imagine how shocked I was when they called me this week for a phone interview and then told me they were considering me for 4 positions. I'll get a position for sure, but they couldn't guarantee which one for a few more weeks. Sure, two of the jobs are nothing more than ticket taking, but the other two are just dang cool! I can't wait! 5 days in Park City doing my favorite thing- watching indi films!

2. Also several months ago I signed up with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Utah. But due to timing conflicts between me and them, I only got in this week to interview with them. I'm very excited to get involved and can't wait to get my Little Sister.

3. Back in DC we had a little thing called the Thursday Night Dinner Club. Every week we went to a different restaurant (usually ethnic, but it was DC and that was normal there) for dinner. No big deal. Open invite. Good conversation and a great way to meet new people. Well, the single LDS scene around here is different from DC, (and LA and Orlando and Houston- all towns I've lived in) and it's just plain hard to meet people if they don't live on your own street. So I put out some emails on random email lists and on a website, set a time and place, and started my own Wednesday Night Dinner Club. I really had no faith that anyone would show up. Because why should they? No one knows me from the man in the moon, and who goes to a dinner sponsored by a total stranger, right? I figured I'd be happy if just 1 person showed up. My spirits totally faltered as one by one each of the friends I thought would come all had to back out. And I was totally anxious when I arrived at the restaurant waiting hopefully for total strangers to show up (I had a sign so they could spot me). It was a huge relief when the first 2 faces to walk through the door were the Dirtius Familius, who hadn't told me they were coming. And then suddenly several more people just walked in and joined us. And my friend Sean came too! 12 people total showed up for dinner with a stranger! How crazy is that?! And all but 1 of them said they would come again next week. So it's on! Next week, Wednesday Night Dinner Club at Bombay House in Provo. Finally a chance for me to make some friends!!

Now it feels like there is a lot more hope here than there has been for the last 6 months. I'm still very frustrated with several aspects of my life, but at least there is finally something positive to look forward to. (and of course I'm excited to make my first thanksgiving meal ever. but more on that later.)

Things That Make You Go OWWWWW!!!!!

(all things inflicted upon my body today)

1. Dropping the scissors on my own bare big toe.
2. While using some ridiculous lower back/glutes machine at the gym, not paying attention and attempting to use it with the weights set at 200. (I normally do 50-70 lbs on that particular machine.) I think it is possible to literally feel a muscle tearing.
3. Before nearly killing one's self on said machine, doing (under the supervision of a minimum wage trainer) a double work-out. (I think the twitches, tremors, and shaking that follow killer work outs should also count towards the calorie burning.)
4. Biting your own lip when you meant to bite into a celery stalk.
5. Paper cut inflicted by stupid bill envelope.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pushing Daisies, How I Love and Hate Thee

Like many other people this season I have fallen in love with the show, Pushing Daisies. After all, what isn't too love? Cute pie maker that brings people back from the dead? Chi McBride as a selfish detective using the pie maker to solve mysteries? Quirky females both in love with the truly adorable and delicious pie maker? How can you not love this show? (One of the better lines, "Our saliva isn't compatible." How can you not laugh?!)
But there's something bugging me to no end here. THE MORMON REFERENCES HAVE GOT TO GO! For those not watching the show, let me explain. In one episode the bad guys' names were Lemuel and Wilfrid Woodruff. For non-Mormons reading along, I shall explain. Lemuel is a name right out of the Book of Mormon. WilfOrd Woodruff was a prophet in our church. And then tonight the episode was about a polygamist. The actual show never said Mormon, but there was one wife who didn't drink coffee. But an online description of tonight's episode did say Mormon polygamist.
I have heard from a few sources that the show's creator is Bryan Fuller. Mr. Fuller is one of the few truly open gay creator/producers (according to Wiki). He's also been a part of other openly anti-Mormon episodes, comments, etc.
Well, I'm tired of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to see Mormons being included in mainstream media (i.e. House, MD). But I'm tired of us only being portrayed negatively. Or so campy or stupid. I'm thrilled that House, MD at least has a smart character.
Anyone else noticing the continuing negative slant? If Jews, or Catholics, or Baptists were so openly mocked without any other positive references out there, it would never last. Yes, other religions are mocked, but for every mockery, there are plenty of other accurate representations. So where is the accurate Mormon representation? I'm waiting for it!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Martian Child

Friday night I took a spontaneous trip up to SL Valley to go see a movie with Krispy. We had plans to see a different movie that was serendipitously sold out. So we got tickets and walked in 10 minutes late to see Martian Child. Please note I said serendipitously. Martian Child is my new favorite movie. I can't wait to buy it on DVD. I can't wait to take another friend to see it next week. Like the reviews said, it is a bit sappy. But sappy in a very good way. Krispy and I both found ourselves just letting the tears flow. It's a GREAT movie.


To try and sum up this movie it is basically about a widower single man who adopts an orphan boy with serious social issues and believes he is from Mars. The story goes through both the man's roller coaster of emotions as he tries to figure out this strange little child. And the audience will identify with the child and how he never feels like he fits in, and is, in fact, from outer space. The audience identifies with both sides. John Cusack is amazing. The little boy lovable (and probably the next Haley Joel Osment or MacCauley Culkin). Joan Cusack is the perfect sidekick sister. And Amanda Peet continues to prove she's a great and beautiful actress when she's not doing slutty stupid toilet humor roles.

I admit this movie will be too sappy for some people. But I think it is the perfect combination of family love story and just a tiny bit of sci-fi. In other words, good for men and women. I strongly, sincerely, firmly, highly recommend seeing this film.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

4 eyes

On the weekends I try to wear my glasses as much as possible. I'm not really supposed to wear my contacts as often as I do, according to an optometrist I went to a few years ago. So on the weekends I try to wear my glasses as much as possible. This past Sunday I must have fallen asleep wearing my glasses during my nap. And I must have taken them off in my sleep too. Because I woke up when I rolled over on top of them and heard them snap in two. Now normally I have 2 pairs of glasses. But back in May my darling littlest nephew (while I was still living with him) brought me my regular pair of glasses in a broken mess. His lack of command of the English language at the time has left it a mystery as to how indestructable frames could be in so many pieces. So I packed the pieces in a box that I have since lost. Which left me with my backup pair of glasses, which suits me just fine.

I wasn't too worried about my glasses. Until I got to work on Tuesday and discovered a co-worker with the dreaded pink eye. For those who don't know, I get pink eye like no other. I get pink eye just thinking about it. And I don't just get pink eye. I get it BAD. And for those of you with 20/20 vision, let me explain. You can't wear contacts with pink eye. You have to throw them out, and only wear glasses. Now suddenly I am threatened with the evil eye, and I have no glasses.

Needless to say I have kept he Lysol wipes handy at work. In spite of this, another co-worker came down with the nasties today as well. So I picked up the pieces of my glasses and headed to Wal-Mart hoping beyond hope that they could fix them for me. I really don't have the time to go get an eye appointment for a new prescription and then have to wait for the glasses to arrive. Alas, they cannot magically glue plastic frames back together for you. But! Since the lenses were intact they said if I could find other frames they fit in, they would just pop them in for me! YEAH! And in what feels like the only stroke of good luck I have had lately, the very first pair of frames I looked at were nearly identical to my broken ones. Within ten minutes of walking in to the store, I had new glasses. And it was all paid for on my Payflex (Flex Spending Acct) Mastercard, which means I spent nothing today. YEAH!!!!!


Now look at the top picture at the new frames and then below at the old frames and see if you can tell a difference!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's the week after Halloween that must mean it's almost Christmas, right?

So Halloween has gone and no sooner did the orange and black have its moment in the moonlight, that it's all gone again. And now the Christmas deluge may begin. I really really get annoyed by Christmas music this early in the year. Not only do I get tired of the repetitiveness of it all, but I feel like we miss out on other events as well as a result. For instance, Veterans Day. Personally, I have always felt like Veterans Day deserves the same treatment as the 4th of July. But apparently I am alone in these sentiments. Most people don't even know what day it is, and unless you work for the Feds, you probably don't get the day off from work. Personally, I think it is a shame. Not just because I like time off of work, but because I do think it is a holiday that deserves a lot more recognition. But since patriotic Santas have never been top retail sellers, the day comes and goes with little to no fan fare.
I also have a rant about the cost of normal every day services that skyrocket during Christmas season. For example, air fare. A flight that just a few months ago I took for $250 booked on just 2 weeks' notice, is now costing me $423 with 8 weeks' notice. Ridiculous. The airlines intentionally jack the prices up. In any other industry the suppliers would end up in court for price gouging. But airlines and Christmas? We just expect it.

Also, Christmas music. It used to be something beautiful. Something to look forward to. Now it's something to dread, played every where you go. And it isn't always beautiful. I still maintain that "Last Christmas," by Wham and "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime," by Paul McCartney and Wings, are two of the worst songs ever recorded. (And I'm a Paul fan!) Both songs make me want to pull my hair out while screaming naked in the park. (FYI, I've already heard both songs this week on the damned radio station that is already playing 24/7 Christmas songs.)

I'm sure over the next few weeks I will have some more rants. I expect they will probably appear on days when I have to do abs and glutes work at the gym.

We have a winner!

TRS guessed correctly! I was in Newton, MA last week. Sorry it wasn't a more exciting trip or destination. Just a very quick trip to the East and right back again. More time spent flying than actually working. Between the jet lag, early flights, and now Daylight Savings, my sleep schedule is completely thrown off. Yeah me.
TRS, for Googling with confidence, I owe the world a post about you! Sadly, I do not know you (yet) very well. So if you don't mind, can you please email me so I can get to know you better??

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Working Girl

Recently, I've been picking up work as a background extra on various projects. In the past month or so I've worked on 3 different m...

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