Wednesday, January 31, 2007

joy, complaints, puzzles, and blessings

Something I want to complain about: My arm hurts today. I got a tetanus shot yesterday (it had almost surely been more than 10 years, so I was more than due), and both the nurse and the doctor warned me that my arm would be sore today, but owww! I must have rolled on it in the night or something, because I woke up and felt like I had been punched HARD in the arm. I bruise easily, and so I'm no stranger to aches and pains, but still. Owwww!

Something I'm grateful for: Today I'm having lunch with Ilsa, watching American Idol with Tayneshia and Bethany, and at some point I'll be seeing Eric as well (we have kind of a tough time getting together during the week, because he's working full time as well as attending school). So, I'm terribly grateful to have a life full of quality friendships.

Something that I'm puzzling over: Global Warming! I listened to part of a commentary program this morning on the radio (Utah Public Radio as I was getting ready for work, and it got me thinking. From what I can glean from my sporadic research, I do believe that global warming is, in fact, a reality. But, what can I do about it? Really, what difference can I make? Part of me wants to see that movie An Inconvenient Truth, because I imagine it might help me answer that question, but I'm a little hesitant to do so. See, the fact is that one of my weaknesses is that I tend to be a little too trusting, a little too naive, and a little to quick to be convinced. And, the fact is that I don't completely trust Al Gore (or any politician, for that matter). So, we'll see what I do about this.

Something that I'm eagerly anticipating: My wedding! (duh!) Of course I'm ecstatic to be marrying Eric, and I adore him, and the longer we are engaged, the more "right" it feels. That's the most important part. In addition though, I keep hearing about aunts and uncles and cousins and friends who are making travel plans to come from far-flung locations, just so they can share this joy with me and Eric. I'm THRILLED about that.

And I think that's enough for today.


ps-if you're interested in the weekend report, it was a great one. We had Dorothea and Sergei over for games and dinner (we played "Whoonu" by the makers of Cranium for the first time. It's a great game, and I highly recommend it) on Friday, we played Racquetball and I went to the Bridal Faire with Tayneshia on Saturday, and Sunday we spent some quality time with Eric's parents. That's pretty much it, in a nutshell.

Friday, January 26, 2007

1991, 2001, 2005, and now

I seem to be getting into a bit of a habit lately of posting pictures on Fridays. I don't know what that's all about, but here we are with another installment.

I took this picture in April of 2005, when Henrietta and I went to New York City together. Henrietta was there to attend a conference for her job, I was there to play. We had a great time.

This picture was taken at one of the more somber moments of that trip. One morning while Henrietta was in meetings, I wandered over to ground zero, and Battery Park. I took this picture that morning. This cross is actually a remainder of one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The black blur you see on the right is part of the fence that surrounded the site at the time.

I remember that morning, it was kind of surreal. I was walking around, and there was this father, speaking to his son, pointing to the empty ground (where clean-up crews were still working), and describing how tall the towers used to be, and what they used to look like. I was eavesdropping (just a bit), and thinking about how Jennalyce and Tennyson and I had ridden the elevators to the top of one of those towers together back in 1991 or so. I actually still have several pictures of that day. In one of them Jennalyce and I are looking adorable, and Tennyson, while looking adorable with his face and eyes, is using his hands to make the ASL sign for "fart". Good old Tennyson. What a funny guy he was. Heck, he may still be a funny guy for all I know. I've lost touch with him (not that I ever had very much contact with him anyway).

Anyway, it was a surreal morning. When I saw this picture on my computer, I decided to post it. Part of that is because over the weekend I rented World Trade Center to watch while I worked on the wedding afghan. Henrietta had given it a thumbs up, and so I decided to check it out. I liked it quite a bit. The DVD has a commentary by some of the rescuers and one of the cops who was rescued. I especially liked that part.

And I guess that's enough for today.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

bone colored yarn

Well, I just entered the annual budget numbers into my accounting program. It doesn't take all that much brainpower to do, but it does take a fair amount of time, and so I'm glad to have that task over with for another year.

Tonight I have some Relief Society meetings, and then Tayneshia and I are going to watch American Idol while Eric studies for his math quiz. (Eric won't be studying in the same room or even the same house as us, as that might be a little distracting, don't you think?) I'm looking forward to this (AI, not not being able to be with Eric because he's studying for a math quiz). I love the "audition" portion of American Idol, although I do feel bad for some of those singers. That Simon (while generally honest) can be so mean!

As we watch I'll be working on a new afghan that I started this weekend. This one is for my own wedding. I figure that I've given wedding and baby afghans to many many of my friends and family over the years, and so I probably deserve to have one for my own wedding, right? Right. It's tan in color, using a fairly unique granny-square pattern. Actually, the name of the yarn is "bone", but I don't particularly care for the image that conjures up in my mind, so I'm calling it "tan".

And that's it for today.


Monday, January 22, 2007

What's your favorite random movie?

Another week begins!

This might be a bit on the short side, just because I don't have too much to report. No major catastrophes, real or imagined. No major news, joyful or tragic. It's just your basic, garden variety day. And that's a pretty good thing.

I spent the weekend doing some kind of low-key things. Friday night Eric and I continued our quest to find the most random movie of all time, by watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I'm pretty sure I'd never seen it before in it's entirety, but there were parts that seemed very very familiar. The Trojan Rabbit, for example. (Other contenders to date have been Napoleon Dynamite, Mystery Men, Time Bandits, and an edited version of Spinal Tap)

Saturday I spent part of the morning at the Rec Center with Eric. We didn't play racquetball because shortly before New Years' we left our rackets at the home of Eric's parents, and haven't made it out to pick them up yet. But, we did do some low-grade weight lifting, and had a quasi competition to see who could burn 120 calories on the elliptical machine first (I lost).

Saturday evening I had a girls' night out. It was Bonita Juanita's birthday, so seven of us went and had some pictures taken (Juanita's secret wish) at the J.C. Penney photo studio, and then out to eat at one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants. It was a lovely lovely evening, with lots of silliness and laughter. As we got talking about some of the fun things we'd done in the past few years (the trips to San Diego and Orlando, the camping out Camilla's backyard, the international dinners in each other's homes, etc., etc., etc.) we determined that we would need to do one more biggish thing before I get married in April. So, we're going to have a Bachelorette Weekend trip sometime in March.

Get this though: rather than let it all hang out and do the wild and crazy things that you might expect from a bachelorette weekend (albeit, not a bachelorette weekend featuring a bunch of Mormon girls), we're probably going to go down to Salt Lake City, and attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Broadcast, as well as see a movie on Temple Square on Joseph Smith. To learn more about the movie, you can click here:,8197,726-1-571,00.html.

And that's pretty much the weekend. Yesterday was basic. I ended up speaking in Sacrament Meeting, and although that was nerve-wracking, it went well.


Friday, January 19, 2007

My Favorite Sculptor

This is a photo of a glass sculpture done by one of my favorite artists, Dale Chihuly.
I love his work. I first became aware of his existence during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. There was a Chihuly exhibit at Abravanel Hall as part of the "Cultural Olympiad" that corresponded with the actual Olympic games. I didn't actually make it down to the exhibit, because I waited too long to go, and the day that I chose to come down (which happened to be one of the last days of the exhibit), I had car problems, and spent 3 hours in the service department of my Ford dealer instead.
So, I was kind of bummed about that. There is a Chihuly sculpture in Abravanel hall now, left over from the days of Olympic glory. It's orange and red and fiery and terribly intriguing to me. When Tayneshia and I went to the Bahamas last year, we stopped at the Atlantis Casino at Nassau, and there were a few Chihuly sculptures there. That's where I got this picture, in fact.
My public library has a DVD set (with 4 DVD's) of documentaries on Chihuly and some of his work. It's not riveting entertainment or anything like that, but I've checked the set out twice now, once to watch while I was doing some major scrapbooking work, and once to show Eric (we did a lot of fast-forwarding that night).
So, there you have it. An introduction to Chihuly. If you're interested in more, here are a few options:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Overactive Imagination Strikes Again!

So, this morning, I got up to go jogging. Actually, I call it jogging because it sounds more impressive, but really I do much more "brisk walking" than actual jogging on these little adventures.

But anyway, I got up to go jogging. I called the time/temperature phone number first, as is my custom, to see how many layers of clothing I should put on. The temperature was 2 degrees. Now, generally my rule is that I don't go out if it's less than 5 degrees, but I've been feeling just a little bit chubby lately, and so I decided to put on an extra layer or two, and brave the cold.

So, I put on a long sleeve thermal top, another long-sleeve shirt, a turtleneck, and a thick sweatshirt. I also put on two pairs of sweat pants, as well as running tights. I then put on two pairs of gloves, an ear band, a knit stocking cap, and two pairs of thick socks.

And with that, I headed out the door. As I went along, I must admit that it seemed much colder than 2 degrees to me, but I figured that my internal sensor must have been off.

It wasn't.

About 10 minutes into the ordeal, I walked (briskly remember) by the local bank and saw that the temperature was not in fact 2 degrees, but rather a whopping six degrees below zero! This at 8:05 a.m. Now, I have a rule about jogging in temperatures below zero, and the rule is that I don't do it. Ever. Not when I'm feeling chubby, not when I'm feeling antsy, not if doing so would save my (hypothetical) first-born child. Not ever ever.

But, there I was, already in my four layers of clothing. It had taken me quite a while to get into that clothing, and I wasn't real keen to go ahead and go back home after all that work. Besides, one of my favorite songs was playing on my mp3 player at the moment, which probably clouded my judgement. Anyway, I decided not to turn around, but to continue with my walk.

Everything went fine for about 20 more minutes. Then, I started getting quite cold. After a bit, I determined that I should start making my way back home. My chest and upper body were fine, but my face was starting to get that "I might be getting frostbite" feeling, (not that I really know what that feeling is, having never had frostbite on my face before) and my toes were getting a little frigid as well. So, I turned around and started the trek home.

As I made my way home, I got colder and colder, and it seemed to take longer and longer. And then, I started to think a little bit (generally a sign of trouble). I started wondering if I was in fact, getting frostbite on my face. I pictured my engagement pictures: Eric, looking handsome and dapper, and me with big ugly red marks on my face from the frost. Horrors! Then, I realize that I'm letting my imagination get a little bit out of hand. Oddly enough, that is what really got me into trouble.

As I realize that I'm not thinking quite clearly, I also realize that not being able to think clearly is one of the symptoms of hypothermia. (It also tends to be one of the occasional symptoms of being Charlotte, but we won't dwell on that for now) "OH NO!!" I think to myself, "I'm starting to get hypothermia! This is even worse than I thought!" My mind flashes back to the movie I watched in 7th grade P.E., a movie all about hypothermia and how easy it is to develop in the cold, and how people lose all their senses and die right there. Then I start to panic, ever so slightly. I estimate at this time that I am probably about 10 minutes away from my home (in a rather populated area mind you, which would surely decrease my chances of dying of hypothermia, should I in fact be developing the malady), and so I concoct a plan.

I determine that I will continue on my way home, going only by the busiest streets, and if I start to really feel hypothermic (however that feels), I will knock on the door of one of the houses, and politely ask for a life-saving ride home.

So, that is what I do. As you might imagine, I arrived home safely about 8 minutes later, and within about 5 minutes of being in my warm home, I was thoroughly warm, thoroughly comfortable, completely free of frostbite, feeling rather silly about my over-reaction, and grateful beyond measure that I didn't knock on any doors.

However, I think the time has come to re-implement the "no jogging if the temperature is below 5 degrees" rule, chubby-feelings notwithstanding.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Registries: tools & housewares

Well, what a weekend it was!

We've had our usual cold temperatures here lately--last night it got down to -4 degrees. That's not all that odd for January, but still, I don't like it much. Unfortunately, on Saturday, my furnace started having some trouble. Since I'm a first time home-owner, this development caused me more stress than it really should have. But, after three calls to my father, a "check-it-out" by Eric, a call to the heating/cooling specialists, and a $275 bill, we're back in warmth. It seems the flame sensor had a lot of carbon on it, which was making it so the burners wouldn't ignite. That was the cheap part of the problem. The more expensive part was that the combustion fan was going out. The replacement of that was $175. But, the bonus to that is that now I can watch TV and have the heat on, and still be able to hear the television. Apparently combustion fans that are on their last legs make quite a bit more noise than new combustion fans. So, we're all good.

In wedding news, Eric and I are registered. Get this: We are registered at Bed Bath and Beyond and Lowe's. There's a bit of a story here, which I will naturally tell you.

A couple of weeks ago, we were talking wedding stuff and Eric asked me if I thought we should register. I hadn't given it much thought, since I rarely use wedding registries for my own gift giving (the reasons for this would probably be good for another post). But, after talking about it for a bit, we decided to look into it.

A few days later, I was out on the north end of town, coincidentally where our "Bed, Bath, and Beyond" store is located. I decided to go in and just get some information about their wedding registry services. Fifteen minutes later, we were signed up with a registry. When I told Eric about the experience, he was pleased, but a little wistful about the fact that Bed Bath and Beyond doesn't have much of a tool selection (if by "not much of a tool section" we mean "no tool section whatsoever"). So, because I am a great wife-to-be, and because our kitchen and home are fairly well equipped at the moment, (although we will definitely be in need of some queen-size bedding soon)(actually-we'll definitely be in need of a queen-size bed soon, come to that), and because I realize that the more happy Eric is with his tool collection, the better equipped he will be to do my "handy-man" bidding, I did some investigating on the web, and signed us up for a registry at Lowe's as well.

And that's the story. I feel a little bit weird being registered, because really, the good wishes and love of our friends and family are far far more important to both Eric and I than any housewares or tools will ever be, obviously. Additionally, I'm sure we'll be happy with any presents we get, regardless of where they are bought or made or whatever. So, it seems weird to be registered. But, sometimes you do things that seem weird, just because it might be a good idea, ya know?

Actually, speaking of presents, I just like to unwrap them. I think it goes back to the "loving surprises" thing. It rarely matters to me what's inside the box, I just love to hear the sound of wrapping paper being ripped to shreds, especially if I'm the lucky person doing the ripping. I know this is kind of childish of me, and sometimes I try to hide it, but usually without much success. To be honest, presents are the main reason that I LOVE my birthday. It's kind of a bummer to get a year older, but the big consolation is that you get presents! AND, unlike Christmas, you don't have to worry about giving anyone presents, so it's a fairly stress-free event from that standpoint. What's not to like about that?

Okay though. As I look back over this entry, I can see that it's starting to get a little bit out of hand and jumping a bit too much from one tangent to another. So, it's probably time to put a stop to it all, and say goodbye for a few more days.

So, "goodbye for a few more days"

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

warmth, communication, reassurance, and X-men

Well, the boiler at work is fixed, the voice mail is fixed, and my computer seems to be doing a bit better than it was previously. It looks like things are just about back to their pre-Christmas level of working-ness. Nice.

In other news, the wedding plans continue. Right now I'm mainly working on getting addresses for announcements, but in the back of my mind I'm worrying about cakes (oh yes, we are now going to have a cake after all) and flowers and food and all of that fun stuff. Last night I reached saturation point of worrying about it all, got a little reality check as to what is and really is not important, and now I'm back to being able to take it all (or at least most of it) in stride.

In my spare time lately, I've been trying to get a baby aphgan done for one of my nephews that will be born in March or April. As I've been working on that, I've been watching the X-Men trilogy on DVD. I love it! I would like to know some of the back story of the whole X-Men deal though, the things that you can't learn just by watching the movies. I don't think I'm committed enough to it all to actually read the comic books though. So, I guess we'll have to see how I reconcile those two forces.

And that's it for today.

ps-the spell check isn't working at the moment, and I'm too lazy to go through this all on my own, so please excuse any misspellings.

Friday, January 05, 2007

a bunch of random photos

Well folks, it's time once again for a random smattering of photos from yours truly. I suppose I shouldn't say that it is time "once again", because this is actually probably the first time I've actually done this with a collection of photos that was this random. The only thing these pictures have in common with one another is that they are all on my computer, and they all kind of struck my fancy at the moment. So, with that, let's move on to the pictures, shall we?

The first today is a picture I took on the infamous San Diego trip that I took with Ilsa and Camilla (you remember, last September). As Camilla and I were strolling along the beach at Coronado del Mar, I was taken with these three little girls, and how much fun they seemed to be having. They were laughing and splashing, and playing, but whatever they did, they almost always were holding hands. It was so cute I couldn't resist, and so I snapped their picture.

Our next shot (below) is from a family reunion in the summer of 2005. One of my uncles (or aunts ) took this photo. I generally try not to post pictures of my family or friends on the web unless I have their permission. But, since this photo is already on the web (on my uncle's smugmug site), I thought I was probably safe to do so. That's me with the guitar.

Next we have a picture that was taken by Tayneshia on our first night in Paris. I just like the look of this one.

And finally, we have a photo that was taken last Saturday. This is Eric and two of my brothers (they aren't all that distinguishable in this picture, which is why I feel okay about posting it without their permission), working on a sledding run up at my parent's cabin. It was the best sledding run we ever had. In time, we came to refer to it affectionately as "The Luge".

And that's pretty much it for these days. Tonight or tomorrow Eric and I are thinking about going to a movie. Eric is pulling for Ghostrider, I'm more interested in The Pursuit of Happyness. I think I might be in luck, because as far as I can tell, Ghostrider hasn't made it to our cinemas yet (if it's even been released).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

the dress dilemma

Well, we're only a few days into our "wedding planning in earnest" period, and already we've made changes.

When I was a little girl, I had all the wedding dreams that you would imagine--big dress, beautiful cake, my best girlfriends in matching (teal) dresses shaking hand after hand at a lavish reception, etc., etc., etc.

However, as it started looking like I would probably get married later in life, I determined that a reception really wasn't all that exciting (a lot of standing in line, shaking hands of people, many of whom are closer to your parents than they are to you), that big dresses were hard to manage, and that there was probably no dress in existence that would be flattering to all of my best girlfriends.

So, my dream wedding turned into something more simple. A nice temple ceremony, a luncheon for my closest friends and family, and then my handsome husband and I running off to our glorious honeymoon. In other words, no reception, no cake, no big dress, and no bridesmaids.

That's pretty much what we have now, except that we've determined that we will have a casual reception/celebration/party, which will probably take place the night before we get married. The reason for this is simply that there are more people who are interested in Eric and I and our marriage than either of us previously imagined. Since we can't invite them all to the temple (the sealing room only holds 55 people), and realistically can't fit them all into one room at the same time for a luncheon, we've determined to invite them to join us for pie and good times on the night before the big day.

So, still no bridesmaids. Probably no cake either. I'm trying to decide for sure when and where I will wear the dress. Obviously at the wedding and for the pictures outside the temple afterward. Probably not for the luncheon. As to the reception, I'm not sure. It seems weird to wear the dress the day before the wedding, you know? Also, if we're having a casual reception, then nothing screams anti-casual like having the bride (to be) in a beaded gown and veil, you know? And yet, I like the dress and I feel pretty in it. Huh. What to do?

Eric's hoping I'll choose not to wear the dress, for the simple reason that if I'm in the dress, he'll have to be more dressed up than he would choose of his own accord. Of course, he's willing to do whatever will make me happy. So, I suppose I'll have to figure out what will make me happy huh?

Speaking of Eric, what an affable man he is. How long after our marriage do you think I'll be able to maintain him in his current state of being wrapped around my little finger?

Here's hoping it will be years and years and years.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Ringing in the New Year

I'm writing this from my parent's kitchen in Southern Utah. Up until about two weeks ago, doing this would have been incredibly slow and frustrating, because up until then, my parents were still in the days of dial-up internet. Agony! But no more! Recently they upgraded to screaming fast broadband. Ecstasy! Heaven! Joy!

Of course, they still have this ergonomic keyboard, which while surely helping my wrists, is causing me fits as I try to type. Oh well.

Christmas was great, New Years was great, everything is great. We've been down at my parents since Thursday, and are heading back home in about an hour. Being here has been a real treat. We were able to get in some good laughs (lots and lots of laughs) play some games, read some stories, and just do some general hanging out. We watched Raising Arizona, and went bowling (I got a whopping 83), and played in the snow up at the cabin. Our New Years' Eve feast included crab legs, spare ribs, oreos, and all the creme soda I could drink. All indications are that my family adores Eric (especially 9-year old Kaylee, 3-year old MaKell, and almost-4-year old Spencer), and Eric is quite taken with my family. Nice.

In addition, while I was down here, I tried on the wedding dress that my sister wore for her wedding (back in 2000), and it fits perfectly and looks great. Hooray! One more wedding task that is now done.

And that pretty much sums up life at this point. I've been thinking about what New Years' Resolutions I might set, as I always try to set a few. My Resolutions for 2006 were:

1-Arrive at work on time
2-Read scriptures every day and exercise 5 times per week
3-Be more diligent about my thoughts, with the main focus being curtailing pessimism.

I did quite well at 2 & 3, and not so well at #1.

This year I'm probably going to have one resolution that deals with Yoga. For years I have practiced Yoga quite regularly, and found that the benefits were GREAT. But, since August or so, I've kind of fallen off the wagon. So, it's probably time to get back on. We'll see what other improvements I try to make.

And that's about all for now.

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