Saturday, April 26, 2008

We Are Family!

My family is pretty much awesome. I've already mentioned how much I love my sister, so this one's for everyone else.

This week is my parents' 25th wedding anniversary. Congratulations! I'm so thrilled that I have parents who still love each other after this long. When I talked to my dad that day, he said the secret was never discussing the d-word, and how patient and forgiving my mom is. Aren't they cute?

They're off in Park City (where they celebrated their honeymoon in 1983), doing whatever it is couples do when they're celebrating anniversaries . . .

Of course, me wondering that is how I found out about it. One night, I was about 10, I think, my parents let me stay up a little later than the other two and then sat me down to talk to me.

Dad: Mom says you asked a question about sex the other day.

Me: (horrified) I did!?

Dad: You asked what couples did on their honeymoons.

Me: Oh yeah. (For the record, she said "Spend a lot of time together", and I was completely satisfied. I was even more satisfied now, and ready to move on with life.)

Dad: Yeah. So, we thought we'd let you have the opportunity to ask any question you want about it. We'll even give you ten cents for every question.

Me: Okay . . .

I can't remember what I asked (aside from the basics), but I do remember that I had to get out my Barbie and Ken dolls and I earned 70 cents. In all honesty, I'm glad my parents still, well, whatever. However, I just don't need to think about it. Sadly, both my siblings and I can relate to this picture, in one way or another.
Anywho, moving on.

My brother is the best brother ever. The teenage years were rough, but we all survived. I'm now happy to call him one of my best friends. He helped drive me across the country, which is still one of my favorite road trips, even if I slept a lot.

Additionally, he and I are both getting into the running thing. He's doing way better than me, and is training for the St. George Marathon this year, but we both encourage each other constantly. My dad put together this video of the half-marathon he ran whilst I was running my latest 5K. (Based on race times, we were running simultaneously for about 15 minutes.) 10 points if you can guess the artist of the first song, and pardon my dad's lack of camera skills.

So, my whole family rocks, and I can't wait to see them in 6 weeks!

And now you're back, from outer space

Most mornings, I turn on VH1 whilst I'm getting ready for my day. They actually play music videos for a couple hours, and it's less obnoxious than the radio. One recent day, probably right after the new Mariah Carey song, a new George Michael video (obscured nudity warning) came on. He's been making appearances on Eli Stone, so I wasn't terribly surprised that he's come out with something new. It's not even terrible.

The next video that came on, however, may cause your ears to bleed. I apologize in advance.

Yep. You guessed it. The B-52s are back. As my brother said when I told him about this, "Is it the early 90s again?"

It must be, because Meat Loaf and Tiffany are starring in a new Go Phone commercial.

However, instead of wanting a Go Phone, I just want to listen to Meat Loaf.

"Wasted! . . . Youth! . . ."

Also, did anyone else play Lemmings? I'm addicted all over again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Runnin' on Empty

Today was a beautiful day for a race, especially one where I came in under my last time and have a new personal best! It's not a huge margin, but by golly, I'm still proud of myself. I'm especially pleased, because I had several things going against me in this race.

  1. I forgot my left orthotic at home. Considering I've been wearing these all my life, I'm rather amazed that I managed to overlook its absence until I was in the car. Initially, I was all systems go about it, but after about a mile, I could really tell that something was off. Now, my left leg hurts significantly more than my right.
  2. No iPod. Stupid race rules that I didn't break and everyone else did.
  3. Really lame music over the PA system coming down the home stretch. I'm sorry, but "Runnin' on Empty" and "I Will Survive" aren't exactly motivating.
  4. A jerk of a race commentator. As we listened to him making comments during the kids 1K Fun Run, I noted that I really hoped he wasn't there when I came through the end. He was, but I was glad he didn't make any comments specifically to me. I did however, hear these gems:
    1. "This guy looks like a football linebacker, but here he is coming through the finish line in under 40 minutes."
    2. "That looks more like a leisurely jog to me." (Ain't nothing leisurely about it. I'd like to see you try it.)
    3. "It's one thing to be out here when you weigh 140; it's totally another if you weigh more." (Honestly, if this had been about me, I might have smacked him. I wanted to anyway.)
    4. Not from him, but from some smug teenage boys acting as spotters "You can run faster than that!" I actually responded by pointing to braces on my both my ankles and said "Look at these and tell me to run faster." They both winced, but I don't know how much it helped.
Hearing things like "Woohoo!", "You're almost done!", "That's the last big hill!", and "No more hills!" are motivating, and I appreciated them quite a bit. That's the kind of thing I like to hear. Hopefully, the people at my next race will leave their smug attitudes at home.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And I forgot

Two more! (Thanks to Eilonwy for the first one.)

Okay, so I would probably freak out if someone did that my card catalogue, but since I do randomly dance around my library sometimes, I felt this was appropriate.

Wrapped up in books

Happy National Library Week!

In honor of this great week, I bring you several findings on the interwebs that make me go GHEE!

- A new trend in baby showers is the book shower: "A new shower trend, the book shower, aims to stock the new baby's bookcase. The theme is catching on with modern moms, many of whom receive several showers and get plenty of the nuts and bolts of babydom."

I'll be honest, I've never heard a first-time mom complain about having received too many onesies or sheet sets. Still, I certainly think it's a fun idea, whether or not I have one.

- Book Shaped Furniture!! What's not to love? Don't worry, roomies or future husband (btw, if you're reading this, say hi, I'd like to know who you are), I won't be incorporating these into my home furnishings. I just think they're rad, in a super nerdy way, and I'd love to have them in my library.

- Remember how I geeked out over the library as the safe haven in The Day After Tomorrow? Well, Entertainment Weekly put together a photo gallery of movies that prominently feature libraries. I haven't seen all of them, but it was still a geek out times 18.

- Finally, if you're considering a career in librarianship, perhaps this video is for you. This is an episode of US Government film series on careers, filmed at the Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) library in 1946.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Let's set sail with Captain Morgan

What a wonderful Conference weekend! I was reminded that I have awesome friends, there's hope for the things in my life I want to change, and that Heavenly Father loves me! I also finally got out my embroidery again. At this rate, I'll finish this project sometime during the October 2010 General Conference. Sorry, Fran.

I was also reminded that I just can't be taken seriously when ordering drinks. Here's why:

Scene 1: In Orlando, after seeing the following drink only under non-alcoholic beverages, not to mention that it's the middle of the afternoon in a family friendly amusement park:

Me: Can I get a strawberry daquiri please?

Waiter: Can I see your ID?

Me: Oh, virgin please. I mean I'm old enough, but we're, uh, chaperoning high school kids. So, yeah.

Waiter: (skeptically) Okay.

Scene 2: In Adams Morgan, bar-hopping girl's night out during the Priesthood session:

Bartender: What can I get you ladies?

Me: Orange juice with Red Bull, please.

Smash: Can I get a Shirley Temple?

Reimsy: Just Red Bull.

False Cathedrals: Shirley Temple for me too.

Bartender: What, are you all pregnant or something?

All us girls: (awkward laughs)

Smash: No, we're just all the designated drivers.

They're always nice about it, but there's just a hint of disbelief in their voice about the situation, and explaining it turns into word vomit. At least in Adams Morgan, our drinks were free because someone claims to have seen a mouse. (Follow the link to read Smash's entertaining take on our night out.)

Maybe one day I'll figure out how to believably order a non-alcoholic mixed beverage, but maybe it's also a good thing that I can't. Also, the "screwdriver" I had is my new bar drink of choice. Quite tasty!

Thanks to my rockstar friends for a great weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Say my name, say my name

It's a well known fact that putting emphasis on different words can change the meaning of the entire sentence.

She hit the pole. - Implies that she did. A specific she.

She hit the pole. - Stresses that she hit it, not simply walked up and said hello.

She hit the pole. - A specific, probably important pole.

She hit the pole. - Not the cone, or the curb, but the pole.

The way to up the ante even more is to add someone's name. For me, my name is huge and personal and very much a part of who I am. I love my name. I love hearing it (when it's being used politely).

"You're beautiful" means more to me when it's said "You're beautiful, Amanda." Even when it's my nickname, Stretch, I love hearing it. I'm still getting used to some of my friends calling me by my last name, because that was always what my brother was called in high school.

No matter what's being said, adding one's name to a statement, beyond simply getting their attention, makes it more personal.

This is particularly true of something you don't intend to be personal, but becomes such when adding the other person's name.

Recently, I , was involved in a high stress situation. We were all exhausted, confused, and mostly helpless about what was going on. I made one simple suggestion, just trying to help someone who was even more stressed than I, and another party quickly snapped:

"We can't, Amanda."

I know they didn't mean to snap at me, and it was just the stress of situation, but since they used my name it was hard to convince myself of that. Hearing my name in that tone of voice gave it an extra punch I'd prefer didn't exist. A few minutes later, it happened again, where the offending party said something in response to the situation and threw my name in the middle of it. Trying to tell them that it hurt when they said my name like that didn't work, and I resolved to just stay quiet and avoid this person for the rest of the evening.

I still like hearing my name, just don't wear it out.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

And I feel safe, so safe

I watched The Day After Tomorrow this evening. I've never seen it before, and figured it would be decent background noise to my studying. I enjoy disaster movies, particularly ones that aren't realistic in the least. Instead, I found myself totally geeking out over the fact that the library was the safe haven for the main characters. I completely sympathized with the two librarians who were reluctant to burn books for heat, and quickly agreed, just as they did, that it was the only way. I also agreed that the Gutenberg Bible was worth saving.

I am a nerd, and proud of it.

My heart was leaping in the sun

I thought I'd never been to Florida before, and upon my arrival in Orlando, I remarked this to my mother.

"No, you've been there before."

"Really? Was this the big road trip we had when I was 6 months old?"

"3 months. You slept in the dresser drawer."

As memorable as you think that might be, I certainly didn't remember. This trip, however, I will.

Last week, I helped chaperone a high school music trip to Orlando, FL. This is the same high school I've been choreographing at this school year. Free trip to FL? Okay! All I had to do was dispense meds to the chorus kids, which wasn't terribly hard. We also traveled with the band and orchestra from the school. All groups did really well in the festival they were competing in, all the choirs earning straight Superior ratings. I'm so proud!

The fun part of the trip was not the 16 hour bus trip either way, or the music festival, but visiting Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and Disneyworld. On average, 11 chaperones schlepped around the parks together, which isn't the most effective number for decision making. We still managed to have a great time. Sadly, due to a series of unfortunate events, the camera we were using to take pictures was stolen (another chaperone's, not mine), so I'll only be able to provide highlights and you'll have to imagine the events.

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure - Favorite rides: The Hulk and Spiderman. So awesome. I love a good thrill ride. The second time we rode The Hulk, Ellen Degeneres rode just before us and we saw her disembark. We had dinner at Mythos, which is highly rated by some travel website, and I had the best blueberry pistachio porkchops. Who knew those went together so well?

Disneyworld Hollywood Studios/Magic Kingdom - The RocknRoller Coaster (an Aerosmith themed ride) was pretty nifty, but not as thrilling as Space Mountain (the other inside roller coaster). The best part of the Disney experience was being part of the year of a million dreams, not once, but twice. First, several of us got march in a parade down Main Street, waving pom-poms. Second, some of us got VIP access onto Pirates of the Caribbean and bypassed the entire line. We were just talking to one of the dream crew members, a music education major, and my friend just asked if she could do something like get us to the front of the line of anything. Sure enough! So awesome.

While the trip wasn't perfect, and I was ready to be home about 15 hours before we were, it was still a good time. The weather was perfect, the company fun, and the break from work divine.