Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Love Letter

Dear Christmas Vacation,

Have I told you how much I love you? I really do. Seriously. This is a love that will last. I'm in it for the long haul. I'm not going to wine you and dine you and then dump you for some other vacation. Nope. The other vacations are great but you're the best. Number one in my heart. Always and 4-ever.

Remember how on Monday I stayed in my pajamas until 2 and watched old, sort of obscure Christmas movies on TV? That was really great. You're so good to me. And remember how on Sunday night I went to bed at 9, even though I didn't have to? Even though I could have stayed up until 2am if I wanted to. But I didn't want to. I wanted to go to bed at 9 and stay there until 9 the next morning, simply because, thanks to you, I had that option. That's why this relationship works so well. You give me the freedom to be exactly who I want to be. A Woman of Elegant Leisure.

Hey, tomorrow, let's go to Pasadena and hold hands while we window shop. Just because we can. I'll buy you a hot cocoa.


Friday, December 21, 2007


What's that? How many more links on my Post-it Note chain? None! That's right! I have no more links! (click heels, pump fist, whoo-hoo!) Angels are singing and the Christmas Blue Bird of Happiness is in my heart. In honor of this wonderful occasion I have composed a song (sung to Joy to the World. Imagine me singing gustily, with made up tap dance moves and lots of shimmying and jazz hands. As if there is any other way to imagine me.)

No more links on my Post-it chain
I cut the last one off!
At 3 o'clock today
I'm going to run away
And put my pjs on
And put my pjs on
And put and put my pjs on!

To add another layer of joy to this wonderful day I would like to share that the Knecht girls have once again choreographed another fantastic routine for the Knecht Family Christmas Extraveganza on Saturday night. Grandma Knecht loved having a talent portion of the Christmas party and it has traditionally been Gina on the piano and a few of us singing some Christmas songs. But about 4 years ago we decided to step it up and add costumes and choreography and now it's BIG BIG BIG! We have to out-do ourselves every year. It's tough but we always manage to pull it off. I can't give anything away but I will say that it may include some of the following moves: intense leaps, very difficult spins, a fountain, and a lift.

Joy to the World!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I've learned to whisper in her office

Things I have heard other patients say through the the vents of my doctor's office while I fight off her attempts to squirt yet another nasal spray up my nose:

1.) "Is it going to get any bigger?"
2.) "I've been peeing blood for 3 weeks now."
3.) "It made my toenail fall off."
4.) "The rash started on my back but now it's on my butt."

When I filled out the survey yesterday on how my visit was I wrote, "Very entertaining."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Our hearts will go on

I was going to tell you all about the move this weekend, how Dad and a few fellas from church did all the heavy lifting, and Mom did my laundry, and Liz beautifully arranged our living room ("Where will be put the ottoman?! It won't fit!! Despair, despair!" "Why don't you just switch the couches?" Genius!), and Laura organized my felt in rainbow colors AND arranged my books by my very neurotic specifications (children, adult, churchy, compilations, poetry, special books. All alphabetized by author.), and Katie bought me chocolate Hostess donettes, because what would a move be without donettes (answer: unbearable.). Thanks to all the lovely people who got me out and in by going up and down those many, many, many, many flights of stairs. Oy, the stairs!

But those details will have to wait because I read the following in the newspaper this morning and it needs to be shared with the world:
LAS VEGAS — For the final performance of “A New Day,” Celine
Dion’s show at Caesars Palace here last weekend, M J Wylie, 49, a
health-care consultant from Denver, decided to go formal. She wore a
floor-length black gown and a sparkly white shawl; around her neck was a silver
pendant in the shape of the show’s first logo, an elongated figure of a woman.
Inside her $3,400 Judith Leiber clutch, bought at the gift shop adjacent to the
theater and also bedazzled with the logo, were several autographed photos of Ms.
Dion with Ms. Wylie. It was an undeniably elegant ensemble; the only problem,
Ms. Wylie said, was that her dress hid her commemorative “New Day” tattoo.

If you read the article you will learn that she has seen the show 62 times and has estimates that she has spend $15,000 to $20,000 on her Celine habit.

Maybe it's because I don't think that Celine Dion would be any fun to see in Vegas unless she were 80 and dressed in a sparkly muu-muu but this is just so crazy and wonderful to me. I am baffled that someone would be so obsessed but I love, love, love that there are people like this in the world.

Like my co-worker's daughter who has Janine Garofalo tattooed on her leg. This is true dedication.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I really did try to plant those trees

Whenever someone starts out a conversation by saying, "I had the weirdest dream last night..." my mind starts to wander to more interesting places, like the cracker aisle at the grocery store, because believe me, Ritz crackers are way more interesting to me then what you dreamed about last night. Here's why: there's no response to other people telling you about a dream they had. They can say, "I dreamed I was in hand to hand combat with a giant gherkin," and all you can say is, "That's so weird," and only kind of mean it. Because it's not really that weird. It's a dream. They're suppose to be weird.*

So you see, on a personal ethics level I'm very hesitant to tell you about these dreams I've been having. But I think there's some significance to them so here you go. Feel free to think about your favorite food aisle if you're not that interested.

I've been having this recurring dream lately: I'm traveling around with about 20 people trying to get things done. I'm never by myself and there are usually a handful of people that I know and at least one celebrity in the group. We always have a list of errands we need to get done but we're somehow always sidetracked or diverted, like we intend to go somewhere but we always end up somewhere else. And we never travel by car. We're almost always on bikes or walking. For instance, last night I dreamed that I was with a large group that included Katie, Silvia, Valerie (It was an Appel-apalooza!) and Marley Matlin. We had a long list of things we had to get done, like go to the gym and take a yoga class, only the gym was packed with wall to wall people, like a refugee camp. Everyone had sweat bands on their heads and were huddled under dirty blankets. So we decided to ride our bikes up to the craft store to get embroidery floss but we ended up going by a park that we had to plant trees at, except that we couldn't because (and I'm not making this up) a polycarbonate substance was covering all the flower beds. I literally said in my dream, "It's a polycarbonate substance." I had to look up what a polycarbonate was this morning.

After I found that out I googled "dream interpretations" and got a load of links. I don't ever think about interpreting dreams because 1.) I don't often remember my dreams and 2.) they're usually more funny than weird and we all know that explanations always make things that are funny less funny. But because I've had a variation of this dream about once a month for the last year now I decided it was time I figured it out.

Here's what I found:

bikes = bright prospects
parks = enjoyable leisure
sewing (embroidery floss) = domestic peace
gym = material prosperity
errands = harmony and mutual understanding in my domestic sphere

Friends, this can only mean one thing. My Wealthy Benefactor is ON HIS WAY!!!!! I can finally live my life as a Woman of Elegant Leisure! Clearly, I will get to use his funds (after he buys me my top three luxury items**) to help people in the need (the sweat-banded refugees) and the deaf (Marley Matlin) and the parks and recreation department (tree planting). And it looks like Katie, Silvia, Valerie and that crowd of people I'm always with will get to join in the fun.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure the polycarbonate substance means that my WB made his fortune in a chemical lab. Rich and smart! Dream come true.

*If you ever actually are in hand to hand combat with a giant gherkin then that would really be something. And please tell me about it. That is way more interesting then Ritz.

**1.) Slurpee machine, 2.) golf cart, 3.) chocolate fountain large enough to swim in.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Beware of Falling Anvils

There are two types of people in the world: those who pass on cutesy e-mails to everyone in their contact list and those who want an anvil to fall on those people. I'm in the latter group.

Christmas time is for that first group. I think everyday this week I've gotten an e-mail with some combination of flying teddy bear angels/dancing Christmas trees/talking reindeer all with Jingle Bell Rock playing in the background. Or I'm assuming because I usually delete these without even looking. I've seen enough of them to know that there is always a flying teddy bear angel wishing you Merry Christmas and pass it on or you'll get scurvy and DIE!

But I had to look at the one I got today because the subject was "Birthday Message for Jesus," and well, I didn't want to miss that. When I saw what it was I literally put my head down on my desk and sighed. Turns out it's an INVITATION TO HIS BIRTHDAY PARTY.

No, I will not pass this on to you. You can't make me. But here are a few highlights:

Attire: Come as you are... grubbies are okay. He'll be washing our clothes anyway. He said something about new white robes and crowns for everyone who stays till the last.

Refreshments: New wine, bread, and a far-out drink He calls "Living Water," followed by a supper that promises to be out of this world!

Party being given by His Kids (that's us!!)! Hope to see you there! For those of you whom I will see at the party, share this with someone today!

I'm officially throwing up now. And so...

A Royal Proclamation:

Any subject found passing on cutesy e-mails, especially those depicting the atonement as some neat party trick, will have an anvil fall on them.

Signed, The Queen o' the Universe

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And now I can say I gave it a shot...which is more than the players did.

Last night I did something I never do. I watched part of a basketball game. I don't like basketball. I like every other sport but basketball. I'll watch any other sport but basketball. (True story: On Sunday I was down at the fam's and we actually watched bowling. Mostly for laughs, but you understand.) But I thought, my tastes have changed over the years and I have discovered that things I thought I didn't like are actually pretty enjoyable. Like oatmeal and Dickens. So, the Clippers were on and I thought I'd give it a shot.

Nope. My tastes have not changed that much. Because here's what basketball is:

Throw in, dribble twice, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, shot, miss, rebound, foul, throw in, dribble twice to the other side, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, go for the hoop, miss, foul, free throw. Dribble, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, shoot, score, dribble, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, foul. Repeat. Near the end it's more like pass, foul, pass, foul, time out, pass, foul, time out, pass, pass, foul, foul, foul, foul, time out.

I lasted about15 minutes. Basketball is essentially freakishly tall people playing keep-away.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two Unrelated Open Letters

Dear Channel 13,

What you did last night to White Christmas was a crime, a shame, a disgrace! I expected it to be edited for time but you cut out ALL of the good musical numbers. The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing, Snow, Choreography, half of Minstrel Show – all gone! And what did you leave us? Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep. The one song I always fast forward. Sure, you still kept in Abraham and Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me but that’s not enough. I think you owe Christmas an apology.

A little bitter,

Deal Temporary Co-Worker,

Please stop talking to me. I’m serious. You’re talking too much. And entirely about things I don’t care anything about. I really mean it. I was pretty sure that I was doing the universal sign for I Don’t Care with my “Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh..” But you didn’t pick up on that. You’re driving me crazy.


Monday, December 10, 2007

31 'til You Die

Note: This has somehow turned into a Mormon-y post and I was thinking back and can't remember ever writing about Mormon issues specifically. And this got me worried. What if people are reading this blog and thinking, Hey, how come Rachel never writes about churchy issues? I bet she hates the church. I don't hate the church!!! I love the church! I don't know why things haven't come up before! Let's all be friends! So here you go. A Mormon-y post, just for you.

I went to a Single Adult activity on Saturday (for you 3 people who read this blog and don't know about the fun practices of the Mormons, there are two groups of single folk in the church, the Young Single Adults who are 18-30 and the Single Adults who are 31 'til you DIE. Which puts me in the same dating pool as my grandpa. Sigh.) It was never my intention to go to a S.A. activity until I was 50 and had more cats than friends. Which is to say that I have hope that I'll be married before I'm 50 and can avoid both the cats and the singles. But a friend of mine asked me to help out with the food and while I can say no to an invitation to attend, I can't say no to an invitation to help out. Because I'm a sucker. (Note to self: In the future avoid this friend like the plague! Possibly use the plague as an excuse.) So there we were. Me, Allison and Bryce (lovely friends my age whom I suckered into bringing food. Thanks pals! I owe you.) eating crepes with a bunch of widows and divorcees, all of them over 50.

I would like to point out that I don't ever feel sad or pathetic for being single. I know that a lot of people do. That a lot of people struggle with this sort of thing. I am not one of these people. I would love to meet a nice fella and get married and have wee little children who will color with me and can enjoy my very extensive children's book collection but I'm not crying myself to sleep over it.

But I have to say that the single adult program sort of makes me feel pathetic. If only because it feels like we're being patted on the head for not being married. "Here you go Singles. Here are some other Singles for you to play with. Don't you feel better now?" The whole intention of the single adult program I guess is to make us feel like we have a place to go where there are people who are like us. Like the Twilight Zone episode where that pretty lady has face surgery so she can look like the rest of the pig people she lives amongst, except that it doesn't work and they shipped her off to live with the rest of the pretty people. Only, you may remember, she didn't want to leave the pig people. THOSE were her people. Even though she didn't look like them she still belonged with them and didn't want to go with the foxy gentleman who came for her.

So I'm not married, which makes me different than 90% of the adults in my ward. But that doesn't mean that I don't belong with them. They're still my people! I love my ward. And it loves me. I have friends in my ward. Married friends. With actual spouses and children. And I belong to the Relief Society. I'm already a member of a group. I guess I don't see the need for another group. Especially when it's just the single people who have it. The church won't ever put on a special Christmas brunch just for young married mothers. Or for retired grandpas. And by contrast, I went to my ward's Christmas party that night and I felt way more comfortable there then I did with the 80 year old widowers.

And I know what you're saying, "Um, Rachel, how many times have you told us you're 80?" True. I am. And I actually do like chatting with the elderly, single or not. We can talk about knitting and PBS and our bad knees. It's not the people, you see. It's the program. I don't like that I've been corralled with a group of people simply because none of us are married. Mostly because that's exactly what it feels like. Corralled. Like we've all been wrangled into coming, especially considering how many phone calls I get asking me to come to the activities. How effective is the program if people have to be begged, or suckered in my case, into participation?

The night before the brunch I was talking to Allison and my roommate, who has admitted that she sometimes does feel pathetic that she's single, and who made a good point. It may not be for me, the singles program, but it may be exactly what other people need. Which is true. There were a couple of people there who seemed to be living it up. So, it's meeting the needs of some people. Which, once I got there, helped me to feel less pathetic. There I was, chopping ham, telling myself that the whole point of saying yes to this was because they needed my help. That's why I say yes to playing the piano and organ so often, even though I'm not very good at it or enjoy it very much. I say yes because I can and they need me. So the next time they ask for my help, I will say yes. But that doesn't mean I have to feel good about it.

The whole point of this post was to tell you that at the brunch a woman went into diabetic shock and they had to call the paramedics. And to confess that I probably won't make it into heaven, even with all of the ham chopping and organ playing, because while they were wheeling her away my thought was, "This is EXACTLY what I expected at a 31 'til you die activity. The paramedics."

Thursday, December 6, 2007

David Hasselhoff = Christmas!

You all saw the Dwight stocking I made for Casey.

Well, here's Camille's:

Oh man. I love this stocking so much! Making this was hours and hours of pure joy and hysterical giggling. I couldn't stop laughing when I cut out the speedo or put the hair on his chest or during all three attempts at the perfect hair-do. I want to quit my job and make Hasselhoff stockings all day long. I would love to take credit for the BRILLIANT idea but it was all Sam, the Original Idea Man. I owe you, Sam. Camille owes you. The World owes you.

My inspiration was this picture. I bet this was the inspiration for a lot of women.

And, in case any of you are feeling a bit squeamish that Camille is a missionary and that maybe so much manliness would be a distraction, I've made him a pair of pants:

That was Katie's idea. Seriously, my family - so clever and funny.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Looking for someone romantic and fun with a nice parole officer

I've always wondered how single women get hooked up with men in prison. Sometimes I come across newspaper articles, usually about a homicide, and the suspects' wife/lady-friend* would inevitably say, "He always did have a temper. Even when we were writing to each other while he was doing time, I could tell he had a short fuse." Initially I thought that maybe these women had a brother or a cousin "on the inside" who set them up. But I have since learned that any gal with a computer, a dream, and a healthy dose of self-loathing can get her very own inmate pen-pal. How, you ask? Duh.

I was reading one of those articles (I'm not going to link to it because it's disturbing) and it turns out that the murderer in this case found his wife on by posting that he was a "6-foot, 235-pound Albino gorilla with over 40 real nice tattoos. Can I get a 'lil bit of love from a lonely female?"

Lonely!? The women who married him must have been a leprous orphan with pink eye and bad b.o. to be lonely enough to want a guy like that. I wonder what exactly sold her on him - the 40+ real nice tattoos or the fact that he was serving 20 years for killing his own mother with a steak knife. What a catch. I'm fascinated as to what the thought process is for these women. How do they end up on that site? How lonely do you have to be to say, "Well, e-harmony didn't work out so I guess I'll try felons next." I personally can't think of any reason that would get me to look there (Side note: I didn't initially believe that it was a dating service for criminals and I really didn't want to go over and check, but because I was writing about it I wanted to make sure so I did and then promptly left because it made me feel desperate and sad and dirty. There I saved you the trouble.) but my feeling is that it's there because of a demand. There must be women out there who actually want to date someone in prison.

So, I think it needs to be said...

Dear Women Who Are Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Namely Prison:

Believe me when I tell you that I know how hard it is for a single gal. I'm a 32 year old single Mormon woman, which means that I'm fishing in a dating pool of about 3 eligible men and 150 men who are weird and/or living at home. Isn't it hard enough to find a decent fella - one who will respect you and love you and bring you hot chocolate when you have cramps - without having to worry that he'll have a bad day and kill the neighbors? You're better than that. Go on one of those singles cruises. You can simultaneously work on your tan and increase your chances of not being on Cops.

Solidarity sisters!

* The term lady-friend makes me laugh like a loon! I use to work with an older gentleman who spent his days cutting out obituaries (I spent my days cutting out wedding announcements. His was clearly the better job.) The fact that he cut out obituaries has nothing to do with this. I mention it because it's funny, natch. But he would often use the term "lady-friend" and every time it made me giggle with glee. He was a great guy. Remind me to tell you about the time I convinced him to join us in Overall Day.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hey Japan, do me a solid

A little while ago I posted the morning schedule of my Giant 4 Year Old Fake Sneezing Neighbor. Here's mine:

Alarm goes off. I hit the snooze and go back to sleep. Alarm goes off. I hit the snooze and go back to sleep. Alarm goes off. If I could muster the strength I would throw my alarm out the window but instead I turn the alarm off. Open my eyes. Sometimes I turn on the news to see if the Japanese have invaded West Covina. I don't want to have to drive to work for nothing. Once I curse the Japanese for their lack of initiative I go back to sleep. Wake up in a sudden panic. What time is it? How come my alarm didn't go off? Where are the Japanese when you need them? Rush. Rush. Rush. Rush. Rush. Rush. Rush. Decided it's not worth it to do my hair. Rush. Rush. Rush. Rush. Rush. Leave the apartment without breakfast and without packing a lunch.

Which brings us to 11:30 and me thinking that the Japanese owe me and should bring me a sandwich.