Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Free Theater Tickets!

Katie came out of her room last night and said, "I have something your readers would love." And she's totally right. You're going to love this.

(But first can I tell you how weird I still feel saying that I have readers. Because I sometimes think it's just my mom who reads this...because she has to...because she's my mom.)

Anyway, the thing that you're going to love is Free Night of Theater 2009. Theaters around the nation are just giving away free tickets to you for plays and musicals. HOW FUN IS THAT!? If you go to that website you can check out what is playing in your area and what nights are available and they give you a date of when you can reserve the tickets. You get two tickets per reservation.

I think I'm going to get tickets for Richard III. It's been ages since I've seen Shakespeare. And this is a good one - lots of ghosts and a hunchback! Who wants to be my date?

Monday, September 28, 2009

I went to Arizona. This is what I did.

I was about halfway between civilization and Blythe on my drive out to Arizona for a weekend of fun with Cynde when I realized that I had to pee. This is a horrible realization when you're in a car in the desert and the mile markers tell you that you're still 60 miles away from a bathroom. Oh, it's horrible. So I did the only thing I could think of. I drove 90 mph and sang at the top of my lungs. Because singing really loud always distracts me. And I desperately needed distracting from the impending explosion of my bladder. I sang Abba, and Neil Diamond and a lot of hymns but those only got me 30 miles closer and then panic started setting in. What if my bladder actually does explode? How can I tell if it's about to happen. Will there be a warning? Should I pull over? Which is worse, my bladder exploding or peeing on the side of the highway? I imagined myself getting knocked over by a tumbleweed and how embarrassing would that headline be, "Girl Killed by Rogue Tumbleweed While Peeing." Twenty miles from Blythe and I was contemplating my death.

Then suddenly, rising from the desert floor, a beacon of hope! A sign that said "Rest stop - next exit." I nearly wept, except that I was too busy cutting semis off to get to the exit. Never before had a fly infested stinky brick building looked so beautiful.

That's just one of the highlights. Here are some more:

1.) Staying up until 3am playing Guitar Hero. Some people can do this without any adverse effects. I can't stay up past 10 reading a book without waking up in the morning in tears. Which is to say, I am not one of those people. But I do rock the guitar.

2.) Learning more than I ever wanted to know about the band Kiss. Cynde has a friend who knows all sorts of Kiss-tory. (You'll be thrilled to know that I didn't just make that term up. He used it several times. In all seriousness. It was awesome.)

3.) Falling in love with the percussionist of Pink Martini. It is not very often that a drum solo will move me enough to propose but I almost did. I could go on tour with them and polish cymbals back stage and my life would be complete.

4.) Eating my weight in cheese. We somehow managed to stuff ourselves with all sorts of cheese over the weekend. We ate cheese in the hallway of a swanky restaurant that we were not actually patronising while the wait-staff walked by and stared (Long story. I will just say that it was a very typical Rachel & Cynde Adventure. Someday a movie will be made about all the awkward/hilarious moments we've had together), we ate cheese for breakfast, we sampled cheese at Costco, at a dinner party on Saturday night we ate goat cheese laced with figs that, were it socially acceptable, I would have shoveled into my mouth with my bare hands.

5.) The long solitary road trip. Who's with me on this? Driving by yourself for hours is so fun. You can listen to whatever you want, you don't have to stop for anyone else, and when you want peace and quiet you just stop talking to yourself.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Class was cancelled - due to lack of hustle

1.) Bronwyn, the Diplomat's Wife, just posted on her blog that she is looking for baby clothes and supplies for a hospital she volunteers at. If you have some stuff that isn't getting used in the near future or if you just want to help you can go over to her blog for the info on how to contact her. She lives in Tunis, which is in Tunisia, which is far, far away. But she has an American address so you can let the government pay for half the shipping. Let's help babies!!

2.) My drumming class was cancelled due to lack of interest. Sigh. There were only 3 people signed up and they needed at least 4. So to cheer ourselves up Lindsay and I went to Bert & Rocky's. The night was not a bust.

3.) I'm driving to Phoenix tomorrow. Cynde and I are going to the Pink Martini concert in Tucson. Exotic! The last Pink Martini concert I went to was at the Hollywood Bowl and during their finale they played Bolero and they had stilt walkers and clowns and unicyclists and jugglers dancing on stage while giant balls of fire exploded over the bowl. It may have been the greatest moment of my life. So I don't know how they're going to top it, but my money is on them finding a way.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hair Akimbo

My straightener broke yesterday morning, which means that my hair is akimbo. I look like an upside down pineapple. Bulbous on the top and all sticky-outy on the bottom. I have attempted to tame it with a head band but am only having marginal success. It does not help that I had nun chucks last night and I worked out this morning but worked out a little later than normal and didn't have time to wash my hair so it's akimbo and gross.

I think the wild hair look may actually work to my advantage tonight because Lindsay and I have signed up for the Upland community drum circle class. Lindsay has participated in drum circles before and loves them and I love anything that will make me laugh until I pee my pants, which I think drum circles have the potential for. I'm hoping that there are unwashed hippies so that I can blend right in.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another Random List

1.) Over the weekend I played the organ at a very large gathering of Mormon scout leaders. So I got to see a lot of grown men in khaki shorts and knee high socks. I LOVE those scout socks. They kill me. I also love playing the organ for large congregations of men because men don't hold back on their singing. They turn the volume to high which means I get to turn the volume to high on the organ and use all sorts of really deep stops that maybe wouldn't be so appropriate in a smaller congregation on a Sunday afternoon. The walls shook.

2.) The Cat Woman was wearing booty shorts this morning at the gym. They said "JAMAICA" across the bum. She was also wearing a very low cut tank top. There was only about 20% containment when she was on the step climber. It may have been too much for me that early in the morning.

3.) My computer at work has a virus. The computer geek who was in here working on it kept saying, "Ooooh, you are GOOD!" Like he had found a worthy opponent. The virus ended up being so good that he had to take my whole computer back to his store. I cried a little.

4.) Chiquita and I have been working for the last 6 months to win contracts with various government agencies to provide temps and have been outbid every time. It takes weeks to get these proposals ready and it's very time intensive and we have lost every single one. Until today. We won a huge one. Chiquita came running out of her office with the great news and we did a happy dance and rang our Good News Bell and made plans for going out for tacos later this week. HOORAY!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The T-Shirt

Colleen just sent me this link. Friends, I need this shirt. T-Shirts, in general, make me look tragic and frumpy. They're just not cut right and when you're chesty and hippy like me, you have to have a well cut shirt.

However, picture me at the gym chatting it up with the Cat Woman in that shirt. Picture me in nun-chuck class giving a 10 year old a concussion in that shirt. Picture me on an emergency trip to Wal-Mart for toilet paper in that shirt. (These are the only acceptable public places I will be seen in a t-shirt.) Would I not just be a beacon of light and happiness for the dreary world around me? It's a public service, owning that shirt.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do NOT touch the beach ball

I went to the Dodger game last night with my parents and Camille. There are only a few home games left and we wanted to get another one in but we couldn't get my mom's work tickets so Camille went onto and got tickets for $.88 each. This is not a joke. And it was free Dodger Dog night! Our tickets were up in the reserve section. Remember how a while ago I wrote about sitting in the fancy seats behind the dugout? And how no one was really paying any attention to the game because they were too busy talking about their stock portfolios? Well, the reserve section is the same, except that everyone is too busy doing the wave and chatting in the aisles, and booing at ushers who take away the beach balls that are perpetually bouncing around the crowd.

Did I ever tell you about the time I was at a Dodger game and I accidentally hit the beach ball over the ledge and down to the next level? My entire section booed me and people start tossing popcorn and peanut shells at my head, which then got caught in my hair. Rule #1 of baseball watching: DO NOT HIT THE BEACH BALL OVER THE LEDGE!!! My new technique is to completely ignore the beach ball, even if it falls into my lap. "What, this thing? A beach ball? You don't say. I thought it was a goiter."

In entirely unrelated news: DID YOU SEE WHAT PLACE KATIE AND I BOTH GOT FOR OUR PROJECTS THAT WE SUBMITTED TO THE FAIR?!?!?!?!?!?! THIRD!!!!!!!! Which is just awesome, right? Because you may recall that I love third place! This is a HUGE dream come true. I've always wanted to win a ribbon at the fair. I celebrated by going down the Big Yellow Slide...twice. In a few weeks you can come to my house and see my ribbon proudly displayed next to my nun chuck certificate.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The art of drawing a bowling alley

The difference between men and women:

My ward got together last night to prepare for our stake's NIGHT OF THE LIVING SCRIPTURES!!! Only it's actually called Festival of the Living Scriptures but I like the other name better. It's like a mini roadshow where each ward has to put on a 10 minute skit depicting a specific scripture story. Ours is the 2000 Stripling Warriors. It is exactly the type of thing that I fight against because I'm a cranky old woman but in reality I enjoy because it has that Judy Garland/Micky Rooney Summerstock kind of feel to it which I can't resist.

(I just realized that the above paragraph was very Mormon-y and that some of you out there may not have any idea what a ward or a stake or a roadshow or a Stripling Warrior is. Here's a glossary. Helpful, right? I live to serve you.)

We have changed the story around so that it's about a rag-tag band of bowlers (because bowling always gets a laugh, which is why, as you know, I'm having my wedding reception at a bowling alley. For laughs, people.) I ended up on the scenery painting team, turning butcher paper into a bowling alley.

Now, here's where the difference comes in: Women, when doing artistic things like this, will just jump in with a pencil and start estimating where things go. Lanes here, lettering there, a couple of bowling balls scattered over the top. As long as it looks good, right? And, I'm here to tell you, it always looks good. Men, on the other hand, will go into the library and grab a yard stick, which they will use to meticulously measure out the exact amount of inches needed to fit in the alley, the gutter and the ball return, making sure that the ball return is on the proper side, and making sure that there is the proper perspective, with lanes on the ends being smaller than the lanes in the middle, so that when you look at the butcher paper representation it looks authentic. This also looks good, if not slightly neurotic.

I'm not saying either way is better because both ways work. But there were definite moments when the women would roll their eyes and say, "Men," and the men would roll their eyes and say, "Pass me the ruler."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Whim Weekend

I like to have plans when I travel with other people because I HATE the whole "What do you want to do?" "I don't know. What do you want to do?" business that generally happens.
So there was high potential for me being cranky when Katie and Heather and I departed on Friday afternoon for the central coast. We had a hotel reservation for two nights in Santa Maria and a reservation at Hearst Castle on Saturday. And that was it. No other plans. I was a little worried.
But there was no need because what I forgot to factor in was that we were driving along the coast. And when this is your view for most of your trip,
you can't help but have the Blue Bird of Happiness tucked deep in your heart.
At the beginning of the trip we decided that since we had no plans we would do everything on a whim. It was the Whim Weekend! If any of us saw something that we liked we would pull off and enjoy.
So on a whim:
1.) We stopped in Carpinteria and picked up some hamburgers and ate them on the life guard tower while we watched the sunset (it really was that golden);
2.) We saw a pretty little bay that looked inviting and got off the freeway and ended up instead at a pretty little farm that sold fruits and homemade pies;

3.) We eventually made it to the bay which turned out to be a dog beach that was hosting a Great Dane festival. Have you seen dozens of Great Danes frolicking in the ocean? Your heart will break;
4.) We went to see the rock at Morro Bay and ended up at an art show where we purchased lovely hand-crafted jewelry and soap. (Fact: I am a sucker for hand-made soap because it's nicer on my allergies. Also, and this is the highest praise I can give, this soap was sitting in a bag at my feet in the car for hours and smelled the whole place up and not once did I feel like sneezing, wheezing, gagging or throwing it out the window. And it makes my skin feel nice.);
5.) We rescheduled our reservation time for Hearst Castle to make room for more whims. But we eventually made it and we learned all about the Life of Elegant Leisure.
Although we also learned that that life is only for the rich. For the paying tourist it is a whole bunch of "Hurry up! Stay with the group! No loitering!" Which went against my natural instincts, and, might I add, the whole vibe of the place. It's begging you to loiter, but your tour guide is shoving you on the bus;
6.) We headed down to Cambria and ended up having dinner at a fancy restaurant and then antique shopping, where I bought yet another brooch. Friends, I need another brooch like I need another toe. But how am I suppose to resist? It was a whim! We also wandered into a hat shop and I found this beauty:

The Official Hat for the Woman of Elegant Leisure!!!!! I would have had to take out a loan for it but just knowing that it exists fills me with joy.
7.) We played Uno at the poker table in the lobby of our hotel. It was a very old hotel and full of charm and tchotchkes and we thought it would be fun. It was.
Katie dealing:
Heather modeling her saucy new hat:
Me smiling with my eyes while losing:
Oy, that was a lot of cards.
To sum up: whims=fun

Friday, September 4, 2009

And the winner is...

Giving things away is fun! And drawings are fun! Until this year my brothers and sisters and I use to draw names to see who we would be buying Christmas presents for. Now we're on a rotation system, which, I suppose is more practical and very grown up. But I'm a little sad that we don't get to have the actual drawing. There's just so much excitement involved. I could have gone to one of those fancy web sites that randomly selects a number for you but I wanted to physically draw a name out of a cup. So that's what I did. I wrote all of your names down on little strips of paper and folded them up and put them in a cup.

And the winner is...


My own sister.

Thus proving that it was, in fact, a completely arbitrary draw. And also incredibly convenient because I think according to the new gift giving system we buy a present for the person just older than us! Merry Christmas, Gina!!!! Or was it just younger than us? Gina, share with Katie. Merry Christmas, Katie!!!!!

Okay, so I'm feel even more generous and drawing names is seriously so much fun, I want to draw another one. So, the second winner of a 1 lb box of See's is...


Yay! I was secretly hoping that it was someone who had never had See's before. I was actually kind of surprised by how many of you hadn't. And then I realized that it's mostly a western states kind of thing which of course made me feel lucky, and a little superior, and really sad for you. And how about this for exotic: Bronwyn lives in Tunisia. Where they definitely don't have See's. She's a diplomat's wife. Now, if that does not just scream Woman of Elegant Leisure I don't know what does. I like to envision her lounging on a chaise in the shade of her fruit trees, the warm Mediterranian breezes gently rustling the edges of her silk caftan. And now I get to picture her delicately picking through a box of chocolates.

So congratulations Gina & Bronwyn! Email me with mailing instructions.

And thanks to all of you for playing along. This was so much fun that I think I'll have give aways more often so stay tuned.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I would call it Gross White Stuff that Tasts Good on Lime Truffles

I was over at my aunt & uncle's house getting my hair cut. My cousin Sarah lives in St. George now but she comes out every 6 weeks for her regulars out here. It's incredibly convenient because I hate the anxiety that comes from sitting in a salon chair with wet hair and absolutely nothing to say. It makes me nervous. Sarah and I never run out of things to say. What with all the Bill Murray movies to quote.

When I got there my aunt said that she needed to go to See's Candy and asked what my favorites were. 1.) California brittle and 2.) lime truffle (which is a complete mystery because it is covered in white chocolate and I am opposed to that stuff on a moral level. Except that it is mighty tasty on those lime truffles.)(Do you think if we all work really hard we can come up with a different name for white chocolate. It's not chocolate. It's not even the same neighborhood. It's like 3 towns over and through a really creepy forest where hobos hang out. And I feel like it is an affront to chocolate to even call it that. So let's all work together to come up with a more appropriate name and then we'll start a letter writing campaign to get it officially changed. I'm sure I can convince my neighbor, the Congressman, to help us out. We can do this! Si se puede!!!!)

Where was I? Right, See's. But first an interesting side note: Sarah's favorites are also 1.) California brittle and 2.) lime truffle. Fascinating! Or maybe not because, well, we're related.

Okay, so I was wondering what your favorite See's candies are. You may have noticed that I love hearing what people's favorites are. It makes me feel like I got a glimpse into your soul. And because I'm feeling generous (and because I secretly want to be the Pioneer Woman when I grow up) I'm going to make it worth your while. If you leave a comment telling me what your favorites are and/or what new name you would give white chocolate and/or how many letters you would be willing to write in our forthcoming letter writing campaign (we'll make matching t-shirts!), you will be entered into a drawing to receive a gift certificate for a 1 pound box of See's candy. Winner to be announced tomorrow afternoon so get them in quick. And only one comment, cheater.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dogs and Cats Living Together

The Sensei started us on double nun chucks last night. So instead of hitting myself with just one pair I get to hit myself with two. Double the chance of getting a concussion. But it looks very impressive. Well, it would minus the pained expression

In other news: I'm done with these wild fires. We're surrounded by them and the smoke has blocked out the sun. Apparently these fires create their own weather system so I walked out of the apartment this morning to grayish brown skies that were sprinkling rain and ash. It's Armageddon, people. Find your can opener and head down to the bunker.