Monday, November 30, 2009

The Issue with the Door

There is a gentleman who works downstairs who always arrives in the parking lot at the same time I do. Almost every day we go through the same routine. We get out of our cars at the same time and then he will wait at the head of the walkway for me to get there and will let me go ahead of him and then I have to wait at the entrance to the building so he can open the door for me. It is always slightly awkward because there are an abundance of overgrown plants crowding the entryway and we always have to jostle around so that he can open the door and I think "Knights of Columbus, I can open the door myself and we could dispense with the awkwardness of this whole situation." Except that if I open the door he gets a little put off. Which, again, is awkward. I'll walk in and hold the door open for him and he'll say in a very serious voice, "You should let me open the door for you." The tone he uses makes me feel like I flunked out of finishing school.

And sometimes it's worse. Like when a third person is thrown into the mix. This morning another guy from downstairs got in between me and the regular guy on our walk down the path and the door was locked and I had my key and the new guy was fiddling with his and the regular didn't have his out. So I unlocked the door and let myself in and held it open for the fellas and then the regular guy said to the new guy, "You should have opened the door for this lady." I just smiled and said "Have a nice day," and left them to duel over my honor. Pistols at dawn!

I'm kind of middle-of-the-road on the whole door opening business in general. I think it's a very nice gesture but I never expect it. Which is the exact opposite of how Mr. Downstairs views it. It's not just a nice gesture, it's expected. The whole thing kind of goes against my practical nature. It's more practical, and less awkward, for me to open the door if I'm the first to get there. I don't do it because of some feminist principle - as in, "I don't need some man to open any door for me," - I do it because I can and I feel kind of ridiculous standing by a door waiting for someone to open it and let me in. Obviously, because we have this little schtick, I'm going to let Mr. Downstairs continue to open the door for me. Plus I think it's a code of honor for him, like him mom taught him well, and I don't want to disrespect that. But I'm also going to try to get to work 5 minutes earlier to avoid the whole thing. I hate awkward.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Day

I GOT A TURKEY YESTERDAY! As in, I went bowling and I got three strikes in a row. This is Big News because I generally bowl an 80. On a good day. When the stars are all aligned and I have pixie dust on hand. You may be impressed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


In last year's Thanksgiving post I said how grateful I was for bras and razors. I run pretty deep.

This year I'm thankful for this kid:

And this kid:
The nephews have been in town since Saturday and we've been reveling in them. The rest of the fam came into town last night. Did you hear the sonic boom when they crossed the California state line? You know what this means right? Seinfeld quotes and head measuring!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have I mentioned how thankful I am for you? And chocolate? You and chocolate and Tyra Banks make my life complete.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On the Loose

The other day I was driving down a busy street near my office and noticed in the distance a dog trotting down the sidewalk. There was a person, I'm going to assume it was the owner, about 30 yards behind it.

Commence Indignant Internal Monologue:

How reckless of that man to just let his dog roam around without a leash! This street is so busy, the poor thing could see a squirrel or a mailman or a frisbee on the other side and dash into on coming traffic! Isn't it the LAW that a dog has to be on a leash? WHERE are the police when you need them!? I should pull over and open my door and let the dog jump in. That'll teach that jerk to let his d.....huh?

Indignant Internal Monologue completed.

Because it wasn't a dog. It was a pot belly pig. And the owner wasn't ambling behind it, he was running, trying to catch it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Gnome Has It.

For years I use to keep people's addresses in random notebooks or, worse, scraps of paper that I would tuck into notebooks. Or worse yet, I would shove old envelopes into a shoe box and when I would need an address I would shuffle through it hoping that the person sent me something first. This is not conducive to a Life of Elegant Leisure. You can't expect to keep up your correspondence with the aid of a shoebox. It's vulgar, is what it is.

So I bought an address book - a cute pink one! - and it has been vary handy for several years now.

Or it was handy up until a few months ago when it vanished. I say vanished because that is the only plausible explanation. It was spirited away by gnomes or something. Because I don't generally lose things. I have a pretty good grasp of where everything is. I'm not the most organized gal but I like it when things have assigned places. Brooches go in the center drawer of my jewelry box. Ribbon is in the top right drawer of my crafting desk. Let's say I want my Aragorn bookmark that Rac sent to me years ago, I know that it's on the lower shelf of the book cupboard, because that's where bookmarks go. So you can imagine my dismay when I wrote a note to someone a while ago and went to grab my address book from the lower cubby on my desk - the place where it belongs, right next to my dictionary - and it wasn't there. I checked in all the other cubbies and drawers, not there. I checked under the pile of filing I have to do, not there. I checked on the floor around my desk, in the box under the desk, under my bed, in the living room, amongst the shoes in my closet, all around the dining room table. Anywhere an address book could possibly be I looked and came up empty handed. It's a real mystery, my friends.

It's been missing for a couple of months now and I'm ashamed to say that I'm ridiculously stubborn about these sorts of things. I know that as much as I want to believe that it was spirited away by gnomes it wasn't and that it has to be around somewhere and I don't want to buy a new address book and go through the work of getting every one's address and filling them all in again because I know that as soon as I do it will magically appear.

Except that I need addresses. Christmas is coming and I have cards to send out. And several birthdays have come and gone and I have signed and sealed cards that are embarrassingly late now.

So, can you be a pal and email me your address? racheknecht at gmail dot com. You don't have to if you don't want to. I mean, maybe we're not friends and you feel weird sending it to me. Really, how do you know I won't send you bad poetry written in highlighter on strips of toilet paper every week? You don't know. And the truth is, I actually have sent bad poetry written in highlighter on a strip of toilet paper to someone. So you're probably wise in not passing on that info to me. But if we are friends and you think that I may need your address for such things as thank you notes or birthday cards or invitations to lavish galas I occasionally throw then you know what to do. And while your at it send me your birthday and phone number because I keep that stuff in there too.

And if you get an invitation to a lavish gala thrown by a gnome, tell him I want my cute pink address book back.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If I Pass Out, Keep Singing

Every Christmas my stake puts on an enormous creche festival. It runs for 3 nights and people can wander around looking at the hundreds of nativities on display or they can listen to the musical numbers the community puts on and there are poinsettias and twinkle lights and a miniature town of Bethlehem and cutout plywood sheep and it's big, big, BIG. The grand finale is the Hallelujah chorus. The music is passed around and everyone joins in and sings. And this year I have to play the piano for it.

And I'm trying really hard to not curl up and die. Because this sort of thing terrifies me.

You see, I have fooled everyone into thinking that I can play the piano well because I can play the hymns well. But I play the hymns well because I've had 20 years of practice. And, hymns are easy. The Hallelujah chorus = the opposite of easy.

Now, there are some things to be thankful for. The first and most important is that I don't have to play it on the organ. Because you can't imagine how many heart attacks I would have if I had to. The second is that the missionary choir will be the last group to perform which means they will be up on the stand and everyone knows that the one thing missionaries are good at besides eating their weight in lasagna is singing really loud. So I'm hoping they will drown me out. The third is that when people sing the Hallelujah chorus they either know it and sing it with gusto, no matter how muddled the piano playing is, or they don't know it and are so engrossed in keeping up that they don't pay attention to the pianist passing out.

I will tell you this, if I do make it through without passing out, I will shimmy with joy.

In other musical news: My Reign of Terror on the organ has come to an end. The good people of my ward can give a collective sigh of relief. Although I secretly believe that they will miss my super slow rendition of "True to the Faith"* and my sometimes questionable stop combinations. Don't worry folks, once an organist, always an organist. I'll be back.

*The Hardest Song in the Hymnal. Also, the Song Our Chorister Loved to Have us Sing on a Regular Basis until I Put the Eternal Kibosh on Her Ever Choosing it Again.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Blessings for waking up at 5am to go to the gym:

1.) I overheard the Cat Woman tell her friend that she dressed up as a vampire from Twilight for Halloween.

2.) I can't think of another blessing but I'm certain that number 1 makes up for it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hazards of Eating Alone

I kind of like going out to eat by myself. Especially at lunch time, after a long morning of telling people that their felony will indeed get in the way of them getting hired by us. It's nice to have a peaceful hour to myself.

But there is a hazard in eating alone. It is this: you have no one to drown out the obnoxious chewers at the table next to you. If you eat with someone else you can talk right through it. But when you're dining alone you have no defense against the smacking lips, the sloshing food, the slurping, the gnawing, the sucking, the talking and talking and talking with their half-chewed sandwich still floating around inside their open mouth.

You'd be surprised at how hard it is to not stick my fingers in my ear and loudly hum Neil Diamond songs when these situations arise.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Which Book?

I've been posting like mad over at Like/Don't Like. I went out to eat twice yesterday (holiday!) and both places were new to me and are small, independently owned establishments and I thought I would share because they were both terrific and I think you should go there and support them. This blog is not called "Rachel Says So" just for fun. I'm bossy.

I also posted a couple of movie reviews but no books. In fact I haven't posted a book review in over a month. You thought I had an aneurysm or something, right? But no. The month of October was dedicated to re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series. Reading those books again made me feel like I was 12. Not in the "Is that a zit?! MY LIFE IS OVER!!!!!" sort of way, but in a way that recalls spending an entire Sunday afternoon reading in the backyard. Luxurious. I started young with my Life of Elegant Leisure.

Now, I could go on and on about how much I love these books, and how they sort of forged my love of reading and how, even decades later when I read that last book, when Anne's son Walter dies in the war, I broke down and wept, and not just a gentle kind of weeping but an embarrassing sobbing sort of weeping involving boxes of tissue. When I first read that part when I was a kid I remember being practically inconsolable. So no, I'm not going to tell you all about it.

But I want you to tell me all about it. What book made you love to read?*

*Heather wrote on a similar topic yesterday. Let's go book shopping, Heather!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things I worry about

I have a bad habit of imagining the worst case scenario and freaking myself out. Lately this has been happening in the early morning when I first wake up. And in case you're wondering, it's a HORRIBLE WAY TO WAKE UP and I desperately wish my mind would just clam up until at least after I've had my shower. After my shower I'm as rational as can be and I can face the world with a song in my heart. But before then, when all I want to do is snuggle down in bed for another 15 minutes of sleep, my sleepy, susceptible mind won't let me and I start going through all sorts of possible calamities.

Here's just a sample:

What if these sniffles and general achy-ness are actually swine flu?
What if I die of swine flu before Thanksgiving and miss the Blessed Nephews and pie?
What if this stye on my eye is a symptom of the swine flu?
What if it's not but never goes away and I'm stuck with a droopy eye for the REST OF MY LIFE?!
So for the rest of my life I'm known as the Girl with The Droopy Eye? It's a STYE, people! A stye!
What if there's an earthquake and my apartment building collapses?

What if it doesn't collapse but is structurally unsound and I have to move? What will happen to the World's Largest Felt Collection?

What if when the earthquake happens I can't find a bra? Or don't have time to grab it? I should put a bra in my emergency pack in my car.

Or what if the building collapses on top of my car and I can neither get to the bra in my room nor the bra in my car?

What if a plane landing at Cable Airport loses control and crashes into my bedroom? Is that plane outside sputtering? It is getting closer? Where's my bra?

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Don't Tweet

Long ago I opened a Twitter account that I have never used. I went on to check out what it was all about and it took me 30 seconds to discover that it's basically a place to let people know what you ate for lunch. And I already have this blog to bore you with information like that. And I can do it in however many letters I want. And, I'm going to be honest here, I don't actually care what you had for lunch. Unless it was amazingly delicious and you're going to share the recipe. Or invite me over the next time you make it. Incidentally, why didn't you invite me over? I'm hurt.

So I've never posted anything on Twitter. And yet every so often I'll get an email from the good people over there saying that someone is following me. A few of them are friends who no doubt are holding their breath waiting for me to say something witty (Keep holding, my friends.) But the rest of them are complete strangers.

Which leads me to:

Dear Strangers Who are Following Me on Twitter,

Why? There isn't a single tweet up there. There's no picture. No profile. Zero information that would give you an idea of what you're signing up for. For all you know I could be some crazed lunatic who suddenly start posting about her Hello Kitty collection, or putting links up to pictures of rare fungal conditions, or a Britney Spears fan. Do you really want to follow a Britney Spears fan? I think you don't.

What I'm saying is that you maybe you could be a little more selective.



Thursday, November 5, 2009

We have another winner!

And the winner of the latest Mr. T bookmark is:

Ms. Liz!!!!!!

Yay Liz! This is Liz L. for those of you keeping score, not Liz W. Don't feel too bad for Liz W. though. You may recall that she is the proud owner of one of my more spectacular felt creations.

Fun Facts about Liz: She routinely gets mistaken for a docent at local museums; she is a very thoughtful gift-giver; she is always good for a laugh.

Additional Fun Fact: I don't have her current address. So, Lizzie Dear, please email me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm Glad...

I'm planning on getting ice cream on my way home from work because:

1.) I have a stye which has caused my eye to get all puffy and droopy and purple. And because of it I can't wear make-up which, even though it's not really a tragedy, only adds to my general feeling of homeliness.

(Me, not smiling with my eyes. Sorry Tyra,)

2.) Our company finally got a 6 month assignment with a local government agency, after working to get one with them for a year, and we sent our girl down today to start and she left for lunch and never came back. A pox on you, Temp!!!! A pox!!!!

Maybe, in addition to ice cream, I need to play the Glad Game.

1.) I'm glad I'm wearing a cute outfit, to counteract the homeliness,
2.) I'm glad I don't look so drastically different without makeup so people aren't moved to ask if I'm dying of consumption,
3.) I'm glad that ice cream exists.

Maybe in addition to ice cream and the Glad Game I should have a give away!

Leave a comment about what makes you glad and I'll have a drawing for another Mr. T bookmark.

4.) I'm glad I can make Mr. T bookmarks and give them away.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Knights of Columbus, folks. I'm the new Primary President*. Eek! I was asked two weeks ago so I've had that long to freak out because I don't know a thing about kids. I also don't know a thing about Primary. Aside from a couple of subbing gigs on the piano, I haven't actually been in Primary since I was in Primary, as a Merry Miss**, WHICH THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE ANYMORE!

I'm rather intimidated by the whole thing. Every other responsibility I've had in the church I have felt marginally prepared for. But not primary. I don't even know half the songs they sing in there anymore. What are the names of the classes? What are the names of the kids? Would it be acceptable for me to make them talk in funny accents strictly for my own amusement? Because you know eventually I'm going to get the urge to do that.

So, yes, I'm slightly freaked out about this. And I'm not looking forward to all those meetings (before I left church yesterday I had entered 5 on my calender just for this week! I've been living the Life of Elegant Leisure in Sunday School for the last 3 years so I suppose I'm due.) But more than anything I'm kind of excited. The fact that kids will even go along with the whole funny accent bit is proof enough that I'm dealing with a great group. Plus they're cute. And there are generally stickers and snacks involved. Bonus!

Do you want to place bets now on how long it will be before I teach them all how to shimmy?

Don't speak Mormon? Here, let me help:

*Primary is the children's group in my church. It's for kids 18 months to 11 years. And just like every organization in the church people are asked to work in it as teachers and leaders. But unlike every other organization in the church Primary, as Teresa mentioned in a previous comment, is like wrangling cats.

**One of the bygone names for a Primary class.