Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weather Paralysis

1.) Last week's torrential rain made me realize that I have Weather Paralysis. Okay, I totally made that condition up. But it basically means that when it rains I cannot seem to muster the strength to do anything beyond wrapping a blanket around me. I can't do laundry because I would have to walk outside and it's RAINING. I can't drive to the grocery store directly across the street from me because it's RAINING. I should cook dinner - but how can I when it's raining SO MUCH! This may have everything to do with spending the majority of my life in a sunny locale. Even though I love the rain it seems strangely suspicious and menacing, which makes doing ordinary things in less then ordinary conditions seem foolhardy. I'm thinking of drafting a grant proposal to get some funding to study this condition.

2.) My Exotic New Zealand Friend Mariah (Fact: I consider almost anyone from the southern hemisphere to be exotic) has a blog where she posts what she made for dinner. A recent post featured something called a Kransky octopus. I had to look up what this was. It is not, in fact, some exotic New Zealand octopus, as I initially thought, but a sausage shaped to look like an octopus. This is clearly the greatest food idea ever created and I'm going to attempt to make them because I imagine I will get hours of laughter from it.

3.) I knitted a sweater. I've known the basics of knitting for ages now but I've only ever made hats and scarves. On a whim I decided to figure out how to read a pattern and make a sweater. So I went to it and got all the supplies and it was surprisingly easy to learn all the new stitches involved and the resulting sweater...well, it looks like something a hobo would wear in tough times. Definitely an at-home sweater. It is about 5 times too big and it weighs a ton because the pattern called for really thick yarn so the sleeve seams are down at my elbows. If it were longer it would make the perfect Snuggie. So it's nice and cozy and ideal for wrapping up in when Weather Paralysis strikes again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just Lips!

Occasionally you may overhear a variation of the following conversation between me and my brother Casewell:

C: My friend just got engaged
R: Do they need a band for the wedding?
C: You mean our band?
Both: JUST LIPS! (hysterical laughter ensues)

Just Lips is brilliant idea for a band we came up with a while ago. I don't know how we came to that name but does it really matter? No. It doesn't. Because it's awesome. It consists of the following instruments:

Drum machine

I just got off the phone with Casey and we've decided that since I am now a Woman of Elegant Leisure/Reduced Circumstances and he will be out of school for the summer and will need a job we should put our plan into motion and go on tour. So far we are thinking of gigs at the Circle K in Pahrump, NV and one of the state-line casinos, preferably one with a $5 30 oz. steak deal. We will also be available for bar mitzvahs and ribbon cuttings.

We're just livin' the dream, man.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Royal Decree

A Royal Decree:

I am officially banning the phrases "At the end of the day..." and "It is what it is." Anyone heard using either of these phrases will have dirty socks stuffed in their mouth.

Love, Your Queen

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Irrational Fear of Mailing Things

I went to the post office yesterday, which, considering my irrational fear of post offices and my aversion to leaving the house during apocalyptic rainstorms, was quite an accomplishment.

And suddenly this post has taken a dramatic turn because I was going to tell you about the hyperactive child I met there but instead I'm going to tell you about my irrational fear of post offices. It is irrational because I have no good reason to be afraid of it. My fear of phones is founded on the many, many, many awkward phone conversations I have had in my short life. My fear of stairs comes from all those stairs I have fallen down. (If I ever take you on a tour of BYU be prepared to see all of them. Stop 1: the library.) But I have never had an unsuccessful trip to the post office. I've had a few run-ins with they guy who mans the stamp room at the West Covina post office but who doesn't love a curmudgeonly stamp guy?

So, only good things have happened at the post office. And yet, I get all panicky at the thought of mailing things. And I will put it off to embarrassingly long lengths. Yesterday's package, for example, was Cynde's Christmas present. In my defense, I had all of the stuff way before Christmas and her parents were out here around New Years and I was going to send it back with them but we didn't get to meet up. So I started calculating when I would see Cynde again and if it was a short enough period to merit holding on to the gift. It wasn't. And the calculations took a few days. I'm slow at math. So I gathered my strength and packaged it all up and then put it in my car to taunt me. And it did taunt me - for a week. A week!!!! And here it is, nigh unto the end of January, and I just now mailed it off. Best Friend of the Year!

So, what is your irrational fear?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Puddle Jumping

Are you ready to know who won the newest bookmark? This is very exciting...

TAMMY! Hooray for you! Let's get together and do something fun to celebrate! I'll let you know when it is finished.

In other news, we are experiencing End of the World type rain storms here in Southern California. Just the other day Mormons throughout So. Cal participated in a regional broadcast where leaders from the church sent messages live from Utah and they all commented on how nice it was here, how warm and sunny and enviable. And to that I say, "Thanks for jinxing us." Because it is now 1.) cold, and 2.) wet, and 3.) most definitely not enviable. I say this because this morning Camille, Lindsay and I went to Disneyland during a break in the storm. We practically had the whole park to ourselves. It was a dream for a few hours. Until the rain came. And by came what I mean is it poured down buckets and buckets of cold water all over us. When it is raining like that you just sort of get use to it and resolve to have a stiff upper lip and not complain. Because what are you going to do about it? So we found the biggest puddles to jump in and we laughed like loons as we got doused by water falling off of the tram on the ride back to the parking lot. I could not have been any wetter had I jumped into the ocean but I had a ball.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This Blog is an 80 year old woman

Well, what do you know, it's my 400th post. Did pinwheel fireworks sprout out of your computer? Because they sure did on mine.

So far I have celebrated by SENDING OUT RESUMES!!!!! And FILLING OUT ONLINE APPLICATIONS!!!!!!! I tell you, the fun never stops around here. I was just about to dig out my recorder to play Miley Cyrus' classic hit Party in the USA as I march down to the mail box to see if my unemployment paperwork has come in.

But how I'm really going to celebrate is by diving into the World's Largest Felt Collection to make something funny to give away to one of you. I'm going to attempt Richard Simmons on a bookmark.

If you want him leave me a comment telling me what your favorite breakfast cereal is and you'll be in the drawing. I ask because as I was pulling down my box of Rice Crispies from the top of the fridge this morning I counted 11 boxes of cereal up there. Which should be an indication to you that breakfast cereal is not just for breakfast 'round these parts.

And it should be noted that when I write "breakfast cereal" I'm writing it with a British accent because that is how I hear it in my head in the voice of Michael Palin:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


One of the blessings of unemployment is that I don't have to go to the gym in the middle of the night anymore. The middle of the night being 5:30am. It is still dark and the birds aren't chirping, therefore it is the middle of the night. When you go the gym in the middle of the night you see the same people. I've mentioned these ladies before. There's Old Woman and Very Old Woman and Old German Woman and Puerto Rican Teacher and Opera Singer and The Chesty Girl. I haven't quite figured out who are the regulars during the 8 o'clock hour yet because there are a billion people who go to the gym at that time. I have to hike to the entrance. Which is kind of funny that I would be so annoyed with that. Because I'm at the gym and already dressed for exertion.

There is one woman in the weight room this morning whom I'm praying is a regular. She came in and put her head phones on and started on one of the machines and this is what it sounded like:

"Ugh...1...ugh...two...ugh...gasp...three...Benny and the Jets...four...ugh...five...whoa!...uh-oh...come on...six...doo-dooooo-do...seeeeeeeeeeven...oh more...almost there....TEN!...WAHOOO!...ugh."

This was for every set on every machine she was on. She must have been listening to Elton John's greatest hits because I also heard, "gasp...two...ugh...rocket man...three".

Monday, January 11, 2010

Unemployment makes me boring

1. Last night at my parents house we were looking at a picture of my dad with his grandparents and cousins and he commented on how his grandma, who was just 5 years older in the picture than my dad is now, looked so old. I said that one of the reasons why women looked so much older back then was because they didn't dye their hair. So they didn't actually look older, they just looked their age. This led to us having to break the news to my dad that practically every woman he knows dyes her hair. He started listing off women we know.

"So and so?"
"Okay, but she doesn't"
"She absolutely does."
"What about her?"
"It's pretty obvious."

His mind was officially blown.

2. I've spent some of my ample leisure time watching movies.

3. I have a hard time just sitting and watching movies so I multitask. Which means that I now have a nicely organized desk and all of my crayons are in rainbow color order. This afternoon I am planning on doing the same to the World's Largest Felt Collection.

4. A while ago I made the request of you to stir and let me know which direction you go. And then Deb make the observation that people generally stir and write their O's in the same direction, which is true for me, counterclockwise. And I want to know if it's true for you as well. So, do you make your O's the same direction you begin your stir? Remember, this is for science.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And yet again.

For the last two weeks I've had Thursday and Friday off because of the holidays and this morning I was lamenting that today wasn't my last work day of the week.

Except that it is because, once again, I was laid off.

Laid off! As in, I'm unemployed AGAIN!

I'm going to kick this crummy economy in the shins. And possibly call it names.

We lost a really big client a month ago and then we're losing another really big client in about a month and there have been rumors of more contracts going down the drain in the near future so Chiquita can't afford to keep me on full time and instead of making me part time she decided, and I agreed, that it would be better if she lay me off so I can collect unemployment. She paid me my two weeks vacation and said she would definitely bring me back if things got better so that's a bonus, but Knights of Columbus, I hate being unemployed.

The last time this happened I went home, prayed, paid my tithing, sent out 20 resumes and got a job in a week. This time I went home on my lunch break, prayed, paid my tithing, and then came back to show Chiquita how to work the scanner and the vertical blinds. What will she do without me?! She just barely learned how to cut and paste on the computer. Everyone needs to pray hard that the County of San Bernardino wins the Lotto, or finds a long lost rich uncle, or discovers oil in their backyard so that they can give us back the contract so Chiquita won't have to call me everytime she needs to change an Excel spreadsheet.

But hey, until that happens, I'm free for lunch dates. If you're paying.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Just ignore me. It's normal.

Boy, when I give you a job (this time - stirring) you people really come through. And there wasn't even a prize involved. I can tell you're all civic minded team players. I'm going to report your good works to the Congressman next door and see if he can get you a plaque or something.

The results are that the counter-clockwisers are the freaks. Or, as I like to think of us, special. And not short-bus special but Faberge egg special, four leaf clover special, Christmas morning Quik special. What I'm saying is we're rare and kind of beautiful.

So I was grumpy all weekend. I’m blaming PMS because there wasn’t a single other reason for me to feel grumpy. I just did. Grumpy and punchy and irritable. Which is just awful because 1.) I hate being grumpy and 2.) I really hate being grumpy simply because of PMS. If my hair was looking tragic or I was fresh out of Burt’s Bees lip balm or nothing but No Doubt songs were playing on the radio, then I would have good reason to be grumpy. But there were zero irritants. Well, other than the billion and a half dollars I had to spend on new tires. But have you driven on new tires? After driving on Flintstone rock tires for several months? It’s a dream. So was the free alignment. And the hour I got to spend browsing around B&N while the work was being done. And yet I still felt like I couldn’t open my mouth for two days without breathing fire at people for looking at me. See? It’s PMS all the way. And, let me tell you, it’s ridiculous to be such a cliché – The Irritable Hormonal Woman. Like I should have been in a ratty bathrobe with mascara tears streaming down my face while stuffing chocolate in my mouth.

I have since moved on to the Emotional Wreck phase of PMS, which in a way is a relief - crying I can handle. I was watching Cranford last night - a movie I have seen before and actually remembered what happened so I was prepared - and I was weeping openly for about an hour over it. And then this morning I was reading Colleen's story about her friend Amos* and was openly weeping at work. And I had to explain to Chiquita that I was fine and to just ignore the blubbering. Maybe I should watch Shadowlands tonight to get it all out of me.

*If you choose to read this story Colleen would appreciate it if you only thought mean things about her. Although I will risk her wrath and say that I have known her for many years and have always thought, even before the Amos story, that she is one of the kindest people on earth. Take that Colleen!

Friday, January 1, 2010

I stir counter clockwise.

Okay, this is a VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION I'm about to ask you:

When you stir the Nestle Quik* in your milk on Christmas morning do you stir clockwise or counter clockwise?

Actually the Nestle Quik part isn't really important - you could be stirring anything really - but it is what started off the Great Knecht Christmas Morning Debate of Aught Nine. We always have chocolate milk at breakfast on Christmas morning and one of us was making up a glass and my dad said, "You're stirring backwards." Which, of course, set all of us to stirring to see which way we went. I stir counter clockwise, which was the majority by one that day. And since then we've asked nearly every single person who has come into the home which way they stir. It has become kind of heated between the two sides.

So I need you to either stir something or pretend you're stirring something. Right now. Go! Even if you're sitting in your office and people are looking. This is for science! Or, for my amusement, which is just as important. Let me know the results.

*I realize that the name is now Nesquik, but I think we can all agree that it's a lame name and join in solidarity to never call it that. Who's with me?