Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Don't forget to pack your jodhpurs

Olympic Round Up Part II

1.)  I'm just going to admit it here:  I kind of love the equestrian sports.  Dressage is basically just fancy horse dancing but it's mesmerizing to watch.  And the course races where they have to leap over giant things makes me so nervous that it's exhilarating when they make it.  And Prince Phillip was there the other day to watch his granddaughter compete.  And you know how I feel about Prince Phillip (he's awesome.)

2.)  In that vein, packing for a few weeks in England with your horse must be a beast.  It's not like you're a runner and all you need is a tank top, some teeny shorts, and a few pair of sneakers.  You have to pack a saddle, a blazer, riding breeches, a crop, boots, and a top hat. And then you have to pack all of your horse's stuff too.  Not to mention you to have to get your horse over there.  How much does it cost to ship a horse to England?  And how does one do it?  Carrier plane?  Trans-Atlantic ocean liner?  Ugh, the logistics! 

3.)  The British Men's Gymnastics team was robbed of that silver medal by the hipster-haired Japanese.  I could have gotten into a better handstand position than that last guy did at the end of his pommel horse routine, and my arm strength is like unto day-old spaghetti noodles.  But didn't you just weep for the Brits that they actually got a medal?  And didn't you love how excited Princes Will and Harry were?  And the crowd was nutso!

4.)  Okay, so maybe I'm being unfair to the Japanese because I just finished that book Unbroken and this poor guy was a prisoner in a a Japanese POW camp during WWII and they were monsterous to him.  I mean appallingly brutal.  I can't shake it and well, it's carrying over a bit.  Let's hope one of them does something charming in the next 2 weeks so that I can put them back into the category of Countries I Don't Root For But Don't Necessarily Root Against Unless They Are Up Against A Country I Love.
5.)  I get really claustrophobic when I watch the white water sports.  I envision myself wearing that life vest and helmet and being tucked into the kayak and water pouring all over me and having to paddle upstream to get around the gates and suddenly I find myself taking really deep breaths. 

6.)  We could all use some sub-titles for Bela Karolyi, am I right?  But his mustache is glorious.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Seacrest Out!

I've been in an Olympics induced coma all weekend.  Happily, I should say.  The opening ceremonies were weird but fun (who else was baffled by the Ode to the National Health Services?) And the competition has been exciting. 

But there has been a fly in the ointment.  And that fly is Ryan Seacrest.  What fat-head in NBC decided to put him on the air?  And how can we get him off? We still have two weeks.  There is no time for a solid letter writing campaign, which is always my tactic of choice.  So instead we're all going to have to call the NBC headquarters and scream really loud. We can do this!
In general I get annoyed whenever I see him and his over-gelled hair.  I have been very successful up til now avoiding Ryan Seacrest, which is not easy to do considering that he is trying to take over the world.  I don't watch American Idol or E! and I never listen to him on the radio.  And you would think that the sports world would be the one place we all could be safe from his enormous mouth because he always strikes me as someone who cares more about moisturizers than athletics.  But now he has popped up on the Olympics, something that I truly love, and it just makes me want to punch something.  Why is he even there?  It seems like every time he opens his mouth he's only talking about something he read on Twitter or how he's besties with the Bieb.

I feel like this is a sign of the Apocalypse.  Or maybe HE is a sign of the Apocalypse.  Along with famine and plagues.  Because how powerful are you when you're the Most Annoying Person on TV and you still get a coveted gig like this?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mostly pictures of cute nephews

Random pictures from my camera.

1.)  Ruby was eyeballing my free slurpee on 7/11.  It was actually my second free slurpee that day but I still was not about to share.

2.)  I made this large doily/small table cloth/old lady shawl and turned it into the fair competition.  It took a year to make.  When I handed it over to the guy at the drop-off I checked for dirt under his fingernails.  Maybe sometimes in your heart you doubt that I am 80. This is proof that you should not. 
3.)  This was my view the entire drive to Utah.  MY NEPHEW LEVI IS CUTER THAN ALL OF YOUR NEPHEWS COMBINED!!!!

4.)  Look who it is!!!  Rac!!  And we're not vomiting.  In fact, we laughed at that curse and went out to lunch.  Which made me consider moving to Utah because I miss that girl.  It was her dream in high school to own a convertible Mazda Miata and she finally has one.  So we zipped around town in it.  And she let me drive it home which was awesome.  Friends, we should all own convertible sports cars.  Just for fun.

5.)  I spent this afternoon with the Art Society.  We made construction paper flowers and ate frozen grapes and watched Peter Pan and pretended to be pirates/florists.  It was basically the best afternoon of my life.

6.)  Ben got it in the eye with a marker when Tom was a little too enthusiastic about getting the lid off.  He was not thrilled, until he looked in the mirror and said, "Hey, I look like Scar from the Lion King. Okay, that's cool."  Agreed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Go big or go home!

Hi friends.  Blogging from exotic Provo, UT here.  I spent the day playing and eating and playing and eating and swimming in a rainstorm and visiting and driving a convertible (pictures to come.  There is some very windswept hair up in here.) And I'll write all about it but for now I just have to make an observation.

Do you know what Utah loves?  Utah loves a big flag.  They don't have any of those communist regular sized flags that you see in other states.  Oh no.  They have GIANT AMERICAN FLAGS that are the size of my apartment.  Maybe even bigger than my apartment.  They're big, okay.  I was driving quite a bit today and every building along the highway had one.  Except for one.  And as I was approaching the average size flag I thought, "What kind of American is flying this baby flag?"  And then I saw that it was in front of the National Guard building.  Weak sauce, National Guard!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Showtime at the Apollo

At the Motown sing-along tonight there was a guy wearing pleated-front, high-wasted khakis and a black short-sleeved mock turtle neck.  He also had red hair and wore glasses that looked like they were around in the Clinton administration.  And yet he was singing and dancing like he was a Pip and this was Showtime at the Apollo.  It was glorious.  And it epitomized exactly why I love these things so much.  Because he wasn't the only one singing and dancing. We all were.  It was the Apollo in all of our minds.  It may have been the most fun I've had at a sing-along ever. 

I'm off to Utah to kiss on my niece and nephews.  When I return we will commence the Fortnight of Nothing But Olympic Blog Posts.  You better light the Olympic torch in your heart, people, because I won't restrain my enthusiasm.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Errant Knight Errs

You guys are not going to believe this but the Knight of Columbus came back  And he brought intrigue with him!  I noticed him come in so I said hi and he hung out in the lounge for a bit and then he came up and asked if it was okay if he parked his car in our lot for the day.  He said he was asking because he noticed the permit signs and wanted to stay above the law.  I thought that was very knightly of him so I gave him a temporary day pass and told him to feel free to sign up for a class so he could get a permanent one.  And then he left.  I assumed he was going off to lance things or dust off the plume of his fancy dress hat.

But then an hour later a fellow came in whom I hadn't seen before.  He came up to my window and said, "I'm looking for Rachel."  I introduced myself and he said, "I have a message from (The KoC) for you.  He was just arrest and wants to know if you can give him a call." And then he handed me an index card with the KoC's name and number scribbled on it.


So it turns out that the KoC's oath to defend the rights of various faiths also extends to the rights of the down-trodden, namely his rights.  According to his friend he was recently suspended from school for "doing something dumb" and barred from entering the campus and he felt as if that trampled on his personal freedoms so he purposely went to an office on campus and started making a ruckus and refused to leave and the police were called and he was hauled off, which was his intention all along so that he could sue them for encroaching on his civil liberties.  And somewhere during all of this he managed to tell his friend to come and find me so that I could ring him up to, I can only assume, chitchat about the weather.  Because what else can I say to this guy except, "Yep, that was pretty lame thing you just did."

To appease his friend I dialed the number and, as expected, got his voice mail because I bet it's tough getting to your phone when you're shackled in the back of a squad car.

When I was telling this story to Katie she said, "And you thought you wouldn't have any crazy stories at this job."  HA!  I still got it, people.  The crazy still follows me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Five Down

If these last two days are any indication of what seminary is going to be like you can all say sayonara to me.  I've had seminary training at 6am which means I have to wake up at 4:30, which means I start dozing off at 9 which hasn't been my bedtime since I was 14.  All I can think about is sleeping.  And that is in lieu of very important things like reading and watching tv and writing on this blog. And I'm not even preparing lessons yet.  Although the trainings have made me super pumped for it so that's a bonus, right?

In other news:


That just came and went, and where was I?  Girls Camp.  And then Utah.  And then hyperventilating about teaching seminary. And now losing precious hours of sleep.  But let's all celebrate.  Quick, someone bake a cake! Thanks for sticking with me and putting up with my mild obsessions with Tyra Banks and Charles Dickens and the fair and felt and my lovable family and the Dodgers and Slurpees and Big Wheels and semi-secret fraternal orders and how awesome California is.  You've all waited patiently right along with me for the Wealthy Benefactor to show up.  You've put up with my 80 year old tendencies like how I sometimes ramble on and on about crocheting and muu-muus.  You've come along for the ride that one time I took a nun chuck class and that other time I flitted off to Tunisia and that other time I saw Wayne Newton LIVE at San Manuel Indian Casino. You've been there for all those crazy jobs that involved pulling on people's ears or firing people or fending off the IRS. And through all those bouts of unemployment where I bored you with my geography knowledge (after you bake the cake will you please stuff me in a locker?)  And you haven't made fun of my fear of walking down stairs or walking into Wal-mart and going to the post office.  And you've endured all those rants on grammar (see:  locker stuffing). And I like that you laugh along with me when I watch a mentally challenged dog named Maynard or when a woman grabs my butt in the Fed-Ex store. 

Basically, what I'm saying is, I think you're great.

Let's go for another five.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Errant Knight

A guy came into the institute today and said, "Hi.  I'm with the Knights of Columbus and it's my sacred vow to defend all faiths of the Mother Churches and Sister Churches."  So I asked, "Are we a Mother and/or Sister church?" Because you just never know where we stand these days with people. And he said, "Yes. Is there anything I can do to defend your church?"

And then my head explode from all the smiling I was doing.  I mean, an actual Knight of Columbus!  And boy did I have questions.  Like, do they have special uniforms that they wear to meetings? I'm picturing chain mail but I bet there's some sort of business casual armor they put on for everyday use. Do they have membership cards?  If so can I see it? Is there a secret handshake? Why Columbus?  It's not like he was a huge defender of the faith.  Who would win if one of them got into a fight with a Swiss Guard? If they go on a field trip to the Vatican do the Swiss Guards make fun of them kind of like how cops make fun of neighborhood watches?

But he was very solemn and sincere, much like my JWBFF, and I sensed that he wouldn't understand my enthusiasm for his organization.  So we chatted for a awhile about serious stuff - how there isn't much of a multi-faith community anymore and should there be a bigger presence on campus of the different religions.  And it was plenty fascinating and enjoyable but what I really wanted to know was if his joisting sword was collapsable because that must be a pain to store.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I want to eat his cheeks for breakfast

The evening involved the All-Star Game, the National League slaughtering the AL (woot!), pizza, Pop-O-Matic Trouble*, skyping with Lindsay, and my incredibly adorable nephew Levi and his enormous cheeks.

Ugh, you guys.  Levi is so cute.  I can't even handle it.  Gina and Chris and the kid are out here for two whole weeks and it's like a dream watching him kick his legs for hours on end. 

Which brings me to my question:  why is it so entertaining to watch babies do nothing but squirm and make funny faces? Because that's all Levi does.  He waves his arms around and squawks and giggles and kicks and basically just acts like a baby.  And you would think after 30 seconds of that you'd lose interest and pick up a book.  And yet it is mezmerizing.  He's like a wizard or something.

*The way Camille and I play Pop-O-Matic Trouble you would think we were Bobby Fischer and um, some other really famous chess player, in a high stakes Cold War-era televised game.  We are very fast and intense and there is great glory in winning.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Imaginary Olympian

Who else was heartbroken over Andy Murray losing Wimbledon this morning?  Anyone?  Well, I was.  I mean, the kid has just tried so hard.  And in any other era he would be the best, except that he's in the era of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.  And he has the whole weight of the Empire on his shoulders. Ugh, the poor lamb.

I consoled myself by eating an OtterPop and taking a nap.  Which I'm sure he also did, as those are two things that are bound to bring some kind of peace and perspective.

Oh well, on to the Olympics with you, Andy.

Speaking of, who is SUPER PUMPED for the Olympics like?  I'm not just talking about casually interested in them as in, "Hm, do I watch the 1500 meter time trials or do I watch the Kardashians?" (fact:  if you choose the Kardashians over the Olympics you are dead to me. And do not even try to convince me otherwise.  No amount of brownies will get you back over on the good list.) I am talking about clearing out your DVR and freeing up your schedule for two whole weeks so that you can devote all non working/sleeping hours to watching every single event that they care to show, including dressage because fancy horse stepping is sort of mesmerizing.  That's the kind of excitement I'm looking for.

If you were the freakishly atheltic type what Olympic sport would you participate in?  I would chose some kind of water sport, like kayaking or rowing because 1.) you get to sit and 2.) when you're done you can just jump in the water to cool off and 3.) I love me a boat.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


At church on Sunday we all stood and sang the Star-Spangled Banner with loads of gusto and conviction.  On the third verse, on that last, "O'er the land of the freeeeeee..." someone in the congregation hit the super high note and I very nearly shot my fist in the air and shouted, "AMERICA!!!"

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Now Commencing Summer 'O Fun '012!

1.) At the Disney sing-along last weekend we witnessed the definition of Man Space:

See that guy next to Laura?  And see Laurie's feet just barely peeking out?  There was approximately 1 foot of space for him to sit in but he assumed the position and took up about 4 feet.  Way to go man, you totally conquoured that space!

2.)  Look who was in town!!!

Amanda and Nathan!  We rented bikes in Newport and road down to Balboa and had brunch on the roof at Ruby's overlooking the ocean.  Milk shakes included.  The perfect morning, am I right?

Look how cute the two of them are, all carefree and sunny..  I miss you already.  Please come back.

3.)  On Saturday night my Mom, Camille and I went out to dinner and then saw Brave and then headed over to watch the fireworks show that Chino always puts on the Saturday before the 4th of July. Why the Saturday before and not the actual date?  Who knows, but it's certainly part of our kooky charm. They're shot off in the park right by the prison and as we were watching them my mom said, "I hope they let the prisoners have a peek," which is so tender-hearted of her.  And it made me recall the tour at Alcatraz where it was mentioned that the prisoners could hear revelers across the bay and it made me so sad.  And then I really did want the prisoners to be able to see the fireworks.

4.) As I was leaving Chino I noticed something in the window of my parent's neighbor's home. (This is a horrible picture, but it was dark, and you'll still get the idea.)

It is a giant bunny silhouette.  I am convinced it is some sort of signal.  Or that the Easter Bunny lives there.  Or they're staging a theatrical production of Watership Down. Or Harvey, even though Harvey was invisible, maybe they're doing a really cool interpretation of it. Any guesses?