Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Cure for Weeping

It has been a season of unexpected loss lately.  Several friends and loved ones have had people pass away who were very important to them and just a few hours ago we found out that my Aunt Betty from Utah* died this morning.  It was expected and timely but sad nonetheless.  It's been a weepy few weeks.   

So I'm off to Arizona to celebrate a new little life.  My Best Friend Cynde and Best Friend-in-Law Ryan had a baby boy last month and I'm going out to meet him and smother him with kisses and even though he won't be able to fully participate, we will plan grand adventures for later in his life. I plan to be the fun aunt who blows into town and gives him Jules Verne novels and takes him out horseback riding in the desert. I'm looking forward to a joyous weekend of diaper changing and snuggling.

*This is how she signed all of her letters.  "Love, Aunt Betty from Utah." As if there could be another.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dude Descending a Staircase

You know, sometimes you just need to open up a brand new box of crayons
and stay up really late and color. 
I took this picture:
Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase
And made this picture:
Dude Descending a Staircase
The beginnings of the outline had been sitting in my sketch book for years and I came across it while cleaning up after Friday's meeting of the Art Society.  I also found this gem:
Mr. Potato Head Eaters. Based off of Van Gogh's Potato Eaters:
While we're on the subject of art, did you see Google today?
Happy birthday, Bob Ross!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The New NaNoWriMo

Is it crazy that I want to do NaNoWriMo again? 

Yes.  And here's why:

1.)  I will be out of town for 11 of the 30 days in November (visiting my best friend and her new baby boy (eeee!!!) in the beginning and Thanksgiving with the entire Fam (eeee!!!!) at the end. November is going to be MAGIC!)

2.)  On average I spend 90 minutes preparing my seminary lesson every single weeknight. In fact tomorrow's lesson is just a continuation of today's lesson that we didn't come close to finishing so it was already prepared and I still spent almost an hour tweaking it.

Crazy, right.  I mean, it's bonkers for me to even consider.  Except that I really, really want to. Because I really, really miss writing.  And I keep thinking of that Ray Bradbury quote where he says he has written every single day of his life since he was a kid and it's brought him nothing but joy.  And who doesn't want to be just like Ray Bradbury (except for the dead part.) 

Okay, so new plan - it's not feasible for me to write 3000 words a day (that's factoring in the days I'm off the grid and the days I'm wishing I was off the grid) but it's certainly feasible for me to write for 30 minutes every day. So that's the new goal. 30 minutes, every day, starting today - because who wants to wait for November?

Thanks for letting me talk this through. You've been a big help.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Foul Play and Nature and Speech Impediments

1.)  The Saga of the Neighbor's Parked Car continues.  We're going on two weeks now.  What would you do in this situation?  I'm for restraint because in the long run, who cares.  Except that I totally care!!! Katie suggested that maybe there's foul play involved.  Some sort of scandal that made them flee in the middle of the night.  Maybe it's time to get Flo involved.

2.)  We had our ward Primary Program today.  Every Mormon knows that this is the best Sunday of the year.  It is always full of laughter and tears and kids with adorable speech impediments. I wish that every kid had a speech impediment up until the age of 6 and then it magically goes away.

3.)  We had a Knecht family party last night.  We took a hayride to say hi to the cows and pigs and to smell just how authentic nature is.  So we're laughing and waving and putting straw between our teeth, just like real country folk.  And then my uncle said, "And on your right are the cows who have a date with the butcher."  Wah, wah.

4.)  Is it some sort of Indian festival tonight?  Because I've been hearing fire crackers go of periodically and just now there was a good 2 minutes of really loud Indian music playing somewhere in the neighborhood.  Oh, and it's 11:00 o'clock at night!  Turn it down, ya hoodlums! Or at the very least invite me over for samosas.

5.)  Did you happen to see this picture posted on my family's blog?  I will never get over my envy of Gina's luxurious hair.  You will note that even at the tender age of 2 my bangs were giving me grief.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Parking Pecking Order

Dear Neighbors,

We're cordial, right?  I mean, we always say hi to each other when we pass in the carport and I make silly faces and coo over your adorable children.  When you're playing with them down stairs you sound like really great parents, which is so refreshing after hearing our other neighbors, The Cranky Smoker and His Cranky Wife, yelling at their kids all day long for things like not walking fast enough or laughing too much. You're not loud, like the Gypsies upstairs, and you both seem like responsible, agreeable adults.

So it pains me to tell you that we're totally in a fight right now. And over something as petty as parking. But my hands are tied - you've crossed a line.

Each apartment has two cars but only one assigned spot. And for years now the three free covered parking spots have usually been filled by me or Katie, The Cranky Smoker's Camaro, and whoever is the senior most resident upstairs.  Listen, I know it's not technically our spot, it's anyone's spot, but for years we have been parking in those spots.  And you have been parking over on the side.  YEARS!  And it's not like the three of us switch around, we always park in the exact same spots.  So I don't understand why you're suddenly changing this up.  Or why, specifically you have decided that it's our spot that you're going to take.  Is it because of the Cranky Smoker?  Yeah, I'm afraid of him too (and the lung cancer he is trying to give me).  Is it because the other guy is really big and has tattoos?  Helpful hint:  he's super nice.  But that still does not mean that I'm going to take his spot!  Because there's this unwritten law, you know?  I'm not saying that there is a pecking order, but there is so a pecking order! And for the record, I can't help it if I happen to get home at a time when it is free and I take it. 

Okay, so whatever.  You take it from time to time.  I'm not going to begrudge someone flexing their renter's right to covered parking.  That is not what this fight is about.  What it is about is that fact that for the last week your car has been parked in that spot while your assigned spot has been empty.  Did you seriously just go on vacation and leave your car in a prime parking spot?  For a week?!  And Camaro and Big Guy haven't budged.  Which means that every morning Katie or I wander around the building trying to remember which rando spot we had to park in the night before.

So whenever you come back from wherever you are (Martha's Vineyard?  Fire Island?) just know that I will still say hi to you and coo over your cute kids, but my heart is stone.

Cordially (or so I thought),


PS. I hope everything is okay and you didn't have to rush away for an emergency.  I would feel bad about that.  Gah!  Why can't I stay cranky like The Cranky Smoker?  He would be seething if it were his spot you were taking.  He'd raise it to 10 packs a day as opposed to his usual 9, just to spite you.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Confirmed: I would not last in the Hunger Games

I'm sure you've all been in this situation.  You're on a girls' roadtrip to Vegas for a baby shower and you end up doing archery.

Mom, Camille and I started the weekend in Las Vegas and then headed up to Logandale, NV (about an hour away from Vegas, but lightyears away in regards to number of women walking around in sparkly skirts the size of a paper towel.) for my sister-in-law Kylea's baby shower.  Casey was out as well so we hung out at Kylea's family's home afterwards and then someone suggested archery and there we were.  Logandale is this cute little town in the middle of the desert.  It is suprisingly verdant with ample room to shoot things.  They do a lot of outdoorsy type stuff like drive ATVs, and repel off of mesas, and shoot guns.  And there was plenty of space and equipment in the backyard to have an archery festival, just like in Robin Hood! Oodalolly!

Do you know who was really, really good at it?  My mom.  She took a class in college lo these many years and it came right back to here.  She got a bullseye on her second shot.  And she got the nastiest welt from the bow after she decided to take the arm guard off.  It makes her look really hard-core.

I, on the other had, am no Katniss.  I managed to hit the target a few times, including this beauty that went through the grommet.

But for the most part I just shot them into the grass beyond.  And I only got an itty-bitty baby welt.  A weltlet, if you will.  I'm almost embarrassed to even mention it.  But it was a blast!

Thanks McMurray's!  We'll be out for shooting lessons soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"I only have one photo in my hands..."

Tonight at our Relief Society meeting several friends and I were discussing the classiness of the current cycle of America's Next Top Model in comparison to previous cycles.  Which is like comparing the stinkiness of large piles of rotting garbage.  I know.  But we all have our weaknesses, alright?  Stop judging.

We all were in agreement that the show is nothing without The Jays, and Noted Fashion Photographer Nigel Barker.  Also, who thought it was a good idea to have the public vote for the girls?  What does the public know?!  The people who watch ANTM (including myself) are complete morons who know nothing about the fashion industry.  We just think that Tyra is crazy and can't turn away.  This decision should not be in our hands.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Great surprises of the week

1.  Some of my seminary kids covered my car in pink hearts with little messages on them.  They may be squirrely, but I'd match them against any group of kids for cuteness and awesomeness.

2.  My friend Andrea, with her husband and mom in tow, surprised me at the institute.  She lives in Arizona and I didn't even know she was in town and suddenly there she was asking if I'd seen any Knights of Columbus recently.

3.  Katie made a mixed CD for our fair trip (it's tradition) and she put on "Freedom" by Wham! A song I completely forgot existed but still managed to know all the lyrics to once I heard it again.  Please enjoy the video, particularly the part where George Michael and the Other Guy in Wham! do the back to back thing that is so essential in 80s rock.

A million points to whoever comes up with the best name for that dance move George keeps doing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Inclement Weather Paralysis - Summer Edition

1.  Inclement Weather Paralysis does not just strike in the cold and the rain.  It strikes in extreme heat as well.  We have been sizzling like bacon strips around here and I find myself lying in a stupor on my bed, trying to muster the will to live, or at the very least, the will to fix myself a bowl of cereal for dinner.

2.  I have become the English Tutor in Residence at the Institute.  Every day I have at least one kid come in and ask if I can look over a paper.  It's so much fun!  You know how much I love to edit.  Today was especially fun because one of my students had to write a paper on Fahrenheit 451, which I just so happened to read last week.  Providence!  And also, poor kid. Because I really liked that book a lot and had a ton of things to say about it, which would have been super helpful if he were looking for more than just help in forming an opening paragraph.

3.  Speaking of books, I've had enough people recommend Gone With the Wind to me lately that I went and picked it up.  Have you seen how fat it is?  I had to splurge and get the nicer, taller paperback version because the cheap copy was about 5 inches wide at the spine.  How can you even open a thing like that?  This could take awhile, considering my leisure reading time has been greatly diminished as of late. Have you read it?  What did you think?

Monday, October 1, 2012

There be leprechauns at the fair

We made it to the Fair!  It only took us the entire month to get there but we still managed to have a day full of adventure and insane food.
1.)  Who said sheep are dumb?  This wee lamb had the right idea.  It was nigh unto the surface of the sun on Saturday (and even hotter today.  Oh, for crying out loud, October!  Give me a break!)
2.) We came across some kind of fancy carriage driving contest.  These ladies had to drive out to the ring, do a figure 8, stop and back up, then do a couple of intricate turns. 
This lady won the whole thing.  Notice how her horse isn't nearly as decked out as the other ones above, but she was by far the fanciest dressed driver.  Although from our seats we could not tell if it was a man or a woman.  But we knew for sure she was a leprechaun.  When she won the announcer called her a legend.  How does one become a legend in the Fancy Carriage Driving Circuit?
3.  Yes, that is a giant slice of bread covered in Nutella and bacon.
4.  It's a little hard to tell but that's Elvis walking by the red stand.  He had on the most glorious white jumpsuit.
5.  Katie found a hat that fit her head.  Thus proving that miracles do happen at the fair.
6.  This was the creepiest thing I saw there:  you can have your face put on a stuffed animal.  Friends, I promise you that if you ever give me something like this I will have nightmares about you and will have to unfriend you on Facebook.
7.  What's that?  Oh, it's my doily and blue ribbon.  I was tempted to stand next to it all afternoon posed just like this.
2012 LA County Fair:  Success!