Friday, November 30, 2012

I have confidence...that this will be dreadful.

Excuse me while I vomit over this.

So it's bad that Carrie Underwood has been cast as Maria VonTrapp.  But what is worse is that someone thinks that they need to remake The Sound of Music.  Why don't they just remake the Sistine Chapel while they're at it?

Let's not even think about who will be cast as the Captain.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A trip worth the 7 hours of despair at the end

It took twelve hours to get home from Utah yesterday.  Seven of those hours were spent getting from Las Vegas to home.  It normally takes just three.  So, to everyone who travels to LV for Thanksgiving - I think you're dumb and I hope you lost it all on the nickle slots.

But on to happier things.  Let's roll the highlight reel!

1.)  My brand new niece Adelaide is adorable.  She was born Tuesday morning so the first stop we made when we got into town on Tuesday night was the hospital to shower her with kisses and give high fives to Kylea and Casey for being awesome. Also, her eyes have a hint of the Orient.  When Sam and I noticed we both did the victory fist.  Our Mongolian genes finally made it to the next generation.

2.)  Our co-pilots for the trip were Jake Gyllenhall and George Clooney.  We tore their pictures out of the People Magazine and attached them to the dash. They did not judge us when we stopped for Slurpees and then an hour later for ice cream cones.

3.) While shopping for supplies my sisters and I came across some pickles called Sweet Midgets, which tickled us and naturally we had to share with everyone (although, just the name because sweet pickles are gross.) We had a good laugh, until we heard Ben saying it and envisioned him being expelled from Kindergarten for calling someone that. (Other inappopriate phrases we have inadvertantly taught Ben:  "Honky Town" (because the neighborhood they live in is called White City) and "Go kiss a fat dog." I have no idea where that came from or what it means but we use it on the regular.)

4.)  The entire fam was together.  That's right - all of us. Mom, Dad, sibs, spouses, and babies, eating pie and cracking jokes.  And it was glorious.  It's been a while since we've all been in the same place and it felt like balance had been restored to the universe. 

5.)  Lindsay was the last to arrive from Iokotabraska (she lives where Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska intersect) and we all surprised her at the airport with signs and hollering. There was a woman who came down the escalator just before her who was the tannest woman I've ever seen.  Remember that one lady a few months back who took her daughter to the tanning salon?  This woman could easily beat her in a match-up of cancer cells. 

 6.) It wasn't just Thanksgiving that brought us all together. It was my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with dinner, a slide show full of embarrassing pictures, and a song we wrote to the tune of Don't Stop Believing. If there isn't a musical number than it is not a Knecht Family Party. I'm sure I'll write more about them later but here's a little preview: they're awesome. We all should be so lucky to have a marriage like theirs.

7.) We went to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square on Saturday. On the plus side, it was the perfect temperature for strolling in a cute coat with twinkle lights around you. On the minus side, if there is one thing we Mormons are good at it's congregating. Oy, the crowds. But we sure know how to make things pretty. It felt merry and bright.

8.) On the drive home - the Utah part with the fast traffic, before we knew what awaited us - we did some singing.  You see, we missed our annual Messiah Sing Along at the Nixon Library so to make up for it we brought the score and the CD and had our own. Jake and George were a terrific audience.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Packing light

I am a much more efficient packer for flying than for driving.  When I'm flying I like to get everything into one carry-on.  Checking a bag feels like failure to me. And waiting by a baggage carousel gives me anxiety.  Will my bag be there?  What if I have the exact same bag as someone else and they walk off with it?  What if I reach to grab my bag and my sweater gets caught on the conveyor belt and I get dragged into that mysterious underworld behind the rubber curtain? So it's one bag for me which makes it easy to answer the question, "Do I need this?" because if it doesn't fit then I don't.

But with driving I have the luxury of space.  And suddenly packing becomes a nightmare, because everything is a possibility.  Do I need this extra pair of shoes?  Maybe.  How about I bring 3 books instead of just one because what if I finish, or what if I get bored?  Three books it is.  Four pair of jim-jams seems reasonable, right? Plus I need a bag for snacks and a bag for stuff to do on the road. And cold weather only adds to the pile because now we're talking outwear and how many hoodies is enough?

This is where I'm at right now.  I'm packing for our road trip to Utah (Knecht Fest '012!!!! The whole fam together again!  And a new niece (fingers crossed tomorrow) to boot!  Oh, it's going to be tremendous.) and I'm up to my armpits in clothing options. And hair care equipment.  Do I really need my straightener and my curling iron? Can't I just stick with one look for 5 days?

Although I have the answer to the book question.  I'm just bringing Gone With the Wind.  Sweet Land of Cotton, that is the longest book.  And for about 200 pages all you hear is, "The Yankees are comin'! The Yankees are comin'!" You almost feel good about it when they finally get there and burn everything down.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I'm thankful for you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's gone!

You will never guess where I parked just now! 

That's right.  The Parking Tyranny is over!  Balance has been restored to the universe. That picture means nothing to you unless you've driven past the parking lot for the last 6 weeks and have seen a maroon Honda parked where my car is parked. Six weeks that Honda has been parked there while their spot sat empty and the rest of us has to fight for the two remaining spots.  Sometimes even Mr. 101 would get involved and then it was like Thunderdome.

As you know Katie and I were beginning to suspect foul play.  How long do you wait before you get Flo the Manager to go in and check for bodies? But it turns out that they were just being jerky. They moved out 6 weeks ago and just left their car there.  Apparently they paid through today so they would occasionally come by to collect stuff but their car just sat there gathering dust and giving us all high blood pressure.

If I wasn't afraid that Cranky Camaro Guy would bring a trail of cigarette smoke with him, I 'd invite them all over to celebrate.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Little Bag of Horror

Today I cooked 2 turkeys and 20 pounds of mashed potatoes for our institute Thanksgiving feast this week.  It's been kind of fun.  Sometimes you just need to peel two bags of potatoes.

Here's my question:  do any of you use the neck and the guts of the turkey?  Because holy dry heave!  Why do the Turkey People insist on putting those in?  Hasn't the magic of science brought us to a time when we can have the option of neck or no-neck?  Can't the neck people just ask the butcher for one instead of all of us having to deal with them? In general I have a difficult time handling raw meat, which is why I subsist on cold cereal and toast and the occasional apple.  But this was too much.

I went to three different locations looking for just turkey breasts because I desperately did not want to have to remove the neck and the innards in that little bag.  But I couldn't find them anywhere.  Nor could I find a whole bird without them. So I decided to be a grownup about it and get the whole birds, with all the fixings.  My prayers were partially answered because there was no little bag in any of the birds but I still had to pull out the necks.  Oh vomit. 

Dear Institute Students:  This is how much I love you.

ADDENDUM!!:  I just finished carving the turkeys and lo, there were the bags of squishy bits.  They appeared to have been tucked somewhere in the upper most part of the bird.  Fortunately they were in a paper bag and not a plastic one, because could you imagine all that basting and neck pulling out for naught! It's a Thanksgiving miracle!

And also, per Katie's comment:  Some years ago my family determined that the sickest phrase in the English language was "moist giblet loaf." Enjoy your dinner, everyone!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We all voted

I made the colossal mistake of getting on Facebook last night after the election was called.  Sweet land of liberty!  You would have thought that everyone on there was standing on the edge of an abyss waiting to jump just after they got that one last status update in, because wo, the despair. Oh,with the threats to move to Canada (which I thought were amusingly ironic), and plans to stockpile ammunition, and look over there! It's the end of the world! I found myself sighing a lot over people's negativity. And I went to bed feeling kind of glum.

Because here's the thing that people fail to recognize.  We all voted.  We all researched and chose a guy and then we all went out and marked our ballots and got a sticker and then one guy won and one guy lost.  And to that I say, hooray for democracy.  It worked.  If you always want to be sure of an election there are many countries who can help you out with that. So maybe the guy who won wasn't the guy you wanted.  It's okay to be upset about that.  But it's not okay to make this one moment the Great Harbinger of the End of Days - particularly on Facebook - because it is not.

So this morning I woke up determined to make myself a politically neutral zone.  The kids came into seminary wanting to talk about it.  I fed them brownies and changed the subject.  At institute I made my office a negativity free zone.  We could talk about the results, we just couldn't say anything bad about them, or gloat, if that was the case.  Some kids left the office a little frustrated.  But others came in and we spent some time telling corny jokes to each other and laughing a lot.

See, life continues onward, just as it always has.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A face that could (almost) get me to move to AZ

Why!?  Why don't I live in Arizona!?  Wait, what am I saying?  Why?! Why don't Cynde and Ryan live in California?!  Because their baby is so cute and sweet and wonderful that it's only been a few hours since I've seen him and already I'm missing his squishy cheeks.  And that half smile he gives before falling asleep. And his wobbly head and spastic arms.  Ugh, he's the cutest.  This morning I spent some quality time with him snoozing in my arms for about an hour and then he woke up and had the world's largest poo explosion and even then I thought he was too adorable for words.

We spent most of the time lounging at home, reading and napping and watching trash tv and eating gelato and cooing over the kid.  I took a couple of hours out on Friday to have lunch with my long lost pal Stephanie.  We grew up together and were at BYU at the same time but haven't seen each other since.  We ate yummy sandwiches and reminisced about our glory days at girls camp. Thanks for coming all the way out, Stephanie! 

On Saturday we took an excursion into downtown Chandler to get popscicles and stroll and we ended up crashing an old people's brunch at a hotel while in search of bathroom to change a diaper.  We walked into the courtyard and stumbled across about a hundred or so senior citizens eating quiche and tapping their toes to a Dixieland band.  My people! 

It was such a great weekend.  And to top it all off, after I got buckled into my seat on the flight home I saw a woman walking down the aisle wearing an LA Derby Doll's sweatshirt and I said a silent prayer that she would sit next to me.  And she did!  Of course she did. She was one of those woman that looked like she lived kind of hard so I couldn't tell if she was 40 or 100 but the tips of her hair were dyed hot pink and she had a Hello Kitty tattoo on her neck.  No joke!  She told me all about how she was returning from Atlanta where she and her daughter attended the Roller Derby National Championships. I asked if she played and she said not currently because the team she used to skate with were a bunch of slackers. So I asked what her derby name was and she said it was Mama Gore.  And her daughter was Demi Gore.  We chatted the whole time before take off about roller derby and Gone With the Wind (still reading) and how come it's so blasted hot in California in November and then we clammed up at take off and did not disturb each other for the rest of the trip.  Which is to say it was a perfect flight home.