Friday, October 30, 2015

Stout-hearted men

While checking in on the ISS space walk this week I noticed something when they showed mission control at Johnson Space Center:  Tupperware.

See it? Down in the right corner? Are they having a space walk pot luck?! Did someone bring in brownies? Astronaut shaped sugar cookies? How often do they have these? Is it every Wednesday or just for space walks? Obviously, I need to know these things for when I get the call from NASA. I don't want to look like a noob. There's just something so perfect about space nerds bringing in treats for each other while they watch two of their colleagues bob around outside the space station.

In other news I went to the Upland High School fall choir concert last night. About half of all of my previous and current seminary students are in a choir and so I thought I'd go support them. My expectations for high school choir concerts is low because I went to a high school that had a crappy choir. And the most exciting one I've ever been to was only memorable because a tenor passed out mid-song and fell into the alto section. But this was great. Four of my boys are in the Men's Choir and they sang a song last night called Men of the Sea. They were fantastic. But the content and the choir made me think of a particular episode of The Wonder Years. (It's a little long and the quality is bad and it has Portuguese subtitles (I think that's Portuguese) but what can you do, right?) Enjoy.

Only one more day and then we're free of the pumpkin-spiced tyranny of Halloween! Although I did manage to come up with a semi-costume for my ward's party. I'm a firm believer that I can make anything out of felt. Add some tulle, a glue gun, jeans and a tee-shirt and you have yourself a casual witch costume.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Endings, Reunions, Grammar

1. Did you see that Tyra announced the end of America's Next Top Model? And thus ends a massive chapter of my television viewing life. My interest in the show has definitely waned over the years but I can't deny that she is still crazy and possibly needs to be medicated and therefore a real joy to watch. Thanks for the memories! And also, I kind of loved how everyone on Facebook messaged me with the news. Although it was not necessary as I follow her on Instagram. Because she's insane.

2. In other TV news DID YOU SEE THE RUMOR THAT NETFLIX MADE A DEAL TO BRING BACK GILMORE GIRLS? What in the name of Sookie St. James is going on?! I am both thrilled and horrified. Because, look, I love that show. We ALL love that show (except my Dad hates that show but that's to be expected). And who doesn't want to be reunited with our best pals. But this could be awful. I really don't like it when I've made peace with a beloved story that has ended and then it keeps coming back (I'm looking at you, JK Rowling! Stop telling me stuff about Harry Potter! He's mine now!) Let me live with my memories and my imaginary futures for all of them. Like how I think Kirk stages a coup against Taylor and barricades himself in Dooce's Market and sings "Do You Hear the People Sing" through a megaphone while Taylor just goes through the back door to end it. Or how Babette and Maury get into a fight over what to name their next cat and Babette moves in with Luke and Lorelei (because they're married now) and rearranges Luke's kitchen according to ease of reaching and he gets adorably irate. Or how Zack and Lane have made it into the county fair circuit with their band and Rory is a foreign corespondent for the Washington Post and Sookie and Jackson have 4 more kids and they don't have any more names so they start naming them after vegetables and how Dean has fallen off of a cliff. See, I have plans for these people and I fear that additional shows will ruin them. But, let's not kid ourselves. If this does happen I will make a paper chain and host a viewing party where we all have to dress up in themed costumes. I'm thinking Lorelei's cat sweater years.

3. In other viewing news, here are two things of note I saw last week:  1. Hamlet staring Benedict Cumberbatch. Holy smokes and stuff! This was so great! It was a live recording from the National Theater in London shown at local movie theaters. Wow and wow. At intermission we learned that the Dodgers lost to the Mets, thus dashing all of our dreams, and several like-minded baseball/Shakespeare fans commiserated with me. Then we cheered ourselves up by watching everyone die on stage at the end. 2. I took myself to the movies on a Friday afternoon with a bunch of other lone wolves and watched Bridge of Spies. And it was so good. I think that Spielberg is such a cornball but gosh if I'm not charmed by it every time. And watching it with all the other single riders made me want to shout out, "Loners of the World, UNITE! (By ourselves!)"

4. Here is something wonderful that happened today. I was sitting in my office and a kid walked by my window that looks into the lounge and said something that I didn't hear, but then he rounded the corner toward my door and shouted, "Sorry about that, Rachel!" So I asked what it was he said, to which he replied, "I said, 'me and Josh are going to the weight room,' and I knew instantly that you would hate that. Because it's supposed to be Josh and I." These kids really get me, you know.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fantasy Gifts

When you were a kid didn't you love looking through catalogs? Like from JC Penny's? I loved it. In particular I loved the bedding section. Everything looked so luxurious. They always had really shiny sheets and lots of pillows. Now a days I just want really cozy sheets and I think throw pillows are ridiculous, but back when I was 8 I could spend hours dreaming of a very fancy bedroom. I was thinking about those catalogs a few months ago and wishing that I got them.

Well, Katie tipped me off to the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, which is just like the JC Penny's catalog, if that catalog was nothing but cashmere ponchos, fur coats for kids, and backgammon sets made out of exotic woods. It's basically where every Woman of Elegant Leisure does all of her Christmas shopping for her Woman of Elegant Leisure friends. I did not see any turbans in there, which is a bit of a let down.

But the real treat of the book is the Fantasy Gift section. Oh, the fantasy gift. There are all sorts of things your boring old rich uncle would love. Like a trio of Texas guitars or a barrel full of Bourbon. And then there's the crass, like the luxury trip to India where you'll be shuttled around in private planes and vintage cars. Just like the colonialists! Watch out for all those little street urchins playing cricket in the street. You wouldn't want them denting the chrome.

But then there's the surreal, like a two day motorcycle ride through the Angeles National Forest with Keanu Reeves and his pal. Could you imagine?! I mean, that is a very specific gift, right? Your boring old rich uncle would have to both a motorcycle enthusiast and a fan of the Lake House. Or how about a trunk full of accessories from Iris Apfel. Because if you can't find a turban, than a statement necklaces is the next best thing. What about the couture diary where an artist will draw you in 20 of your favorite wardrobe pieces. It is bound in Scandinavian calfskin and, according to the J. Peterman write-up, will be "cherished for generations." I don't know about you, but I don't think I want 20 hand painted renderings of me in various stretchy pants.

But there are two I'd go for. The craftsman tour of Venice and Florence, where you visit shops and make paper and blow glass and eat gelato and pasta for 7 days. Are you kidding me? Alert the Wealthy Benefactor! Because I'm also going to need him to spring for the Exploration of the Edge of Space. The WB and I, and 4 of our closest friends get to go up in a luxury space capsule via a jumbo weather balloon to the upper atmosphere and float around for a few hours. Is this even a joke?! Can I really do this?! For only $90,000. Let's all start saving now! That's only $15,000 we each have to come up with the if WB bails. In all seriousness, if given the opportunity would you go up in a metal box attached to a balloon? What if I told you that there would be snacks?

Me? In a heartbeat.