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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Max Hall hates me and thinks I'm classless

First question:

If every BYU fan in the world claims to know someone who has had beer thrown on them during a game, why don't I know a single person who knows a single person who has ever done that?  Or even a single person who has SEEN it done?  Could I please get some documented evidence of a U fan EVER throwing beer at a BYU fan?  C'mon people, in the era of camera phones, if it's ever really happened, the moment has been digitally captured.

Second question:

Does this mean we can officially retire that old BYU line that they're the classy ones?  Because that was old BEFORE the BYU quarterback claimed our entire school -- sociology department, student newspaper, LDS Institute building, law school, med school, juggling club -- was classless.

And one comment:

If you want to know how classy is done, Mr. Hall, maybe you should go look up what Eric Weddle said about your team and your players after he had just LOST in 2007.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Someday

Someday ...

I will learn how to maintain appropriate personal boundaries.

Someday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

When I think about gratitude and perspective and all that, I can usually only think of one thing -- and since this is the day when we all list the things we're grateful for, I figured I'd rather just plagiarize that:

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got.  Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.  I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.


Look at these grand men.  Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate them for even one day?  Sure, I'm lucky.  Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert?  Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow?  To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins?  Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?  Sure, I'm lucky.


When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift--that's something.  When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies--that's something.  When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter--that's something.  When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body--it's a blessing.  Wen you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed--that's the finest I know.


So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Outta my way, I got here late!

Every year, my procrastination gets worse.

In elementary school, I waited until the night before the science fair to put my poster board together.

In high school, I waited until May to start studying for AP tests.

In college, I was writing my paper on genetic drift literally minutes before it was due.

And when it came time to apply for law school, I was frantically signing forms, running down reference letters and stapling my personal statement at the last minute and had to run my the packet to the law school before 5:00 pm because it was too late to even mail.

Let's not even talk about law school itself.

But the problem with all this is, I procrastinate even things I like to do.  I haven't returned my newest Netflix DVDs, even though I want to know how things turn out between Ted and Robin on How I Met Your Mother.  I haven't worked on cleaning my room like I wanted to, or packing up any of my stuff (T-minus seven weeks to move), or working on my secret novel the paper I want to submit for publication, or gone Christmas shopping pre-Black Friday crowds, or anything.

Instead, I'm sitting around watching Daily Show re-runs and considering going to get a pedicure.  Which, in a way, would still be like an accomplishment.  Because at least I will have left my house.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This never happened*



It's been a dream of mine (since I got into Mad Men** two summers ago) to sneak off for a three hour lunch break and watch a movie.

Today, I achieved that dream.

Granted, the movie was 2012, but the whole act of workplace indifference was still badass.







* Name the episode for a free Diet Coke.


** Yes, I know that Mad Men is one of the stereotypical things that white people like (thanks, Stuff White People Like.com), but in case you all haven't noticed...I'm pretty white.  And that blog is pretty dead-on.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ReAL Salt Lake

Really?  Them?

Reason Number 72 Not To Have Kids: They Might Murder Me

 I don't really like kids.  Really, really do not care for them.*

I mean, I want to have my own, since fortunately biological imperative will win out over mere distaste, but that doesn't change the fact that kids are kinda gross.  Kinda demanding.  Kinda irritating.

Kinda terrifying.

I mean, seriously.  You're a big, fat liar if you don't find the concept of a small child a little concerning.  Big eyes.  Tiny hands.  Tiny teeth.  Stealthy movements.  Ability to hide in weird places.  Unexplainable emotional responses - creepy laughter, creepy solemnity, creepy silence.  I submit that any child's expression can become bone-chilling given the right lighting.   See picture left.

I'm not exaggerating, nor am I alone in this -- the whole idea of children-as-symbolic-death-of-adults concept has spawned a gazillion horror movies.

The Good Son.


The Orphanage.


The Bad Seed.
 
Joshua.

The Children of the Corn.

Orphan.

The Ring.

Rosemary's Baby.

The Exorcist.


Let The Right One In.

And what about movies where children are not the main attraction, but feature in predominantly creeptastic ways?

Blue dress girls from The Shining.

Little boy and his raspy-voiced finger from The Shining.

Chanting kids in Nightmare on Elm Street.

Tween zombie from beginning of The Dawn of the Dead.


Meowing boy in The Grudge.

Banjo boy from Deliverance.

Murderous toddler in Pet Sematary.


I mean, I'm not saying I won't ever spawn one or two, I'm just saying I won't be inclined to let them have friends.  Also, if you are a friend of mine with a child, I'm sure your child is lovely and non-homicidal, and I will be delighted to remark pleasantly on the cute bow and/or baby sneakers she or he is wearing.

I just don't want to ever be left alone in a room with it.

Safety first.



(*Genuine fear, or a desire to avoid babysitting for the rest of my natural life?  You decide.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dialogue


Scene: On TRAX

Friend (whispering to her other friend): I know it's not the most appropriate show, what with all the bad parts and everything, but I really love "Glee."

Me (internally): There are bad parts in "Glee"?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bad Mormon

Sometimes Mormons ask themselves, "What makes a good Mormon?"  Today I just wanted to know, "What makes someone recognizable as a Mormon?"

I have been told on at least a dozen occassions, "I had no idea you were Mormon!" 

I went to lunch with Jack yesterday.  (Doesn't it seem like all my stories begin with lunch?)  We were chatting about who-knows-what and then Jack casually mentioned, "Lanie didn't know you were Mormon."  Yes, someone I've known for two years thought I wasn't Mormon.  Not just that, but she was specifically under the impression that my family was Mormon, I was raised Mormon, but I wasn't Mormon any more. 

That seems like a high level of detail on the Not Mormon Front

Jack asked if that hurt my feelings, and I said no.  The thing is, I've gotten this for years, from both Mormons and non-Mormons, friends and strangers.  But even though I'm used to it, I'd like to know what vibe it is about me that leads people to this conclusion.  I have a few theories, but I'm not sure any of them really explain it.

The Swears
My excessive cursing didn't really flare up until age 22, and I've been attempting to tone it down in recent years (if only in acknowledgement of the fact that professional adults don't use words like "douchebag").  I did get the "You're Mormon?!?!?!?!" look of shock before 22, however.

So it can't be just the swears.

The Slutty Clothes
Again, only somewhat indicative.  The number of times I have truly skanked it up remains relatively small (a Tri Delt formal or two, perhaps a Halloween or New Years party in years past), but I do have a tendency to occassionally wear shirts that, um, perhaps could lead one to an incorrect assumption about my religious practices.  (I defend this one as not my fault, however.  I've talked about my wardrobe malfunction problems, correct?  Perfectly appropriate shirts will just suddenly betray me, those jerks.)

The Lack of Babies
I have begun to notice that when I attend traditional Mormon gatherings, I do lack certain accessories.  Specifically, a nattily dressed toddler.  (I kind of want to start renting my cousin Abbie's, because hers are appropriately darling.)  Of course, motherhood doesn't necessarily equate to Mormonhood, even in Utah.  But a baby wearing a designer headband comes pretty close.

The real problem is that if it's lack of progeny that gives me my Not A Mormon Vibe, (A) Why the hell have I prompted these "You're Mormon?" questions since HIGH SCHOOL?  What is wrong with you people? and (B) There's really not a lot to be done about that.*

The Gay Friends
Here's the thing -- lots of Mormons have gay friends. But I also know that other people would deny this fact. (You know, mostly dicks.) (Sorry, No-Swearing-Resolution.) Since I have recently noticed that my Gay Male Friends now outnumber my Straight Male Friends, perhaps this is it?

Of course, there's really nothing to be done about this one.  I love all my gay boyfriends, and straight man friends are kind of like endangered animals -- their numbers dwindle due to jobs and girlfriends/wives, and once their population has been decimated, more can be hard to come by.  So that ratio probably won't balance anytime soon.  

The Sarcasm
My friend Sally once told me that she will never be able to fit in with our fellow Mo-Mos because her spirit isn't sweet enough.  The same goes for me.  The thing is, like Sally, I have no desire to conform my sense of humor to Ward Sense of Humor.  No, I will not laugh at that terribly lame joke you just told in Sacrament Meeting.  I will begrudgingly fulfill my callings, but I will never gush over the many wonderful opportunities texting girls every month about their visiting teaching affords me.  Raising my hand during the Good News Minute will NEVER HAPPEN.

But the thing is, the fact that I glare my way through church can't be why people don't view me as LDS, because well duh, if they were in church to witness the glaring, they'd know, right?  And for people who witness my finer moments of bitchery outside the wardhouse ... well, actually, this one might be the answer. 

If it is, however, I think I'm just going to live with it.  After all, I like being a bitch. It's who I am. And, as the Sunday School song rightly points out, Jesus still loves me, yes He does.

Any thoughts, e-friends?  If you had to pick one thing about me that says, "Not Mormon," what would it be?  (And if you can think of it, do you think it's chanageable?)




* (PS: Don't worry though, if I haven't trapped some man into marrying me by my 30th birthday, and my backup fiance is unavailable, I'm going to implement the Angelina Jolie lifeplan by adopting some beautiful multicultural kids and stealing some other chick's husband. 

Now guess if I'm joking.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The sads


I've been in a bit of a funk lately.  (Trying to get out of it, so don't worry.)  But I realized something today, as I sought some solace in the form of cookies, caramel and chocolate (with a side of Diet Coke.)  When I was in junior high and high school, the vending machines always provided us hyper little teenagers with the freshest licorice, chewiest gummies, fluffiest Three Musketeers imaginable.

But every workplace I've ever been in has vending machines which provide stale, melted, chocolate-so-old-it's-turning-white fare. 

Being a grown up is the worst.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On nights like this ...

I wish I drank.

The Utes lost.  (I would be comforted by the fact that TCU is the cat's pajamas, and we put up a more respectable fight than BYU did, if not for the unhappy truth that we had a dozen penalties and multiple fumbles.  Sigh.)

I wore snow-inappropriate footwear.  (Status: feet still basically frozen.)

My brother Alpha is acting like he's on his period.  (Hey, I can make misogynistic comments, I'm a girl.)

Basically that's it.

But the first one alone had me looking longingly at the margaritas at Kate and Ryan's.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Having a collegiate moment

At the Salt Lake Roasting Co., enjoying a cookie and steamed milk while I work on a fellowship project leftover from my law school days. 

Surrounded by hipsters and one guy who kinda looks like Emmanuel of homeless-dudes-who-kidnap-teenage-girls-fame.  One particularly granola looking couple appears to be on a blind date.  One girl who looks like she hasn't slept in awhile is struggling with calculus and flirting with her study-buddy.  (The flirting appears to be going well.)  There are peacoats and scarves EVERYWHERE.

Had no idea how much I missed the pseudo-life that students lead.  Sigh.

The bitter barn

Last night I went to my sorority's Founder's Day, which is a celebration commemorating the founding of a greek-letter organization. (In my case, Tri Delta.)




As some of you may know, my sorority was shut down my senior year in college, right as I was graduating. There are about a million and one reasons to be furious about the action Tri Delta Nationals took regarding our chapter, none of which I particularly want to recount now.



What was frustrating to me -- and what will most likely be frustrating forever -- is the fact that some of my fellow Delta Delta Delta alums want to forgive and forget about that whole house-shutting-down thing.



Um ... no. Not going to happen. That's awesome if you can do that, but I can't.



And I don't want to talk about it.  And I don't want to hear about how you re-discovered the true spirit of sisterhood and the power of forgiveness.



Look, I know I joined Tri Delt for the sisterhood, not just the physical house. But I joined to be part of something lasting, not something that ended when I graduated from college. I want to go back and help with Rush. I want to send flowers on Bid Day. I want to donate money during Philanthropy week. I want to show up for Initiation if I'm in town. So don't lecture me about why I really joined -- I know why I joined, and it's not just so I can be an alum of a house that doesn't even exist at my alma mater anymore.



The fact that I will never, ever give another red cent to Tri Delta Nationals? Never going to change. The fact that I will never, ever think of "Nationals" the same way I think of my local chapter, or people from other local chapters? Nope, not that either.



So yeah, invite me to alum events. I want to maintain friendships, I want to keep raising money for children's cancer hospitals. I want to persue the (extremely unlikely) possibility of our house re-opening.



But don't try to make me leave the bitter barn. That's where I live now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Child's play


I went to lunch with Sally again today. 

She got an assignment last night at 6.  She worked at the office until 8:30, blowing off her boyfriend (cue Sally shrieking, "He is NOT my boyfriend!"), going home for dinner, and then continuing on the work until midnight.  Then she got up early and went in to the office again, finishing up the research and writing it up.

She was clearly stressed, as this issue was (1) complicated and (2) meant something, in the sense that her research and writing was going to be used by someone, and therefore affect some client, as opposed to all the assignments we did as summer associates, where our work meant little-to-nothing to no one and nobody. 

Finally she calmed down long enough to take a bite of her sandwich.  "How is work going for you today?"

I thought for a second.  "Well, I had to go to Michael's to buy a gift basket and some rafia."

Pause.

"And then later I'm going to go around and get the office Christmas cards signed by everyone."

Cue Sally glaring at me. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11/11/09: Veterans' Day

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

- John F. Kennedy

Monday, November 9, 2009

My new greatest fear


Went to lunch with my friend Sally today.  She told me a story she'd recently been told about a lawyer who CRIED at a mediation.  In front of the mediator.  In front of the client.  In front of opposing counsel.  In front of all the angels in heaven. 

When Sally expressed her disbelief at such an event, the attorneys around her shrugged.

"Oh, Sal," they said.  "It happens.  I'd be surprised if you didn't cry in a mediation someday, too."

Uh ...

What?

Sally and I were stunned.  Is that a common thing?  Lawyers ... crying?  Why did no one mention this in law school?  Why haven't we been practicing watching Sofie's Choice dry-eyed for the last three years, if that's the case?

I swear on all that is holy: If I ever cry during a mediation, negotiation, deposition, court hearing, trial, or other legal proceeding, I will promptly excuse myself and quit being a lawyer IMMEDIATELY. 

If there's no crying in baseball, there sure as hell should be no crying in the practice of law. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Addendum

Echo, upon reading the previous post: I don't think you look like Joan Cusack.  I think you look like Michelle Trachtenberg.

Which led to us googling pictures of Michelle Trachtenberg in an effort to confirm or dispel.

Echo: You know, she's not very cute.


Thanks, sis.


Celebrity Look-Alikes

My friend Sally gets told that she looks like Cameron Diaz.

My sister Echo has been told she looks like Megan Fox.

I dated a guy whose sister was always told she looked like Sandra Bullock.

In fact, it was immediately after announcing that YET ANOTHER guy had complimented her Sandra Bullock-like looks, she frowned at me, and said, "You know who you look like?"

Me: (internally) Don't say it ...

Her: Joan Cusack!
















Yes, for some reason, friends and strangers alike have found it necessary to compare me to Joan Cusack--the middle aged actress of "playing Kate Hudson's older sister in Raising Helen" fame.

Thanks.

In fact, today I was at lunch with Diego and Nelson after a church-extravaganza (Mormonism! Unitarianism!) and the manager of Noodles and Co. interrupted us to ask me if anyone had compared me to John Cusack's baby sister.


I'm not saying Joan Cusack isn't talented.  I'm not saying she isn't likeable.  (She totally is, on both scores.)  I'm not even saying she isn't cute, in her own way.  I'm just saying, if I had to be compared to someone, I'd prefer a little wild exaggeration.  (Kate Winslet!  I could easily be the wacked out Kate Winslet in Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.)  Or at least someone my own age.  (Trudy from Mad Men!  OK, I'm clearly not as polished, but if you take off your glasses so your vision gets blurry ...)





(I will say that, sensing I was in a bad mood, Diego promptly reminded me that people compare him to Dame Judi Dench.

That helps.

A little.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bangs

You know how you read classic Greek literature, and you feel like screaming, "No, no!  Can't you see that's your dramatic flaw!!?!?!?  Why can't you stop doing that?" 

That's like me and getting bangs.  Every time I think my hair is getting boring, I think, "Oooooh, bangs will be a nice change!"  And then for the first few days after the haircut, I think, "Oooh, these are fun!" 

And then inevitably, I remember that I like the first week of bangs, but I lack the fortitude to (1) get them trimmed on a regular basis or (2) do them in the morning, and therefore I should not have bangs.

People, it takes a loooooooong time to grow them out to manageable levels.  Believe me--girls with fat faces (I believe the term fashion magazines use is "round") should not be seen mid-bang-grow-out.  It's tragic.   

Anyway, have a hair appointment to cut myself some bangs this afternoon, wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New To-Do List

So remember when I was going to read all the books listed in Beowulf on the Beach?  Guh.  That project is still going, but there's a reason why those books were ALREADY the books I've struggled to read.  Madame Bovary?  More like Madame BORE-vary. 

(Yeah, that's the level my humor is at today.)

So I decided a new list would be in order, and for some reason thought A-Z would be the way to go, even though finding a book starting with "X" is basically impossible.  A list of books that are good, but hopefully not blow-your-brains-out-before-finishing-good.  A list of books that I haven't yet read, want to read, and yes, have occassionally faked having read in the past.

Suggestions are gladly welcomed. 

Any thoughts on the following?

A – All The King's Men

B – The Book Thief

C – The Corrections (Was also considering Cold Mountain ... hopefully eventually I'll get to both, but one has to make the list!  It's an arbitrary rule I've come up with!)

D – David Copperfield (Or Dreaming In Hindi?  I feel like I can't go wrong with Oprah, and David Copperfield is already on the Beowulf on the Beach list ... though that will mean finishing Madame Bovary...)

E – Empire Falls (Or Even Cowgirls Get the Blues?  I feel like The Corrections AND Empire Falls might be a bit much, considering C and E are so close together.)

F – The Fountainhead (Even though Ayn Rand is basically a Nazi who admired serial killers and fittingly died alone ... yes, I feel the need to read The Fountainhead.  Even if I know I will probably just hate it.)

G – A Game of Thrones (Thanks Eric!)

H – Howl’s Moving Castle

I – Into Thin Air

J – The Joy Luck Club

K – K (For realsies.  It's about Kafka, who I love, but I worry that K might be where I get bogged down on my goal ... so new K nominations would be appreciated.)

L – The Little Prince

M – The Maze Runner

N – Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

O – The Old Man and the Sea

P – Pillars of the Earth

Q – The Quick and the Dead

R – The Road

S – The Shack (or Snow Falling on Cedars?)

T – Team of Rivals

U – The Unbearable Lightness of Being

V – V for Vendetta

W – The World According to Garp

X – ***

Y – Yiddish Policeman’s Union (I've only read half of this, so it can still make the list.  And to everyone saying, "R, you've always said you always finish books -- except for It -- have you been lying?"  I say, "No, but I was in the middle of YPU last summer during the Great Roommate Fire Incident of 2008, so I was too distracted by looming homelessness to finish.") 

Z – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Monday, November 2, 2009

Can't we just send them some maps???

Last week in church, my cousin gave a lesson on the Martin-Willey handcart companies. For those who don’t know, the Martin and Willey handcart companies were two groups in a series of handcart pioneers. They started the journey too late in the year and were only in Wyoming when winter came. Starvation, hypothermia, exhaustion -- in old-timey clothes and shoes which are a far cry from waterproof, fur-lined boots and Goretex coats.




When word reached Salt Lake that the companies were lost out on the plains, Brigham Young called for a massive rescue effort. On October 7, the first rescue party left Salt Lake City with 16 wagonloads of food and supplies. More rescue parties followed. Even with a rescue effort, more than 210 of the 980 handcart pioneers died along the way. Many of the survivors had to have limbs, fingers and toes amputated due to the frostbite.



In Mormon culture, the story of the Martin and Willey handcart companies is nothing short of legendary. Kids are told about the bravery of the rescuers their whole lives, particularly the story of the young men who carried the pioneers across the icy Sweetwater River. A slightly lesser-known aspect to the story, but no less important, is that after the emigrants finally made it to Salt Lake, those who had already settled in the valley took them in and cared for them for months.



This was no minor act of charity. This was about hundreds of people who had ALREADY risked their lives crossing the plains once doing it again, under the worst possible conditions. This was about people who were already just barely eking out an existence opening their homes to strangers.



You know what none of those rescuers said?



They got themselves into this mess, and now they have to live with the consequences.



I worked hard to get across the plains, and helping them will be giving them a free ride.



And my personal fave: If we go rescue them, they'll never learn to cross the plains themselves.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And another thing

Bless you, day lights saving time.

Bless you.

The silver lining

If you're going to get sick, get sick on a Sunday.  You can throw on some sweats, wrap yourself in blankets, preempt your dad's lazyboy, and watch the '49ers game while your family gets ready for church.  So sweet ...

(Halloween deets forthcoming.)