Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am equally Jewish and Mormon, but way more Quaker with a pinch of Baha'i

I took a religion test tonight.  Answer twenty questions about your personal beliefs and how important they are to you, and Internet will tell you which religion you are (or ought to be).

In case you were wondering, I am:

100% Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestant
84% Liberal Quaker
82% Unitarian Universalism
75% Baha'i
72% Orthodox Quaker
70% TIE: Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism
66% TIE: Reform Judiasm and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS)

Also fun?  The fact that I am more Scientologist (51%) than Roman Catholic (42%).  Really would not have guessed that one.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adventures with underpants

There's a Shel Silverstein poem called Outside or Underneath? and I loved it as a kid.

Bob bought a hundred-dollar suit
But couldn't afford any underwear.
Says he, "If your outside looks real good
No one will know what's under there."

Jack bought some hundred-dollar shorts
But wore a suit with rips and tears.
Says he, "It won't matter what people see
As long as I know what's under there."

Tom bought a flute and a box of crayons,
Some bread and cheese and a golden pear.
And as for his suit or his underwear
He doesn't think about them much....or care.

But with all due respect to Mr. Silverstein and anti-materialists everywhere, I must say, I love underwear.  And this weekend, when I went to go find some cute Ute gear at the Gateway Victoria's Secret, they were having a 7 panties for $25 sale.  Random fact of the day: I totally don't care that I already have underpants coming out my ears.  When Victoria's Secret has this sale, I will buy seven more pairs of underoos.  It's like a universal law.

Unfortunately, this trip to VS was already not going as planned.  The sweet Ute shirt I wanted was sold out.  This left me with a dilemma.  I must go to the Homecoming Game wearing University of Utah colors, but I was not loving my remaining options.  (The first, a cute red shirt that came only in XL sizes, the second, an appropiately sized but slightly less cute gray shirt with UTAH written in red felt letters.  Why oh why did I wait until two hours before kickoff during Homecoming Week to buy my first Utah shirt of the season?) 

I decided to console myself by getting more underpants.  (Anyone out there shocked that I'm an emotional shopper?)  But as I glanced over the selection, I found myself annoyed.  Victoria's Secret usually has super comfy, slightly sassy underpants in a variety of shapes, materials, colors and patterns. 

Who needs purple herringbone bikini bottoms with a lace trim, you ask?

Who doesn't?  I reply.

Yet this display of underpants was decidedly less darling than I was used to.  No turquoise plaid.  No fluorescent yellow lace.  No little pink ribbon bows.  No slightly scandalous messages written across the bottom. 

What do we have instead?  Rhinestones on underpants.  Are you kidding me, Victoria's Secret people?  Ribbons are one thing, tacky metallic bulky ugliness is another.  No, that's not visible panty line you are seeing through my slacks, that's just my bedazzled underpant accoutrement.  Classy, right? 

I half-heartedly went through the motions of trying to find an additonal week's supply of undies while avoiding being touched by the jackals who were already pawing through drawers of unmentionables. 

And that's when things got weird.

First, an Asian mother and daughter were apparently intent on touching EVERY SINGLE PAIR OF UNDERPANTS IN THE STORE.  Stroking the material.  Tugging the material.  Another-descriptive-word-that-I-don't-want-to-use-in-context-with-underpants the material.

Look, I know we're all going to go home and wash the undies before wearing the undies for this very purpose, but could you please, please avoid rubbing someone else's (future) underpants?  You're kind of ruining the illusion that somehow my underwear magically appears in my drawers, laundry fresh and fabric softened, untouched by any human hands but my own.  And because they weren't speaking English, I didn't feel good about glaring at them.  Instead, I tried to move to another side of the display, but there I bumped into a scene far more uncomfortable. 

A middle aged husband with his wife.  Picking out underpants.

Here's the deal, gentlemen.  Victoria's Secret--and basically any lingerie section of any store ANYWHERE--is a place for ladies.  I remember dragging Diego into a Victoria's Secret once when I wanted to get some new perfume.  He later said he felt like he was obligated to give an apologetic, "Don't worry, I'm gay" to every female customer in the store. 

So there I was, in the Gateway Victoria's Secret, trying to avoid making eye contact with the middle-aged dude debating rhinestone thongs with his wife.  (I refer you to my concerns about VPL above, and move to end all further debate.)  And as I moved around the table ... BOOM, another guy with his girlfriend, picking out underpants.

And this one did not avoid eye contact.

He looked at me.

He looked at the underpants I was holding.

And then he looked back at me -- thereby breaking what is, I submit, the greatest social law of all time: Never, under any circumstances, let someone think you are visualizing their underpants.  At this point I was forced to relinquish the underpants I was holding, because obviously I don't want a stranger to know anything about my underwear.  (Aside from all you folks, of course, but really, what do you know other than I don't want fake diamond studs in my delicate laundry loads?) 

Everywhere I turned, there was something to weird me out.  The Undie Touchers.  Creepy Pro-Rhinestone Dude.  Eye Contact Dude.  Ladies who didn't understand that the No Bumping Into Strangers Rule goes for double when you're dealing with underwear.  And the Victoria's Secret Sales Girls, popping in with a cheery, "You finding everything okay?"

It's underpants, girls, not shopping for a car.  What do you think someone is going to say, "I'm looking for the comfort of a boyshort with the versatility of lace thong, without sacrificing wearability.  What can you show me in a seamless satin?"  Unlikely.

Ultimately, I grabbed seven random pairs of underpants and the gray Ute shirt, immediately regretted all my life choices, and kind of wished I just had some crayons and a pear. 

Oh childhood, how I miss you.
(A porn post followed up by an underpants post?  Yes, I'm on a roll this week.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And then some pornography happened

Back when I was a Tri Delt, I used to go into the Blockbuster on 400 South and peruse the horror section.  I would inevitably pause in front of a cinematic masterpiece called Delta Delta Die!, consider, and then move on to a different selection.  It just never seemed like the right time...though I knew the time would one day come.

On my last day as an undergrad at the Blessed U, however, I decided I was ready for what was sure to be a rite of passage.  After finishing up work at The Daily Utah Chronicle, my friend Lucy (Chi Omega) and I ran over to Blockbuster.  Thankfully, the copy was still there, though I'm sure that someone came in right after us and was sorely disappointed someone else had it.

We grabbed some soup at Cafe Rio for our sick friend Pauly (no greek affiliation, though at one point, he lived in Tri Delt and later married a Chi O, which I think makes him our unofficial sorority sister) and headed to his house to celebrate the end of my collegiate experience with Diet Cokes and popcorn.

Pauly, Lucy and I settled into the theater-style seating that Pauly and his roommate had created with couches propped up on cinderblocks.  After a few episodes of Campus Ladies that Pauly had DVR'd, we popped in the main event.

As the opening credits were rolling, one of us--I can't remember who--noticed that the music was perhaps a bit ... bow-chicka-wowy?

And then someone else pointed out that the characters seemed to all be wearing an awful lot of pleather. 

And no one could act.  Not like Freddie Prinze Jr. "can't act," or even Lauren Conrad in The Hills "can't act," but "an eighth grade drama geek would be doing better" levels of ineptitude.  Some of them seemed to be reading cue cards.

But even after a flashback that involved some full-frontal male doodle, we remained convinced that Delta Delta Die! -- which I had seen on the shelves of Blockbuster for at least two years -- could not be porn.

OK, maybe it was made by a pornographer who was trying to break into the B-grade movie scene, and he just had all the costumes from his porno days left over.

And it's expensive to buy new music.

Or hire different actors and actresses.

And plots are complicated.

So as the movie continued (it's about sorority girls who murder fraternity boys, bake them into pies and sell them back to other fraternity boys for philanthropy week, in case you were wondering) we began playing a little game called "This couldn't possibly be porn because."  

This couldn't possibly be porn because the case says it's 83 minutes long.

This couldn't possibly be porn because no one asked for our ID when we rented it.

This couldn't possibly be porn because some of these people are just way too ugly to make their living in porn.

This couldn't possibly be porn because there's a musical number in it.

This couldn't possibly be porn because no one's having sex.  They're just having a lot of naked conversations. 

And this continued until Pauly's roommate walked into the room, watched for a few seconds, and asked, "So ... why are you guys watching a porn?"

To which we all just laughed even harder, and finally, mercifully, turned off the TV.

(The funny part is, that wasn't the last time I accidentally watched soft core porn with Pauly.  The second time, though, at least our excuse was that we thought the movie was French.  You know how those Europeans are.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You're a mean one, Mr. Shue

I always find Glee funny, but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to continue watching it.

Rachel is annoying.  Finn is idiotic.  Like, straight up, might be in a borderline IQ range.  And their teacher is morally reprehensible.

Really, Mr. Shuester?  You realized it was mean to be mean ... only after people were mean to you?  Don't people usually develop an independent moral sense around, I don't know, age six?

I love most of the minor characters in Glee -- this show really should be about Emma, the principal, Santana, Brittany, Quinn, Puck and Sue.

I would have once added Kurt and Artie to this list, but the two of them lack so much self-awareness that I cringe whenever they're on screen.  If a straight boy had pulled Kurt's "Let's be roommates, future step-sibling, and hopefully hook up in the process!" shenanigans on a straight girl, we would all be appalled and recognized it as harassment.  Had a straight girl done it to a straight boy, we would have called her a psycho and suggested her parents send her to a therapist before she develops into a full-blown nympho.  And yet when a gay kid does it to his straight male friend, we're supposed to be sympathetic?  I'm sorry, but until that episode Kurt struck me as far too kind and wise to not realize how upset Finn would be at this development.

And while Artie wanting to dance is tragically sweet, wanting to be on the football team is eye-rollingly unrealistic.  I wanted to shake him.  And, like nympho girl in my hypothetical above, send him straight to a therapist.  PS?  Tina didn't dump you because Mike Chang is a jock.  She dumped you because you ignored her all summer.  OK, and also because Mike Chang is a jock.  (Did you guys see those abs?)

It's a sad day when the commercials featuring Sue Sylvester are funnier than the television show featuring Sue Sylvester.

And though it is a tangent, I must express my annoyance at a bunch of kids in Ohio singing "Empire State of Mind."  As my friend Pedro once said, how lame is it that kids all over the country hear a song about New York and think, "This is my song, bitches"?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reflections on the bar exam

So, I passed.

And I am delighted.

But I have one minor complaint.

Last summer, I studied my ass off.

This summer, I worked/studied my ass off ... and yes, the working part resulted in a lot less studying and a lot more panicking.  Some of you know.  You were on the receiving end of some very high-strung emails.  Literally, studied roughly 10% of what I did last summer.

And when I finished taking the bar, I legitimately felt like I was in danger of failing.

So after all that, color me a bit annoyed that my MBE score is only 1.2 points lower than it was last year.

Damn you Utah, and your unwillingness to take my previous score.  Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmnnnnnnn yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyoooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuu!

(On the plus side, a perverse part of me now wants to waive into DC, Minnesota and North Dakota.  Just because I can.

I am very easily motivated by spite.)

Grown up bull crap

Does any one else find 401(K) plans infuriating?

Do I want to be a conservative investor?  Certainly.  But I'm also only 26 and what's the point of even investing if I might as well just put my money in a sweet, sweet bank account (with that sweet, sweet 0.75% interest) that has no chance (as opposed to some chance) of imploding on me?*  Oh yes, that's right.  Reducing my gross taxable income.  Damn you, government, for putting me in this position.  And damn you, old people, for living forever and stealing all the Social Security.  Just so we're clear, you may take my income, but you'll never take my kidneys.**

So I venture up to "Model II" on the chart of Predetermined Model Composition, which is described as "Moderate" (Hey, I'm a moderate!  This investment choice speaks to me!) with a mix of 60% bonds and 40% stock.  Then, just for the sake of argument, I glance at Model III, described as "Balanced," which is 40% bond and 60% stock.  (And here I was thinking that "balanced" would be a 50-50 split.  So glad I didn't go to Money School instead of Law School.)

I'mn not even considering Model IV or Model V with their tempting pie charts of large returns.  (I've made that mistake before, evil, persuasive pie charts.)

I would ask family members for advice, but I fear they have none to give.  My dad's financial choices have always baffled me.  He's a saver.  A big saver.  So he doesn't have to worry about the moneys, but when I mentioned the concept of a 401(K) to him, he stared at me blankly, like, "What the hell are you talking about?"  I am vaguely aware that my dad owns stock ... of some kind ... but I imagine it just appeared in his life somehow, as if left by Santa Claus.  And even if this were not the case, I think I have sadly arrived in that point of life where my parents respond to all my dilemmas with, "Well, you've got to be happy."


And then I think of my grandparents, who I somehow view as simultaneously fiscally conservative and financial wizards.  What would they do?  I don't know.  Their advice was always good, but what stands out most is, "Pull your hair out of your eyes" (Grandma) and "Marry up!" (Grandpa).***  I don't think we ever talked about money, besides the concept of "Make a lot of it."  If only I could go back in time to High School Ru and tell her, "Ask Grandpa and Grandma about investment strategies before it's too late!"

What really kills me is that some people actually forgo the Predetermined Model Composition and create their own portfolio

These people make me want to vomit. 

(However, if you, Dear Reader, are one of these clever people, I would gladly welcome your advice on the Conservative-Moderate-Balanced Dilemma.)  (Suck it, Growth-Equity Growth.)


* Barring the zombie apocalypse, but I'm already preparing for that one. 

** Guess what book I finished this weekend?

*** Trying not to think about how I am not doing so well on either of these scores. 

**** I stole this picture from Internet.  I am not even close to that arty.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Child abuse is so heart-warming

Spending my Sunday curled up in my Ute snuggie with a stomachache, watching endless amounts of TV.

Every time the promo for White Oleander comes on, I can't help but think, "Has no one at ABC Family seen or read White Oleander?"

Don't want to be the Spoiler Girl, but seriously -- murder, abandonment, statutory rape, aggravated assault, suicide, teen pregnancy, drug use and conspiracy to commit perjury just doesn't seem to be adequately described by a chipper announcer proclaiming, "One mistake will change a family forever."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Fundamentals of Our Constitution

Yesterday Elder Oaks gave a speech that I would recommend reading.* 

My favorite part (in all seriousness): 

The principles I describe apply regardless of who holds the offices and regardless of party affiliation. Our loyalty is to the institution. If we oppose persons who hold particular offices or the policies they pursue, we are free to vote against them or work against their policies. But we should not carry our opposition to the point of opposing their offices, or we weaken the institution of constitutional government. 

Some of the things said by various persons in recent public discourse cause me to urge that we be more careful in the way we throw around the idea that something is unconstitutional. A constitution should not be used as a weapon to end debate. A public policy or a proposed law that is unwise is not necessarily unconstitutional. Even if it is a stupid proposal, it is not necessarily unconstitutional. A constitution gives the people and their elected leaders the opportunity to make many decisions that are unwise or even reckless. When that happens — when the government or one of its officials engages in some kind of action that we consider to be wrong — we should engage in vigorous public debate about it. But we should not use up a constitution by attempting to strike down every ill-conceived act of government or to discredit every unwise official. A constitution is the ultimate weapon, and we preserve that weapon best by using it sparingly and carefully. If we call some action unconstitutional, we should be prepared to explain what provision or principle of a constitution it violates. In this way, a constitution can be used to stimulate discussion and to seek unity.

My second-favorite part (I say, somewhat in jest): The part where Elder Oaks mentions -- and then slams -- the book I helped research and edit in law school.  Booyah!  (I wonder if he made it all the way to the end, where I have a credit?  That would be awesome.)

*(News coverage will most likely not cover the speech adequately, since I thought it focused heavily on judicial independence, respectful disagreement, and protection for minority group civil liberties ... but was apparently all about gay marriage.  Yay news media.)  (And there was an unpleasant reference to the long-ago lampooned Equal Rights Amendment, but I'm good at mentally editing out things I dislike.  It really helps me get by in life.)  (Still, it's interesting, you should read it.)  (Don't you like how waffly I can be on Saturday mornings?)

You may leave the runway

(I wrote this post while I was waiting to find out if I failed or passed the Utah Bar.  I considered posting it before I found out the results, but it felt too much like tempting fate.  Also, I would never post on this blog ever again if I reminded you all that I had taken the bar, and then had to to admit I failed.)

Waiting to find out if you passed the bar is like being on Project Runway.  The other contestants (ie, everyone else in your life) have already found out that their scores have qualified them to move on to the next round.  Now you have to stand there, awkwardly, wondering if you're the genius who created a couture ballgown out of ten billion paperclips or the mouth breather who forced her model to go down the runway with Scotch tape covering her naughty bits. 

Candy ropes and breath mints?  Or corn husks?

(Well, I don't know about any of that, but I did pass.  :))

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Martha Stewart I am not

I love having fresh flowers.  I know it's a waste of money, and I know they won't last, but seriously - nothing peps up a room like real flowers.  (And seriously - what kills a room more than dusty silk flowers?  Blech.)

Today my grocery store was having a sale on bouquets, so I grabbed a couple, justifying the cost with, "Hey, I'm throwing a dinner party - I need flowers, damnit."  (Anti-logic: Rationalizing additional purchases since 1984.)

And then I got home, and realized my only vase is teeny-tiny, so my awesome flowers had to be wedged between the fridge and my cupboards.

Oh well.  Now my kitchen is extra cute from just one angle, which is still better than no angles.  (Sweet, sweet anti-logic.)  

Friday, September 10, 2010

The U

Let's get something clear right now: the University of Utah is the U.

Now, I don't expect people outside of Utah to automatically know what I mean when I say I attended the U.  Lots of places have abbreviations that outsiders don't get.  For example, it took me forever to realize that "Texas" is the University of Texas at Austin, not Texas Tech or Texas A&M.  So in general, I specify "The University of Utah" and try to avoid referring to my alma mater (times 2) solely as "the U."  I already attended a badass university and law school -- I have to attempt humility somewhere.

But it is infuriating to run into people who attended the University of Miami, who all insist that THEY, not I, attended "The U."  And yeah.  That happens.

So I just want to say to all you out there in BlogLand: Suck it, Hurricanes, and get over your deluded selves.  The University of Utah.   Chello?  You think you get a letter just because there's "University" in your name?

University of Santa Barbara.

University of Southern California.

University of Florida.

University of Arizona.

University of Michigan.

University of Maine.

University of Phoenix.




Either we refer to them ALL as "The U," or we all agree, once and for all, that the alliterative university gets the letter.

Until this egregious behavior is rectified, I am officially adding the University of Miami to my list of Teams I Hate on Principle, which currently only includes BYU* and Ohio State**.

* As for BYU, I do not care if they win or lose their games and would generally prefer they beat BCS teams, but I will always want the U to defeat them, and generally in the most humiliating fashion possible.

** Also, I mostly just "hate" Ohio State because I think they are the most over-ranked football program in the history of the world.  No real reason other than that.

I'm that blogging girl now

Disclaimer: I hate me now, too.

I found out this morning that I have to host a dinner party for six wardies Sunday night. (I was supposed to receive this information Wednesday night, but you know how the Mo-Mos work.)  (Or if you don't, let me spell it out for you: We're flaky and rarely on time.)

So within the next 8 hours or so, I have to come up with an idea for dinner so I can email these people and tell them what to bring (if anything). 

I need food suggestions.  (Actually, the email I got suggested I come up with a "theme," but my only thought on that score is "eating," so we've come full circle.)

I also need someone to tell me an acceptable way to let people know that they run the risk of sitting on the floor, since my kitchen table only has 4 chairs. 

Actually, come to think of it, I might let them find out that special treat on the fly ...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

SERIOUSLY, universe?


Don't keep reading if you don't want to be depressed.


Not an exaggeration.

If it helps make your decision, I'll warn you that it's depressing AND about animals.  Double whammy.

(Here's where you could be turning back.)

Many of you know that I have been puppy hunting for the last month.

What you don't know is that there have been additional updates I have kept to myself, because they depress me.  Interactions with crazy people and depressingly devoted people, mostly.  Seeing a rescue organization with 150+ dogs in ONE HOUSE because no one will adopt them.  Dogs that have been abused.  Puppies with serious illnesses that I cannot handle.  (Yes, I wanted a puppy that needed a doggie wheelchair, but that's a problem I could fix.  BUY THE WHEELCHAIR.  The second "hair loss" became a potential issue, I was done.  What can I say, I like my hair.)

I don't know what it is.  I've really begun to think that the universe is telling me something, and that something is DO NOT GET A DOG RIGHT NOW.  Well, the universe and my dad.

But today really took the cake.

Dear rescue people: Do not email me and inform me that the puppy you refused to give me had to be euthanized for health reasons.  I know you're sad, but now I'm sad too, and I like me way more than I like you.  We have had no interactions in the last month, at which point you deemed me not competent to care for a small animal.  Go cry to your friends, family, other rescue people.  Do not cry to me.  It's a sweet idea that "God wanted to adopt that puppy," but really, not a thought I want to deal with.

For now, Project Puppy 2010 is officially on hold.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why do nurses think ...

... that if you pop in to remind someone that they can use the restroom to give a urine sample AT ANY TIME, that will help them work up the urge to pee?

Because it won't.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Passive voice

It really comes in handy sometimes.

Like when you're apologizing about lying about people being beheaded in the Arizona desert.

"I'm sorry if people were misled."

And you're golden.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I am shallow, yes I am

Sometimes I give up in arguments if the other person's voice bugs me.

It's not that I'm bored or that I think I might lose ... it's that if I have to listen to squeaky/loud/shrill/booming/etc. for one second longer, my ears will bleed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Best ... feeling ... ever

Tonight, I will miss my first University of Utah home football game in SIX YEARS.  That's a streak right there.  (And it would be longer, but for a few minor interruptions during my freshmen and sophomore years.)

I miss my homies and I miss Salt Lake City.

But really? 

I love football.  And it's hard to be bummed out when there's a good game that needs watching. 

Four hours to go, homeskillets. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My political schizophrenia

In general, I'm a left-of-center kind of gal.

But then I say I'm a moderate in a roomful of crazies, and I'm forced to turn a hard left.  I don't know, to me, being a moderate means you like the environment, hungry kids and civil liberties.  Maybe it means corporate tax breaks to other people.  Shrug.  

I'm probably a fiscal conservative, but in a country where Republicans spend billions on a war in Iraq and Democrats spend billions on a stimulus package, that is an irrelevant trait.

What I do know is that when I open my paycheck on a bi-weekly basis and check out how much of my money I'm not taking home, I become a little bit more Republican.  (Which, as I previously mentioned, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  Republicans are spending tax dollars just as gleefully as Democrats, but hypocritically pretending otherwise.)

And here's where it gets really nuts.  I don't care much about gay marriage.  I think we should have laws that don't violate the Equal Protection Clause, but it wouldn't bother me in the slightest if the government got out of the marriage business altogether.

Gay, straight, I don't care.  If you're in a couple, you don't have to die alone.  You don't deserve tax breaks too.

So says the bitter girl in Austin who wishes she had a few (hell, even one) deductions for her W-4.