Saturday, December 29, 2007

Flibbity Flu (and Happy New Year To You)

Dear Friends,

How was your Christmas? Ours was fantastic, until we came down with the flu. Last night, my husband - who is NEVER cold (and often wants to crank up the air conditioner when I'm already wearing multiple sweaters) - put on a turtleneck, fleece sweatpants, thick socks, and a winter coat, wrapped himself in a huge down comforter, and lay shivering on the couch. Periodically, I would hear a weak, muffled word coming from the couch mound:

"Warm . . . Warm . . ."

When we both realized last night that we'd had nothing to eat for 12 hours, the only thing that sounded remotely appealing to either of us was french fries. (Do I have to tell you that french fries turned out to be a bad idea?) So we dragged ourselves to the car, and drove to Del Taco at midnight. Steve managed to look presentable, but I, for the record, was wearing:

Pink pajama pants (with a snowflake pattern)
An old grey thermal underwear top
An old black coat
A huge, multi-colored scarf my friend made for me 6 years ago
Blue sneakers
No makeup
Glasses

Would it surprise you to hear that I was not the most strangely dressed person at Del Taco at midnight? And that Steve ordered a strawberry shake?

Anyway, in less than 24 hours we have to board a plane for a five-hour flight. Here's a little quiz for you:

Which is worse:

A. Chills, fever and headache on a 5-hour flight
B. Intestinal distress on a 5-hour flight
C. Both A and B
D. A poke in the eye with a sharp stick
E. D could never happen, because they don't allow sharp sticks on planes

I'm sure we'll survive (somehow), but it might not be pretty. However, at the end of the flight, we'll be in Hawaii, so the outcome will be great, even if the journey is not.

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I promise to post more frequent blog entries in 2008! (But should I? Have you come to rely on my unreliableness? Do you find my flakiness to be quirky and somewhat endearing?)(Never mind - don't answer that.)

Happy New Year!

~Emmie

Monday, December 03, 2007

Shiny and Fine

Several days ago, the following conversation occurred at my current place of employment:

Female Co-Worker: (Passing by my desk) Your hair is so pretty.

Me: Thanks!

FCW: It's such a pretty color.

Me: Thank you.

FCW: Is that your natural color?

Me: I wish!

FCW: It's not natural?

Me: Nope.

FCW: It looks really natural.

Me: Thanks!

FCW: It's really pretty.

Me: Thanks.

-Several hours later-

FCW: (Passing by my desk again) Your hair is just so pretty.

Me: Thank you.

FCW: It's so shiny.

Me: Oh, thanks.

FCW: Can I touch it?

Me: . . . I'm sorry?

FCW: Can I touch your hair?

Me: Um . . . sure . . .

FCW: (Stroking my hair) Wow, it's really soft.

Me: . . . . .

FCW: (Still stroking) It's very healthy.

Me: I take vitamins . . .

FCW: (Squeezing a handful of hair) Wow, it's not nearly as thick as it looks.

Me: . . . . Oh, yeah, well, my hair's actually pretty fine . . .

FCW: (A look of horror crossing her face) Oh, I didn't mean, I mean, I just meant that your hair looks thicker than it is . . . I didn't mean, I mean it's just so pretty!

Me: No, don't worry about it, I know what you meant . . .

FCW: I mean, feel my hair! MY hair is fine!

Me: No, that's really okay, I . . .

FCW: No, feel my hair! It's so thin!!

Me: (Gingerly touching her hair) No, your hair is . . . nice . . .

FCW: No, it's SO fine.

Me: . . . .

FCW: I'm so sorry I said that. That's not what I meant at all.

Me: Not a problem.

FCW: I just think your hair is really pretty.

Me: No, I know. Thank you.

FCW: Okay, well I guess I better get back to work.

Me: Okay then.

FCW: Okay. 'Bye.

Me: 'Bye.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Truth

Thanks for all the guesses on my previous post!  It was really fun to read your rationales.  And now, the answers (drumroll, please):

1.  Until I was 10, I thought "faucet" was spelled "flaucet."  TRUE.  And I have absolutely no explanation for it.  How embarrassing for me.  

2.  I won't eat anything that's been touched by a banana.  Boring, and TRUE.  I really, really hate bananas.  (Boring.)

3.  I have never played a character younger than age 18.  FALSE.  This was true until grad school, where I played a 16-year-old British schoolgirl.  In roller skates!  It was fun, and about darn time.  Then I went back to playing 45-year-olds.    

4.  I was 18 when I had my first (off-stage) kiss.  TRUE.  (Confidential to RebRob: there were no high school secrets that I did not disclose to you!  The kiss happened after we graduated.  It was December of my freshman year at BYU.)  There was mistletoe involved.  It was very brief, but very sweet. 

Thanks for playing, friends!  I am out of town for Thanksgiving, but when I get back I will post a picture of myself as the British schoolgirl.  I wore A LOT of blush.  Just to warn you.

Hope everyone has a very Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Truths and Lie

My friend Annette tagged me for the following meme:

Below are 3 true statements about me, and one false. Guess which is false (if you like), and I'll post the answer in a few days.


1. Until I was 10, I thought "faucet" was spelled "flaucet."

2. I won't eat anything that's been touched by a banana.

3. I have never played a character younger than age 18 (even though I started acting when I was 10).

4. I was 18 when I had my first (off-stage) kiss.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

That Was Halloween

Steve and I threw a little Halloween party at our apartment last Wednesday. Even though we invited only 4 guests, I still took an entire day to prepare for it.  (I'm kind of an overachiever.)  (Also, I'm kind of crazy.)

On the menu: Cream of Broccoli and Chicken Tortilla soup (two separate soups, not one combined soup), homemade caramel (into which we dipped green apple slices), and this chocolate cake (with Mint Milano headstones):



And, although I'm not really one for fake blood and the other, grosser elements of Halloween, I decided that I couldn't resist making this cream cheese and salsa appetizer:



Isn't it gross? The fingernails are slivered almonds. My guests were actually kind of put off by it (I think it was the fingernails), but it was truly quite delicious.

Other activities included eating lots of tootsie rolls and mini peppermint patties (we didn't have a single trick-or-treater, so somebody had to eat all the candy I bought), and watching The Corpse Bride.

It was a really fun party, if I do say so myself. (And I do.)

And if you lived nearby, I totally would have invited you. (Would you have eaten the cream cheese hand?)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Dangers of the Delicious Cake

Recently, I had an email correspondence with my friend Blondie. At some point during our message exchange, one of us must have mentioned something about cake, because I received this from her yesterday:

"You know how gmail gives you links on the right side of the page that correspond with the content of the email?

Well, after the last one you sent me, the question 'Like Cake?' showed up on the side of the screen. I admit my interest was captured (who doesn't like cake!) and I clicked on it. The website contained a link that would send you to a quiz to determine if you were a 'fatty', as well as the following extremely informative paragraphs:

Cake! It's good in all it's varieties. It's not good for you and it's likely to make you fat, but darn, Cake is so good! Some of the best flavors of Cake are chocolate, strawberry, caramel and angel food cake.

Cakes are good for all occasions, including birthday Cake, wedding Cake, baby shower Cake and many other Cake events.

There are several different types of
Cake too. Angel food Cake, bundt Cake, flour Cake, cupcakes, ice cream Cake, pound Cake and so many other Cake types.

So, if you choose to eat
Cake on a regular basis you will likely be a fat Cake eater. Be warned of the dangers of the delicious Cake! Found out if Cake is making you fat.

Are You Fat?"


As Blondie so aptly put it: 

Um . . . what?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Smoky (and Cookie)

Well, as you've probably heard by now, California is on fire. I, personally, am not on fire, and it's looking like the flames will steer quite clear of us. However, ash is falling from the sky, the air is smoke-filled and eye-stinging, and everything smells like a campfire (including me, after walking from my car to the apartment). As a local friend of mine put it: "I feel like I've been eating toast all day." We are counting our blessings, though, and praying for the people who've had to evacuate, and for the firefighters.

In other news, I'm temping this week. I'm subbing for a woman named Cookie. It's on her business cards and everything! Cookie is on vacation. Yesterday, I answered the phone, and a woman asked to speak with someone in the office. I asked who was calling, and she replied, "Cookie!" So I said, "Oh, hi, Cookie. I'm sitting at your desk." And she said, "Okay, great!" Then I paged the call recipient, and told her Cookie was holding for her. A few minutes later, the woman who had answered the call came to my desk. She said, "You really need to ask for last names. When you said 'Cookie' was on the line, I assumed you meant the Cookie who works in the office, so I started talking to her like she was that Cookie. But she wasn't that Cookie. She was a different Cookie."

Questions:

1. If she wasn't that Cookie, then why, when I told her I was sitting at her desk, did she reply, "Okay, great!"

2. What are the odds?

Let me know if you come up with any answers. In the meantime, I'll be hoping for rain. And avoiding toast.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Boris


I've been thinking for a while now that I'd love to have some kind of exercise machine in my apartment. Although it wouldn't really go with the decor (it's unfortunate that IKEA doesn't manufacture treadmills), I would feel ever so much more productive if I could, say, go for a walk whilst watching AMC's Mad Men. I do love to multi-task. (And I do love Mad Men.) And I've really come to dislike my gym: it's kind of smelly and dimly lit, and it's full of creepy old men (in speedos).

Because our budget can't quite stretch to afford a brand spankin' new piece of exercise equipment, I turned to my good friend Craigslist. (Have you met Craigslist? If you haven't, you really should.) Within minutes, I'd found a stationary recumbent bike (perfect for my gimpy knee) for $99. Amazing! I emailed the seller right away, asking if the bike was still available, several questions about its condition, and when I could come take a look at it. About an hour later, I received a response. The response was as follows:


Yes.

Best regards,

Boris



Now, I really do appreciate best regards, and it was very nice of Boris to email them to me.  But I did ask him several questions, and, try as I might, I can't quite make "yes" the answer to any of them.  Plus, I have a mild fear of people named Boris.  I'm afraid that, assuming I'm able to find out where he lives, I will be met at the door by a large, burly man who will shout at me in Russian.  Either that, or he will have bolts coming out of either side of his neck.  I am seriously Boris phobic!  And, while I'm sure that there are some perfectly nice, neck-boltless men named Boris out there, that is really of little help to me when I receive a monosyllabic response to detailed questionings. Do you see what I'm saying?

Although he did send me his best regards . . .

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ripped From The Headlines

As I was settling into my seat on a JetBlue flight a few weeks ago, I noticed the man sitting in front of me pull a stack of newspapers from a bag, and set the stack on his lap. I found the size of the stack rather intriguing, as he appeared to be preparing to read somewhere in the vicinity of 25 to 50 newspapers during the flight. Seriously, the stack was huge. Not long after takeoff, he opened the first paper. A few minutes later, a ripping sound caused me to look up from the True Crime program I was enjoying (LOVE the JetBlue personal televisions). The newspaper man was slowly and methodically tearing the center page from his newspaper. I watched as he finished the ripping, and as he (equally slowly and methodically) folded the separated page, and carefully placed it under his seat. Then he picked up the next newspaper in his stack, and I went back to True Crime. Two minutes later, I heard ripping again, and sure enough, Newspaper Man was doing the same thing to his second newspaper. This piece, too, he lovingly folded, and placed under his seat. As he picked up the third newspaper, he totally had my attention. Forget True Crime! This was much more fascinating. This third paper met the same fate as the first. By the sixth paper, I began to feel a little annoyance in addition to my curiosity. I mean, the ripping wasn't bothering me enough that I felt I could justifiably say something, but I did want to lead forward and ask:

"Big paper maché project coming up?"

I looked at the people in the aisle across from me to see if they were equally riveted. The lady in the aisle seat caught my eye, shook her head, shrugged, and went back to watching Dr. Phil. The man next to me was asleep. I couldn't see how Newspaper Man's seat mates were responding, so I got up and pretended to get something out of my bag in the overhead bin, which afforded me a nice view of Newspaper Row. Alas, there was nothing telling in either seat mate's facial expression. From the chatting that happened before the newspapers came out, I'd gathered they were all related to each other, so perhaps the ripping and folding was nothing new? An endearing quirk? Some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder? A way to keep his hands busy so he wouldn't be tempted to strangle someone? (I think the True Crime was getting to me.)

The methodical ripping, folding and stowing lasted the entire flight, with the exception of a slight reprieve while he drank his apple juice. He took the folded pages with him when he left, placing them carefully in a bag while he chatted with his wife (?) and her sister (?) (In conversation, he seemed perfectly normal.) Just as I had decided to ask him about the newspapers, someone asked me to help get their bag from the overhead bin, and by the time I'd extracted it, Newspaper Man was gone. And I am left wondering . . . What exactly does one do with 25 to 50 perfectly folded pieces of newspaper?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Understanding Steve







Sometimes, I really don't understand my husband.

Last night, for instance, I listened to his end of a phone conversation with his brother. Said brother had called to ask for help with computer problems. This is a regular occurrence in Steve's life, as everyone he knows calls him for help with computer problems. Last night he told his brother to click on a link to download a program he wrote that will allow him to see his brother's computer screen, and take control of the mouse. Then he talked about command line compressors and said things like "Dude, I haven't used REM since I was 13" and "The next step is the SSH, dawg" and a bunch of other stuff that I had no understanding of whatsoever. (Except for "dude" and "dawg" - those are regular nouns in his tech support vocabulary.)

Though I often don't understand what he's talking about, I think the Powers-That-Be knew that I, who wept over my high school geometry homework, needed to marry a self-described computer and math geek. It's that whole "one spouse's strengths complement the other spouse's weaknesses" thing. (You know that thing?) It's so true in our case! Steve helps me with installing software on my laptop and adding up monthly expenses, and I help him with his ability to perform believable Shakespearean monologues. (He's really improving.)

For all that I don't understand about him, there's a lot that I do. I completely understand his adoration of classical music (he has an amazing collection), and his love of documentaries, Woody Allen films, The Sopranos, Cops, and really bad made-for-tv movies on the Lifetime channel. I also totally get his fondness for cute things, be they kittens, bunnies, baby nieces and nephews, puppies, or Anne Hathaway.

The thing that I understand best, however, is that he's the most wonderful husband an Emmie could ever ask for, and I wanted to publicly tell him so as we embark upon our 5th year of marriage.

So Steve, if you're reading this: Happy Anniversary! I love you. Oh, and I think there's something wrong with my computer . . .

Monday, August 27, 2007

Disco!

My sister-in-law sent me an email tonight that contained something surprising: a video of me dressed in a Carmen Miranda outfit, doing a sassy flamenco dance. Thing is, I've never worn a Carmen Miranda outfit, and I've never danced the flamenco.

Once I found out how she made the impossible possible, I decided that Steve and I should disco.



Steve's a natural.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ahead at 5

Have you ever taken a picture of something that's on TV? I hadn't until yesterday, but thanks to my trusty TiVo I was able to pause this news ad and snap a shot:



What exactly is Ms. Laura Diaz wearing? Did she just come from the beach and not have enough time to change?

I love Orange County.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hooligan



Greetings, everyone!  I have returned, and I believe the carpal tunnel crisis of 2007 has been averted.  It is ever so nice to be back!  Due to my long absence, I have a lot to blog about, so let's get started, shall we?

First things first: Last week, my dad's latest work was published.  I'm a big fan of my dad's writing, so I'd like to tell you about the book, entitled Hooligan: A Mormon Boyhood.

From the back cover:

"In the days before sunscreen, soccer practice, MTV, and Amber Alerts, boys roamed freely in the American West - fishing, hunting, hiking, pausing to skinny-dip in river or pond.  Douglas Thayer was such a boy, and in this poignant, often humorous memoir, he depicts his Utah Valley boyhood during the Great Depression and World War II.

Known in some circles as a Mormon Hemingway, Thayer has created a richly detailed work that shares cultural DNA with Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and William Golding's Lord of the Flies.  His narrative at once prosaic and poetic, Thayer captures nostalgia for a simpler time, along with boyhood's universal yearnings, pleasures, and mysteries."

From Orson Scott Card:

"One of the finest writers the LDS Church has yet produced has now turned his talent to his own growing-up years.  Entertaining, wise - and it's even true."

It's really fascinating to read about what Provo was like for a young boy during the Great Depression, and especially delightful that the story is told with my dad's dry sense of humor.  

Here are a few excerpts from some early chapters:

"The postman, iceman, coalman, and milkman were a part of Sixth Ward daily life, a chip of ice out of the horse-drawn ice wagon a boy's free summer treat, that and the soft sun-heated tar we dug up from the cracks in the road for gum, the embedded gravel keeping our teeth sharp. The pie lady pushed her converted baby buggy loaded with fresh homemade pies down the sidewalk calling, 'Pies! Pies! Pies for supper!'  A herd of milk cows came up Second West every morning on their way to pasture north of town by the brickyard and returned every evening, each cow turning voluntarily down its own lane.  Twice daily the Heber Creeper, a small steam engine pulling its few cars, traveled the Denver and Rio Grande spur line up Second West to Provo Canyon and Heber Valley beyond."

Writing about his grandmother:

"English and stubborn, she and my grandpa would sometimes not talk to each other for three or four months and occasionally a year, but they would talk through the ten children.  Yet they slept in the same bed and eventually reconciled their differences.  Grandpa would bring home a small bag of candy, which he called a little sweetening for the bird, and put it on the kitchen counter.  If Grandma didn't throw it out the door, he knew the coast was clear."

If you're interested in purchasing the book, click on its cover above.  

Congratulations, Professor Thayer!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ella

Many thanks for the sympathetic and delightful comments on my last post!  I apologize for not responding to each commenter individually.  (Cotton, your comment was particularly fantastic, and you pose a very good question: why can't it ever be Hugh Jackman in a speedo?  Why must it always be strange hotel-dwelling men in g-strings?  And Emily - getting hit on at a ward pool function?  Yipes!)  

The reason for my up until now non-responsiveness is thus: I believe I may be on the brink of carpal tunnel.  Or tendonitis.  Or some kind of overuse injury of the arm, wrist, and hand variety.  As many of you know, this is nothing new: I had all sorts of problems with these ailments as a young lass, but have been blessed with a reprieve for a few years now.  I don't think there's any cause for alarm, but I have decided to play it safe and back off the whole typing thing for a bit.  I'm already suffering withdrawal (which may be why I'm still typing . . .)

Before I take what I hope will only be a few weeks' leave, I'd like to share one last special thing with you.  Whilst aimlessly flipping through channels a few days ago, I came upon a music video for a song called Under My Umbrella.  This song is sung by someone named Rihanna.  I didn't know anything about Rihanna before I saw the video, but I learned a lot in the few minutes I spent with her.  I now know that Rihanna is a singer with asymmetric hair who likes to wear fingerless leather gloves and dance around in various extremely skimpy outfits singing songs with lyrics such as:

"You're part of my entity
Here for infinity"

and 

"When the war has took its part
When the world has dealt its cards
If the hand is hard
Together we'll mend your heart."

And a chorus that goes like this: 

"When the sun shines, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella)"

Once this chorus got stuck in my head, I couldn't get it out.  For DAYS.  And so, of course, I did the only logical thing: I found the video on youtube and made my husband listen to it so that the chorus would be stuck in his head, too.  

And so it was that, for a while, we both wandered around the apartment singing "Under my umbrella, ella, ella, ella . . ."  Then, yesterday, as Steve and I were doing the dishes together, I heard him quietly sing the following lyrics:

"And I hope you don't catch rubella
Under my umbrella."

"Um, babe, did you just sing something about rubella?"

Since then, we've come up with some other alternate chorus lyrics, such as:

"And I hope I never poison you with salmonella
If I do I'll give you sasparilla  
Under my umbrella"

Okay, I really have to stop now.  Did I just tell you I have carpal tunnel, and then proceed to write the longest, most random post ever, even though my fingers are going numb?  I believe I did.  And so, if you'll excuse me, I have to go ice my wrists.  And sing a cappella.  And watch a movie starring Frank Langella. 

(Under my umbrella.) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Close Encounters of the Chlorine Kind

When you look at my gym's pool through the windows that surround it, it looks fairly unobjectionable.  The tiles are a little worn, perhaps, but I'm fairly certain that's because the gym was built in the year 1827.  Although advertised as a 24 Hour Fitness "Sport" (with the fees to prove it), the interior is dimly lit and musty, and the only special amenities it boasts are 3 televisions with poorly-spelled closed captioning.  If you want to hear the sound, you have to tune in to a specific AM radio station.  You know, with that transistor radio you're always carrying around.

Anyway, I wouldn't have really considered exploring my gym's aquatics were it not for the fact that, as soon as summer hits, half the population of Orange County converges at my apartment complex pool.  And they don't leave until after midnight.  

I briefly considered giving up swimming for the summer, but there are only so many knee-friendly, low-impact exercises one can do.  (The other two being yoga, and sitting on the couch watching So You Think You Can Dance.)  

So I went.  And as I walked across the faded tile and slipped into the tepid water, I was pleased with myself for having made the effort.  Preparing for my first lap, I looked over to find an older man in a teensy tiny speedo settling himself onto the bench next to my lane.  Smiling, he said:

"Well, hello there!"  

"Hello."

As I completed my first lap, I had the feeling that I was being watched.  Sure enough, Mr. Speedo was still sitting on the bench, looking down at me.  At the end of Lap 2, there he was. Still staring.  Lap 3?  Still staring.  Lap 4?  Staring and grinning.  Lap 5?  Yup.  Still staring. 

It was at this point that I decided to get out.  I briefly thought of calling it a night,  but I was not about to let an old man in a tight speedo spoil my swimming plans!  So I walked over to the hot tub.  Surely he won't follow me over here, I thought.  That would be too creepy!

 As soon as I sat down, there he was.  

"Do you want me to turn on the bubbles?"

"No, not really, I . . ."

He disappeared around the corner, and the bubbles appeared.  Reappearing, he hopped down into the water.  

"So, what brings you here?"

What brings me here?  Did he really just say that?  

In my head, I responded:

"Well, I was hoping to meet an old, creepy man in a tiny speedo, so I guess today's my lucky day!"

Instead, I told him that it was time for me to go.  And I haven't been back since.  

I guess it's time to buy myself a transistor radio. 

Friday, July 06, 2007

Lost In Space, Perhaps?

For the past three years, my husband and I have celebrated our August wedding anniversary at a Snowbird ski resort lodge. The first year, Steve surprised me with the trip (with a little guidance from my mom). I would never have thought to go to a ski resort in the summer, but it was absolutely gorgeous up there. Each room has a little balcony that faces the mountain, and every evening a storm would come sweeping over the peaks, bringing with it booming thunder and the delicious smell of mountain rain. Am I sounding too much like a Snowbird brochure?

This year, however, I want to do something different. Something special. Something new! And I think I've found just the place: the Anniversary Inn in Logan, Utah. Problem is, I'm having trouble choosing a theme. I've narrowed it down to six, but I'm hoping you can help me make my final decision. You know, weigh the pros and cons; the potential benefits and detriments. Stalactites versus, say . . . an Egyptian tomb. Or an octopus. Below is my list. Click on the name, and you'll get a tour of the room.

Just so you know, I'm leaning toward Lost In Space.

Arctic Journey
**Penguin

Mysteries of Egypt
**Giant Snake in Bathroom (click on the tub photo)

Sultan's Palace
**Partial Elephants

Dodge City
**Checkers

Neptune's Cave
**Octopus

Lost In Space
**Bathroom Space Pod

** Benefits

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beauty Finale

Four weeks ago today, I started my Month of Beauty. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by! Thank you all so much for your visits and your comments. They've meant a lot to me, and it's been lovely to share the past four weeks with you.

For my final Beauty, two things:

1. I gave my two weeks notice two weeks ago today. (You do the math.)

2. Every passing hour today brings me one hour closer to 8am tomorrow when I will board a plane so that I can spend the weekend with my sister, her husband, their daughter (she of the curly eyelashes), and their just-turned-three son.

When he heard I was coming to visit, my nephew said, very matter-of-factly:

"Emmie is bringing me a car."

He also said:

"Emmie is coming to care of me!"

He's absolutely right on both counts: There's a Tonka truck in my suitcase . . .



And "caring of him" is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Referred Beauty

For today's Beauty, I must refer you to the lovely C Jane's blog. A gathering of friends, a long-awaited pregnancy, a pink buttercream-frosted chocolate cake topped with sugared roses, and a raspberry (I think it's raspberry) fruit tart. Quite an abundance of beauty, I'd say.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sunset Beauty

Today I saw one of those sunsets that you always see on generic California postcards.  You know, the ones over the ocean with the big sun framed by few wispy clouds? You know, like this one that I found when I googled "California sunset":


I forgot to take my camera with me, but this will do.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Showtune Beauty

I received a lovely invitation today. One of my friends asked if I'd like to sing a Broadway show tune for a benefit concert in San Diego next month. The theme is love songs, and she's left it up to the participants to choose their own song(s). I'm going to sing "Someone Else's Story" from Chess. (I love that song!), and I'll probably play a little somethin' on my violin as well.  (From Fiddler on the Roof, of course.  What else?)

I must admit that I'm a little nervous.  Not about the violin part, but about the singing part.  There are sure to be some powerhouse-voiced participants, and I do not have a powerhouse voice. I have a nice voice. I love to sing, and I've been in musicals; one was even reviewed by the illustrious Eric D. Snider. (And he's totally right. I Do! I Do! is one of the cheesiest musicals of all time. One exclamation point wasn't enough for the title: it had to have TWO!!)  My voice is sufficient unto the day thereof, but a powerhouse it ain't.

There are few things I enjoy more than listening to a powerhouse voice. Especially when it's in my living room, and it's coming from a good friend. For example, my lovely friend Dianna (hi, lovely!) has one of the most gorgeous voices I've ever heard in person (or anywhere, for that matter). I also have a lovely memory of sitting in a make-up trailer with Dallyn Bayles and singing parts with him to help him prepare for his then upcoming (now past) role in The Secret Garden. (I love that musical!) Have you heard Dallyn sing? I recommend clicking on his name if you haven't.  And the friend who invited me to sing has a beautiful voice as well. These singers are also amazing people, and there's something about an amazing voice coming from an amazing person that's just, well, amazing.

So I'm looking forward to doing my part in July. And then sitting back and enjoying all the beauty that's sure to be.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fishing Beauty

The following exchange occurred several minutes ago as I was telling my husband about my dad's upcoming fishing trip:

"He's going on a fishing excavation."

"A fishing excavation?"

"Wait, did I say excavation? I meant exhibition."

"A fishing exhibition?"

"No, wait, I don't mean exhibition. I mean . . . what's the word . . . Ex . . ."

"Pedition? Expedition?"

"Expedition! Yes! A fishing expedition!"


I officially need more sleep. And perhaps a thesaurus.

Anyway, in honor of that expedition, here's my favorite fishing photo:


I snapped this last summer - my brother and his sons.

I love seeing my brothers as dads. They are amazing fathers. (Just like mine.)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Parking Beauty

Remember the Bougainvillea? They are now sprouting through the gate above our parking space:



A lovely sight first thing in the morning.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Beauty of Chocolate, Kind Husbands, and Weekends



I've been working on a post about my soon-to-be-former job for the past hour; trying to couch the past few months' experiences in purely hypothetical terms should my soon-to-be-former boss somehow magically find my blog. (Highly doubtful, but as I am the Queen of Worrying About Things That Will Probably Never Happen, I have to prepare for every eventuality.) However, all the hypotheticals started to give me a non-hypothetical headache, so I will say this:

Basically, my job was impossible. I was hired part-time to take over my boss's email correspondence, and everything else internet-related, because he is "too old to learn how to deal with technology." Unfortunately, much of the work he does is internet-related, and the job quickly became a full-time nightmare. I could get into all the [hypothetical] reasons it was a nightmare, but this blog entry will probably be too long even without a detailed job description, so just trust me on the nightmare thing. However, for a variety of reasons, I didn't feel that I could quit. But a few weeks ago, when my boss started talking raises and a 401k in exchange for my long-term, full-time commitment, I knew the time to quit had come. I told him (very nicely) that I'd been hired with the understanding that it would be part-time and short-term, and I wasn't looking for anything else. I then offered to stay on for several months to help him find and train a replacement.

Everything changed this week, however, when my boss wrote something very unkind, unfair, and untrue about me in an email. An email that I wasn't supposed to see, but that I saw because it is MY JOB TO READ HIS EMAIL. He wrote it, the person he wrote to responded to it, and I read it.

I sat staring at the unkind, unfair, and untrue email in disbelief. Then I called the one person who I knew would understand how I felt. That would be the person who had my job before me. That would be the person who, a few months ago, read an unkind, unfair, and untrue email my boss sent about her because it was HER JOB TO READ HIS EMAIL. She couldn't believe he'd done it again. I couldn't believe he'd done it again.

As I was reading the email to her, it disappeared. I Iater learned that my boss was checking his email from home, saw the offending message, panicked, and deleted it. (He didn't, however, delete it from his sent mail, and since I also go through that folder every day as part of MY JOB, I was able to read it to my husband over the phone later that day.)

His prior employee told me I should quit immediately. Just walk out of the office and never come back. I didn't know what to do. I knew that my husband would be supportive (as would pretty much anyone who read the email), but I also knew that my boss would be left in a terrible bind.

So, I confronted him. It wasn't pretty. He tried to explain it away, telling me he wished I hadn't seen it because he knew I would "misinterpret" it; that it was a question of "semantics" and "poor word choice" and that he shouldn't be judged for something he wrote "late at night."

Riiiiight.

He also said a bunch of other things I didn't buy, and then asked (rather forcefully) if I accepted his apology. I didn't know what to say. I told him I'd have to think about it, and I left.

(Two things I hate: Confrontation, and when people can't just admit they were wrong and offer a sincere apology.)

(Did I mention I hate confrontation?)

In the end, I decided to take the high road and give my boss two weeks notice, instead of doing what I wanted to do which was to take the low road and tell my boss to take a hike.

To cheer me up this weekend, my hubby drove me to the Cheesecake Factory, and insisted on buying me a piece of Flourless Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake. We drove to the restaurant and back with the top down (my hubby has a sporty, impractical car). It was a gorgeous, early summer California night. We held hands and ate cake and he said very nice things to me. The stress and frustration of the week subsided, and I realized that everything was going to be okay.

And that kindness, weekends, and chocolate are a beautiful combination.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Desktop Beauty

This photo greets me every time I open my laptop:



(Provence, France. I've never been there, but someday . . .)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sky Beauty



My hubby took this. Who knew the sky over Reno could be so lovely?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Kid Beauty

I was given a report today regarding my 3-year-old nephew. It seems that he is currently completely obsessed with all things Star Wars. After church last Sunday, he presented his father with a picture he had drawn in his Primary class. It was, of course, a picture of light sabers. On it, his teacher had written what my nephew had said about the picture:

"I am thankful that Heavenly Father gave me ears so that I could hear the sound of light sabers."

Now that is beautiful.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Beauty of Saying No

Want to know the most beautiful thing about today? I QUIT MY JOB!

I have to stay until the end of the month, and maybe through July as well (to train the new guy or gal), but I already feel at least 10.5 million times happier.

(I really, really hate my job.)

To celebrate, I ran outside and took a picture of these flowers by the pool:



And now I'm going to eat some chocolate and think about not having my job. Quitting can be such a beautiful thing.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Globe Beauty



I apologize for the lack of Beauty over the past two days. On Friday, I took off for San Diego right after work, and didn't get back until 4:00 this morning. I made the drive down to see one of my good friends. She and I went to grad school together, and she has returned to the Old Globe to do a show. She is brilliant in it. Truly. I was beaming proud of her. I hadn't seen her in 3 years, so it was wonderful to see her face and sit together late into the night catching up and laughing about crazy stuff that happened during our MFA years together.

While I was waiting for her after the show, I stood looking up at the bell tower in the courtyard outside the theatre. I remembered the feeling of performing on the outdoor stage at night, the cool dampness in the air as the dew settled into the park, looking up past the audience to the illuminated tower and the tiled dome of the Museum of Man, both framed by giant trees.

The Spanish architecture in Balboa Park is amazing by day, and other-worldly at night. I stood under the bell tower, breathed in the dew, and felt overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity I had to be an actor surrounded by all that Beauty.


Museum of Man Dome and Bell Tower








Me in Pericles, Outdoor Festival Stage, 2002

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Night Beauty



On the path leading up to my apartment door. I think the petals look like pulled taffy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Home Beauty



If we hadn't been home when the pipe burst in our ceiling this past weekend, most of our stuff would now be ruined, including this quilt my mom gave me 5 years ago. This quilt has matching pillow shams. I love this quilt. I'm glad we were home.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

WE INTERRUPT THIS DAY OF BEAUTY TO BRING YOU THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT:

At approximately 11:27am, a pipe burst in the ceiling of the apartment of Emmie. As a result, the following has occurred:

1) An entire section of ceiling was soaked through, and will have to be replaced.
2) Half the carpet had to be ripped up, baseboards removed, and holes drilled through the bottoms of the walls to prevent mold.
3) Two giant fans and two dehumidifiers must run 24 hours a day for the next three days in order to prevent moisture and eventual mold damage. The fans are blowing underneath the carpet, so it's sort of like walking in a funhouse. Except without the fun.
4) The fans and dehumidifiers are very loud.
5) We are going to stay at my husband's parents' house.

His parents are in Italy right now, which brings me to today's Beauty:



I didn't take the picture above, but I was there once, and I definitely wish I was there now.

On days like today, you have to remember beauty.

Friday, May 25, 2007

La Bella Friday

The trees that line both sides of the street my office building is on have blossomed overnight, and the air smells like lilac. The same flowers are also growing in bushes near the trees.



Thursday, May 24, 2007

La Beauté de Jeudi

Today, a long and frustrating and super stressful day at work culminated in a phone call during which I was yelled at repeatedly by a VERY angry man. My boss (to whom I usually give the very angry calls) is out of town, and had turned off his cell phone, but not before stating that he had "complete confidence" in my "ability" to "handle anything" that's "thrown" at me. I don't "really care" if he "does or not", and would "really prefer" that he just "keep his cell phone on" so that I don't "throw myself out the window."

Just as I was about to hit send on an email that would (I hope) address most of the angry man's concerns, my internet went down. For two hours. Needless to say, the angry man only got more angry.

It was during this time that I noticed I had a voicemail on my cell phone. My sister had called, and I could hear my 3-year-old nephew in the background, demanding:

"Want to talk to Emmie NOW please!"

So I did the only logical thing. I called back the angry man, told him that being angry wasn't going to get him his answers any faster, and that I was tired of being yelled at, and I was doing the best I could, and I would talk to him tomorrow. And then I went home, and called my sister on iChat so that I could play Peek-A-Boo with my nephew. (I cover the camera lens and he counts, and then I take my hand away quick and say "Boo!" and he thinks it's the funniest thing on earth.)

I also sang him his favorite songs, and I got to see his little sister, which brings me to today's Beauty:

Behold the naturally curly eyelashes of my 6-month-old niece:





A few blinks of those lashes were all it took to make the angry man a distant memory.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday Beauty

Before we get to today's beauty, I want to tell you that I had a dream last night during which I told Jessica Simpson that, while I like her new brunette look, she really needs to ease up on the spray-on tan.

I think I need to stop reading msn.com.

After work today, I decided to drive down to Inspiration Point. I've only been there a few times since we moved here almost four years ago, and that's a cryin', cryin' shame.

Here's a little house. It's pretty:




But just look at that view!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

There Is Beauty All Around

I've been making several big changes in my life as of late. I won't get into them (they'd probably be fairly boring to anyone but me), but I will share that I've been feeling the need to experience more beauty.

I am therefore instituting a Month of Beauty here in my little corner of the web. Every day I will try to find something beautiful, and share it with you. I don't really have any Rules of Beauty - I think I'll make them up as I go along. I also reserve the right to post regular ol' blog entries if a non-beauty-related topic strikes my fancy.

I hope you'll tell me about the beautiful things that you find, too.

P.S. As May is almost over, I guess it would be more accurate to say that I am instituting Four Weeks of Beauty. Month of Beauty just sounded more catchy.

Today's Beauty:

Each day when I drive out of my apartment complex, I see this:




I'd never taken a closer look, until today:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Proofed

Last Friday, I had a callback for the play Proof. Mary Louise Parker played the lead on Broadway (and I saw her in it, and she was brilliant), and Gwyneth Paltrow played the lead in the movie (and I saw her in it, and she was . . .meh.)

I wasn't up for the lead; I was up for the sister. So were 8 other girls. This is our story.

I'd like to start off by saying that it's ever so strange to be sitting with a group of people who are your "type." An entire row of alto-voiced blondes in business suits, all poring over the same part of the same script. Three of us left our chairs and made strange warm-up noises in various corners of the theatre. Two of us flirted with the "Handsome Math Geek" types sitting opposite us. One of us sat swaying to her Ipod, one of us applied lipgloss at regular intervals, and I chewed gum and sent text messages to my husband:

"I'm sitting in a row of girls who all look like me."

Steve texts back:

"Make sure you get their phone numbers, just in case you decide to leave me."

The lipgloss me stands up and walks over to get some coffee. "I'm freezing!" she whispers, settling back down. She's wearing one of the tightest skirts I've ever seen, and an equally tight shirt with a plunging back. Definitely not me.

"Yeah, it's pretty cold."

She looks over to one of our type: the one in the corner making low moaning noises with her eyes closed. She turns her head to me, pointing discreetly at the moaner:

"I could never be one of those. You?"

"Nope."

We talk a little more. I find out she just finished playing a lead in the national touring company of Grease.

"How cool!" I say. "What did you think of that Grease reality show?"

She rolls her eyes.

"Stupid."

"Yeah."

One by one, we're called in to read. The moaner returns from the audition room, looking subdued.

"Fun while it lasted, kids." Exeunt Moaner.

The minutes pass. Then the hours. The slow exodus continues: Goodbye, Preppy Handsome Math Geek! So long, Spiky-Haired Me!

I'm called in several more times to read; each time with a different "sister." My tight-skirted friend remains, but most of the others depart. I watch as one of us downs her 4th cup of coffee.

One of the remaining Handsome Geeks (the one with the soulful eyes), mumbles:

"Do I even want to be in this play?"

We all laugh; a welcome break from the tension. The stage manager glares at us.

"SHHHH!"

My seatmate returns from her latest visit to the audition room.

"Well, I'm outta here. He's 'decided to go in a different direction.' Gotta love it!" She grins. "It was nice to meet you."

"You, too."

I watch the remaining Handsome Geeks check her out as she departs.

Almost three hours later, I've read with one particular "sister" several times. I think we could pass for family - we're both tall. I look up from texting Steve to see the taller of the two remaining dads exit the theatre. I size up the only dad left. He can't be any taller than 5' 6".

I nudge my tall sister, pointing to the Last Dad Standing:

"This isn't good."

She looks him up and down.

"Not good."

We're called in. We know what's coming, but we're hoping it's not.

"Hi, ladies." The director smiles up at us.

"I absolutely love both of you, and I would love to cast you."

Pause.

"But the fact is, you're just too f'in tall."

He thanks us for our time, and we thank him for his. We walk out of the room together, passing the Short Me and the Short Her on our way out.

"Congratulations!" I whisper.

"Thanks!" They beam.

I walk to the parking lot with my tall sister. As she hops in her car, she says, wearily:

"I'm going straight to In 'n Out Burger."

She drives away. I call Steve on the drive home:

"Well, I didn't get it. I'm too tall."

"I'm sorry, baby."

"Yeah."

"Did you get those other girls' phone numbers?"

"You won't need them. I'm sticking with you."

"Good. 'Cause I like tall."

I already know this. 'Cause 3 1/2 years ago, I totally aced that audition.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Easter Bunny Cometh

I apologize for my extended absence from the blogosphere. I was out of town for a while, and ever since I returned I've been feeling singularly uninspired, and didn't want to bore you with my ennui. Now I'm back (as evidenced by this blog entry), and I hope to return with a bang by sharing with you this short video my brother made. He is also the star, and his co-star is a beloved stuffed animal from our childhood. Thanks to this video, I will never again feel safe when it's in the room.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

That's The Way The Toothie Crumbles


I had a root canal on Tuesday. Have you ever had dreams about your teeth falling out? I have. And after Tuesday, I really wish I could choose which of my dreams become realities. Oddly enough, there was no falling-out warning. No pain - not even a twinge! And, technically, it didn't really "fall out." It was more of a "crumble" situation. A situation in which I was chewing on piece of candy Saturday afternoon, and suddenly, half my molar imploded. Evidently (or should I say, "evidentally") (sorry), sometimes 15-year-old fillings don't last more than 15 years. And sometimes, when those fillings decide it's time to go, they take half your tooth with them. The implosion was so impressive, my husband took pictures. But I won't post them. 'Cause they're really gross.

After I'd spent some time freaking out, I called 1-800-DENTIST. It really works! A very nice lady found an office in my area that was open on Saturdays. That office was in a run-down strip mall next to a lingerie shop. I know this because I called that office from the parking lot just outside the lingerie shop to tell them I couldn't make it.

On Tuesday, I went to my husband's dentist in Newport Beach. (It wasn't next to a lingerie shop.) They gave me 3 shots, and waited for my mouth to get numb. They started drilling, and I could feel it. Oh my stars and garters, could I feel it. They gave me 3 more shots, hit a nerve (NOT GOOD) and waited. Drilled again, and I could still feel it. They determined I have a "high tolerance" for pain medication. 4 more shots, and the drilling recommenced. Two hours after I arrived, they decided I needed a root canal, and sent me over to an endodontist in the same complex. While he was giving me the first of 5 more shots, his secretary came in to talk to me.

"Hun, just so you know, we're going to need a payment of $1088 before you leave the office today, 'mkay?"

'Mkay.

After an hour of drilling and scraping, the endodontist informed me that my root canal was half finished, but because it was infected I'd have to wait a week for the antibiotic to take effect, and come back next week to complete it. With my face half paralyzed, I wandered back across the complex to the original dentist's office, where they told me that I needed to come back a week after my root canal was finished to get a crown put on. Did you know that a crown is a two-part process? That it takes two separate trips to the dentist to get it put on? 'Mkay.

I drove back to work, and stayed there until the numbness started to wear off. Then I went home, and was grumpy. Very, very grumpy. After attempting to watch some mindless television, I was convinced by my husband that I'd be better off asleep. He gently tucked me into bed, fluffing the pillows around me, and as he turned out the light, he said, sweetly:

"Goodnight, my poor little rotty mouth."

Just so you know, I'm still grumpy. 'Mkay?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Knots


This morning, my shoulders felt as though they'd been pummeled repeatedly with a large mallet. When I put on my socks, I discovered small bruises on my calves, and my jaw was tender to the touch. Yesterday, I got a massage from a tiny Asian woman with fingers of steel.

The massage therapist I met several weeks ago, the one who worked absolute miracles with my insanely knotty muscles, wasn't available when I called to schedule an appointment last week. Not only unavailable, she was away from the spa "indefinitely." This did not surprise me. Rather, it confirmed my suspicion that both my husband and I are cursed.

Before I relate the particulars of our curse, I'd like to tell you that I have a testimony of massage therapy. I have spent many years and vast sums of money building that testimony, and lo, it is strong and unshakeable, like unto my knotty muscles. The little day spa I discovered a few miles away may have a cheap knock-off of Boticelli's Birth of Venus hanging in the lobby (complete with brush strokes - do you think it could be the real thing??), but the prices are reasonable, and the rooms are clean and serene. I've never had a bad massage there, but I've never found a therapist who totally knew what to do with the mess my knee surgery left behind. Until a few weeks ago, when I found my miracle therapist. My miracle therapist who promptly disappeared "indefinitely."

It's all part of the curse that started with my husband's hair last year. You see, Steve had been getting haircuts from the same stylist for several years, but when she moved to a salon 20 minutes away and raised her prices, he decided to be shorn elsewhere. His first trip to Supercuts seemed a success at first, but as the haircut grew out it became apparent that I was married to my very own Chia Pet. Then his brother gave him a hot tip on a specific Supercuts stylist. His name was Wee (it really was!), and he was a very short Vietnamese man with the loud, braying laugh and the meanest pair of scissors in the West. Wee was delightful, Steve was delighted, and my Chia pet departed. And then Wee just . . . disappeared. One day he was sculpting hair into works of art, and the next day - poof. No more Wee. And no one knew whither Wee went. So, Steve, despondent and decidedly shaggy, was forced to try his luck with a different stylist. And his next choice, Kwok, though a nice enough fellow, was definitely no Wee.

And so, last week, when I was told my perfect massage therapist had disappeared, I wasn't surprised. I knew that it was bound to happen to me, too. I knew I had to pick myself up and move on, just as my husband did when his hair became too poofy to be ignored. There was no weeping for Wee, and there would be no weeping for me. So I called the tacky-art day spa and booked an appointment with a tiny and preternaturally strong Japanese woman. And, as she pummeled me into a gumby-like state while her CD player softly played what can only be described as Asian Reggae, I wondered if I'd ever see my miracle massage therapist again.

I'll let you know if she turns up, but in the meantime, keep an eye out for Wee, would you?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Flourless Feasts

Have any of you experienced the feast or famine phenomenon? You know, when nothing is really happening, not much is going on, and then suddenly everything is happening, everything is going on (and then some)?

After nearly a year on the couch (and the knee to show for it), I've suddenly become insanely busy. Auditions, a new church calling, helping out with a film project, a new part-time job, and writing and directing the ward roadshow (which I could write a novel about. I really could. And I really want to. But I won't.).

I've felt like a useless lump of a thing this past year on the couch, so it's wonderful to be busy once more. However, the training for my new job occurred in a different state than the one in which I currently reside, and as a result I missed celebrating both my birthday and Valentine's Day with my husband. (We're going out tomorrow night to commemorate both occasions. Have you ever had the Godiva chocolate cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory? It has layers of flourless chocolate cake, chocolate cheesecake, and chocolate mousse. Did I mention the chocolate cake is flourless? I may have wept the first time I tried it, and I am not ashamed of that.)

So, in honor of my birthday, I admonish you to try the Godiva chocolate cheesecake. For your own good.

And, in honor of last week's Valentine's Day, I present to you the engagement photo we ultimately decided against:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Call Me Letisha

Last week I received a voicemail from a person whose voice and telephone number I didn't recognize. He sounded a little like Barry White. This is what he said:

"Hey, baby. Been thinkin' about you. Wish would call me. You know I would treat you right, Letisha. Call me, baby."

Hmmm, I thought. Too bad my name's not Letisha. If it were, I know he would treat me right.

A few nights later, I got another message from the same man:

"It's me, Letisha. And your phone is off the hook or somethin'. So call me, baby. I'm still up."

Hmmm, I thought. Too bad my name's not Letisha. If it were, I totally would have called him, 'cause I was still up, too.

This morning, while I was getting ready for church, my cell phone rang. I recognized the number. It was him. I answered:

"Hi, this is Emmelyn."

"Letisha?"

"No, this is Emmelyn. You've been dialing the wrong number."

"This isn't Letisha?"

Pause.

"No. This is not Letisha. This is Emmelyn. On my voicemail, it says Emmelyn. Please stop calling this number."

"Oh. I was looking for Letisha. Sorry."

He hasn't called back. So Letisha, if you're out there: Call him. He's probably still up. And he will treat you right.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Of Oak, Pine, and Particle Board

Ever since my marriage in August of 2003, I have been searching. Searching for something that seemed unattainable. Searching for something I feared I would never find. Searching . . . for a reasonably priced, not-made-out-of-plywood bedroom set.

My quest began with hope (as most quests do). That hope was quickly dashed, however, when I walked through the doors of a store that claimed to be part of the largest, most reasonably priced furniture chain in Southern California, and was immediately confronted with this:



This bedroom set, the furniture chain employee cheerily informed me, is called the Palm Court. My apologies if anyone reading this actually owns this bedroom set. I don't mean to question your taste. But seriously, what are you thinking? And also: we can never be friends. (And also: do you live on a Jamaican plantation?)

After the Palm Court fiasco of 2004, my bedroom set search went from bad to worse. Browsing Crate and Barrel one day, I thought I'd found my salvation, but, when I looked at the pricetag and realized that my salvation would cost an entire month's salary, my hopes were dashed. I mean, please. I wasn't about to pay an entire month's salary for my salvation, of all things.

(But just so you know, if I had a million dollars, I would waltz right into Crate and Barrel, and purchase one of their beautiful bedroom sets. With CASH.)

Some of you, knowing my affinity for a certain Swedish warehouse, might wonder why I didn't just drive a truck on over to Ikea. Surely they must have a reasonably priced bedroom set, you might say. And you would be right. And I was just about to purchase such a bedroom set when I happened to read the fine print and realized with dismay that their bed frames fit a European king mattress, and we have a California king. Stupid Europeans and their more uniformly shaped mattresses.

After Ikea, I gave up for a while. Sometimes my strength would return for a fleeting moment, and I'd be drawn to a 40% OFF! sign in a store window, only to be disappointed when I worked up the courage to venture inside. One night, my fevered brain even considered ordering furniture from Target, but, much as I love the place, I couldn't bring myself to purchase a headboard that looked, from the picture on the website, like it might turn out to be more than slightly orange.

And so, my husband and I lived without the objects of my desire. And my husband, being a typical male in some respects, stated that he didn't care. He didn't need a nightstand, he informed me; the plastic box full of clothes he hadn't worn in years (some with price tags still attached) would do just fine. And our dresser was fine, too: the dresser I'd purchased in grad school; the one my then-boyfriend helped me carry up the stairs and put together (he put the top on backwards, but I never told him, 'cause he was being all manly and Mr. Fix-It and stuff). Once in a while, the bottom would fall out of one of the drawers, or the entire front panel would come off, but my husband always re-attached it with remarkable efficiency (he's pretty manly, too, you know).

And then, in January of 2007, just when it seemed all hope was lost, a miracle occured. While searching Craigs List (love it) with furniture-related despair in my heart, I found an ad for a (dare I say it?) very reasonably-priced, very lovely bedroom set. It seemed too good to be true, but it wasn't. The ad was for a store nearby that had just opened - a little store in a strip mall where one could order one of five different styles of furniture, in one of eight different colors. And so we ordered. And so it arrived. And there was an agonizing moment when I thought it wasn't going to fit through our bedroom door. But it did. And when we put the bed together, the very heavy, real wood frame only fell on Steve's toe once. (He was very manly about it.) And, when we woke up the next morning, I felt like I was in a hotel. A beautiful, non-Jamaican hotel. And my husband? He loves it. And he doesn't miss his plastic box full of clothes he never wears. Not even the littlest bit. (It's a good thing, too, because that plastic box and all it contained is now resting peacefully in the back room of Salvation Army.)

I'm not going to show you the bedroom set yet, because I still need to hang curtains and do a few other non-manly, decorative things. But, before I head off to dreamland in my antique-stain sleighbed, I will tell you this:

Sometimes, dear readers, if you hope long enough, and never, EVER give up, wishes really do come true.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A lot of times I'll wear a hat to accent an outfit

For those of you who would like to know more about diet, fashion, and exercise, this video is for you.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I've Been Tagged . . .

. . . by a best-selling LDS author, no less!

So, five things about me that most people don't know:

I was born with black hair.

I loved the Monkees when I was in grade school (Mickey was my favorite), and I can still sing every single one of their songs. Verbatim.

One of my favorite smells in the world is coffee, but I don’t really like coffee-flavored things.

A friend recently asked me how many men I’ve kissed in plays, so I tallied it up, and I think it's around 16. Ask me how many of those actors I enjoyed kissing, and the number goes down quite a bit (though not completely . . .)

When I was 5, my babysitter was giving me a ride on her shoulders when I fell off and broke my wrist. My mom was at the hospital giving birth to my sister at the time, and one of my earliest memories is riding home from the hospital next to my brand new sister with my wrist in a cast.

(I think pretty much everyone who reads my blog has already been tagged by someone, so all you lurkers out there: You're it!)

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Initiation of Sarahs

This past weekend, two Sarahs came to visit me.

I met Sarah and Sarah in high school, and we've been bestest friends ever since. The official reason they flew from Utah to California was to see my play, but the real reason they came was so that we could eat lots of food and stay up late to giggle about things (like my hair in the early '90s). Also, they really needed some chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joes.

Two days before they arrived, it was 80 degrees, but the weekend forecast predicted 60 degrees and possible showers. When one of the Sarahs (let's call her Blondie) called to ask if she should pack a coat, I gave her the bad news:

"Blondie, it's probably going to be cold this weekend. Like, 60 degrees."

"Um, Em? Do you have any idea how cold it is in Utah right now? 60 degrees sounds positively tropical."

I then realized that living in Southern California for 5 years has turned me into a weather wimp. This fact was further confirmed when, after dropping their luggage off at my apartment, we drove down to the beach for lunch, and while Blondie and the other Sarah (let's call her Brownie) continually exclaimed over how lovely the weather was, I sat shivering in my coat like the SoCal sissy I've become.

After lunch, we headed to Ikea. I had a sneaking suspicion that Blondie and Brownie would share my adoration of the giant Swedish warehouse, and all the oddly-named bounty it contains. My suspicions were heartily confirmed, and, as we wandered up and down the aisles, they joined me in exclaiming:

"I need this! But where would I put it?"
"I need this! But what would I put in it?"
"I need this! But what is it?"

That last exclamation was especially applicable in the stuffed animal aisle:



Over the next few days, we had many adventures, including (but not limited to) the following:

A meal at a Korean restaurant, where Blondie put her mission language skills to extremely impressive use, prompting several waitresses to come by our table and tell her (in Korean) how well she spoke their language. Later she told us (in English) that, when she lived in Korea, native speakers would sometimes tell her they couldn't understand her. "But I'm speaking Korean!" she would say (in excellent Korean). And they would reply: "I don't understand you because you are blonde."

A trip to Trader Joes to purchase Milk and Dark Chocolate Almonds, Organic Truffles, English Toffee (with Milk Chocolate), Cocoa Almonds, Pecan Pralines, Cinnamon Almonds, and Challah Bread. Due to Brownie's generosity, I have it on good authority that at least one of the packages of English Toffee did not make it back to Utah.

Closing night of my play, which prompted the following comment from Blondie: "I was totally into it until the last five minutes, and then I was like, huh?" (Which is actually a very apt summary of the production.)

Massages at a local day spa, where Brownie had a super chatty therapist, I had a mildly chatty one, and Blondie had a "deep breather."

A viewing of one of my all-time favorite films: The Initiation of Sarah. It's a 1979 made-for-tv movie in which a sorority girl has psychic powers, Morgan Fairchild has extremely fluffy hair, and Shelly Winters is so difficult to understand at times that the only possible explanation is that, during filming, she was drunk and quite possibly on several different kinds of hallucinogenic drugs.

Brownie's attempt to stuff her new Ikea-purchased queen-sized duvet into a very small duffel bag.

A trip to the beach on a gloriously sunny day, where I managed to snap this photo just as the first wave hit their bare feet:



We also had many delightful and deep conversations, during which we came to the following conclusions:

My pre-mission boyfriend was "creepy."

We can still remember almost all the lyrics to songs from the musical Chess, though the harmonies are a little iffy.

The gluten-free brownies I made "tasted like brownies."

10-day cleanses that involve fasting and taking herbs can lead to extremely unfortunate events.

I'm a much better driver than I used to be.

15 years later, we still love spending time together just as much as we did when we were in high school.


1993


2007

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