Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mouse in the House?

Above are a couple of examples of why its been hard to be back home after taking more than a week to soak up the sun in Maui...

Tonight I walked out of work with a friend and we stood in the parking garage talking. While Jess was filling me in on all that happened last week I stood fidgeting (if I listened to my mother and didn't fidget..). I began scraping my open toed black shoe back and forth over some strange lump on the floor. I wasn't really thinking, but if I had been I'm sure I'd have been thinking about ten billion other things other than the obvious: what is this thing I keep scraping my foot back and forth over? Yes - had I been thinking at all I'm sure I'd have been looking down at my nearly split ends that badly need trimming or my toes that badly need painting... the beach was rough on me!

Anyway as I said, I stood thoughtlessly scraping my almost bare foot over this lump when suddenly my friend looked down for a minute and then back up. She made direct eye contact with me and nearly screamed, "WHAT IS THAT THING?" Not too concerned I allowed my eyes to wander where my foot had been wandering.

Two points I'd like to make is that there are TWO of whatever this is and that one of them has been PAINTED over by whoever painted the parking lines. Nice work guys. Really great attention to detail. I guess had I decided to nap in the wrong place I too could have been striped.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rolling Stones and Relief Society

This past Sunday while in San Diego with my family we attended church together. When the women were in class together we had a lesson on morality. The teacher commented about how Mik Jagger had oppenly admitted that their music was geared at making teens engage in immoral acts... she went on about how important it is that as women we take a moral stance and be sure that we choose even good music, etc... My youngest sister lightly poked my side and made pointed out that a couple rows back a girl was actually WEARING a ROLLING STONES t-shirt. It was the one with a big tongue and had the letters printed boldly over her chest... I couldn't help but squirm a bit for her and realize how perhaps our lesson should have been on understanding. I guess I just have a hard time believing that the band's goal was more financial and that their goal was to SELL ALBUMS just as that poor girl's main girl was fashion... I just don't know that it was as much about immorality...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Good news (and that's the biggest understatement I've ever made)

Maren is 18. I was thinking today about things that happened in my 18th year. One year of college, a pepper spray incident, my first bout with mono, my first crush on someone over 20, a job turning bottles at the Pepsi plant (the 3p.m. to 1a.m. shift), I lived off lettuce and Count Chocula, and my cousin and I invented long walks together. I can't remember anything super, super tough.

At 18 Maren has already had mono twice (once very seriously), worked away from home for a summer, kept me sane, had a boyfriend (one who is REAL), and found that her boyfriend had cancer. Most importantly she has remained funny and kind through all of these things. Shortly after she missed the wedding of one of our sister's (due to mono) I picked her up to take her to the wedding dinner... even though she was sick sick sick and disappointed at having missed the wedding... she managed to be so incredibly funny. I tell people all the time how funny this sister is. They smile or nod, but they don't get it. She's not just funny, she's funny at times when you NEED it.

At 19 Adam has found out that his life was in serious danger 1 week before leaving for a mission. Diagnosed with a very serious cancer he has exhibited a mental and emotional toughness that I have never seen before. I am sure that there must be moments where he feels like this is unfair, but he has never shown that. He has battled like no one I have ever met. Never in my life would I have thought that my Sunday night would entail a visit to see my YOUNGER sister's boyfriend at Huntsman Cancer Institute and I never would have pictured laughing or smiling as much as I did tonight.

For this boy there was finally good news. Numerous MRIs taken last Friday could not find this tumor about which his life has revolved for the past months. Shock fell over his oncologist who had never considered this an even slimly thought of hope. She is not sure which direction this takes his treatment since they had planned for many many more months prior to this type of outcome. She has a meeting on Monday to discuss Adam with her fellow physicians at Huntsman.

If you could see this boy who has finally put on ten pounds to his cute lanky frame you would be so impressed. He walks in the hospital now and smiles when he hears his name again (even with those dreadful chemo bags at his side). This is the boy who has more strength than anyone I know. I did not know how hard he could fight when we first got news and I must say that it was tough to go through the motions of everyday life thinking about possible outcomes. I have noticed that age plays a much smaller role in life than I had ever thought. At 19 he has shown me that there is a way to be happy and to hope through anything.

I hope that you will all pray for the minds at Huntsman to be at their most sharp during the next couple of days. I would like to think that more good news awaits Adam and his family and to my sweet, funny sister.

Maren... thank you for tonight. I love that you inspire kindness in me even in times of hurt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Braid For Sale?

So I was in this little coffee / juice shop that is downstairs from my friend J's loft... We were waiting for our drinks and just wandering around the little shop when she happened on this flyer tacked up to one of the columns in the shop. We couldn't stop laughing and reading every detail...

Some things I'd like to bring up:

1 - This is HAND DRAWN... and by that I mean NOT A COPY either. In this computer era where we can download photos from any website in the world or scan in actual photos this person actually took the time to HAND DRAW each flyer they posted around town.

2 - AMAZING DETAIL... ok before I didn't want to purchase a braid, but now that I've seen how it can make earrings sparkle and pearls gleam I might change my mind... Plus - is it just me or would the new braid actually make me bustier?

3 - BRIGHT RED... so the actual HAND DRAWING pictures a soft orange hair while the writing in the ad boasts BRIGHT RED. Is this a form of false advertising?

4 - PLACEMENT... Seriously? A coffee shop? Now I don't spend a lot of time in coffee shops so I'm not sure, but does the average coffee drinker NEED a BRIGHT RED braid?

5 - LENGTH... 35 inches? Seriously? This is either WAY too much hair to use on your head or not enough to make a bright read hammock. Give me a length I can use!!! There is no way I can have my prince climb to my window using only 35 inches.

6 - CONTACT TAGS... At the bottom there are little tags with a phone number... All I have to say is SOME ARE MISSING???

Seriously if any of you have in your possession a little tag - THROW IT AWAY!!! To be clear I DO NOT want this for my birthday. I can think of no better way to introduce lice or any number of diseases to myself and my house or both if I decide to use it to make a hammock.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Monday was our annual HOA (Home Owner's Association) meeting. At 6:30 (after HOURS of work meetings) I walked across the street to the library and found Conference Room C. I have only lived in my condo a while and I'm a bit shy - and work too much - so I really only know about 2 people in my complex and they consist of: the woman in the wheel chairish thing on floor 2 who gives me a smile too big for Monday mornings. It always makes me feel so guilty that someone with the need of a wheel chair can smile so much on Monday morning when all I'm thinking is how much life sucks - who needs that guilt! STOP SMILING! And, my neighbor who recently purchased Justin Timberlake's new CD.... I need to buy him some new music since I don't think hearing that CD over and over is "bringing sexy back."

Sorry, back to the meeting:

So I walked into the meeting with my own bottle of water only to find that someone had gone to Costco and evidently purchased ALL of the snack items in the store. I picked up a bazillion papers (the financial report of 2006, the budget for 2007, the last year's notes, etc) and a cookie looked for a place to sit. Immediately I noticed the Smiler and said hello and she cornered me (which was unfair since she had a motorized chair on her side) and said that she was going to be nominating me for the board. WHAT??? I was so taken off guard by anyone actually speaking to me at all that I nodded shyly. I looked around the room and this is what I saw:

Four chairs at the front of the room facing about 600 chairs which were occupied by 4 board members at the front and then about 6 other people. I think judging by the extra treats and chairs that someone might have overestimated the attendance...
The board members consisted of a guy with very curly bushy hair that was slightly gray, a guy about my age with jeans that were too tight and a tucked in button down shirt and half-boots, the Smiler, and a woman with red-ish pink hair with a bunch of pencils and a crazy look.

The meeting began and I realized immediately that the pink-ish haired lady was the Secretary, but was also slightly deaf. BAD COMBINATION. Although I must admit that her need for constant clarification on things like roll call became quite funny. She in fact was in charge of taking role and right off the bat when realizing there were only six people in attendance versus the 30 that didn't show you would think it might be most efficient to get the names of the people there rather than call through the WHOLE LIST. Nope - she called the whole list and the best part is the list was outdated and so she never called our names. Then she asked our names, but again... she's slightly deaf. About 90 minutes later we finally headed into the meeting. They actually "called it to order." I nearly laughed out loud because at first I thought that they were feigning professionalism. Again... NO! As the meeting progressed and each topic we discussed had to be addressed by someone who "had the floor" and then agreed on and then "nominated" and then "seconded" and then "voted in" I became acutely aware how serious they were taking this meeting.

The meeting was long so I won't bore you with all of the details - even though I heard most of it TWICE thanks to the deaf secretary. However, a couple of funny points I'll point out:

1 - the guy with half of his hair in a pony tail who wanted to have the "common areas" of the condo reasssigned so that the garage was not his responsibility since he didn't use it... I pointed out that since our garbage is stored there and since the garbage men have to pick it up USING the garage he technically uses the garage. Also all of our utility meters are in the garage. But, most importantly IT HOLDS UP THE BUILDING HE LIVES IN! He was still allowed to put an idea to vote since he "had the floor" and then it was Seconded by the deaf secretary who probably didn't even hear what he said. Obviously this didn't pass...

2 - the deaf secretary who wanted to readdress the fact that once a year our condo fees pay to have our outside windows washed in keeping with the maintenance of the common areas. Evidently since she's on the first floor she was offering to wash her own windows since she could reach them... She didn't want to pay for that out of her condo fees. WOW! What a savings it would make for the company that washes the windows to not have to do FOUR windows. I explained to her that there wouldn't really be any savings and that it would also be a problem because we wanted them all clean at the same time. She was frustrated and said that she didn't feel she should have to pay for anything she didn't use - like with the garage. I nearly laughed again, but explained that when you choose to buy a condo you choose to live in a COMMUNITY and to abide by the HOA rules. I suggested she buy a home so she could pay only for the things she wanted. Again... this went to vote, was seconded, and that's when the president realized that we didn't have enough people in attendance to vote on ANYTHING! Let's just say I wanted the last four hours of my life back.

3 - after the meeting and I'd been voted to the board I was about to leave when I heard the secretary talking to the president about reimbursement for the treats she'd brought. Keep in mind that she had just said, "I don't think I should have to pay for the things I don't use."
Deaf Secretary: I need to be reimbursed for the treats.
President: How much money's worth of treats do you think we ate?
Deaf Secretary: What? Well - I bought all of it for the meeting. I should be reimbursed for all of it - it was 72 dollars.
President: So do you want me to just take this stuff home and bring it to the next meeting?
DS: NO. I have some friends coming over this weekend and I need something for them to eat.


Oh - the good news is that at the meeting I found out what holiday is in February... A WEDDING! I found this out during roll call when the Deaf Secretary asked the girl next to me her name and she answered "Joe's Wife." We all laughed for a while and then asked her her name to which she replied "Tammy" to which the DS said, "Sammy?" She said, "no, Tammy." DS then nodded and I saw her write Carie down on the paper. Evidently Tammy and her now husband were married in February. Too bad because I'd grown used to those two being drug smugglers.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Quick Coincidence

Tonight I went to dinner (I'd been wanting to eat anywhere with an open patio). As we turned into the restaraunt parking lot we passed a BRIGHT RED CORVETTE which was parked illegally. I commented something to the effect that people with Corvettes evidently can park wherever they want - since the rules don't apply to them. We parked and walked in. Once we were seated I noticed a couple at the next table. This is an EXACT description: The man seemed to be in his 60s and had very tight curly hair cut in a shorter "welcome back Kotter" style. His shirt was silky and a bit loose and unbuttoned far too low. He was VERY tan. I'm not sure if he was wearing gold chains or if I just imagined them since it seemed he should be. Though I couldn't see his shoes I guarantee they were something slip on and leather. The woman was in her mid 40s and had not quite blonde hair which was actually more hair spray than hair. She was wearing a very small black skirt with dark brown nylons and very high black pumps. Her shirt was BRIGHT RED. Immediately I knew we were sitting next to the Corvette couple. There are few cars which so easily betray their owners. After paying their check the couple stood and we watched eager to see if our instincts paid off. We both smiled as the couple walked to the illegally parked "vette."

Later that night I was on the phone with my younger sister as she recounted her evening. At one point our brother had picked her up in a new car - a brand new Tahoe. She was suprised to see him in a new car and asked about it a bit. She laughingly told me that since he'd bought a brand new (you guessed it!) Corvette the dealership had also given him a very good deal on a Tahoe. Now I am left wondering if I was seated next to my own brother in a restaraunt would I know?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What holiday is in February?

I know that seems like an odd question - and in all reality it is. However, it is prompted by an odd situation. Tonight, February 24th (saturday) we noticed something quite odd...

My neighbors, not the ones right next door, the next-next door neighbors (2 doors down) seem to be preparing for the holidays. AGAIN or perhaps just VERY EARLY.

While inside my place I heard the familiar sound of a shopping cart being pushed along the concrete walkway outside my window. K who was at my house actually looked out and then came back in with a bit of a shocked look. Evidently the next-next doors were pushing two shopping carts full of holiday wrapped gifts to their condo. Not really that odd except that it is not December. I realized that my christian upbringing may have made me a bit close minded about holidays and so I actually did what anyone with a question does these days. I turned to Google. I searched Holidays February.

While February houses both Black History Month as well as GroundHog's Day (which as my cousin S states we do not observe as promised) I could find no holiday in February warranting carts full of wrapped gifts. Which leads me to question the sanity of my next-next doors as well as the contents of their carts. I don't want to make assumptions, but obviously I live next-next door to drug smugglers. Which pretty much makes me famous. If you need anything autographed just send it my way.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day...

I thought today might be a good day to remind myself of all of the people that I belong to and love:
Maren: She was my gift for making it to 13 years of age and continues to be my gift for making it through each day. She reads my mind and heart better than anyone I know and is always so ready to say or do anything I need. By far the funniest girl I know and she can make me laugh with just a look. I have often wondered if Maren has always been my favorite word or if it became so the day I saw her snuggling in a tiny cap in the hospital on her birthday. She is the first reason for anything I do and the last person I would ever want to be without. I want everything for her and since she was born I have lived differently. With more purpose and with more love.
Gardner, Crista, Cameron, Addison: The most amazing family I've ever known. My brother is so conscious in his life of every decision to be sure that he is doing what's best for his family (extended and immediate). He has the most discipline of anyone I know in personal change and it is because of his wife who has an ability to communicate to him in a way that is loving and yet expecting. Their girls came with such amazingly different personalities and are the sweetest, smartest girls I know. I am so excited to see the way they grow.
My sisters: You couldn't list more than two or three similar traits we have and yet we have a bond that is one of the strongest I know. One trait I will say is that of loyalty and honesty. There's not a single girl I'd rather be related to than these ones. I smile at the thought of each one of them numerous times throughout the day. I must say that as the oldest sister it is a true gift to have been able to see them grow and change and become these amazing people. At times I look at them and see both the child (most often toddler) they were and the person they have become and it is too much happiness at once.
Mom and Dad: There has never been a better pair. EVER. EVER. EVER. Together they are everything I need and everything they need. They are the most different people in terms of personality and yet have had common goals and dedication that have provided a great incubator to all of us and will continue to do so. They are funny together. Nothing is funnier than my dad when he comes home from a long run and my mom's reaction as he hugs her to his sweaty self. I hope that one day I will be capable of loving someone as well as they love each other.
Janeal: She will know this, she is one of the greatest gifts of my adult life. She has battled changes and decisions in her own life in a way that make me so proud. She fights for every ounce of happiness and yet makes it seem so easy. She has started a new life and kept everyone in her past in tact and put them first in every possible way. I hate her struggle, but love the way she accomplishes it.
Kristen: There are few people outside of blood that can move with you for decades. In all this time she has never given me reason to distrust her. I know she would do anything for me. I don't deserve it. Every memory of her is one of support. She has lived with me and still wants to know me. That is truly tough. I know that there are a million times she has had to stick up for me and yet she would never have me know. She shares her life with me without question. If I had my way I would see her everday.
My Grandma: She died the Christmas of sixth grade. I know I will never feel love like hers again. Without question or hesitation. This is the one that brings tears. Crazy 8s on the deck and looking at the wall of her kitchen plastered with her grandchildren's pictures. Letterss she wrote to me before I could see color. She didn't need to know me to love me. I know that I am most like her and that makes me smile. I like that she had struggle and emotion and toughness. That some days she wanted to give up, but never did. Her children share this love and the gift she gave the world should make her proud. I would give so much to have more time with her and can't wait to have her hug me again.
Laura and Sara: If we weren't cousins I would still find them. I have needed them at ever stage of my life. In all of the biggest turning points of my life they were holding my hands. It isn't easy being the oldest girl in a family and because of them I didn't truly have to be. I find it so difficult to relate to people, especially women, and yet I have never had an ounce of struggle with these two. I wonder if Laura will remember cookies in the dorms on days my eyes were so red from homesickness or if sara will remember our pact to get better on the porch at Chatsworth.
I am also very fortunate in the friends I have had... I would have to say that I probably would have died of starvation while on vacation in San Francisco if Ben had not had the presence of mind to make me get back into the car instead of screaming at him from the road with the rest of the hungry homeless. Vacationing to San Fran and when I couldn't decide on clothes he hung a clothes rod across the back of the car so I could take EVERYTHING I wanted. I would also probably still be working for DD and listening to an old lady tell stories about how her doctor doesn't understand how sick she really is as she cried at my desk or how her cat can tap dance... He can say exactly what I need to hear in just a few words... and will.
Then Kelly who I've known FOREVER. Through I don't know how many cars or houses for him, but through the biggest purchases of my life and through the biggest moves he has been the consistent. Today I told him how in each place I've lived I can sit in it and feel so loved for the things he changes for me. The lights, the paint, in this last case the actual condo. Through holidays and holidays and holidays which are all so rough on me and by association (poor guy) on him. He is one of the smartest people I know and has changed so much about how he deals with people. I hope he can remember painting my trim while I vacationed in San Francisco or taking pictures of me in a completely empty condo... letting me use hot water since I bought shoes instead of a hot water heater. Putting me up...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

K's wedding

K's wedding
Originally uploaded by em_crane.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Saab Story

I thought I'd write a brief history of how this industry has come to be last on my list of industries which help to further the progress of mankind. I'll start here, today: Tonight I went to see a friend of mine who lives a couple of blocks from me in downtown salt lake. She, being thoughtful, called to remind me that there was a Jazz Game and thus no parking would be available. She offered to open their gate when I got there so that I could park inside since there are a couple of free spots. I don't know if many of you have driven downtown on the night of a game (and it doesn't count of you're going TO the game), but it is wretched. There have been times when I just wanted to pull my keys from the ignition in the middle of the street and just run free as tears cascade down my cheeks. There have also been times when I was to meet friends at some restaraunt or club and after circling the block for about nine hours I just give up and go home. My friend Janeal knows this. That is why it is so sweet of her to open the gate.

Once parked I went upstairs to Janeal's where we opted for a low-key night, just due to the stress we'd both had this week regarding our jobs. We hung out a while and then WALKED (not drove) WALKED TO a fantastic little Thai restaraunt. We then headed back to her place for a bite of ice cream and a couple of minutes of Office Space. All in all not a bad little evening, right? After the goodnights I found myself looking at a blank space where I thought I'd parked. I wasn't incredibly sure, the doubt now due to the car being absent. I walked up and down and couldn't find my car. My head dropped... That was for sure where I'd parked. I then began the hunt for a phone number that might help me out. Having found a TINY sign I finally I reached someone who was in bed and didn't know much since he wasn't "at the computer." This response used for each of my questions:

me: did you tow a gray saab?
him: I don't know, I'm not at the computer.

me:Do you know how I can find out?
Him: I don't know I'm not at the computer.

Me: Is there a way I could speak with someone at the computer?
Him: I just take the night calls. I am not at the computer.

Me: Can I come pick up my car?
Him: You can't pick it up on the weekends........... or at least if you do there is a weekend fee.

Me: OK. I need to pick up my car NOW. So I'll pay the fee. Do you know how much that is?
Him: I don't know. I am not in front of the computer.

Me: I understand that, but you HAVE MY CAR. I just need to know how to get it back.
Him: Perhaps you can call back and get someone else.

Me: How would that... I stopped as he'd hung up on me.


Me: I think we must have gotten DISCONNECTED SOMEHOW. I need to know the address and how to pay.
Him: We only take Cash. We are in the midvale area.

Me: The midvale area is pretty vague. Could you just give me the address?
Him: 8600 South and 50 West.

Me: Thank you. Do you know what side of the street that is on?
Him: It is near State street.

Me: How much do I have to pay you?
Him: I don't know (If he says computer I might fly at him like a howler monkey) I guess its 100 dollars for an hour of towing, another 50 for the weekend "service", and another 50 for the storage.

Me: I have to pay for storage? You TOOK my car. I still don't know why I was towed... I definitely DO NOT WANT STORAGE.
Him: Oh wait, actually you'll have two days worth of storage.. Its 11:45 now, by the time we get it out it will be after midnight and into another day.


Me: No, I'll be there. You had better be there b/c I am only paying for one day. I think you can at least do that for me, right?
Him: I'm not the boss.

Me: Well I'll be there in time. If you're not that's not my fault.

Frantically we drove to an ATM to collect the necessary cash and then drove on to the sketchiest, seediest part of Salt Lake with extra cash in hand. Safe.

We found a dark parking area (is it a lot if its all mud?) it was entirely surrounded by old fallen down barbed wire fencing. Inside there were cars parked askew and most times too near one another. I hesitantly exited the car and walked to the truck gripping my cash with my friend waiting in her car, her phone ready to dial 911... The man told me it'd be 181 since he'd knocked off the extra day. Which was nice given it was exactly 12:03. Basically he gave me three minutes of free storage. Nice. I need to remember to get a thank you note in the mail... When I handed him 200 dollars he said he had no change. I said, oh- then can I just be a dollar short?

Him: No.
Me: Then what do we do? do you want to wait while I go get change?
Him: No

Me: sadly handing him another 20... ok.

That made me swear a bit on the drive home, but no one was in my car so it was just like that tree falling in the forest without anyone there... the swearing didn't really happen.

Me: Where's my car?
Him: Right there. He vaguely waved to the bulk of the cars in the mud lot.

Me: Oh. I see it.

I teetered through the mud in heels (my favorites) and got to my poor car and walked around it. Which disgusted the tower - audibly. I then backed out slowly. The whole time trying to decide if I'd be making my bed with Satan by peeling out right in front of him where he stood ready to close the gate... Thoughtss of mud splattering up and onto his eyebrows was too much for me. TOO MUCH! Besidess - he'd made me walk through much in my favorite heels. Hopefully he used my 19 dollar "tip" to cover the drycleaning.