Friday, November 28, 2008

five things

So every night (plus or minus a few nights when we crash and forget), Jess and I write five things we're thankful for that day. This is actually a really useful exercise, because in order to avoid the "go to" thankfuls, you get pretty creative. In light of the holiday we celebrated yesterday (celebration in my book equals consumption of ginormous amounts of potatoes and gravy, the real reason for the Thanksgiving feast), I thought I'd mention a sample five of my "thankfuls" in the last few months.

1. long sleeves: There are so many good things about fall - covering up my arms is just one of them.
2. the elliptical machine: It's not running, but I'm really grateful I've found a new and effective way to exercise. And I think my [Achilles] tendon is grateful as well. :)
3. tweezers: I'd have a couple scary eyebrows without them.
4. email: How would I even survive without it? I think it's a lovely form of communication.
5. pumpkin cookies: I successfully ate like fifteen pumpkin cookies today. They were so delicious - I used white chocolate and butterscotch chips. So yummy.

I have so much to be thankful for. In a world that sort of feels like it's crashing down around us at times, it's beautiful to be able to sit down and find five things to be grateful for every night. I'm blessed beyond anything I deserve. I have family, friends, safety, health, the gospel. Plus a whole notebookful of extras.

Happy Turkey (Potatoes & Gravy) Day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

a vampire viewing

Saw it.

So of course the book is better. I'm not sure that any cinematic version of the book could compare to the movie in my head. For starters, in my head, Edward is ATTRACTIVE. While he grew on me, I still think he's freaky looking (is the lipstick really necessary?) and totally wrong for the part. The line, "You're like my own brand of heroine," was somewhat comical. Alice on the other hand was lovely: "Oh, you do smell good!" :)

But it was good. Good enough anyhow.

And then I started thinking about all those viewers who haven't read the book. To all those viewers: this movie is going to be pretty strange. There are all sorts of holes that the book fills in. Plus, the romance between the mortal and the vampire is much easier to believe when spread over hundreds of pages instead of about fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes is barely enough time to whip up a batch of cookies let alone bridge the gap between crazy and sane.

The verdict: those of you who read the book will get some satisfaction out of comparing your awesome brain production to the one on screen. Especially if you can do so at matinee price. :) But be forewarned - your version is better. Those who haven't read it, you might be better served by curling up on the couch for a good read of the novel.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

smoke break

So my mom decided that she could use a new dog. I mean, we do have the oh-great-ancient dog (she's eight) that is as much a part of our family as the rocking chair I was rocked in. But you can always use an extra dog, right? Especially when she's cute and tiny, looks like a small fox, and wiggles when she's happy.

Too bad the previous owners didn't mention her addiction. We've got her down to a pack day. Being a dog, the whole cold turkey thing was just too confusing. Turkey, dog. Huh?

Monday, November 17, 2008

the economy hits an all time low

So the Dow plummets repeatedly, with intermittent periods of hopeful resuscitation only to be destroyed by another dip toward the bottom. Homes are in foreclosure. Banks are closing, while the largest automakers in the U.S. beg for government help. All of this in the wake of the government's 700 billion dollar rescue program designated to save the economy.

But you know things are really bad when THIS happens.

I feel like I should go buy a surplus amount to sustain us through the Circus Cookieless years. Maybe they can be cryogenically preserved.

Simply devastating.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

cheney crazies

So if the average Duke student had to choose between a million dollars or a pair of tickets to a Duke basketball game, invariably, the student would choose the tickets. The games are that big of a deal.

That's why if someone asked me the same question, I'd take the million dollars.

And instead, wait in line to get a couple free tickets when they offered them to the graduate students (and their better halves). As we made ourselves comfortable in the high school size arena, the student section provided enough entertainment that the players almost seemed to be spectators. I can truthfully say I feel sorry for the opposing team, their coaches, their wives, their kids, and their dogs. The Dukies don't mince words. Also, it should be noted that we were just a few leaps away from tackling Coach K, aka, the coach of the American men's basketball team in the Beijing Olympics. Here's our awesome photo of him:

I have to say, we did indeed enjoy ourselves, despite our primo seats (are they still called seats when you're standing?) next to the not so subtle pep band. It's pretty easy to get caught up in the blown up school spirit that the Cameron Crazies bring to the game. There's not a basketball watching experience like it, that's for sure.

But still. I'd take the million dollars.

Heck, I'd take twenty.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

you wish you had my calling...

Today during nursery...

Sister Cheney: Can anyone tell me what day it is today?
H: It's a HOLY day!
Sister Cheney: Yes, it's a holy day. And what do we call this holy day?
H: Sunday!
Sister Cheney: That's right. It's Sunday today. And what do we do on Sundays?
H: Go to chowch!
Sister Cheney: Right. Now what's the most important part of Sunday (pointing to picture of Jesus)?
H: Jesus!
G: And chocolate milk!

i confess...

...I love soy milk. Love, love it. And I loved it even before the real stuff made me ill. I think real milk tastes disgusting. As though it came out of a cow, perhaps. But soy milk just tastes yummy. As though it didn't come out of a cow. Perhaps.

...I don't like my fingernails painted, not even clear polish. I feel like they can't breathe. I mean, I realize that they don't exactly have a mouth and/or nostrils to do the breathing, but they just feel so trapped. On the other hand, I love my toenails painted. Apparently my toenails have evolved - they can breathe even when being smothered by lacquer.

...Even though I love winter (yes, I'm one of those people - I even love snow), I'm secretly sad as I watch the leaves falling. Right out our front window, there are some beautiful trees (see here for pictures), and they're particularly beautiful as the sun sets. I love sitting on the couch in the evening, watching them light on fire. Their colors are vibrant and strong. Almost as though they have more life than the simple, beautiful urge to grow, change colors, and fall.

Monday, November 3, 2008

i can't hear you

"Nother" is a word. Its use is of the informal variety, but it shows up in dictionaries, nonetheless.

I think I might cry.

I've been hearing this usage on TV, and every time, I cringe and close my eyes until the nightmare has passed and people have started speaking normal English again.

I get where this comes from - another. In my own entirely unpassionate opinion, I really feel like the word "another" should not be split into "a" and "nother" by placing a word in between, as in "a whole nother story." It's kind of like someone dragging their fingernails down a chalkboard. A gross, grating separation of syllables that bounces around in my brain, trying to be reconciled, without any success BECAUSE IT'S A FAKE WORD.

If you use the word "nother," I probably still like you. (Probably.) And I probably won't correct you. (Probably.) I can't really, because I have no book evidence to prove you wrong. It's just me and my own personal preferences to keep the language clean and precise.

It's just me against the world. Me against the nothers. And the apostrophe abusers.

But that's a whole OTHER story.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

home cooked

So Jess and I made our second annual trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sad to say, we're about two weeks too late for the leaves at their colorful peak, but it was beautiful nonetheless. For two kids from Utah, it feels almost like a fairy tale to drive through the rolling hills of Virginia, red barns with spotted cows grazing as though someone didn't put them there for picture purposes.

The highlight of the trip, however, may have been our traditional stop at Cracker Barrel. Jess and I have a thing for this neighborhood restaurant (located approximately every four miles along the Interstate in NC). And it's not just the fact that you can order ginormous plates of home cooked food for decent prices. Nor is it the fact that everything is breaded and fried just right, just enough to satisfy your taste for grease, but not too much to stop your heart. I think it's more because you yourself feel home cooked. As you sit there surrounded by paraphernalia (fake or real, we haven't been able to determine - but really, are there like warehouses of vintage junk that Cracker Barrel maintains "just in case"?), you pretty much feel like your grandparents are sitting at every other table, some second cousins at the others (the ones you pretend you don't know on account of the fact that if you become too friendly, they might actually show up at your house, with their RV).

I love how people come in and say hello to their waiter as though they know him. (Because they do, and actually they saw him that morning. For breakfast.) I love that they can order without looking at the menu: "I'll take the chicken fried steak with a side of fried chicken. For my veggies, corn swimming in butter, carrots soaked in sugar, oh and a fried salad. Dressing on the side."

I can't get enough of that place. This whole NC place ain't too shabby. Have a look.


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