Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wearing a dress sure gets you more attention...

So this last weekend was the 2nd Annual Girls' Weekend to Vegas. This year we stayed on the Strip at the Monte Carlo and it was totally worth it. With the number of friends and family I have in Las Vegas, I've only ever stayed on the Strip once in my life. So this was a treat. We had a lot of plans for our short weekend there - two shows, relaxation time by the pool, the Bellagio fountains, shopping at the outlets, a compulsory run to Trader Joe's, and of course... winning it big! All was accomplished except the Trader Joe's run. We were just too tired and hot by the time it came to go, so we passed. Plus, do I REALLY need dark chocolate covered soy nuts?!

So Friday, we left at about 2pm and headed down south through some beautiful green country. I love the mountains and their color in late spring/early summer. At times, I just feel like I live in the middle of the Alps. Only, if I were in the Alps, I'd be on vacation and most of the time I'm not on vacation... but this time I was! Wahoo! After a wonderfully entertaining car ride replete with gales of laughter, divulging of secrets, catching up on love lives, and singing to our hearts' content, we arrived in Vegas. We checked into the Monte Carlo with enough time to get situated and change our clothes before we headed off down Las Vegas Boulevard to the Wynn where we were scheduled to meet my friend Brooke.

The lovely little Brooke-let works at the Wynn and was able to get us tickets to Le Rêve. She's tokia nuostabi drauge. Might I just say I experienced an extraordinary amount of sensory overload that night?! Le Rêve, a gymnastics/synchronized swimming/ballet/musical/circus on steroids, was simply incredible to watch. This Cirque de Soleil type show is set in 1 million gallons of water on a stage that has many platforms, which are periodcally raised and lowered. Though never far from the action, since the show is set in a theatre in the round, I spent most of the show on the edge of my seat. Okay, so not literally, but most definitely figuratively. The athleticism and grace, which these performers possessed was second to none. I wish I could have an ounce of their strength. Dangling hundreds of feet in the air, hanging on to your partner by a slippery ankle and then gracefully falling into a stage of water, though a repetitive feat, was stunning to watch. I read somewhere that each member of the cast must become scuba certified before performing in the theater. I can definitely see why when half the dancers spent a good portion of the show with their upper bodies under water like synchronized swimmers. Simply phenomenal. True to its name (Le Rêve means The Dream en Français), Le Rêve invaded my dreams that night. Who wouldn't want to dream about having such a physique and the stamina to go along with it. Hats off to the performers!

Saturday morning we slept in, then spent some good quality time relaxing by the pool. Okay, so it was relaxing, but the temperature was sweat-inducing and nearly heat-stroke worthy. But I'm still alive. Phew. I spent most of the time fully submerged in the Lazy River. That afternoon we took an hour and speed-shopped through the Las Vegas Premium Outlets, where we picked up a few necessities. Yes, these items were necessary. That night Tony n' Tina's Wedding at The Rio was on our agenda. As Beth aptly stated, The Rio was like a brothel in disguise and actually made me understand Las Vegas's nickname "Sin City". We had fun at Tony n' Tina's Wedding, where we were among their wedding guests. After the show we headed back to the Monte Carlo, happy to be out of the trashy Rio, to spend some time in the casino. We ended the night with more gales of laughter after closely examining our pictures from the wedding. Good times.

Sunday we got up and headed home. I had such a fun time and I've decided we need to make our annual girls trip a semi-annual deal. I'm thinking we keep the Vegas tradition for the spring and in the fall it should be another new destination. Jackson Hole maybe? I've never been there. I just love these girls, so it doesn't matter the destination as long as we get to spend a good weekend together. And one of the best things about these girls? They love me in spite of:

1) the fact that everything I touch turns to gold (apparently)
2) my repetitively singing "Her name is Rio"
3) my huffiness while asking if they can move over, please
4) my incessant bed-sheet dancing escapdes

Good friends. Good times.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Katie forwarded a bunch of clever anagrams to me in an email awhile back. They were so funny that I googled to find more. Someone out there had a lot of time on their hands to come up with all these, but they're cool.

Dormitory: Dirty room
Presbyterian: Best in prayer
Astronomer: Moon starer
Desperation: A rope ends it
The Eyes: They see
George Bush: He bugs Gore
The Morse Code: Here come dots
Slot machines: Cash lost in 'em
Animosity: Is no amity
Election results: Lies! Let's recount.
Snooze alarms: Alas! No more Z's.
A decimal point: I'm a dot in a place
Eleven plus two: Twelve plus one
Mother-in-law: Woman Hitler
Barbie Doll: I'll Bare Bod
Conversation = Voices rant on
Delta Airlines = I Land Earliest
Greyhound: Hey, dog. Run!
Listen: Silent
Merriam Webster Dictionary: May Cite Brainier Word Terms
Pittance: A Cent Tip
Ronald Reagan: A darn long era
Statue Of Liberty: Built to stay free
The United States Postal Service: It dispatches letters to avenues
Tom Cruise: So... I'm cuter
Western Union: No wire unsent
Year Two Thousand: A year to shut down

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Vegetables in the City.

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach the lesson in Relief Society. Given the chance to choose my own topic, I decided to plan a discussion on Self-Reliance. Why you might ask? Well, with the rising cost of fuel, the rising cost of grain, the increase in natural disasters both internationally and right here at home, I've been thinking a lot about whether or not I am prepared for "rainy days" that may be in store. And, “the Savior has commanded the Church and its members to be self-reliant and independent... As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities [and are] better able to care for others in need” (Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders [1998], 257).

"We teach self-reliance as a principle of life, that we ought to provide for ourselves and take care of our own needs. And so we encourage our people to have something, to plan ahead, keep a little food on hand, to establish a savings account, if possible, against a rainy day. Catastrophes come to people sometimes when least expected—unemployment, sickness, things of that kind. The individual, as we teach, ought to do for himself all that he can do for himself" (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 586).

In my study, I learned that when we think about self-reliance, there are six distinct areas to focus on:

  1. Education and Literacy
  2. Physical health
  3. Employment
  4. Home storage
  5. Resource management (finances, etc.)
  6. Spiritual, emotional, and social strength
Interestingly, my new year's resolutions and goals both last year and this year, all fell under these six major headings. I guess I unknowningly was trying to be more self-reliant, so this lesson just helped to solidify and refocus some of my current life goals.

After mulling throughout this last week on ways I can become more self-reliant, I identifed several things I'm going to make a concentrated effort to focus on, one of them being to plant a vegetable garden. I love vegetables and have been rather frustrated with the high prices of produce available lately. Although my mom had a vegetable garden a few times when I was a child, I've never really planted and maintained one myself. I decided on Friday at about noon that I was going to plant one; after trips to Home Depot and local nursery, by Saturday at 5pm it was done!

Here's what it looked like when I started:

“To become self-reliant, a person must work. Work is physical, mental, or spiritual effort. It is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity. Through work, people accomplish many good things in their lives" (Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders [1998], 257).

Hard at work:

As you can probably see, our vegetable garden is a container garden. Since we live in close quarters with our neighbors and don't have any "land" to speak of, I knew the container gardening was the way I'd have to go. What I didn't realize was that the containers would fit so perfectly on the window well grate! Whoever said you couldn't have a garden in the city. :) I guess that was I, but I was wrong. Doesn't it look great?!

Let me introduce you to our summer friends, from left to right:
Top Row: Patio Tomato, Early Girl Tomato, Zucchini, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Beets (seeds), Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Peas (seeds).
Middle Row: Lettuce (seeds), Basil (2), Oregano, Rosemary.
Bottom Row: Dill, Mint, Sage (2), Rosemary, Chives (seeds), Radishes (seeds).

So, now I've decided I want to become a horticulturist. :) After I was checking up on our friends twice after I planted them yesterday, Katie had to kindly remind me that, "a watched tomato never grows." :) Good thing I have a busy summer ahead, so I won't be watching them too much. I'll just be happy when I can reap the rewards at the end of the summer.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

No Life Without Wife.

Okay, so last night Katie and I wanted to watch a movie. Since we're quite keen on saving money lately, we decided to stay home and watch one of the movies that she had downloaded on her computer. She gave me a long list of choices, noting that she was saving the one she really wanted for last. And what was the one she really wanted to watch, you ask? Bride and Prejudice. A Bollywood-style version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, it's a musical that puts a new spin on the classic. It's not just retold; it's reinvented. And it's fantastic! The clip below is one of my favorite songs. I seriously laughed for a good portion of the movie. Hope you enjoy!

So just rent it. I guarantee you'll be entertained! :)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Why Geeks and Nerds Are Worth It...

So I can't remember how I happened upon this, but I have to admit (regrettedly) that I did not write it, but rather found it on craigslist. I found it funny and thought it was worthy of posting. So here you go:

Why Geeks and Nerds Are Worth It...

In the wide world of dating, there are many options. Do you go for the flashy guy with the smooth smile, or the dude in the corner typing away on his laptop? The following are reasons why I think my fellow females should pay more attention to the quiet geeks and nerds, and less attention to the flashy boys.

1.) While geeks and nerds may be awkward, they’re well-meaning 9 out of 10 times. That smooth dude with the sly grin and the spider hands? Wonder what HIS intentions are... plus, I’ve never had a geek guy not call me when he said he would. Score major points THERE.

2.) They’re useful. In this tech-savvy world, it’s great to have a b/f who can make your laptop, desktop, and just about anything else that plugs into a wall behave itself.

3.) They’re more romantic than they’re given credit for. Ok true, their idea of romance might be to make up a spiffy web-page with all the reasons why they love you, with links to pics of you and sonnets and such... but hey. It lasts longer than flowers, plus you can show your friends.

4.) Due to their neglected status, there are plenty to choose from. You like ‘em tall and slender? There are plenty of geeks/nerds who are. You like ‘em smaller with more meat on their bones? Got that too.

5.) They’ve got brains. Come on now, how can intelligence be a bad thing?

6.) Most are quite good at remembering dates. Like birthdates and such, especially if they know it’ll make you happy. Due again to their neglected status, they’re more attentive than guys who “have more options”. Plus, with all that down time without a steady girlfriend, they’ll likely have mental lists of all the things they’d love to do once they GOT a girlfriend.

7.) Sex. Yep. Sex. I’m not really familiar with this myself, but I’ve friends who’ve been intimate with geek guys and it’s raves all around. They say a virgin wrote the Kama Sutra... all that time thinking about sex, imagining sex, dreaming about sex, (they are male after all) coupled with a desire to make you happy? Use your imagination.

8.) They’re relatively low-maintenance. Most can be fueled on pizza, Twinkies and Mt Dew. No complicated dinners needed here, so if you’re not the best cook, eh. Can you order a pizza?

9.) Most of them frequent bars as often as slugs frequent salt mines. You won’t have to worry much about your geek guy getting his “groove” on with club hotties because, frankly, he’ll be too busy rooting around under his computer wondering where that spare cable went. You won’t have to worry about him flirting with other women because, 9 out of 10 times, he’ll zip right by them in a perfect b-line towards the nearest electronics store. I’ve seen this happen.
Me: “Eww. Victoria Secret Models... They’re so skinny. How is that feminine? You can see her ribs!”
Geek Guy: “ooooooo...”
Me: “Hey!” *notices he is staring lustfully towards the computer store*
Geek Guy: “What?”
Me: “Never mind...”

10.) Although he may not want to go to every outing with you, you can arrange swaps, as in, you’ll go to his Gamer Con dressed as an elf princess if he’ll take you to the ballet. Plus, if he doesn’t want to go someplace with you, you won’t have to worry much about what he’s up to. You’ll probably come home to find him asleep on his keyboard in a sea of Mt. Dew cans with code blinking from the screen. It’s ok. He’s used to this. Just toss a blanket over him and turn out the light.

11.) His friends aren’t jerks. I can’t stress this enough. You’ll more likely get “Omg! A GIRL!! Can I see?!” than “Hey hot stuff back that sweet a** up here and let me get some grub on...” They’re awkward geeks too and will, 9 times out of 10, treat you with the utmost respect and, more than likely, a note of awe. A cute girl picked one of their clan to date? It could happen to them! Hope! Drag some of your single girlfriends over, open up a pack of Mt. Dew, crack open the DnD set and get working. Nothing impresses geek guys more than a girl who can hack-n-slash (well ok maybe if she can code... a geek can dream).

12.) They’re rarely if ever possessive. They trust you, so you can be yourself around them. You like to walk around the house in a ratty t-shirt for comfort? He won’t care. He does too! They won’t get fussy if you don’t wear make-up or don’t want to bother primping your hair. If you gain a few pounds, they won’t try their best to make you feel terrible about it.

13.) They’re usually very well educated. Physics majors and the like. See #5. You won’t have to listen to him blathering on about his car (ok maybe a little); he’ll have loads of other interesting things to talk about. Politics, world events, how much the chicken burgers down at the local place rock, so long as you douse them in hot sauce...

14.) You’ll almost never have to hear, “Yaw dawg whazzap!!” plop out of their mouths. Unless it’s in jest. They spell properly, use correct punctuation, and are able to tell the difference between the toilet and the floor. They almost never get “wasted”, so you won’t have to worry about coming home to find him and his friends passed out on the floor amidst a pile of beer bottles. Mt. Dew cans, perhaps...

15.) And the final reason why geeks and nerds make great boyfriends: They actually give a damn about you. Not how you look (though that’s a plus), not how skinny you are, not how much make-up you primp yourself up with, but they like you for you. That kind of thing lasts longer than “DaMN baby you got a fine a**!!!” Believe me.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Break-up Songs.

What's the best therapy for dealing with a nasty break-up? Well, it could be a date with Haagen Daaz, but if you're anything like I am, nothing sits too well in my stomach at first. So if you're in need of a good wallow session, I suggest you turn to the good old break-up song. Sometimes you need to just indulge your need to feel sad. Alright, it may not be healthy for too long, but a good pity-party never hurt anyone. There are plenty of "sappy unrequited love songs" out there for your initial phase of grieving. But today, I was thinking about the empowering feeling that accompanies a really good "I'm moving on" break-up song. You know what I'm talking about. Those times when the initial pain of the break-up has subsided and we turn the stereo up to full volume to release all those pent up emotions. Feelings that just make you go, "You hurt me, but I am SO okay." or "What we had was good, but it's over and that's SO okay because you don't deserve me anyway." I love those songs. Luckily, I'm not in need of them right now... but they still feel good to sing at the top of my lungs. :)

A few of my favorites...
There are plenty more. Do you have any favorites?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Itchy Nose.

Saturday my nose started tickling inside so uncontrollably. I couldn't focus on anything else there for awhile because I was so consumed with treating my poor itchy nose. A superstitious person, I am not. (Speak like Yoda, I do.) However, I've always thought that an itchy nose meant someone was thinking of you. (But come to think of it, I believe I attached that meaning to just about every odd thing. If your ears are ringing, someone is talking/thinking about you. If you attempt to tie your straw wrapper in a knot and it rips apart without actually tying a knot, then "he" is thinking about you and likes you. A bout of the hiccups surely signifies that someone is thinking about you. You get the idea.) But I've learned, after googling "itchy nose superstition", apparently an itchy nose has several other meanings: a quarrel is in the near future, or a visitor is coming. I'm okay with the visitor coming, but a quarrel? I liked the "someone's thinking about you" idea best. I'm going to stick with that.