Monday, December 31, 2007

I just feel I need to add to my cuz Ror's collection of bad album covers. This was my favorite: I don't know why but it struck me as funny.


So I just read a very compelling book, Escape, by Carolyn Jessop. It's her story of growing up in the FLDS church/community/cult, being married and having eight children, and finally, her escape.

It's easy to laugh about the concept of plural wives, but this stuff is no joke. They would have killed her if they'd caught her. I had always wondered what the relationships between the wives were like, if there was jealousy, etc. The book really spelled out the whole dynamic between the husband, the wives, and their children. Very interesting. And sad.

It made me think a lot - it seems there's a fine line between preaching obedience and being manipulative.

Anyway, I had a lot of deep thoughts but suddenly I feel too lazy to write them all. (Yay for you.) You'll just have to read it for yourself, it's a pretty amazing story.

Does the fact that you're headed for Hell concern you?

Okay folks - all two of you - due to the incredulous and somewhat preposterous nature of this finding, I feel compelled to share it with you. (Kenna found it, I don't know where she finds this stuff, but she does.) NEEDGOD.COM

Are you a good person, by God's standards? And if so, are you good enough to get into heaven?

This is a questionaire designed to tell you just that. Such inquiries as, "Have you ever told a lie?" "Do you go to church regularly?" "Have you ever looked at someone and had lustful thoughts?" etc. etc., eight questions total. When you are done checking yes or no, you are directed to your results.

It then goes over each question, tells you what is wrong with your answer, and exactly why it is that you are going to hell. After you have read about what a bad person you are, it asks you if you are Guilty or Innocent. If you click Innocent, it tells you you are incorrect. Then asks if you think you are going to Heaven or Hell. If you click Heaven, it tells you you are incorrect.

It asks if the fact that you're going to hell concerns you, tells you that it should concern you, and then asks if you'd sell one of your eyes for a million dollars. (Don't ask me what selling your eye for money has to do with this, but heck yes I'd sell my eye for a million bucks. I've still got the other one.)

It ends with a huge allegory of what hell is, designed to scare you, then it tries to talk about the atonement, but seriously, who is going to get that far?

Nevermind that my moral character and the quality of my soul are being determined by an eight-question survey, it looks like I am going to hell. In a handbasket, no less. I wonder if my trip comes with complementary pillow-mints.

(Oh yeah, and then it politely asks you to print a copy for your records, in case you, you know, forget.)

PS, just one more thing - I'd like to know just what person in the world hasn't had a lustful thought about someone else (I'm thinking Patrick Dempsey right now)... seriously folks...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Spice Up Your Life

Earlier in the week, I lamented to my friend that I wished I had the energy to clean the house after work; hers is spotless everytime I go over there. She suggested I try blaring some fun music to get into it.

Enter: Spice Girls. As it turns out, I did more boogying than cleaning but no harm done- unless you count scaring the cat. (You can't tell me Spice Up Your Life doesn't throw you into a cha-cha frenzy). As I relived the days of the seventh grade, I thought, who more appropriate to serenade generation-x than the divas of the nineties? And was there ever a more inspiring couplet than "get down get deeper and down, get down get deeper and down?" Didn't think so. Go Spice Girls.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Another Christmas come and gone, it would be our fourth Christmas together (three married Christmases). It’s crazy! We decided to go scrooge-style this year and skip on gifts for each other… cuz you know if we really want something, we just go buy it, no sense in spending money on stuff we don’t really need or want. We consider the cat our Christmas present. :)

We did do gift exchange with the fam, however, which was fun.

Also, we sold my piano. *sniff* Actually I don’t feel too bad – it had more sentimental meaning than utility. I used to just sit for hours and hours and play – so Geoff got me that one for our first Christmas. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time that I used to have and it was just sitting there, taking up space. A girl from Logan bought it and was very excited about it, so I was happy for her, and we’ll get another one when the time is right.

Geoff also sold one of his guitars. Now he only has three guitars left, which reduces my chance of tripping over one by 25%. (They can often be found lying on the bedroom floor, or against the couch in the living room, or by the computer in the back room, etc.) He’s going to keep at least one acoustic and one electric.

So you would say we actually made money this Christmas, cool.

As for Christmas day, we went to the rents around 11 (they gave us the Die Hard collection, some cash, and a gift certificate to the mall, woo hoo), and from my sis I got a cute red purse and lip stuff. (Geoff got black socks and a tie from my other sis., “dad gifts” he called them). We went to grandma’s for lunch w/the extended family, then came home and had a huge nap and watched Lost for the rest of the night. Oh I also went to Rikki’s to exchange gifts (she got me sockies and an Office Calendar, which is hanging in my cubicle now). And Geoff took down the tree as soon as we got home too (at my request). It’s good to get back to normal.

It was a nice, relaxing Christmas. I love my hubby.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wally the cat

This is him discovering his new bed for the first time - he kept rubbing his face in it and purring, he loved it.

Prayer to St Peter

Edwin McCain

Let them in, Peter
For they are very tired
Give them couches where the angels sleep
And light those fires
Let them wake whole again
To brand new dawns
Fired by the sun
Not war-times bloody guns
May their peace be deep
Remember where the broken bodies lie
God knows how young they were
To have to die

You know God knows how young they were
To have to die

Give them things they like
Let them make some noise
Give dance hall bands not golden harps
To these our boys
Let them love Peter
For they've had no time
They should have bird songs and trees
And hills to climb
The taste of summer
And a ripened pear
And girls as sweet as meadow wind
And flowing hair
And tell them how they are missed
But say not to fear
It's gonna be all right
With us down here

Let them in, Peter
For they are very tired
Give them couches where the angels sleep
And light those fires
Let them wake whole again
To brand new dawns
Fired by the sun
Not war-times bloody guns
May their peace be deep
Remember where the broken bodies lie
God knows how young they were
To have to die

You know God knows how young they were
To have to die

And tell them how they are missed
But say not to fear
It's gonna be all right
With us down here

It's gonna be all right
With us down here

Walter Silvestersmith Stanley

Wally-Sly for short. Our new cat. We have a new cat. In the history of Stanley pets, and for Cali pets, period, this is a first.

I'm sure it dates back to my childhood, when I was diagnosed with allergies to cats. (A hereditary trait strung through my dad's family). Add to that an old crazy neighbor-lady, who, in addition to attempted spousal murder and leaving her three kids at home for days without word of where she was, had HUNDREDS of cats. Of course since she was never home, the house -- and the cats -- went unchecked. And they multiplied and multiplied, until they ran rampant. (Just so you know - people called social services on her all the time, but of course she always managed to clean up before the investigators got there)... I have memories of cats being up inside the car engines when the car was started (pop! fizz...), and once my mom went over to her house (I think to make sure the kids were okay, once when she was gone) and came back talking about awful smells and urine-soaked carpet (from the cats). Of course in my 6-year-old mind I didn't fully understand the situation, but somehow, maybe from these experiences, and the allergies, we never had a cat. (We only lived in that house a short time.)

When Geoff and I got married, we started off with rats. Two of them, Polly and Madonna. You'd be surprised but they each had their own personalities, and I actually cried when we had to put them to sleep due to illness.

Next we tried a puppy. A Black mini-schnauzer who was too smart for his own good. He got so bored at our house that we got him a companion, a black cocker-spaniel puppy. We kept them long enough to potty-train them and soon realized that between work and school, we did not have enough time for them and they were miserable. So eventually they made their way to better homes.

It's now been about 9 months, and we are trying again. Wally-sly is a 4-year old tabby, and morbidly obese. I mean I have never seen a cat so fat. He seems to be pretty mild-mannered though, he just walks around and looks at stuff. He already has a fascination with the bathroom cabinets. I'm sure he'll get more comfortable with time. (He's already potty trained too, yay!!)

As for the allergies - I am hoping that after being around him enough, my body will get used to him. Surprise surprise but Geoff is slightly allergic too. He had a cat growing up and didn't react to her, so maybe that is a sign that we can get used to Wally.

Show me the money

Every now and then someone at work gets this great idea to have everyone "voluntarily" pitch in some of their moulah and get someone a gift - usually for the department manager, for Christmas, or their birthday, or manager appreciation day... this also happens whenever someone gets injured or has knee surgery or their basement got flooded, etc., etc.

I am not brave/mean enough to turn them down and say, "I'm so sorry your dog ran away, but not sorry enough to give you five bucks!" So, I always give five/ten bucks or so, whatever I have. For the most recent gift, I didn't have any cash on me, and today I got this email: "Just wondering if you brought the $$ for so-and-so's gift?"

I am sorry to say, but I feel this is somewhat of a problem, although well-intentioned. I feel it is innapropriate to be constantly asking for money to get people gifts - really, it is great to be a caring friend (doesn't society tell us we, as women, are supposed to be caring friends after all?) but there needs to be a limit on the asking-for-money. If someone loses a family member that is one thing, but every little thing is quite another. Perhaps I'm just a scrooge. I am open to any input/suggestions. (It's pretty hard to talk to the manager about it since many of the gifts we "pitch-in" for are for her.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A new memory

Finished up the last of the Christmas shopping tonight. While I was at the mall I saw an old friend from high school. I'd always thought he was so funny and even cute, we had fun together. I said his name to get his attention and he stopped to say hi but then acted like he didn't want to talk. I was waiting for him to introduce me to his two friends, but nope. It was awkward and kind of rude. So I said a quick, "it was nice to see you," and walked away. I don't expect there will be another encounter with him, which is a teeny bit sad since it forever changed my memory of him. Oh well.

Anyway, it's great to be done with the shopping. This weekend Geoff and I are house/dog sitting for the rents, and guess who's coming by? Reggie! (His new family is going out of town for Christmas). So I get to play with my baby again, AND have cable for a weekend, yesssssss.

I love my husband more than anything. He is my sweetheart.

Cali's Christmas Commandments

My own cheesy list of rules for the holidays:

1. Thou shalt not begin Christmas shopping before the three days prior to Christmas.

2. Thou shalt never actually bake the neighbors/coworkers/visiting-teaching-sister's treats, rather buy them at the store and claim you made them. (Don't forget to remove the wrapping.)

3. Thou shalt forget about the Christmas music and play Alanis Morissette in your car instead.

4. Thou shalt (not) cuss at the crazy people who cut you off on the road in their mad dash for gifts.

5. Thou shalt always pick the shortest-looking line and wait there the longest.

6. Thou shalt buy something cute for yourself while shopping for gifts.

7. Thou shalt not forget to call thy grandma and wish her Merry Christmas.

8. Thou shalt ENJOY the holiday goodies.

9. Thou shalt resolve to live at the gym the following week.

10. Thou shalt always applaud the carolers.

11. Thou shalt appreciate and enjoy your family and HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Man's Search for Meaning, Victor E. Frankl.

I just read a book called "Man's Search for Meaning," by Dr. Victor E. Frankl. He was a prisoner of Nazi Germany's concentration camps for three years during WWII. He is a psychoanalyist, and the book is about the psychological process and experience of prisoners of the concentration camps. I find it so fascinating that he was able to draw meaning out of senseless suffering. The book is so full of insights that are worth the time to read. I have to share a few that stood out to me most.

[Author's note: I just finished writing this post and it is incredibly long... not for someone with a short attention span. However, if you get all the way through it, there are some awesome awesome quotes in there.]

This is toward the beginning of the book, where he is telling about his first arrival at Auschwitz, after being stripped of his family, posessions, clothes, and finally hair, and herded into the showers: "While we were waiting for the shower, our nakedness was brought home to us: we really had nothing now except our bare bodies - even minus hair; all we possessed, literally, was our naked existence." Throughout his experience, he learns that the one absolute he could have complete control over, was his attitude. He also made it through by finding something to have hope in. "Seen from this point of view, the mental reactions of the inmates of concentration camp must seem more to us than the mere expression of certain physical and sociological conditions. Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental distresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him - mentally and spiritually."

He also talks about how when new prisoners arrived at camp: "On entering camp a change took place in the minds of the men. With the end of uncertainty there came the uncertainty of the end. It was impossible to foresee whether or when, if at all, this form of existence would end... The prisoner who lost faith in the future - his future - was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to mental and physical decay. Usually this happened quite suddenly, in the form of a crisis, the symptoms of which were familiar to the experienced camp inmate. We all feared this moment - not for ourselves, which would have been pointless, but for our friends. Usually it began with the prisoner refusing one morning to get dressed and wash or go out on the parade grounds. No entreaties, no blows, no threats had any effect. He just lay there, hardly moving. If this crisis was brought about by an illness, he refused to be taken to the sick-bay or do anything to help himself. He simply gave up. There he remained, lying in his own excreta, and nothing bothered him anymore."

It is such a sad picture, and the following exerpts tell what he did to fight that hopelessness in himself.

"Any attempt at fighting the camp's psychopathological influence on the prisoner... had to aim at giving him inner strength by pointing out to him a future goal to which he could look forward."

(I love this...) "The latin word finis has two meanings: the end or the finish, and a goal to reach. A man who could not see the end of his "provisional existence" was not able to aim at an ultimate goal in life. Therefore the whole structure of his inner life changed; signs of decay set in which we know from other areas of life.

One of the prisoners, who on his arrival marched with a long column of new inmates from the station to the camp, told me later that he had felt as though he were marching at his own funeral. His life had seemed to him absolutely without future. He regarded it as over and done, as if he had already died.

A man who let himself decline because he could not see any future goal found himself occupied with retrospective thoughts... But in robbing the present of its reality there lay a certain danger. It became easy to overlook the opportunities to make something positive of camp life, opportunities which really did exist... everything in a way became pointless. Such people forgot that often it is just such an exceptionally difficult external situation which gives man the opportunity to grow spiritually beyond himself. Instead of taking the camp's difficulties as a test of their inner strength, they did not take their life seriously and despised it as something of no consequence... Life for such people became meaningless."

Here he is saying how necessary it was to have a goal, something to look forward to, a reason to live. Thank God Himself that I can read these words from the comfort of my own home and not have to learn them by experience - because they are also applicable to my life. We talk so much about setting goals in our Monday meetings, but for a different reason. This one seems to mean so much more.

Also - something interesting for my Dad. We were talking the other day about the power of the mind, here's a story Dr. Frankl tells that demonstrates it.

"I once had a dramatic demonstration of the close link between the loss of faith in the future and this dangerous giving up. My senior block warden, a fairly well-known composer and librettist, confided in me one day: 'I would like to tell you something, Doctor. I have had a strange dream. A voice told me that I could wish for something, that I should only say what I wanted to know, and all my questions would be answered. What do you think I asked? That I would like to know when the war would be over for me. You know what I mean, Doctor - for me! I wanted to know when we, when our camp, would be liberated and our sufferings come to an end.'
'And when did you have this dream?' I asked.
'In February, 1945,' he answered. It was then the beginning of March.
'What did your dream voice answer?'
Furtively he whispered to me, 'March thirtieth.'
When he told me about his dream, he was still full of hope and convinced that the voice of his dream would be right. But as the promised day drew nearer, the war news which reached our camp made it appear very unlikely that we would be free on the promised date. On March twenty-ninth, he (my senior warden) suddenly became ill and ran a high temperature. On March thirtieth, the day his prophecy had told him that the war and suffering would be over for him, he became delirious and lost consciousness. on March thirty-first, he was dead. To all outward appearances, he had died of typhus.
Those who know how close the connection is between the state of mind of a man - his courage and hope, or lack of them - and the state of immunity of his body will understand that the sudden loss of hope and courage can have a deadly effect. The ultimate cause of my friend's death was that the expected liberation did not come and he was severely disappointed. This suddenly lowered his body's resistance against the latent typhus infection. His faith in the future and his will to live had become paralyzed and his body fell victim to illness - and thus the voice of his dream was right after all."

Okay, I realize how long this post is. But there are just two more exerpts I want to post because I thought they were profound.

About suffering:
"An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete... The way in which a man takes up his cross and all the suffering it entails, gives him ample opportunity - even under the most difficult circumstances - to add a deeper meaning to his life... It is this spiritual freedom - which cannot be taken away - that makes life meaningful and purposeful."

I changed around the last few sentences of that quote to condense it together a little bit.

And to finish up this long post on a positive note, here's a beautiful one about love:
"A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth - that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understand how a man who has nothing left in the world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way - an honorable way - in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory."

I love the part, which he claims is truth, that the salvation of man is through love and in love. He is obviously not a mormon, but he comes closer to nailing down the basic fundamentals of our doctrine in that one sentence than in all the rest of the book.

Well, I know it seems as if you no longer have to read the book because I just posted it for you. But, there are hundreds of amazing things in it. I highly recommend it. The first half of the book tells mostly of experiences of the concentration camps, then he gets into analyzing it, then the last portion of the book is about Logotherapy, a form of psychotherapy that he invented. Even if you just read the first half of the book, it is well worth it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Simply Brilliant (will explain later)

Well this morning there was a verrry BRILLIANT and motivating work meeting, then a jet to a doctors visit, in which she rammed something up there so far I thought it was going to get lost. LOVE being a girl people, and can't wait to be pregnant. Also, had a chat with the "other friend" today after work, boy was it fun. I'm off to da gym den to mom & dad's to pick up my recompense for a simply INSPIRATIONAL day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So Unsexy

Here's a song I just heard yesterday. I loved it because she singing about how she know's she's okay, but sometimes she just feels blah, even so. The words don't look happy, but the song is actually very upbeat which makes it fun to listen to. I guess if Alanis Morissette feels that way sometimes then I'm normal. (Please no jokes... kidding). I just love this album (under rug swept). The lyrics are so totally honest.

I can feel so unsexy for someone so beautiful
So unloved for someone so fine
I can feel so boring for someone so interesting
So ignorant for someone of sound mind

Anyway, had a nice weekend. Friday night I got bored while Geoff was working, so I went down to Mom & Dad's to hang out. Mom & I decided to go see Grandma at the hospital. She's been there over two weeks, recovering from a kidney infection. While we were there, Uncle David came in. He blew up one of those latex gloves like a balloon, then wrote "Donald" on it and drew a face. We taped it to the foot of her bed. She just laughed. She looked really good - actually mom said that's the first time she's seen her laugh since she went in, so she's starting to feel more like herself again. We talked about how Donald is so good to her. She said she was happy to have him then got on the subject of grandpa. She said, "oh, I loved your dad," then got a little teary-eyed. "We had a good life, we had fun," she said. She will be out by Christmas, which we're glad for.

Thursday, Kenna & I got together and "borrowed" each other's music, and ordered pizza, yummmm. (Guilty confession: we probably spent an hour watching backstreet boys music videos on youtube). It was a lot of fun though and I wish we'd get together more often. She is going on a cruise very shortly here, then after they get back it's brain surgery!! I'm really glad they found a surgeon. She will be okay. :)

Today, Geoff and I SLEPT IN!!! Then we made a life-saving trip to the grocery store. We made a futile attempt at Christmas shopping. (We're just going to do it separately during the week - hopefully it will be less crowded). We came home and took a nap on the couch then went to the BYU basketball game. They kicked trash. I enjoyed it a lot - it was really fun to get out and spend the night with hubby, and not have to worry about what homework needs to be done. A co-worker gave us her tickets since she is home recovering from a knee operation. She utterly refused to allow me to pay her for the tickets, so I bought her a yummy pumpkin roll from the store- she loves pumpkin anything. We'll take it to her house tomorrow evening after we know they'll be home from church.

So I got thinking this weekend, and realized how utterly perfect Geoff and I are for each other. Our little personality quirks just fit each other, like a puzzle - for example: I have this dumb habit of being a know-it-all, and though I have been working on it for a long time, it still comes out sometimes. Anytime I pipe in and give Geoff the "correct version" of what he's trying to tell me, he doesn't get defensive or try to argue with me. I don't know if he holds his tongue or he just doesn't notice, but can you imagine if he was a has-to-be-right-all-the-time kind of person, we would always be fighting. We almost never fight. (that's just one example.) I have to attribute some of that to his maturity too though. He knows what's important and what's not, he takes care of me, and a host of other things, and everything he does is so damn cute. I'm quite sure if I looked for a lifetime I would never find someone so perfect for me like he is. I am truly blessed to have him.

I used the word utterly twice in this post. I guess three times. Also, it's two in the morning so that is the reason if I'm not making sense.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


So... it has come to my attention that the recent but persistent work drama is actually revolving... in a makeshift way... around me. I have recently become 'friends' with a co-worker who is 'best friends' with my other friend, who is displaying signs of intense jealousy, and the other friend is afraid the friend is talking about her behind her back, so in turn the friend is talking about the other friend behind HER back. *sigh* Whatever dude. I just hope that as long as I keep my mouth shut about other people, I'll be able to remain neutral - because I like them both and I don't want to get caught up in the middle. I have kept my nose clean for a year and a half so far, I'm not about to start playing that game just because I work with a bunch of drama-queens. *sigh* Why can't everybody just be men? The world would be so much less complicated. I'm aware they are possibly talking about ME behind my back, but I am pretty apathetic. I just do whatever I feel like doing, man.

Hubby has found a way to fill his extra time this Christmas break - West Wing, Lost, movies with intense gore-factor, etc. I have already been shopping, to the gym, and taken the Man out to lunch. There is a mountain of dirty laundry that nearly reaches the ceiling, but I am happy if that's the only thing hanging over my head.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Man in the Arena

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

This is kind of what our Monday-meeting training sessions are about...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Today was Day 1 of our workout thing. (Tiff & I are going to the gym 6 days a week until January, since I don't have class). We went to the cardio cinema at A.F. The A.F. gym is HUGE.

Got about a tenth of the way into studying for my last final and totally crashed until Geoff got home. I'll be studying my butt off tomorrow, but tonight it felt good to sleep. Going to bed now.

Work Christmas party

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Future Stripper

This is my little sis about, 20 years ago. Luckily we were able to convince her that stripping is not her life goal.

My family came over for dinner tonight and brought some old pics... here are a few more.

This is me, with my favorite bear, Caggie. Don't know where I got the name.

This one's not so old.

My sisters are babes, that's all I have to say.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas party - hotels & swag

Last night was my work party at the Grand America, it was awesome. Our ballroom had a HUGE chandelier in it - bigger than any I've ever seen. I'd say the inside of that hotel could be compared to a temple - maybe only a little bit less fancy, maybe. Anyway, we had a nice dinner, we sat at a table with Cas & Tiff & their husbands/dates. After dinner there was a performance by Johnny Biscuit. He started with a standup routine that was, well, it was funny, but maybe we are a hard crowd to please - I hoped he wasn't dying up there cuz people weren't really laughing much. However, the second part of his performance he brought a band on stage and dressed up and did clips from a bunch of famous songs. One, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, about halfway through the clip he plugged in an electric Ukelele and started jamming out with this little tiny thing, it was pretty funny.

Then, they presented the owners with gifts from the company (we had all pitched in), and then they gave us each a humongous swag bag. I'm going to name everything that was in it just for kicks & giggles, I really can't believe they are so good to us. A big fleece robe, 3 sets of squishy socks, 2 sets of pajama bottoms, a Rembrandt teeth-whitening set, a $100 gift card to Nordstrom, a Taste of Home all-desert cookbook, a picture frame, a workout ball w/workout DVDs, a Kenneth Cole watch (pricetag read $85!), a make-up brush set, make-up remover pads, 2 huge bottles of shampoo & conditioner, a loofah, nail polish & nail polish remover, bottle of Victoria's Secret Love Spell, toothpaste, ricola cough drops, A Christmas Story DVD, disposable camera, then in the side pocket there was a bunch of stuff like deoderant, chapstick, face lotion, etc. It all came in a huge Under Armour duffle bag, which pricetag read $80. (Yeah, they left the pricetags on, but I guess I would too if I were them). It was so heavy Geoff had to carry it to the car. But anyway, that on top of the Christmas bonuses & gift cards they already gave us.

Considering that the most I ever got from any other employer was a Christmas ham, this was pretty dang awesome. (The bags for the guys had different things in them). I guess they know how to keep their employees.

Natalie did my hair for the night, which was cool of her. It was fun to get all dressed up and have a night out.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Symphonie Fantastique

Well finally some breathing room. 3 finals down, 1 to go. Tonight Dad treated us all to dinner at Brick Oven, then a symphony at the Covey Arts Center. Geoff had to work, so he missed the whole night, but it was still fun. I really want to go to the next one in January, because they're doing Hadyn and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (Fantastic Symphony). We studied a little of both of those in my music class, and I got to really like the Fantastic Symphony. Maybe I can get Geoff to come with me - I dragged him to an opera once, so anything's possible I guess. I think it's really cool to live late enough in time that all the different kinds of music have been invented and done. From the early gregorian chants all the way through time to today, we can take our pick. It's hard to imagine that there would still be other "major genres" to invent. There probably won't be, at least not in my lifetime.

So, the tree is up and there is snow. Once in awhile I have a moment that stops me, and I think to myself, "wow, is this really me, is this really my life?" I look around and see what I've been blessed with - a nice, stable life, a handsome sweet husband, a home. I guess that's what I've wanted all along - it just hit me suddenly that, hey, I've got it now. It's amazing.

That's not to say we aren't working toward anything - why go to school for nothing? It will be soooo nice to have this break though.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.
While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.
Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.
You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.

Ummm I guess....?