Friday, November 30, 2007


On Thanksgiving, we (Mom, Me, Brit, Bart, Kim, Jenny, Andy) decided to see the movie "Enchanted." The show was sold out, so the place was packed. Someone must have found something incredibly funny during a scenery shot because all of a sudden I hear one of the loudest snort laughers I have ever heard. Keep in mind, this was during a scenery shot, no action going on on-screen at all. Of course, I also knew this snort laugher was none other than my little sister. The ENTIRE theater started busting up laughing. I'd say that eruption was equivelant or greater to anything in the movie that made people laugh. Maybe I should become a snorter...

Oh, and we got bored waiting to get into the theater, so there may have been some limboing under the guard posts.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Two adults, and one....?

When I was in Ohio, my dad took my mom and I out for dinner. As the waitress was seating us, she handed my parents their menus, then stooped down so she was eye level with me, examined my soul (or just my face, but it was intense), and asked, "Do you need a children's menu?"
I used to be so offended when people asked me this that I would exclaim, "I'm 22!" Or whatever age I happened to be. I was so shocked, however, I couldn't do anything except choke out, "No..."
I mean, I could understand if the children's menu were for 18 and under, but this was for 12 and under, people! I am 27!

Biker Man

When I was in Saint George, Utah beginning my adventure to California/Las Vegas, I encountered a most unusual specimen whom I will call "Biker Man."
Biker Man pulled up to the gas pump across from me, yelling, "ERRRRRRR!" Then proclaiming, "That's the sound my brakes would make if I had brakes! HA HA!" He was definitely amused with himself and I must say I echoed that sentiment. The man was on his BICYCLE!
Attached to his bike was a little container that looked like it could have held gas, but upon examining the two-wheeled chariot of Sir Crazy, I noticed there was no other mechanism on the bike that would have made it run off of gas in any way.
I must have appeared bemused as I washed my windows. Biker Man yelled, "I need to wash my windows too! Oh wait, I don't have any! HA!"
He mumbled some other funny stuff (boy do I wish I had this encounter recorded) while heading into the gas station to do who knows what (thankfully he didn't hold up the place).
Upon his return, I suppose he was still under the illusion he needed to trick us all into believing he was in a car instead of a bike. As he pulled away, he yelled, "VROOM VROOM! HA HA HA!"
I have no idea what that man was on, but I want some!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Decapitated Ratatouille

My mom is in town for Thanksgiving. My sissy is staying with her friend Michelle and Michelle's 13-year old daughter, Emily. Emily has a hamster. Emily also has a cat. Britney has a cat. All three sleep in Emily's room where my mom is sleeping for the duration of her visit. Is anyone covering their mouth and saying, "OH NO!" yet?

Saturday night my mom was up all night to the sound of a screaming mouse. She explained to me she thought the cats were doing their job. Around 6am the screams finally subsided. In the morning, my mom found the decapitated "mouse" saturated in a pool of blood, and placed it in a plastic baggy, and took it out to Michelle. Mom said, "Uh, Michelle, did you know you have a mouse?"
Michelle's response, "OH NO! That's Emily's hamster!"

Keep in mind, my mom was totally ok with all of this when she thought the rodent was a mouse. After Michelle's revelation my mom explained to me, "I will be haunted by the screams of that poor hamster for the rest of my life."

How would poor Mickey feel about all of this?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Turkey Hiking CATastrophe

This Saturday I participated in what has to be one of the most monstrous games Provo folks have created - Turkey bowling. Oh yes, we take an uncooked Turkey and huck it down a plastic "lane" at some bowling pins. I guess it is a pretty good way to tenderize the meat, but talk about the threat for germs -ew. I do need to take a moment to brag about the strike I got - oh yeah! No gutter ball (or should I say butter ball) for me!
After that interesting activity, which perhaps we should all participate in at least once in our lives, I went for a short 4-hour hike with my dearest male friend. We saw some deer, I fell 4 times, and marveled at how surreal the fall foilage seemed from above. I still am struck with awe when I realize we can entirely escape from civilization with a mere two-hour hike up. Walking back down the mountain almost seems like a moment of defeat, a moment to return to reality.
I jumped in the shower as soon as I got home, then ran a friend to urgent care. Once her sister arrived, I went straight to pick up another friend who was the bomb diggity enough to treat me to dinner and a movie. 'B'eware of "B movie." It really isn't as great as a Seinfeld lover would think.
Monday morning I was uploading some photos online for my mom. I had also promised to take my friend's dog out while said friend (the same one from urgent care coincidentally) was at work. I left my sister's computer on to continue uploading while I left for about 15 minutes. When I returned I found the laptop dangling from the stand I had perched it on. My cat had knocked it over and totally destroyed the screen. After bawling for awhile (dumb, I know) thinking about how I was using her laptop because I need one and how I am unemployed and can't afford this, etc, my dad returned my phone call to let me know the screen replacement warranty isn't up until the 26th of this month. WHEW! Not only that, he is a stud muffin enough to send his laptop out to Utah for us to use until Brit's is fixed. More Hallelujah chorus!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hannah Montana

Hold up, I forgot something major in this timeline of postings - the Hannah Montana concert!!!!
That's right! I own a shirt that says, "Hannah Montana rocks!" Not of my own doing, mind you. My sister was the master plotter in this conspiracy. October 27th she and I and a bunch of her friends attended the concert of the biggest ticket seller of the year, so I hear. The best part of all of this was that we had her friend's 13-year old daughter with us, who is a MEGA Hannah fan and had NO idea we were going to the concert. We stopped at our favorite place to eat, Sweet Tomatoes, on the way to the concert and managed to each slip away and put on our Hannah shirts until she realized we were all wearing aforementioned shirts and she exclaimed, "What? Where did you guys get those shirts? What's going on?"
Brit strategically slipped her ticket in front of her at this point in time and I asked, "Hey, Em, what's that in front of you?" She picked it up and did everything she could to keep from screaming, including yelling, "I can't scream because we are in a public place!" She was so cute!!!! She was even shaking!!!
So, the concert was fun, but the best part was helping this 13-year old fulfill one of her dreams:-)

Dancing with Ellen

I have often resented working simply for the fact that it keeps me from doing many other things I'd love to do. I figured, "No day like today," and have been jumping at every opportunity to do what I can while I can.
What can I do? Attend the Ellen DeGeneres show in Burbank, CA! I managed to get a ticket and plotted from there. I also now have the direct number for the audience coordinator for the Ellen show, mwahaha!
I started the trip by stopping for a night in Vegas to visit my old roommate, Bepa. She showed me the non-strip sights - including, but not limited to, the ghetto classroom at the elementary school she teaches for. After attending church with her and witnessing a lovely Vegas-church debate about modesty, I headed for my hotel in LA.
Monday morning (November 5), I was ironing my clothes and such ready for my 5th TV talk show appearance (others include Jane Pauley, Montel Williams, the View, and David Letterman). I received a phone call from the folks at Ellen letting me know that, due to the writers' strike, the taping was cancelled. NOOOO!!!! I saw a little bit of my dream swirling around the flushing toilet of hope. Then I realized the nice lady was offering me tickets for the recording the next day. YES! So what did I do the rest of the day?
I drove around LA for awhile, which led me to a shopping center with a very premature display of a three-story Christmas tree. Such an abomination. What happened to Thanksgiving? Around 2pm, I picked up my friend Takeshi from work and he directed me around LA - showing me Beverly Hills, the LA temple, Santa Monica Beach, and culminating with treating me to an exotic dinner at a Korean Barbeque. If you have never been, you simply must find one. They bring the raw meat to your table, at which there is a grill imbedded in the table, and you cook it yourself! Spectacular!
Tuesday was Ellen. She's friggin' awesome. Why Ellen? Last year when I was going through what has been the hardest time of my life, I felt I was lifting the weight of the world if I even tried to smile. Somehow, whenever I watched Ellen, I would always end up smiling, maybe even laughing. She will never know what a light in the darkness she was for me, but I know and I know that ever since those times I have desperately desired to attend her show. Our celebrity guest, Vince Vaughn, was prerecorded, so we didn't see any celebrities, but I really didn't care because I was there for Ellen! We received a Starbucks gift basket with a $25 gift card! I gave away my coffee being as I don't drink the stuff, but free money is always fun!
After the show, I drove up to Lake Isabella, California to spend the night with my old roommate and dear friend, Krissy. She stayed up late with me talking despite her exhaustion from taking care of her little girl. I miss those days:-) The next day she showed me around her hometown and took me to her parents' house where she grew up. We parted ways after she treated me to a yummy lunch at her favorite local Mexican place. The area she lives in is spectacular. I mean, where else does a community advertise one of the perks of moving there as "Paved roads!!!" Yes, it was in the middle of nowhere, but that means an amazingly beautiful drive back to a major highway!!!!
Wednesday night I stayed in Vegas with Bepa again. She works full time teaching at an inner-city school, then has Master's program schooling full time, but found time to meet me on the strip for watching the Bellagio fountains and scarfing some gellato. While at the fountains, we were blessed to hear some cowboys ranting about how that was their first night in Vegas. We giggled to ourselves, being judgemental in our heads and sharing knowing glances at each other, then were graced with an amazing event - watching them walk away. Seriously, those guys had just dismounted their horses about 2 minutes ago, I believe, and must have been riding them for at least 12 hours. I have never seen such a walk in all my life! Thank heavens for small, amusing favors and bow-legged cowboys!
I returned home pretty early Thursday morning, sighing as I exited in Provo. Back to life, back to reality.

To bleach, or not to bleach...

When I arrived home in Ohio, one of the first conversations I heard between my mother and father was something about how some articles of my father's clothing were getting bleached or about bleach spots appearing on random things. Was I observant enough to pick up on the foreshadowing? You bet not!
The day I was leaving to return to Utah, I washed an old sweatshirt of mine along with a new prized possession - an NYC sweatshirt I bought to replace an old one I loved so much I had to get a replica. Imagine my disappointment when I pulled my babies from the washer (along with a pair of pajama pants and a pair of exercise pants) only to find them newly adorned with bleach spots! My mom had been bleaching a shirt on top of the washer and hadn't washed it off before I had set my clothes in the area. I threw the shirts in the trashbag while my mom watched me, waiting for the same fume that emits from my ears when McMappy is around. Lucky for us all, I have no temper about other things at all. I simply said, "Don't worry, Mom, I'm not mad! I'm sad, but getting mad isn't going to bring my sweatshirt back."
I think my mom had other ideas. I walked by the trashbag later only to see my massacred babies had been removed. Weird, I thought.
You see, while I was waiting at the airport, I got a call something like this:
"What color were your sweatshirts before the bleach?"
"Purple/Pink and Light blue/Navy blue/White. Why?"
"Well, now we have a Pink/Pink and a light blue/lighter blue/white."
"What???" (confusion here)
"Well, I wanted to see if I soaked the whole shirt in bleach if it would do anything. I don't think they look bad, the blue one actually still looks cute."
"You bleached them again?!?"
Well, yeah, I mean, since you were going to throw them away, I figured it couldn't hurt to try..."
"MOM, enough with the bleach!!!! You are on bleaching restriction! You are addicted!"
"Well, I'll leave them on your bed and you can look at them at Christmas time and tell me if you still want them."

I am hoodie cursed. Another sweatshirt I bought in Maine shrunk from a Large to a chipmunk size. Then, I "stole" one of my mother's NYC hoodies (and told her only to discover she didn't even know it was hers!). I washed it when I returned to Utah and realized it was one of the articles of clothing she had never worn, because it too shrunk from about an extra large to toddler sized. WHY?!? Will the gods of the hoodies please take mercy on me?!?

Declared Disaster Area

After Mom lost a lot of weight, she went crazy with her elatement of buying new clothes. The past few years things have accumulated, and it resulted in this:
five entire closets full to the brim with clothing - unworn, worn, tagged, untagged, out-of-style, totally hip. You name it, it was in there; including 3 pairs of very shiny, very bright spandex. Ouch. You want a shirt replicating the American Flag? You got it! How about a corduroy tie-dye vest? You got it! You want an identical pashmina wrap or pashmina sweater in 27 different colors? Oh, we can provide.
I took everything out of the closets and covered the living room. My name is Larissa and organizing is my specialty! After donating eight bags of clothing and two bags of shoes to Goodwill, I am proud to say my mother is down to two full closets and 2 half closets. Still a little much, I know, but we have come so far!

Botched Proposal

I was dating a wonderful young man for awhile. We met playing co-ed softball this summer and things were swinging right along. Let's just say, we felt we had both hit a home-run in the bottom of the ninth with no men on and only one run to score to win the game....aka...we were pretty darned satisfied.

He happens to be from Ohio (I know, weird) and was going to be home over Labor Day for his brother's reception. I hadn't been home awhile myself, so decided I'd go home for that weekend myself. He came to my house for a day, then we headed up to his place in northeast Ohio - stopping to visit Grandma along the way.

Upon returning to Provo, reality hit a little hard. I realized I would have no job, which meant I could go anywhere to find a new job, but I had this amazing young man. Very quickly I felt I needed to decide how serious our relationship was going to be.

On my birthday (September 20), he decided to propose. He planned an adorable scavenger hunt, at the end of which I realized he was going to propose. At the final location, he was waiting for me in a Tuxedo at the intramural fields where we had met. I realized at that moment I was not prepared to be engaged to him. When he asked me to open the final bag, I was reluctant for awhile, then asked, "There is nothing life changing in that bag is there?" He said, "Not in the bag........not tonight, huh?"

Soon after, I went home to Ohio for 3 weeks. I can tell you a million wonderful things about him. I have nothing but love and respect in my heart for him, but I came to know that I was not to marry him.
How can you continue a relationship when you know someone is ready to marry you that moment and you know you are never going to? Or someone who is headed that direction and you never will be?

About four days after my return to Utah (Sunday October 28), he knew something was different and we had a heart-to-heart. There were only momentary tears and the relationship was over. I do miss him, but I do know this is what is best. Ironically, I was sick all that night throwing up, leaving me in bed all the next day watching old edited horror movies (yeah for Halloween time on TV). Maybe it was a blessing...

46 down, 4 to go

I have a goal to visit all 50 states before I am 30. Yes, it is true! There is no rhyme or reason, just one of those silly things we wake up one morning and realize would be pretty fandabulous.

After I suddenly found some not-so-employed time on my hands, I decided to head for the hills for a couple of weeks. Not the hills really, but the flat plains of Ohio. I knew I may never get the opportunity again in my life to spend so much time at home.

I let mom and dad know that I'd be taking off for a week while I was home to tour the New England states. Most of that area needed to be crossed off my list despite the fact that I have been to New York half a dozen times. My mom was able to get off of work for a few days to come with me! you have it:

Thursday October 4: We crossed the border to Niagra Falls, Canada, then made our way to Rochester, New York. I stopped a near calamity when I realized mom was leaning over the railing by the Falls with her camera draped precariously over the side.

Friday October 5: Mom realized how close we were to Palmyra/the Sacred Grove, so we took a little trip to that area. Not before, however, getting misguided by Mom's GPS (lovingly named "McMappy") two times. We wandered around the Sacred Grove for awhile. I was enjoying the serene walk and then I realized Mom was looking for the exact spot at which Joseph Smith has his vision. The exact location isn't known, so after some convincing we tried to find our way back out - what a maze!!!!
We then headed for the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont, or what I lovingly refer to as "Mecca." Two holy locations in one day!!! The tour was kinda amusing. Getting misguided every block for about 5 blocks in a row by McMappy was not amusing. Picture this - I got SO frustrated, I literally grabbed the printed instructions from my mother and ripped them up so that we would only have the map and McMappy to consult. All three sources were telling us different ways to go and we simply were not getting anywhere!!! I do not recommend the Creme Brulee ice cream, nor the Caramel something or other, but I highly recommend the Pumpkin Cheesecake- yumminess!
We pulled into Bangor, Maine at about 12:30 AM. My mom's best friend's mom lives there - follow? My mom's best friend also happened to be visiting her mom at the time, so it was a good time with good company.

Saturday October 6: My mother's friend, husband, and mother showed us all around Bangor. We visited Stephen King's home, toured the coastal town of Bar Harbor where I tried my first Lobster (no butter, please!), and relaxed for awhile. This was also the day my mother's friend introduced me to a ginormous cookie sandwich with my name SCREAMING from its' every molecule. I engulfed it accordingly. This became the night of "Here some frosting, there some frosting, everywhere some frosting, frosting." I don't know how, but that cookie sandwich haunted me from the second we became one. I found frosting on my shirt and teddy bear, so I changed into my PJs. I went downstairs only to discover the frosting on my PJs, then my hair, then almost everything I touched. I awoke the next morning with frosting in my bed, frosting on my throw-blanket in the car, and on my water bottle. How the ????

Sunday October 7: We headed off to Salem, Massachusetts. I have never been big for all the hullabaloo surrounding this place, but since we were so close on our way to Boston, the visit had to be made. I literally felt like I was walking through some weird part of an amusement park. Everything there is entirely commercialized, and you have to pay $12 to get in any museum or attraction. On top of that, we made the mistake of being there in super-crowded October and would have to wait for two hours just to get in any tours. No thanks! I just walked around by myself for a couple of hours and then we were on our way. I realized later this night, after we had checked into our hotel in Lexington and were trying to find food, that my mother can no longer see to drive in the dark. Every curb became an object highly desireable for hitting. My mom and I walked into a restaurant, her looking highly frazzled, and I took the keys from her while saying, "I am taking the keys from you. You can't drive right now." I wonder how many people thought she was drunk?

Monday October 8: Boston, baby! I graduated BYU with a most excellent young lady who was so amazing as to meet me in Boston, despite her home being in New Hampshire! Her brother, who lives in Connecticut also met us there, as did her five year old nephew. Later in the day, I was surprised to have her husband join us as well after he had returned from work/school. FUN! Her brother happens to be the best tour guide I could have asked for and she is super cultured. I believe I received a better tour from them than the one I had paid $25 for earlier in the day! We ate some amazing Indian food for dinner. They had me try my first Mango Lassie (sp?) and I am in love! My mom thought they were all so wonderful even though she had decided to part ways with us early on in the day.

Tuesday October 9: Off to NYC! We stayed in Edison, New Jersey and commuted into the city via a train! Mom became amazed with my intuition regarding transportation to, from, and around NYC. Yes, be in awe of my wonderous abilities! We didn't get into the city until around 6pm, so we just had some time to walk around, visit H&M, and devour some devilishly divine frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity. As is typical in NYC, where the city loves to torture tourists, we walked an hour in the rain back to the train station. I was soaked from top to bottom, yet was more amused than upset. Sometimes you can only laugh. Of course, when McMappy is misdirecting you is NEVER a laughing matter. I'd long since banished him from directly us though, so we were headed in exactly the correct direction with me in control.

Wednesday October 10: All day in NYC! Mom was tired, so I ran around by myself most of the day. I was able to see "Mary Poppins!" Tap dancing on the ceiling people! It was spectacular!!!! I am SO surprised it isn't more popular, as I am pretty sure I could watch it ten times in a row. I felt as if I were watching a magic show the whole time! And I am serious, the man tap danced on the ceiling!!! Mom came in just in time to catch the evening show of "Legally Blonde." Definitely a fun little show - way better than I expected it to be actually. Ironically, we returned to Ohio to discover MTV would be broadcasting the show three days later! I made mom stop at ESPN Zone for my favorite salad and dessert before the show. Can I just say cookie baked in a pan topped with homemade ice cream drizzled with fudge, caramel, and shaved chocolate? If any food were sinful, this would be it....and I am a sinner through and through!
The attempts to sleep this evening were somewhat thrwarted by an air conditioning unit with a vendetta against my mother. Every three minutes on the dot, the darned thing would kick on with a noise that sounded like a train barreling through the room. She described her experience as Chinese water torture. Luckily, I have been blessed with being able to sleep through just about anything when I am exhausted. Not so luckily, that meant I had to drive all the next day while my mom tried to recouperate in the back seat of the mini van. Oh, did I mention having to drive the mini-van through NYC? What a joke!

Thursday October 11:
The drive home....*sigh.* It all happened so fast! We took a slight detour to visit Delaware, the last of the New England states on my list. I followed my printed instructions exactly only to find out....wrong! McMappy was in his usual state of blissfully telling us to go around an entire block until we were back where we started, then having us do it all again a block later, so he was banished again. We were left with me, my rage against directions, and my mom. Mom was desperately attempting everything she could to keep me from exploding while she tried to decipher the highways and back roads in Pennsylvania. There is a reason I am not a mother yet and that is because I cannot yet handle the lack of patience my children will have. I will forever be in awe of my mother's ability to keep her cool while steam of rage is shooting from my ears. I used to have a horrible temper, which has not manifest itself in quite a few years. Needless to say, I was so disappointed in myself and quite embarassed. I knew we'd get home eventually, so why get upset? Ugh. Anyway, by the time we rolled into Piqua around 1 am or so, I was so hyped up on energy drinks that I couldn't get to sleep until about 4. Oy!

So....that's the trip! 46 states down, 4 to go!!!

Path not-so-Wise and no London

I believe I failed to mention that I am unemployed.
I have been since the first of October.
What happened?
My company decided to reorganize to facilitate growth. We were small and scattered all over the country. They decided to put all of the product development, etc. people in the same areas as the person in charge of coordinating those projects. My job was product development and all of those folks were to go to the middle-of-nowhere in Ohio. You may be thinking, "Ohio?!?" Yes, my homestate. So why not? Well, the main man there was none other than the man that had been so verbally "abusive" earlier in the year that I had had to tape record our conversations. Also, there was the looming threat of social isolation. The company was fully aware I would not make that move and sacrifice.
I have been wanting a change of scenery since about March or April, so it all is working out for the better. AND since they released me through no fault of my own and did not hire anyone to replace me, I have been eligible to collect unemployment. Which, as most of you probably don't know, is NOT government funded - it is an insurance your employer pays quarterly. It isn't much, but it is getting me by until I find a job that will finally make me happy!!!
Where am I looking? ANYWHERE!!!

And what is this about London? Brit is no longer headed there. She has decided to stay in Utah for her job here until at least May. I may be selfish, ok, I AM selfish, but I am reallllllly glad to have my little Brit the Crit around for a little longer. I wonder how long I'll be around though...