Friday, September 30, 2011

Trunk Snacks

Any responsible young lady will keep snacks in the trunk of her car.  After all, one never knows when one must provide for a hungry passenger.  Or stuff your face.  Whichever comes first.

What are my trunk snacks of choice?

I am glad you asked!  I enjoy fluorescent orange crackers with the peanut butter in the middle.  Not just any fluorescent orange crackers will do, I prefer the Austin brand.  In the summer time, the peanut butter melts-ish, so then I go with the snack-sized bags of Stacy's Pita Chips.  But mmm mmmm I love me some cheesy peanut butter crackers!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

When the Going Gets Tough

You've all probably noticed that my life often echoes the sentiments of an old Andy Williams ditty, "Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows."

Lately, however, I've been having a bummer of a time keeping my head above water.  I know that I will do it and with flying colors.  I know that life's roller coasters are what make the ride so much fun.  Isn't the uphill swing always just one swoop away? 

Truth be told, nothing in particular has happened that is all that bad singularly, but the weight of it all together is pulling me down.
  • My car has died twice in the past month.  
  • My dryer is on its deathbed, complete with the horrific *thump thump* *thump thump* soundtrack. 
  • My car insurance payment is upon me (I only pay twice a year, so it hurts that much more).  
  • I am trying to go home to my family in Ohio for Christmas and plane tickets are $500.  
  • I am trying to organize a family trip to NYC next year - me and the three couples.  
  • All the fluorescent lights in my master bathroom are officially dead, which means getting ready in the lamp light of my bedroom.  
  • My carpets are dreadful and need cleaned stat.  
  • I may have a problem with my vocal chords which is affecting other areas of my health and need to go to a specialist sooner than later. This also means no shows or singing for me right now, which is torture as I watch so many auditions and castings going on.  I am looking forward to seeing all the shows and being a much better friend to my non-show friends.
  • Let's also not forget the great birthday party cancellation and reinstatement of 2011.
Do you notice an obvious theme here?  Money, money, money, and more money down the tubes.  I've been so good about saving and this makes me sad to throw it all away.

The not obvious theme?  All of these things make me starkly aware of being alone.

I've never had to shop for a new dryer or remove ceiling panels to change eight-foot fluorescent tubes (that I still need to shop for) or take off work/rearrange all my furniture so the carpet cleaners can come or be in charge of a vacation as the 7th wheel with three couples.  Possibly facing a sad diagnosis at the doctor?  I don't think anyone would want to go through that alone.

Most of these things are exciting - New Dryer!  Vacation!  Clean!  Light!  Yet, they all make me wish that I weren't doing them alone (and not paying for them alone would be nice too).  

I feel guilty when I ask people for help.  I ask, but the guilt is almost as arduous as trying to stack couches by myself.  And how many times will someone listen to my sob story before they get sick of me?  "I don't have any family within 2,000 miles and I live alone.  Boohoohoo.  Pity party for me and everyone is invited."  

The reality right now, even though I know it will pass, is this: I am lonely.  Sometimes I feel incredibly, completely alone even though I know I am not.  I think this is why I place entirely too much importance in my friendships - my friends are my family here, they are all I've got.  I don't know if they realize this.  I don't know if they know that something so simple is everything to me.  I don't let on.  I'm a strong woman.  And I rarely let anyone see weakness.  But I need them and everything they do.

To top it all off, I have bitten this one part of my lip accidentally and blood-drawingly hard every single day for about six days running.   I even woke up one morning last week with a big ole fat lip wound.

Six months down the road, I'll be so proud of myself for getting through and will hardly give this ugh time a thought.  I do love my life tres tres beacoup and have taken full advantage of every opportunity.  Right now is just a wee bit ... difficult.

I'm doing it though!  I'll kick these hard times to kingdom come!  I can. I will. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


You may have noticed the seasonal change to my blog background recently.

The crisp fall air and prematurely darkening evenings are sending me into a tizzy.

I find myself wanting to harvest, bake apple crisp, simmer up Cincinnati-style chili, deliver surprise baked goodies, go for long walks, have scary movie nights, spend late nights laughing with friends, bake breakfast omelettes, bust out the electric blanket, redecorate, take road trips to look at the mountain scenery, and the list goes on. 

The thing is, I want more than anything to share these experiences.

Be prepared for a lot of random invites, friends, be prepared.

What are you looking forward to most about this season?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Great Mousecapade

"AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!  Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!"

Imagine hearing this exclamation as you are sitting at your desk, minding your own business, working away.

"There's a mouse!  Mouse!  Mouse!"

Ah ha.  So this would be the problem.  A mouse.  Really, ladies? 

I immediately get up to find the poor creature, then get a container to catch him in.  Men tried to take over my duty, but not before I grabbed him by the tail as he was escaping under a wall.  I stood guard, while they ran to the other side of the wall and actually caught him...ironically, right under my desk.  Sneaky thing.  Best entertainment in our office all year.

Ain't no mouse getting by this farm girl*.  So not scream-worthy.  Are you afraid of mice?

*For all concerned parties, the little guy is now happily living in the field next to our building.

Man or Woman

I went on a date once.  Don't be shocked.

We were walking down an enchanting little street in an enchanting little neighborhood when all of that splendor was interrupted by some raucous punk teenagers.  You know how it goes.

Then, I hear this: "Is that a man or a woman?  DUDE, check it out."

My date was in the midst of a story, so he, luckily, didn't hear a thing or let on.  Good thing cause my inner cougar wanted to turn around and pounce the snot outta that kid.

I am, quite clearly, a woman.  The only other person around at that time was my date.  My sweet, kind date.

I understand people amusing themselves like this, as I'm guilty.  Heck, I've even referred to myself as a "mean girl" several times the past few days.  But my date.  He seemed secure enough in his masculinity, but he was a tender soul and I know that comment would have devastated him. I'm sure some lil blonde chick up in punk teenager's grill would have made the kid all the more amused, so I refrained.   But so help me, so help me, no one will talk about my friends like that without a good lecture next time.  Hey, I may talk big about pouncing and claws and what-not, but I was a Public Relations graduate after all, I know how to give a sweetheart verbal lashing before they know what hit 'em...and they'd even thank me in the end. 

Have any outlandish things happened to you on dates?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sophia Vergara

Sophia Vergara may just be is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace this earth.

Last Sunday, I caught a quick few minutes of the Emmy Awards and was quite pleased to see that her red dress is a very similar style to "the dress" I picked out for myself (If I didn't adhere to LDS dress standards).

Check it.  Her dress has a sash over the straight neckline then a knot, the dress I'm wearing simply has a knot in the upper right.  The main similarity is the flowing material with form fitted bodice and the knot between the hip and thigh on the left side.

I have similar taste to a sexy lady!  Yeehaw! (exclamation in honor of the season opener of Modern Family

 *Disclaimer* - Publishing a picture of myself next to Sophia may just be the stupidest thing I've ever done on my blog.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Feed the Ducks

Sometimes I like to eat breakfast on my balcony.

Sometimes I throw bits of my breakfast to the ducks from my balcony.

And then this happens (picture).  Great way to start the day!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Thank you, Smith's on 45th South.

Thank you, man wearing farmer shirt and overalls.

No thank you, phone flash, that went off when I tried to be sneaky and take this photo.


Dare I admit that for my birthday I was gifted a cat toy?   More accurately, I guess the tiny tiger was gifted a toy.

I had my bag of loot on the dining table when I left for work.  I came home to find the bag overturned and the cat toy, still attached to the cardboard, on the floor several feet away.  Looks like Conor loves opening presents more than I do.

She followed me doing her, "I am cute and swooshing my fluffy tail and purring" nonsense the whole time I readied her new gift.  I couldn't figure out why she wanted the toy so badly, as she has never acted so attentively interested before.  She has also never encountered catnip before.

Within two minutes of handing her her new mouse, the whole thing was drenched in drool.   I tried to take a photo, but she simply wouldn't hold still, so you get the below blurries.  I couldn't help but wonder, "Is this healthy?  Is my cat high?"  Alas, I continued laughing and am proud to report that Conor's first catnip encounter was full of entertainment for both of us.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Gift from Gym

I thought, after all these years together, Gym knew me better than to give me this gift for my birthday.

My birthday is always the day each year I run five miles (43:25 this year) to reassure myself that I'm not getting out-of-shape again.  I'm so not a runner, so if I can do that, I can do anything.  Gymy dearest, you should know this!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Introduction Anxiety

Does anyone else out there get anxiety the moment you go to introduce one colleague/friend/acquaintance to another?

Sometimes I feel like defaulting to, "Everyone introduce yourselves!"  Cause it never fails that I get to that one person I have known longest and my mind blanks, even if just for a millisecond.  In fact, I often preempt others' introduction anxiety by jumping in and introducing myself.  Which I know is improper etiquette, but totally cool if I save someone from a heart attack.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Closer Proximity Sweaters

What is the deal with those people in the gym who jump on a cardio machine six inches away from you on the right even though there are a dozen empty machines in a row to your left?  Is there an explanation for this phenomenon?  There has to have been some kind of a study or sociological experiment done on this...

Never you mind that.  I've got a trick up my sleeve to rid myself of the unwanted close-proximity runner.


They linger?  Fake cough again every minute or so - sound like you are hacking up something.  Sure, it'll take some of your running energy away, but it'll get rid of 'em.  Yes, I'm serious.  Yes, I've done this - I am not ashamed.  Okay, maybe a little, but the entire cardio cinema was empty and crazy talker on the phone lady plops next to me?  Oh, Honey, I don't think so! 

On a side note, watching the end of Marley and Me while running, if you are a pet lover, is not a good idea.

Yep, this is even my gym!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Birthday Blunders

Hey, Everyone!  I'm one digit richer!

And I have a confession.  An embarrassing one.

Yesterday, I cancelled my birthday celebrations for tonight.  Don't worry, less than three hours later I reinstated the plans.

You may be wondering, "But, Larissa, what sort of crazies would grip a person's mind and make them do this?"

What luck if you are - I have an answer!

First of all, let me state how awkward it is to throw your own birthday party.  "Hey, Everyone!  I'm awesome!  Come celebrate me!  Hosted by me!"  Feels strange, right?

Second, of the forty or so invited, only four people responded positively.  I began to feel I was merely burdening everyone with yet *another* birthday thing they felt obligated to attend.  I can relate, I'm a little burned out with the seven (or is it eight?) birthday parties I've attended in the first eighteen days of the month, but I love my friends and feel incredibly guilty about the ones I miss (sorry, Toni!).  I also began to feel unimportant as some of the excuses were trivial.  "Oh, yes, walking your chinchilla is more important than me." 

Third, I thought back on the past couple of years about what a horrible friend I've been.  I had this sinking feeling that I've been such a terrible friend that maybe no one really cares any more.  Dumb, I know.  I do all I can, and I know my besties know this, but I also let guilt eat away at my conscience.  I just used to...I used to be the person whose parties no one would dare miss.  I would throw parties so crowded you'd have to crawl over people to get anywhere and you were jammed in like sardines.  I'd buy a dozen pizzas and bake dozens of cookies and not a crumb would be remaining.  And then I started performing again and gradually they've all fallen to the wayside.

After I cancelled, I received at least a dozen e-mails from people (most from people who can't come) who were determined that I needed to celebrate even though hardly anyone can be there.  So, of the handful of people who can show up, doggone it, it'll be the best party ever.  Party of five!  Or more, perhaps?

A few die-hards have even committed to indulging my stupid shark movie fantasies with a post-party rendezvous to "Shark Night 3-D."

Happy Birthday to me!  Maybe this year I'll actually grow up:-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mysterious Garlic

I need Scooby-Doo - a mystery needs to be solved.

For about two years now I will occasionally smell garlic and, upon engaging my magical sniffer powers, I pinpoint the source to my fingers.

Now, I appreciate me some garlic, don't get me wrong, but I don't regularly dip my fingers in vats of it.  In fact, if cooking for my lonesome, I avoid the use of garlic altogether (bad experience with a guy I dated overusing it on everything).  I thought I had it pinpointed to a certain drawer in my kitchen, but clearly I was wrong.

So where is this smell coming from?! Two years! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

ATTENTION Male Readers


You like them, right?

See, I've long said that if I were a man, I'd like me a curvy woman.  I cannot describe how attractive a healthy woman is, someone who glows inside out because she is healthy and happy.  We have, especially as of late, seen report after report saying men would prefer someone slightly overweight versus slightly underweight. 

Like in this photo below, you can see the firm, rounded muscles under Beyonce's skin.  I find this so much more attractive than skin on bone even if you can see the tiny muscles.

So, what I want to know is, is this true?  Men, what do you think?

Feel free to comment anonymously.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tuck in Your Skirt

Yesterday afternoon during lunch break, I ran to visit Gym for half my workout because of my jam-packed post-work schedule.

After, I stood in front of the mirror in the locker room, trying to make myself look presentable again.  I tousled my hair, washed off my face, slung my gym bag over my shoulder, and then noticed a breeze. 

Somehow my skirt had become tucked into my unders in the perfect fashion to cover the necessities, butt barely.

One, I don't know how this happens.

Two, WHY didn't any of the ladies who walked by say anything?!

I am a firm advocate of telling a lady her bum is hanging out.  I realize a small percentage may actually be intending to do this, but most are not.  Friend or foe, comrade or stranger, you say something.

Do you?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Look How Far You've Come

Sometimes, I look at old pictures, and all I can think is, "Wow, you've come a long way, Baby!"  Fortunately, in more ways than the one...

She's six or seven months pregnant and I was...not.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beau Jest

Last night I had the pleasure of sharing the evening with film connoisseur Dennis at Calvary Chapel Salt Lake to view Parable Productions' Beau Jest.

In the words of director Annie Fields:
"Beau Jest is a super funny comedy about a young Jewish girl dating a gentile, (by the name of Chris Cringle, no less) and just can't bear to tell her parents yet. So, she hires a Jewish actor to play her boyfriend at her father's birthday dinner. Well...turns out the only thing Jewish about the actor is, he did Fiddler on the Roof in summer stock once and she is mortified, but too late, her parents have arrived. The fun ensues as they fake their way thru dinner and the parents love him so much, they invite him to the Passover Supper the next week."

When a friend asked me what the show was about after I had seen it, I replied, "Kind of like the Jewish version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding."  That's really the closest comparison I can make.  But you know what that means?  Laughs!

The 90s setting took me straight back to Saved by the Bell glory days.  I also found myself grateful that our tastes in decorating have evolved.  The set was simple with attention paid to the little details - an actual 35mm camera, a speed-dial machine, a pager, and more nostalgic treats.

We found ourselves a little baffled with the lack of romantic chemistry between the pair in the opening sequence - Sarah (Marissa Poole) and Chris (Josh Shimizu).  Then Sarah's family arrives and her brother, Joel (Ren Shore) was like a bump on a log.  I leaned over to Dennis and said, "I bet this is a set up."  I must have been wearing my smarty pants because later in the show *spoiler* we learn that Sarah's chemistry with Chris isn't as genuine as we first believe and that Joel is an observant therapist who has caught on to the whole ruse.

When Bob/Dave (Ed Farnsworth) enters the stage, the chemistry between Bob/Dave and Sarah set sparks flying.  Fellow audience members verified this with me. They truly worked for me as a romantic duo, which is rare, even on Broadway.  I wanted to squeal when their longing tension finally led up to that first passionate kiss.  And who can blame Sarah for falling for him?  He looks like John Krasinski!

My favorite duo of the night, however, were the long-time married Abe (Neal Barth) and Miriam (Nancy Jensen).  They bicker with the best of 'em, yet in a totally non-tension raising way.  You can see how Sarah's desire to please these two serves as the catalyst for the entire show.  In the romance department, not much is written lovey-dovey for these characters, but you do get all the glory of the curmudgeonly ways of a familiar married couple.  I have to admit, rare is the occasion I see anyone as skilled on the stage as Nancy Jensen, but Neal Barth carries his own as her stage husband and then some.  If you like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then you'll love his performance.  You can tell he is a seasoned veteran, even without reading his many professional credits in the program.

The four main actors/actresses carried the show in a manner creating the sense of unity you like to see on-stage.

The brother, Joel, was a disjointed character, even in the staging, as he always sat off to the side of the group in a chair alone.  When we learn he is an "observer," we realize this is intentional, but it does create a lack of interest or like for his character for me.  His character does have some redemption for me at the end of the show when he reveals his knowledge and shows his unconditional love and support.

Chris, the scorned lover, is fully convincing and adorable (can I use that word to describe a male?  Oh well, he is!) in his role, yet, you don't entirely warm up to him because Sarah doesn't love him, so we probably shouldn't either.  One of my favorite bits was actually when he and fellow suitor, Bob/Dave compared engagement rings and Chris realized he possessed the bigger diamond.  This was a side bit away from the main dialogue on the stage, but brilliant.

Although outweighed by the fun, there were some boring moments in the script, such as a passover dinner that takes entirely too long to get through, but is integral in establishing the Jewish culture.  Which leads me to one of the things I found most fascinating about this show: the culture.  I'm not too up-to-speed on non-Christian religions and I found the show as much educational as I did entertaining.  I realize much of it was "stereotype" and made to be humorous, but I still believe it establishes the principles of heritage, tradition, love for God, dedication, and family.

Oh, speaking of family friendly... There is a bit of dialogue about circumcision that caught me completely off-guard.  Circumcision, however, is something of importance in Jewish culture and, dare I hang my head in shame at admitting this (Dennis will rat me out if I don't), I found it hilarious.

Take all these details, tie them together with a pretty little bow made of a few dozen laughs, and wrap the gift with the traditional family-friendly happy ending.  I enjoyed my evening and consider my $5 well-spent.  The actors all have chutzpah, the theater is comfortable, the sound does not falter, the staff is uber friendly, there are no meeskeit's, the show was not laboriously long, and you will laugh often.  I do, however, recognize this show is not for everyone, but if you are thinking about going, this is my encouragement to go.  I was pleasantly surprised!

You can still see the show September 16, 17, 18, & 19 at 7pm for $5.00.  You can buy tickets at the gift shop prior or you can call (801) 264-9999. Find the Facebook group here. 

Bite Your Tongue

Last night, I chomped away merrily on my pre-bedtime snack of a bowl of Special K fruit something or other.

Then it happened.

I chomped down incredibly, not-so-merrily, hard upon my tongue.  You know how you usually take a few seconds to recover and then the pain subsides as blood fills your mouth?  Thirty seconds later, I still could not concentrate on anything except the pain.  Agony.  I couldn't swallow, didn't want to swallow for fear of what might be there.  I cannot recall ever biting my tongue with such vigor or hearing that particular crunch noise. As soon as I could breathe again, I gingerly opened my mouth to look in the bathroom mirror.

No blood.  But a ginormous blood blister reared its ugly globuleness at me.

This morning I can hardly chew.  I think I would rather have the little nip/cut bite than this bruisey, blistery throbby business.  And seriously, your tongue is in your mouth all the time.  How do we magically just chomp on it sometimes?  Are we that clutzy?

Any of you have awesome "bite your tongue" stories?

Perfect For You

"He's not perfect.  You aren't either.  And the two of you will never be perfect.  But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold on to him and give him the most you can.  He isn't going to quote poetry, he's not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break.  Don't hurt him.  Don't change him.  And don't expect more than he can give.  Don't analyze.  Smile when he makes you happy.  Yell when he makes you mad.  And miss him when he's not there.  Love hard when there is love to be had, because perfect guys don't exist.  But there's always one guy that is perfect for you." - Bob Marley

Who knew Bob Marley was so wise?  I guess he'd have to be with songs like, "No woman, no cry."

Thanks, Bob.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Theater People

To quote the character Joanne from Rent, "I'm not a theater person...could never be a theater person."  Doesn't just knowing that quote nullify any argument I have to not being a theater person?

I have made many a dear, life-long friend in my three-year foray into theater in the Salt Lake Valley.  Yet, I can't help but feel as if I am not a stereotypical theater person and the folks I have befriended are mostly not either.  Theater enriches my life immensely, but most of my theater friends and I very clearly know there is life beyond it.  In fact, I've been told several times, "You do theater?  You don't seem like a theater person..." 

A little Google research shows me that the world personifies a theater person as someone who wears a lot of black, drinks a lot of coffee, and is self-absorbed. 

In my own opinion, the stereotypical Utah theater people are different, mainly because black and coffee aren't mainstream around here:
  • Many of them feel entitled to every role and cannot see that they may not be the best fit and, in some cases, may not see that they just aren't talented enough.  I am fully prepared to bow out gracefully.  I've seen way too many a person pull the self-righteous act because they didn't get a part that anyone with two eyes and two ears (except for the individual themselves) can see that person didn't deserve.  If you look like the ingenue, no matter how much you want to play the villain, that probably isn't going to happen.  Likewise, if you have the looks of a villain, tough luck on the hero roles.  Belter?  Not going to get a classical role (trust me, I know). 
  • Many theater people are constant thrill seekers, doing ridiculous things for attention and there is a fine line between "you are so fun and adorable" and pretentious.  That line is something most don't get.
  • They stay up way too late.  I'm sorry, but I am a professional and have to be up in the mornings. 
  • They sing karaoke a lot.  Maybe not with an actual machine, but they really do bust out into song and dance just about anywhere, find this totally normal behavior, and find it a great chance to perform for those who don't want a performance. 
  • They find being a "starving artist" attractive.  Since when is someone with no viable career path and no money the cream of the crop?  Well, apparently if he or she can sing, let the waiting line form. 
  • They don't have much conversation or interest outside of plays and musicals and the latest community gossip around those plays and musicals (which is like a different language to the rest of the world).  Most of the things I can't even put in to words, but you all know those "things" and you just raise an eyebrow, look at your friends like "what the heck?," and shake it off as you walk away.  Let's face it, in spite of their performing abilities, most theater people are pretty socially unstellar.
  • Theater people thrive off of drama whether on the stage or off.  Don't get me wrong, I have a dramatic personality and love to tell the best story I can, but I'm not going to make a situation more dramatic or emotional while it is actually happening.  I didn't get a part?  Okay, move on.  I didn't get the guy?  Okay, next!  Why cling and dwell and make a situation worse?  You've already given so much of your life to something and now it is time to move on.  Each minute you spend looking into the past is a moment in your present you are missing.

One friend does not talk about theater outside of his shows, he said, "It's weird and there are much more important things to talk about...I can talk about theater when I'm doing it.  I want to talk about things that matter."  Ha - like how we bash ourselves?

I've never had a boyfriend in theater.  Yes, I've been on dates.  Yes, I've had a boyfriend do a show with me just to spend time with me.  But I've never been in a committed relationship with a theater guy. 

One stereotypical trap I do fall into is that sometimes I don't feel as if I am accomplishing anything or have much of a purpose if I'm not in a show.  But right now?  I feel rather content with life off stage.  I love having time to read, watch some "Pushing Daisies," play ultimate frisbee, concentrate on my workouts, attend parties, go on dates without having to plan two weeks in advance, help friends who need me, relax by the pool, go to the grocery store without moving at the speed of lightning, plan trips, indulge my kitty's fantasies of life on the balcony, and the list goes on, you get the point.  I do miss not having that extra motivation to not eat that Snickers bar, however:-)

I love to perform.  I love seeing the juxtaposition of normal life versus performing life.  I love having someone to geek out with about all areas of life from theater to Gym to traveling.  

When you think about it, I guess we are all actors - acting appropriately for whatever the situation calls for.

Ah, who am I kidding?  I'm trying too hard not to offend someone here.  What I really mean is this:

Theater people are freaks. (And sometimes I'm one of them)


Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago, our world changed forever.  I have nothing more to say on this day of solemnity than, "Always Remember."* 


*If you want more of my thoughts on this, go to this post

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mad Men and Sex in the City

Last Saturday evening I received two fabulous compliments from two gentlemen at two different parties within two hours of each other.
  1. You look straight out of "Mad Men." 
  2. You are just like Charlotte from "Sex in the City."

At least I think they were compliments...  :-)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Deep Tissue Assualt

The other day, I granted some major deep tissue massage work to two of my guests, a very rare occurrence indeed.

I don't want to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty darned good if you really let me dig in there.  My mother had severe migraines all growing up, so we learned some wicked mad skills in this department.  Now, if you want just a back tickle or light massage from me, you must be very specific, or I start working those muscles at their very center.  I had one beau who would frequently ask, "Will you assault me?"  I'm an "It hurts so good" kinda gal.  (and I could use a deep, muscle tenderizing massage myself if anyone feels the need...)

The next day, my thumb muscles were all sore.  That's never happened before and it makes grasping the bars with Gym kinda humorous and difficult.  I tried to massage those muscles, but it tickles.  Who knew?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vegetarian Etiquette

I've been asked one question many times, "Are you a vegetarian?"

No, I am not.  Hamburgers and filet mignons and chicken fajitas hold too dear a place in my belly.  But I do have a problem with suspicious meat.  One jugular in my piece of chicken and I can eat no more.  One piece of gristle in my steak and I have to fight the urge to keep that cow down.  Good meat is an expensive endeavor, so I end up with veggie meals more often than not.  In fact, I shop at Target cause they have the best, least expensive vegan selections.  I'm weird.

I was once out to dinner with four people and the two males, ironically, were the vegetarians.  I found myself faced with a dilemma - to meat or not to meat?

What is the protocol on this one?  Can you eat meat when you are with vegetarians?  It almost feels disrespectful if you do.

I ended up ordering chicken and feeling guilty the whole time.  What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mary Poppins

"A spoonful of sugar is all it takes, it changes bread and water into tea and cakes."
Mary Poppins: She mysteriously arrives at the Banks' household to nanny for the children, but is actually saving the entire family.  Since 1964, this plot is near and dear to the hearts of most everyone.  And how could I forget - she is practically perfect in every way (here is where I start bopping my head back and forth to the tune and beat of this song).

Broadway Across America has gifted Salt Lake City with the touring company of Mary Poppins.  I'm not going to go into gory details like I normally do; if you want details, go to this review.

I find myself so caught up in the magic tricks, the choreography, the eye-candy colors everywhere, that I forget the world around me.  I love so much about this show I don't care about weak plot points or things that don't make sense, like the ridiculous resolution of George Banks' conflict or the strange statue that comes to life or the word-seller Cajun lady.  There are also some rather boring moments for me, but I'd say only twenty or thirty minutes of the two and a half hour show fall into that category.

This Mary Poppins is more from the books than from the Disney classic movie, so be prepared for someone who isn't a saccharine as expected.  Also, there is a number involving toys coming to life that would scare me to death if I were a child but I giggled right through it this time because I looked around at the audience and saw their shocked looks of horror.  Ha.  Consider yourself warned.  It really isn't that bad, just entirely surprising. 

Notice things like the use of color in costuming and lights to show stark contrasts, the lighting design to make you feel you are amongst the stars, and the clever tricks in almost all of the scenery and set pieces.

My favorite part?  Step In Time!  The cost of admission is worth it for this number alone.  You may think I'm kidding, but I'm going to be purchasing a ticket today to see the show again.  I cannot tell you the excitement bubbling up in me (and I'm smiling foolishly and getting all jittery and excited while writing) that now all of those in the Salt Lake area can finally know what I am talking about when they ask if I've seen Mary Poppins and I squeal, "Tap. Dancing. ON. THE. CEILING!!!"  Yes, I really squeal it.  Yes, I really put that much emphasis on it.

During Step In Time, I half expected Mary to look out at the gaping-mouthed, gasping audience and repeat her earlier line, "Close your mouth please.  We are not a codfish."

Three of the four of us who have season tickets together regularly write our thoughts on shows for public domain, two of them for a very popular local theater review site.  As we walked out, I said to the group, "You know, shows like that make me not care about dissecting anything or critiquing.  They just make me feel happy.  I don't care about anything else.  This show makes me ridiculously happy."  And even the most critical of them agreed, adding that he appreciated the great morals and family value lessons in the show. 

I saw the show in New York City back in 2007, then again in 2008.  Since then, I've tried to recommend this show to all of those going to NYC, as a "fun, family friendly, big Broadway show."  Unfortunately, most of them opt for the spectacle of Wicked or the latest trendy performance.  But now they flock to Mary Poppins because it has come to their front door.  You all know what I'm talking about now, don't you?  Listen to this girl!  I know my Broadway! 

To echo the lyrics of the closing number, "Anything can happen if you let it."  Let your heart open wide, let yourself become a child again, let your senses be dazzled, let yourself enjoy Mary Poppins for the light-hearted gift it is.  You may just find yourself singing along to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious at curtain call like most of last night's audience.  Get tickets here.  (use code TZOO for a 40% discount on some days)

It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary
Step In Time!

X-Men Religion

Sunday, I was part of a discussion on how each of us has a role in the grand scheme of life.* 

I couldn't help but let my thoughts wander to the likes of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.  I'm not a geek, I swear, just bear with me.  I almost just said "bare" with me, but then that would be an entirely different and inappropriate blog.  *Ahem* back to the point.

Have you ever seen the climax to an X-Men movie that involves only one of the heroes saving the day?


Typically, even the strongest member is quite vulnerable alone.  They all have to work together.  Each of them has been given a gift to provide unity as they work together to become one harmonious entity.  These characters accept their gifts for what they are and do their best to maximize the potential of that gift.  You don't see Wolverine trying to turn invisible, or Cyclops trying to fly. 

God has divinely bestowed upon each of us special gifts meant exclusively for us.  Maybe I think turning invisible is super cool, but my gift is to shoot laser beams out of my eyes.  I need to learn how to harness that gift to best serve the team I am working with in this crazy world.

Why did The Big Guy do this?  Why did He give us each something different instead of giving us each everything we need?  I think it is because we need to learn to work together, to become one, to attain the most Christ-like, God-like state we can together.

*1 Corinthians, Chapter 12

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Virgin Mimosa's

Saturday night I was out to dinner with some friends to celebrate Keri's birthday, when we start to discuss different ethnicities of food we enjoy. 

Me: "I love Samosa's!"
Everyone else: Strange look directed at me.
Me: "Not Mimosa's, SA -mosa's!  But non-alcoholic Mimosa's are really great too."
Dennis: "Umm...isn't that just orange juice?"
Me:  "What?  Really?  I thought it was minty?"
Keri: " are thinking of Mojito's."
Me:  "Oops.  I guess I need to drink more."

See, I don't drink alcohol at all, but now I'm really excited to have virgin Mimosa's with breakfast every morning!  Did you know they serve them at McDonald's even?  High class!

Talent is Hot

That pretty much sums it up.

A beautiful singing voice can turn ugly into hottie.

Wicked mad athletic skills can turn skinny nerd into stud.

Social graces and hosting skills can turn Joe Schmo into "I must get to know."


Monday, September 5, 2011


I love Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works.  I have at least three plugged in in my house at all times.

But there is a problem.  I refuse to step foot in that store.  Can we talk about how crazy my senses react?

So I order everything online.  It's sad that I will pay for shipping just so I don't have to physically walk into that olfactory assaulting store.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The One

When my sissy was out here visiting in June, we went wedding dress shopping for her.  She and her friends, after many fruitless attempts, coaxed me into trying one on myself.

And I fell in love.

This dress would be my "the one..."
(if it were non-naked shoulderified and I weren't holding it in the back because it was 2 sizes too big)

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I found this over on Kristie's blog.

And I couldn't agree more.

Being healthy, religious, educated, in love - the list goes on - if it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dreams: Having a Baby and Kissing Handsome Men

Most of you may not find this interesting, but if you like crazy dreams or know a thing or two about them, read on.  My dream two nights ago was probably the most vivid I have had in a long time.

I was pregnant.  But I didn't look pregnant.  As a matter of fact, I'd done a show at 7 months and no one even noticed my little pooch except for me.  My family knew, but no one knew who the father was.  I was laying on my couch in Ohio and started to go into labor.  My mother convinced me to relax and so I drifted off to sleep, only to wake up right as the baby insisted on coming.  I tried to catch the child myself, but my parents - who were also delivering (ew) told me to let them take care of it.  Within a minute, I had a little boy.

My mother said a first and middle name and I said, "That's his name!"  She said that I didn't have to name him that just because she said it and I replied, "Well, I've never even though of little boy names, so that one will work just fine."  It was a very plain name, but I can't for the life of me remember it now.  I just remember it was a very plain, yet antiquated name I never would have picked.

I kept falling asleep and then waking up and the setting changed from my home in Ohio to my condo in Utah.  Soon, my entire family on my mother's side started showing up for a party/movie night.  They all congratulated all of us on the new baby, but no one seemed to know he was mine or that he had just been born.  As I was drifting in and out, I kept waking up in a panic wondering where my baby had gone to, but someone was always holding him.

I thought I needed to feed him, but my family told me he didn't need to eat.  I looked at my stomach and everything was as taut as it is now.  I experienced no pain in the delivery and was having no soreness post-delivery.  I was shocked and wondered why I'd waited so long and have been so scared to have a baby.  I was concerned I'd seen no placenta, but in the dream remembered it was a dream so things work differently.

Since my family was watching the baby, I went across the hall to another apartment (there is no "across the hall" at my condo, FYI), whereupon a very handsome, muscular man snuck up behind me and gave me a huge hug.  I turned around and smooched him a good one - that kind that means love.  He told me how much he loved me, kissed me again, and I woke up.

I guess he was the father?  Regardless, I never ever ever have kissing dreams, so that was kinda fun!  But what is it with me and the babies when I have no maternal instincts whatsoever?  And maybe I shouldn't eat myself into a food coma at Cheesecake Factory right before bed...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Waiting for Moves

My "Words With Friends" frequently has this posted:

"Waiting for moves..."

So am I, my friends.  So. Am. I.

I Don't Need You: The Curse of Not Being a Fixer-Upper

The following events are not currently happening in my life, so no one panic or worry this is you.  Trust me, it isn't.  I'm just musing.

I have gone on dates with many men who are looking for someone to fix or mold and, it seems, once they realize I am not a fixer-upper, I get left in the dust for someone who is.  I speak on behalf of many of my gal pals as well.

What is this?!

You want someone who has been traumatized and is facing deep emotional, psychological and/or physical challenges over a perfectly stable one?  That's cool...just...interesting.  Good for you for being that person who can help them along and all of that because everyone deserves to be loved, especially those who don't know how to love and you are trying to teach them.  Being honest, I confess I would prefer these girls find their life partners before me because they need someone and I seem to be managing just fine even though I would find having a partner in crime quite nice.

You want someone who is ten years younger than me and not a clue about life or an income or an education?  If that's what you need...

I'm not bitter, just baffled.

Which leads me to this small story.

To quote How to Win a Date with Tad Hamilton (don't judge), "Well, love you get over in two months, big love you get over in two years, and great love, well great love... changes your life."

Most people end up marrying their great loves; I did not. I will spare you the arduous, painful, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking story, but I will tell you that three or so years after the conclusion of our relationship, I had a chance to speak with him during a chance encounter at the gym.

We talked for about twenty minutes about his upcoming marriage and I celebrated with him, feeling joy in spite of the previous devastation I'd endured.  As we exited the gym, I asked, "You always told me you had no reason for breaking up with me, you just weren't sure.  You never budged from that stance.  You have nothing to lose now, so I'm wondering if you could finally tell me what the real reason was?"  

He thought for a moment and replied, "You know, I never felt as if you needed me.  I felt your life would be better without me in it, that you were going places I was holding you back from.  I think that is it.  You just didn't need me.  I know you said you did and felt you did, I just didn't."

I understand needing to be needed.  I know I couldn't be with someone whose life I felt I was not improving.

So do these men ditch me and my stellar gal pals because they don't feel we need them?  I know there isn't an answer and I don't want one really, just musing.  I particularly don't want to hear, "You don't want those guys anyway."  I already know this.

But this does put me between a rock and a hard place.  I am a complete and happy person.  This is not going to change.  I want very much to have someone to share my life with and I do all I can to make sure the men I date know they are a big part of my life.  But I feel I am frequently being overlooked for those who aren't in that happy place like myself.  My intent is not to be judgy so please try to take this the way I mean it.