Thursday, July 28, 2011


Today, I am sad.

It is okay to be sad once in awhile, right?

I am always afraid to admit I am sad.  I don't get sad very often, which causes me to feel a little broken when I do.  I am afraid people will judge me.  I am afraid they will think I am less of a person.  Or say I am depressed because I was sad for one day.  Or I'll lose the credibility of my strength.  Or men will blame PMS.  I've honestly never experienced PMS or a cramp and anyone who accuses of such will have quite a wallop - that is just rude.

But today, I am sad.  It isn't the end of the world.  I am completely happy with life and so excited for the future, but will allow myself this moment.

And if you've got some hugs, I'll allow those too:-)

The Alchemist

Have I ever mentioned to you all that I love to read?

One of the best books I have read in recent memory is, "The Alchemist."

This book reinforces the importance of pursuing your dreams, not letting the possibilities of failure stop you from proceeding, and not letting your own judgements and fears get in the way of making life the best it can be.  I highly recommend reading this inspirational treasure, which is quite short and well-worth your time - I read it in one evening. 

To motivate you, here are some of my favorite passages (I highlighted my most favorites):
  • It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
  • If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry.
  • Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
  • "What's the worlds greatest lie?" the boy asked, completely surprised. "It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate."
  • "Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is..."  "At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible."
  • "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
  • "Treasure is uncovered by the force of flowing water, and it is buried by the same currents."
  • He learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke—the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time.
  • Love without ownership.
  • The future belongs to God, and it is only he who reveals it, under extraordinary circumstances. How do I guess at the future? Based on the omens of the present. The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity."
  • "You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it's because it wasn't true love."
  • One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
  • "They were looking only for gold," his companion answered. "They were seeking the treasure of their destiny, without wanting actually to live out the destiny."
  • "The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of his wisdom."
  • "Why do we have to listen to our hearts?" the boy asked, when they had made camp that day.  "Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you'll find your treasure."  "But my heart is agitated," the boy said. "It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it's become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I'm thinking about her."  "Well, that's good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say."  "You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you'll never have to fear an unanticipated blow."
  • "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."
  • "We, people's hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them.  We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place. "So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won't be heard: we don't want people to suffer because they don't follow their hearts."
  • "Every search begins with beginner's luck. And every search ends with the victor's being severely tested."
  • The boy watched the exchange with fascination. "You dominated those horsemen with the way you looked at them," he said.  "Your eyes show the strength of your soul," answered the alchemist.
  • There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure."
  • There's no need for iron to be the same as copper, or copper the same as gold. Each performs its own exact function as a unique being.
  • When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.

    Sleeping Habits

    I've been sleeping alone my entire life.  Sometimes Conor weasels her way into my arms (can a cat weasel?), but other than that I am solitary.

    My doll face, Kristie, was lamenting regarding contradictory sleeping habits with her hubby.

    This made me wonder: What do I do in my sleep?  Do I have strange sleeping habits?  Will I find sleeping next to someone a difficult transition?

    I analyzed my sleep habits according to what I know and what I have been told:
    • I do not snore.
    • I do not talk.
    • I am not typically a light sleeper.
    • I prefer the room cold so I can snuggle up under the covers, but can sleep regardless.
    • I can fall asleep in total silence or loud noise.
    • I dream vividly.
    • I have no problems sleeping on vacations. 
    • I have to force myself to sleep in...the daylight is just so exciting:-) 
    • I typically wake up once per night to rid my bladder of the gallon+ of water I drink each day.
    • I have no problems waking up and being alert, except for maybe half a dozen times per year.
    • I, once every great while when under extreme stress or participating in heightened physical activity, become a mover and a shaker.  I have actually woken up laying cross-ways on the bed or with pillows and blankets thrown to the floor.
    • I am a side or back sleeper.
    • I often put my hands above my head.
    • I have been known to sleep with my eyes open.
    • I have also been known to put my hands up in the air and tickle them in my sleep. 
    • I imagine I would like to fall asleep next to my love, but then gravitate towards my own side of the bed for deep slumber.
    Married folks: How has this transition been for all of you married folks?
    Non-married folks: Are you worried about the transition?

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Electromagnetic Plague

    I think I have a weird, destructive disabling electromagnetic field surrounding me.

    In the past two weeks, I have encountered the following difficulties:
    1. My CD player in my (trunk) stopped working.  It error messages out every time.  Never a problem before this...ever.  No reason for this - no bumps, extreme heat, nadda.
    2. My 6-month old microwave stopped heating.  Everything else works fine, there was no burn-out, nothing.  It just won't heat.  Very frustrating for a girl who likes her Morningstar breakfast sandwiches every morning.
    3. My mixer died.
    4. My phone is on the fritz.  The inside screen no longer works.  Usually I can drop it on the ground and it starts working again, but over 30 attempts later...still not working.  I can get calls and messages, but utilizing any feature that requires my phone to be open is a no go - including deleting anything.  I am very sad.  I do not want to get a new phone.  I do not want to pay $50 more per month for my service, but let's face it, if I get a new phone, I'm getting a good phone.  I'm with Verizon, any suggestions?  iPhone4 or Droid?  *tears*  We have been together for over three years my lil LG Env2 and I.  Boo.  If anyone has an old one they want to gift me, I'm all over it! 

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Awards and Thank You Note

    Saturday, at our cast party for "All Shook Up", each cast member received an award, mostly based off of flattering resemblances to a 1950s movie star or their character.

    I received the "Director's Award." My first thought?  "I don't deserve this..."  My heart was touched and my eyes were tearful as our choreographer grabbed my hands and looked me in the eyes and shared, "You are so very, very talented.  I mean it."  Something I saw in her also-teary eyes made me really, truly believe her.

    One of the cast mothers handed me a "Thank You" card, which I really didn't think much about until I sat down for Leatherby's ice cream with my dad and decided to read it while we waited.

    Larissa (Natalie or Ed) - 
    Your performance was amazing but my favorite part about you wasn't necessarily your amazing voice or terrific acting, but your behind-the-scenes approach to life and people.  You were kind when no one needed to know and sweet!  My two daughters are awestruck with you and I am so thankful they have a  "star" like you to idolize.  You deeply touched them and I am so glad!  You are an outstanding young woman - carry on!
    A Mom

    Words cannot describe the bursting my heart felt when I read this.  I am so grateful for this mother who took time to share her thanks with me.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Personality Tests

    Don't personality tests crack you up?  Are they ever accurate?

    I, particularly, would love to take that Red, Yellow, White, Blue Color Code test.  Alas, I am not willing to pay.

    My friend, Jeff, inspired me to take the RHETI sampler.

    Results?  Well, I scored just one point separate on these two and they were well ahead of the rest of the herd.

    Type Two
    The Helper

    The caring, interpersonal type. Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs. At their Best: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.  
    Basic Fear: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved 
    Basic Desire: To feel loved

    Type Six
    The Loyalist

    The committed, security-oriented type. Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent "troubleshooters," they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious—running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion. At their Best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.  
    Basic Fear: Of being without support and guidance 
    Basic Desire: To have security and support

    Any accuracies at all here, in your opinions?

    What are you?

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Small of the Back

    Why is it that when a man places his hand on the small of a woman's back, she starts feeling all sorts of girly?

    Ooo - or what about the move where you are sitting at the piano or looking over a balcony or standing at the sink doing dishes or likewise and they come wrap their arms around you in a huge hug from behind?


    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Pharmacy Snacks

    As you all probably gathered from my last post, I've been sick.  I didn't whine or tell anyone until I finally went to the doctor because who needs to get everyone else in the cast as worried as I was? 

    Anyway...I saw the strangest thing while I waited in line to fill my prescription at the pharmacy.

    This sign says something like, "Enjoy snacks while you wait!"

    Is it just me, or does the thought of a bunch of sick people diving in to the same container of cookies bother you more than a little?  I still can't quite figure out how this is okay...

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    How I Know

    Two (1 and 2) of my favoritest theater people inspired me with lists, "How I know I am in a show..."  I thought I'd share mine.  Some may be TMI*, but more fun for you!
    1. I have random blemishes from where not-frequently-worn items of clothing rub too much on sensitive skin not used to being rubbed.  Sometimes random bruises and scrapes appear from thin air as well.
    2. I have to take PTO (paid time off) to go to the grocery store.
    3. The people at Roxberry begin making my smoothie (Sunrise Sensation) the second they see my car pull up to the store and the people at Wendy's know my order (two jr. hamburgers add lettuce and tomato).  But my friends have to pay to see me that frequently (by coming to the show, of course).
    4. I immediately disrobe upon entering my front door and do laundry every night to vanquish the smell of sweat from peeled-off clothing.
    5. I shower twice a day.
    6. Mic tape residue.  You can always tell where I put my mic tape because that is where you will see my hair sticking (or random pieces of cotton, dirt, and who knows what else) and the red bumps.  Yeah.  Ew.
    7. My hair looks pretty every day - leftover show hair!
    8. I become overly sensitive (and too frequently voice a response that should be filtered), exhausted, and will have at least one breakdown per show run - this one happened to be last Sunday.  A couple shows ago, it was something about a taco...pathetic.
    9. I often don't remember my head hitting the pillow or even getting ready for bed or my alarm going off...
    10. I find myself thinking that walking around half-dressed (or less) is totally normal.  
    11. I find random black smudges or other various colors everywhere from my make up.
    12. I end up drinking more than a gallon and a half of liquid each day.
    13. I have no appetite all day but twenty minutes after that final bow I could eat a cow (mmm...burgers).
    14. I get sick.  I never get sick.  But put me in a show with rehearsals and performances every night and I'll be down, although I have managed to avoid the doc for 18 months.  I put it off for over a week, but once my production team commanded me to go, I figured I best go - they have very scary mean faces.  Yesterday's diagnosis was allergies, sinus infection, and viral infection. 
    15. I am the absolute happiest I can imagine being:-)

    Please bless my hair can be this long again soon!

     *too much information

      Wednesday, July 20, 2011


      What is in the definition of "email" that is somehow synonymous with, "I can be as jerky as I want on no basis whatsoever"? 

      Some people's children. 

      Tuesday, July 19, 2011


      Does anyone else feel like a carnation is the white trash of flowers?

      They happen to be my mother's favorite, yet I've never felt a love for these little lovelies. 

      What say you?

      I Love You

      My experiences with "All Shook Up" have given me the opportunity to spend time with some stellar individuals substantially younger than myself.

      This group inspires me.  Their eyes and actions are filled with hope, light, dreams, faith, dedication, passion...the list goes on.

      One of the biggest inspirations they give me?  All of them, yes, even the one who broke his hand in a fight and did not find this a strange occurrence, tell me they love me daily.  And I hear them all telling each other this daily.  What a great example they are to me and how much they have opened my eyes and heart.

      I need not let the harsh experiences in my life impact my relationships with the good ones.

      I need to let my friends know I love them more often and have no shame in using those three simple words.

      I love you.

      Monday, July 18, 2011

      Random Thoughts of July 18

      1. My mother learned how to send e-mails from her phone...the world may be coming to an end.
      2. My whole family lives in Ohio yet seems to be befuddled by the concept of a packet of Cincinnati-style chili mix.
      3. I turned on my A/C this morning for the first time this year although it hasn't reached above 78 in my condo.  I'm getting it cooled down for the 'rents stay at the Rissy Resort...not everyone shivers in 70-degree temps.
      4. Sometimes what you want to do and what you should do are different.  I need to be better at putting my foot down.
      5. When my kitty stretches out and snuggles with me, she is more than half as tall as me.
      6. Two dozen white roses for opening night?  Yes, please!  Thanks, Russ!
      7. I hate being really hungry and not knowing what I want to eat and getting so frustrated that I end up eating nothing at all...this decision may also be impacted by the fact that I haven't had time to visit the grocery in two or more weeks and my microwave has stopped working.
      8. I need to remind myself of this more often...and I hate getting to the point where I even need to remind myself of this
      9. Did a law pass that says drivers must go 10 mph under the speed limit on Sundays?  
      10. My parents come in on Wednesday (Dad) and Thursday (Mom)!!!!!!!!!!!  I am a wee bit excited:-)  I can't wait to make them proud of me!

        All Shook Up: Article in Deseret News- Deaf People Can be in Musicals!

        Deaf Utah woman is major part of upcoming musical

        Published: Sunday, July 17, 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT
        MIDVALE — Karen Chatterton, director of Midvale City's upcoming performance of "All Shook Up," says a deaf person performing in a musical is "totally possible."
        And it's a reality.
        Sandy native Anne Fife, who is deaf, first found out about the musical when her son Nick decided to try out. He expressed his mother's interest in trying out to Chatterton, producer Stephanie Johnson and other staff members.
        Johnson, who was already friends with Fife, sent her a text message asking if Fife would like to try out, and she did.
        Fife actually sang at her audition, but at the same time explained to staff members that she would be happy perform the song in sign language if they preferred.
        “When she was auditioning, I was thinking ‘What’s going to happen? Are people going to make fun of her?’” Nick said. “I was deathly terrified.”
        When it came time for callbacks, Fife didn’t get a call and was ready to shrug it off. But after a little while, the cast list was up, and her name was on it along with Nick’s. They were both to be part of the supporting ensemble.
        Nick said they about screamed their heads off because they were so excited. They wanted to keep it a secret to surprise the family, so they rehearsed together late at night.
        “My personal philosophy in the arts is that they’re for everybody, and that means everybody,” Chatterton said.
        Rehearsal in the city park runs just like any other musical rehearsal, except two languages are spoken.
        Melissa Espinosa and Crystal Nichols, both volunteers from Salt Lake City, have served as Fife’s interpreters throughout rehearsals and will do so for the performances as well.
        They sat in front of the stage during one rehearsal with scripts in their laps practicing their parts for the community theater’s ASL nights.
        The musical will run for a week from July 15-22. Two of the performances — July 18 and 22 — will be interpreted for the deaf community.
        When asked by way of interpreter about the challenges of rehearsing, Fife simply said, “I haven’t really seen any challenges.”
        “Obviously, there are things I can’t really do because of not being able to hear,” she added. But Fife, the staff and cast members don’t view these as barriers. They simply had to make some little adjustments.
        When Fife doesn’t have her interpreters with her, she gets help from Nick or other cast members. She said she was surprised to discover just how many of the cast members knew a little bit of ASL.
        DeeDee Palmer, who Nick said is the most helpful with his mom, welcomed the opportunity to help Fife and brush up on her own ASL.
        “It makes you just understand and realize that even if you don’t have some of your senses, it still won’t hinder what you want and love to do,” Palmer said.
        Because Fife can’t hear the music or any of the spoken lines, it can be difficult to follow cues and rhythms. Palmer and other ensemble members give her barely noticeable physical cues like a tap on the shoulder.
        Her interpreters will sit in the audience to help her get back on rhythm if she ever gets off beat, but she rarely is.
        Marty Buhler, who plays one of the lead characters, Dennis, said all of the cast members have a lot to learn from Fife.
        “She’s always on her cues. She always knows what to do,” he said. “She’s been on top of her game. Watching her do that we need to pick up our game because we can hear our cues.”
        Fife saves questions for before and after scenes and says that the director, choreographer and fellow cast members take extra time to make sure she understands what’s happening.
        “It’s been a roller-coaster ride, but we really have a lot in common, and we work it all out,” Fife said. “I have really good feelings for this group and everybody I’m working with.”
        Of Fife’s deafness, Chatterton said, “We could either mask it or embrace it. We chose to embrace it.”
        Chatterton helped with writing a subplot telling Fife’s story.
        “It was important to us to use her in showing inclusion throughout the story,” Johnson said.
        The musical, based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and Elvis Presley’s songs, centers on themes of inclusion and unity. The unity of the hearing and non-hearing worlds provided a perfect opportunity to illustrate that.
        There’s one scene in particular where the cast performs the song “C’mon Everybody.” Nick leads his mom over to the jukebox so she can put her hands on it to feel the vibrations of the music that everyone else is listening to.
        “It’s this really cool connection moment when she starts to realize that there’s music,” Nick said. Fife then begins dancing with everyone else.
        Fife taught the whole cast a little bit of sign language to use in the musical number “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and they will all sign the last line together. Fife will also participate in some of the songs by way of signing.
        Both Palmer and Buhler think Fife is a wonderful actress. Because sign language requires a great amount of expression, it’s not surprising that acting comes naturally for her. She’s also no stranger to performing, having been in performances with the Utah Opera and at the Black Box Theatre at the University of Utah.
        But Fife hasn’t been in any performances for almost a decade. She’s loved having this opportunity to return to the stage and express herself. She says she “will definitely do it again.”
        Fife was adamant about deaf people not being afraid to get involved.
        “Being involved is what a community is,” she said. “They can’t just oust you and say only a specific group can be in this play — a hearing group — because really all of us can be involved. We need to have variety in the plays.”
        “It doesn’t matter where you come from," Chatterton said of the message of the musical. "We’re all human beings, and we all have something to offer."
        There’s always a place for someone, whether they can hear the music playing or not. They can certainly feel it.
        “It’s really inspired me,” Fife said of her experience, “and I think it can inspire other people.”
        For more information about the performance and tickets, visit

        Friday, July 15, 2011

        Richard Couchois

        Last night, as I browsed my phone before drifting to sleep, I came upon some I never expected to hear the eve of opening night. 

        Richard Couchois, my high school choir teacher and show choir director in Piqua, Ohio, passed away yesterday.

        Couchois was there during the formative years of my life.  He helped me to channel the music in my heart into the love and talent I have for musical theater today.  He watched me struggle, sometimes causing those struggles, but always somehow knowing that what he was doing was the best for me.  If he had actually ever given me those solos I always longed for, or those leading roles in the musicals, perhaps I wouldn't have worked as hard as I have and what I have today wouldn't mean so much to me.  Maybe he didn't know, but I like to think he did.  He was always encouraging me, never letting me give up.  He helped me to feel capable and competent, yet made me work hard for everything I had. 

        I remember him coming up to me in the hallway between the choir suite and the stage a few days before a show choir competition in Indiana and asking me to sing for their solo competition (to make up for the fact that I hadn't gotten one of the two lead roles in the musical).  I sang.  I won. I've gotten rid of almost all of my baton twirling trophies and gymnastics medals, but that big ole trophy from the solo competition?  It still sits in my room, reminding me of everywhere I've been and everywhere I could be. 

        Couchois also let me skip out on my study halls to sit in the soundproof rooms in the choir suite and listen to music while doing my homework or take a nap or practice or whatever it was I needed.  He and I talked almost every day.  He had been LDS at one point, and we would converse about the gospel often, even having a friendly rivalry between his church choir and ours...which lead to him showing up to church one Christmas Day to hear our choir sing. 

        When I graduated, he gave me a lovely silver musical note necklace - one I have carried with me through it all.

        Upon hearing the news of his passing, I found myself thinking, "Now he finally knows how much he means in my life...and maybe now he can see my opening night!"  Silly the things we think, isn't it? 

        Tonight, Mr. Richard Couchois, I dedicate my performance to you.  I love you.  And if you want to send some angels to sing with us, I wouldn't mind:-) 

        Thursday, July 14, 2011

        All Shook Up: Free Preview Performance Tonight!

        Time for another openin' of another show! 

        We open tomorrow night (July 15) and run through the 22nd, but TONIGHT (July 14) is a FREE PREVIEW PERFORMANCE!  So, if you can't afford the $7 - come on down tonight to Midvale Park - info below.  And keep in mind this is a rehearsal, so may have some touch and go portions.

        “All Shook Up” is a musical following the plot of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or She’s the Man if you need a modern reference, and set to the tune of Elvis Presley music.  I’ll be singing such songs as, “One Night With You,” “Hound Dog,” “Teddy Bear,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “Love Me Tender,” “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “A Little Less Conversation,” and more! 

        Performances are July 15-22 at 7:30pm at Midvale Outdoor Stage in the Park – 455 West 7500 South.  
        Bring Blankets and chairs to sit on and picnics if you want!
        Tickets are $7 cash at the door or you can buy them here.

        Second Chances

        I was thinking the other day (I know, right?) about all of the amazing opportunities I have had in my life, including dating some spectacular and some not-so-spectacular men.  You've heard enough about them lately, I'm sure.

        What I then got to thinking was how many of them to whom I have given second chances.

        I can only think of one man with whom we did not attempt to rekindle a relationship.  That's nuts!  Everyone always says that "getting back together" never works, so why have I done it?

        I live my life in a manner in which I want no regrets.  I do not want to say I did not try.  I tried.  Things didn't work out.  At least I know without a doubt.

        What do you think about giving dating a second chance?

        (don't worry, don't worry, I'm not second-chancing anyone right now, just curious about YOU guys)

        Wednesday, July 13, 2011

        Can You Be in Love With More Than One Person?

        I was conversing with another of my thought-provoking dears and the conversation lent itself to me sharing this quote I'd recently heard:
        "If you are in love with two people, go with the second, because if you were truly in love with the first, you would not have fallen for the second."

        He pipes in*, "Not necessarily."

        "What?  How's that?"  I was somewhat shocked.

        "Don't you think you have the infinite capacity to love?"

        "Well, yes, but if I truly loved the first person, would I have explored the option and opened my heart to another?"

        "I believe it is about making a choice.  We have an infinite capacity to love.  With relationships and marriage it is about making that decision to love and be devoted and faithful to that one person and sticking with that decision."

        I have to admit, I like being "contradicted" in situations such as this.  I learned a great lesson.  Life gives us many opportunities for love and we choose what to do with those relationships.

        What do you think?

        *This conversation is not verbatim, but close enough to get the point across.

        Tuesday, July 12, 2011

        Unders Everywhere

        Once upon a time, my older sis worked at the corporate headquarters for Victoria's Secret.

        Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Stop right there.

        Because of her generosity and my college-days-broken lack of ability to do laundry more than once every three weeks, I had a lot of unders to say the least.

        My roommates greatly enjoyed pranking those who were asked out on dates while we were gone.  I looked at it as a right of passage and looked forward to the prank when I returned home as much as the date.

        And then March 16, 2002 happened.

        Our Elder's quorum president and one of my besties, Justin, had asked me to accompany him to see Ocean's Eleven.  Upon returning to my apartment, he reached for the door, only to find the underside of the knob entirely covered in toothpaste.  I shook my head in acknowledgement of a job well done for the roomies and out of satisfaction that it was him to get the brunt of the joke instead of me.  The least I could do was comply with his request to come in and wash his hands off.

        Huddled on the couch like birds in a nest were three of my roommates - staring at me as if three-amiga deer in the headlights.

        "Ha ha ha, you guys.  Good one!"

        They continued to exude fear.

        "Umm...why are you guys looking at me like that?  Was that...what else is there?  Did you do something to my room?"

        I saw one of them dart her eyes up to the ceiling quickly and then back to me.

        I looked up.

        There, dangling for all the world to see, was a pair of my undies.  Like a scene from a horror movie, "Psycho" music playing in my head, I began to see every single pair of unders I owned draped all about the apartment- off pictures, in the window, on doorknobs... (darned having just done laundry that day)

        From the kitchen I hear, "Hey Riss, mind if I use your towel to dry off my hands?"

        I frantically rush into the kitchen, hoping he hadn't seen my many secrets, "Of course you ca...."

        To my abhorrence, I see Justin reaching for a "towel," only it was not exactly a towel.  He knew exactly what he was doing and looked at me with this darling, huge, horrific grin on his face.  I made a mad dash for the "towel," as he proceeded to say, "There's some over there...and there...oh...over by the fridge...there ya go."

        Holy awkward city.  Good one, ladies...more than nine years later and I'm still laughing and shaking my head.

        Monday, July 11, 2011


        One of my co-workers was telling me about his 4th of July celebrations, and it went something like this:

        "We got those huge, square-shaped fireworks for a pretty good deal - $100 for one, but buy one get one free. You know the ones right?"

        Me: Blank stare

        "C'mon - they are about this big and square-shaped?"

        "Ummm...I don't typically go shopping for fireworks other than those little spinning, squealy guys and sparklers.  And I could never justify spending $100 for 8 seconds of fire-y magic "

        "You are such a girl."

        On a side note - has anyone else been perpetually plagued with the earworm, "Baby, you're a fiiiiiirework!" during this holiday season?  Someone make it stop!

        Sugarhouse Park - Where I watched fireworks this year

        Friday, July 8, 2011

        All Shook Up: Satisfy Me

        Upon lamenting to a friend with some vocal knowledge about how I didn't know what way to sing a few lines in my songs (head or chest voice), I sang a few lines for him to get his opinion.

        He gave me a few pointers and said something like, "Just say a phrase from your song with projection and then find your pitch and sing it the same way."

        I'd been on "A Little Less Conversation," so, naturally, I kept saying, "Satisfy Me."

        Then he'd say, "Like this...Satisfy Me!"

        And so we continued taking turns projecting, "Satisfy Me" at each other until we realized what was happening and the giggles got the better of me.  Oy.

        It Isn't Just The Men: Ten of My Own Dating Blunders

        I am always telling all of you about the crazy-crazes I have endured in my dating life, but I often spare myself the firing squad of humiliation.

        Well you know what?  It is about time I share with you some moments of my own date crazies.
        1. I whined, "But Daddy!"  Doesn't go over well and I still feel a little sick to my stomach...ewwwwww.
        2. I asked him during the date if he had thought about asking out another certain young lady.  Bad idea, but for the record, they got married! 
        3. I let a man drive all the way from Las Vegas to take me out, even though I knew I wasn't interested.  In my defense, he said he was coming up to visit a friend anyway and I was only 18 - too young yet to know how to handle that situation.
        4. I have this nervous laugh.  Ever heard, "Everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else?"  If you are a klutz, ask me out, cause you'll feel like the best comedian in the world.  I'm sorry...I just...I really can't help myself.  It's funny!
        5. Twice I have fallen asleep when a guy was over to watch a movie.  And both men let themselves out afterwards so as to not disturb me.  I felt so dumb.
        6. During the dreaded discussion resulting in the end of a relationship, a young man told me that he could tell I was not physically attracted to him.  And he was right:-(
        7. I went on one blind date with a fella and then made him 3 dozen cookies (3 different kinds) and 1 dozen brownies.  Note to 22-year old Larissa - he will think you are desperate and visiting his doorstep from crazy-town.  So not okay.
        8. I was very upset with a man with whom I was contemplating marriage.  He was trying to heal the wounds and said, "You know I love you, right?"  Okay, first, in the middle of a spat is not the time to tell someone you love them for the first time.  How did my 25-year old self handle that one?  I retorted, "I don't know why you would tell me that, you know I don't love you."  Yeah, now you hate me:-)  I did tell him I loved him within a week, but there is no taking back that kind of damage. 
        9. I once dated a young man whom I was falling for, but far from the point of being ready to marry him, although he had brought it into discussions.  He tried to propose.  I bawled my eyes out - major ugly cry - for thirty minutes while he held me...shouldn't I have been consoling him?  
        10. I had been dating a lot.  I had several dates lined up with different men.  The one I liked the most told me he loved me one afternoon.  I didn't cancel my date for that evening.  Instead, I opted to be on the date before telling number two I would no longer be able to accept dates from him.
        As the laws of the universe go, karma says I deserve the negative (yet hilarious) dating blunders that have befallen me.

        Your turn to confess!

        Thursday, July 7, 2011

        Twelve First Date Winners

        For all my talk about love gone wrong, you'll be pleased to know I've had even more go right....those stories just aren't as funny, but, to all those guys who did me right - you deserve the praise, doggone it!

        I limited this to first dates and it was hard - not before, not after.  You don't realize how much "awe" happens outside the parameters of the actual first date.

        To fill your sap quota for the day, here are twelve sweetie pie things that have happened on my first dates, in no particular order except chronological:
        1. I met a man in Ohio the day before I returned to BYU and we had corresponded for a couple of months.  He decided to swing by Utah on his way to Arizona and visit me for a week - during which time we had our first date.  Now that is going out of your way.
        2. I was walking to teach my gymnastics class and ran into one of my best friends from Ohio.  He noticed I was upset and asked me out to Cafe Rio later that day just to console me - nothing grandiose, but any man who will willingly spend time with an upset woman gets points in my book.
        3. I had a recently broken foot and this angel of a man was patient enough with my crutches and medication to take me to a BYU ballroom concert and for dinner - helping me out the whole time and then coming to visit each day thereafter until I went home for the summer.  He was married four months later - ah, BYU.
        4. We jumped out a second-story window.  Why?  To escape the surprise dinner we had made for the bishop and his wife without getting caught. Indiana Jones on a date...almost...
        5. Props to any man who laughs at my jokes.  Cause they bad they are funny.  At least that's what I tell myself.  I told one particular young man my favorite joke and he laughed for days (literally, days later he still laughed).  
        6. A young man's research into what I enjoy and doing so for no other reason than he knows I will love it, simply thrills me.  This one invited me to play softball, then to get spiffed up for part two, then to watch a movie, whereafter we talked until the wee hours of the morning...several of my favoritest things.
        7. Meteor shower watching on the trampoline.  Need I say more? 
        8. Precious pants found out my favorite chocolates and brought me four...he was broke at the time, so it really meant quite a lot.
        9. On a double blind date, we went for a drive up the canyon and I got a little motion sick, to say the least.  This poor fella just scratched my back (I am so not a back-scratch ho, but illness gets the better of me sometimes) and kept asking me if I needed anything until I felt better.  He didn't even know me and we never saw each other again, but that act was so kind.
        10. A man loved my cookies so much he bought my tutorial at a fund-raising service auction - $35 for a cookie-making session with me to learn to make my cookies!  Super flattering!  
        11. I was in the middle of opening week and the run of a show and this sweetheart had wanted to take me out for a couple of weeks, but we couldn't find time.  So, he came over to help me make cookies for a huge Christmas party I was hosting that weekend...and did all the dishes!
        12. Again, finding things this girl loves before a first date and formulating from there?  Genius.  Cooking me a meal that I had only mentioned once weeks earlier and can almost bring me to tears because it is so thoughtful and reminds me so much of home?  Pure genius.  
        Any experiences you want to share?

          Wednesday, July 6, 2011

          Ten First Date Blunders

          I have had the following ten (and really, this is quite narrowed down) alarming occurrences on first dates:
          1. Revelation of time in jail.  Not once.  Not twice.  Three different men.  
          2. A three-hour talk in a cold car in January about how the young man is still crazy, head-over-heels in love with his ex...complete with tears.
          3. Told me he had kissed (or otherwise) so many girls he can't even begin to count and or recall their names....again, at least three different men have confessed these types of things.
          4. Told he was $10,000 in debt due to his Airsoft addiction.
          5. Told me about his dishonorable discharge from the military.
          6. Told me he'd been driving on a suspended license for over a year.
          7. Told me he'd just proposed to a girl and is waiting for her answer.
          8. Told me all about his less-than-one-month old divorce and everything that is wrong with him, whereupon he kept asking for affirmations that I did not think he was crazy.
          9. Talked at length regarding numerous government conspiracy theories.
          10. Told me he was feeling ill and that the only thing that would make him feel better is if I snuggled with him.  Smooth.  Not. Gonna. Happen. Did I mention he was wearing short shorts?
            What kind of odd things have you experienced on first dates?

              Monday, July 4, 2011

              This is Very Important to Me


              I know I play it off. I know I say it is no big deal.

              But you know what?  It is a big deal.

              For the first time in my life I have the leading role in a show.  I actually share the top bill spot with the charming and amazingly talented Jace Mitchell, but you get the point.  This opportunity is something I have dreamt of my entire life.

              And you know what I'd love more than anything?  To have the people I love there in the audience.  I can feel your support and want to share with you the thing I love to do most.

              Maybe some of you are not the happiest with me because it has been awhile since we have associated and you view performing as the mistress that puts a damper on our play time.  There are others of you that are excited for our time apart because you know that during this time I will be as happy, if not happier than I am at any other time.  You know what a dream-come-true each step on that stage is for me.

              I believe one of you once told me you wish I could get as excited about a man as I do about my shows.  Trust me, I hope the same thing:-)

              What I'm saying is, if I tell you it isn't a big deal, I'm lying.

              If there is anything you can do to be there, please come.  I need you there.  If you don't have any money?  I'll buy your ticket!  My family is all in Ohio and you all are my family.  I don't know if anything is more sad for me right now than to think of having this moment and having no one to share that experience with...standing up in that spotlight and knowing that I am just that....alone.

              Please, please, please come!

              All Shook Up
              July 15-22 at 7:30pm
              455 West 7500 South - Midvale, Utah
              Bring blankets and chairs and picnics - admission is $7 cash only
              Or you can buy tickets online.

              Sunday, July 3, 2011

              Gym's Love Note

              I think Gym is finally starting to reciprocate my love.

              This week I received a hand-written note from the employees of Gold's Gym congratulating me on my hard work and dedication.  And it isn't even from the Gold's Gym by my house that I most often frequent .  I had to laugh when I received it because, really, who visits the gym so often that the employees take notice and write you a note?  This girl!

              On Thursday, a beefy Jamaican from New York tried to strike up conversation with me at my favorite Gold's.  I am typically very successful with my goal of avoiding all human contact whilst sweating like a piglet.  Apparently he has observed me wearing New York shirts for quite some time and used that as segue for a conversation that was, I'm sure, magical in his head prior to the actual occurrence. 

              "Are you from New York?"
              (I look down to verify I am wearing a New York shirt, whilst noticing his "Giants" t-shirt) "Oh...nope!  They just have t-shirts 7 for $10!"

              I don't really think he expected my answer.  I could tell he was fishing for more conversation, but after some small talk, he asked my name, I told him and politely smiling "Thank you for saying hi!" whilst sticking my marshmallows back in my ears.  How strange it is that I've never seen the man before and he knows what I've been wearing every day for who knows how long?  Awkie.

              Come to think of it, the last guy who approached me at the gym was a beefy South African.  Maybe I'm just too bootylicious for the Caucasian boys? 

              Anyway.  Gym showed me some love this week.  After six years together, it's about time!  :-)

              Friday, July 1, 2011

              Dreams: Melting Cookies

              When my sissy was in town, we kept teasing her about this little conversation:

              "Brit, why don't you just leave the cookies in the car?"
              "But I don't want them to melt."
              "Umm...don't you make cookies in the oven?  How exactly, pray tell, is this already-baked cookie going to melt?"

              In her defense, she was referring to the chips in the cookies.  Not in her defense, these particular cookies did not have any chips in them.

              Saturday night, her friends from Provo came to have a sleep-over with us, so Brit and I had to share a bed.  Something I am so not used to.

              I found myself dreaming about her melting cookies.   I had to save them.  I reached to get the cookies and place them in the refrigerator to stop the demise of deliciousness.  Then a giant cat hissed ferociously in my ear to keep me from saving the treats.

              I woke up.

              I was precariously hovering over my sister, reaching for who knows what, and my hair was dangling in her face, obstructing her breathing.  She was making very loud choking/hissing noises thanks to my lovely locks.  I quickly put myself back into the appropriate sleep-time position and hoped she didn't wake up mad at me.  I told her the story the next morning and she had a minor giggle fit.  Whew.

              All Shook Up: Man Pants

              Why is it that when I need to buy girl jeans, I feel as if I have to try on ten pairs at each of ten different stores and still rarely find anything, but when I go to buy slightly baggy man pants for my show, I grab one pair and - voila! - they fit!?

              Maybe this is why I have only owned three pairs of jeans in the past five years (other than the fact that I really do prefer dresses and have to wear business clothes to work every day)...