Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Asking For Help

I hate asking for help. 

When I finally bring myself to ask, I have some cutesy little act all worked up just so it seems like it is some whimsical request I am making whilst batting my eyelashes.  Why must I feel compelled to do this? 

I love helping others. 

Double standard, much? 

How could I ever do the thing I love in helping others if no one ever asked?

My friend pointed out to me last night, "Larissa, people want to help.  Give them the opportunity.  Let them." 

I've made a talent out of waiting so long to ask for help that I'm about to burst with emotion or dirty laundry.  Real dirty laundry.  I waited almost two weeks before asking for help fixing my dryer.  Most of the time I throw in edible bribes or cash money to try and justify my helplessness.  I'm so afraid people will see me as helpless.  But why?  I am a strong, independent young lady and have managed to keep myself alive without too many bumbles up to this point. 

How many times has someone offered to help me with something and I never take them up on it lest they see me as a burden?  Someone please kick me in the head to knock some sense into me. 

Another friend told me, "You know, the more you let people serve you, the more they love you.  The more you serve them, the more you love them." 

So true.  I'm going to work on this.  Are you?  (Cause I'm getting my carpets cleaned on Thursday and may need some help Wednesday night moving around furniture thrice my size...)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Leftover Dates

I love food.  Love.

The thing is, I just can't eat much of it.  Like last Saturday, for instance - I went out for The Pie pizza and guess who only ate one piece before declaring she was so full she was gonna pop?  I seriously disappoint myself sometimes.  I had such ambitions - four pieces and a cookie from Smart Cookie. 

I digress.  I'm always up for yummy food.  But what to do with the leftovers when I'm not typically a huge leftovers fan?  And how many times do I just want a bite or two of a cookie or some other sweet treat, but don't want to waste the rest? 

This is where a man friend comes into play.  Men, you date me, you get to eat wherever you want and get at least half of my meal too.  I'm a bargain, fellas!

Come and get it!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Spitfire Grill: Empress Theatre

Time for another Empress show!  Seems like I always end up at the Empress, doesn't it?  I have to tell you, I love the tight-knit community feel of the place.  Every time I go, I am surprisingly greeted by name and escorted to my seat - after only having done one show there two years ago.  Oh that all theaters gave such VIP treatment.  I also always end up having friends in their productions and you all know how I mostly go see shows to support my amazingly talented comrades.

Enter Kristen Fox.  She's the most spitfire character at The Spitfire Grill.

But back it up.  You are probably wondering what this show is even about, right?  I consider myself a Broadway aficionado and had never seen this one.  Basically, an ex-con starts life anew in the town of Gillead, which is so small there is only one place to eat - The Spitfire Grill.  Eventually, the townsfolk decide to sell off the Grill to the winner of an essay contest with an entrance fee of $100. Not the most exciting plot or the most exciting music, but such a sweet, backwoods, folksy feel.

Back to Kristen.  And all the other actors and actresses.  Of course, I love Kristen's character, Effy, because of the sassy, town-gossip, outspoken zaniness of her.  My favorite scene was probably when she demanded to know some information, the other characters teased her, and she let out this high-pitched squeal/scream before stomping her foot and dramatically exiting the stage.  Love.

And can I tell you how much I adored the live accompaniment?  Especially the fiddle?  Hats off, Eric Barney.  Wow.  The entire show, he just kept playing and playing.  Dare I say it, but I think that fiddle sets the atmosphere for the entire show over and over again. 

You know what else I loved?  Every. Single. Person.  There was not a weak link among them. Not a missed note.  Not a squeak.  Harmonies bound so tightly even Chuck Norris would be jealous.  If there is anything you don't like about the show, it will not be the fault of these performers, trust me, but rather the fault of the actual, somewhat-slow script or the repetitive composition. I cannot say enough about the musical skills of these performers - they deserve to be seen.

Lest I forget someone, your talented cast is:
Percy Talbott: Brittany Boynton
Hannah Ferguson: Mia Detton
Shelby Thorpe: Lindsay Boucher
Caleb Thorpe: Shawn Maxfield
Sheriff Joe Sutter: Jacob Clark
Effy Krayneck: Kristen Fox
The Visitor: Mason Heywood

I cannot write this without giving huge accolades to Shawn Maxfield for blowing the roof off the place in a show-stopping ballad.  I've seen him perform several times.  Heck, I performed with him for over six weeks.  And this performance is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of which I have seen him.  W.O.W.  One more mention - Brittany Boynton's change-of-heart ballad towards the show's end will also widen your eyes and have you thinking, "Daaaang.  Girl can sing."

You can catch the show at The Empress Theatre on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays now through February 11.  The weather outside is frightful, but The Spitfire Grill's delightful - so as long as the winter snows, see a show, see a show, see a show (like this one)!

Buy tickets here. 

Breakfast in Bed

I don't get it.

You may hear, "breakfast in bed," and think about relaxing on a sunny morning with your loved ones giggling at your side.

But I just think about crumbs in my bed, how I'd have to get out of bed to go to the restroom anyway, how I'd been laying there for 6-8 hours and don't want butt rot, how I'd feel so lazy and slimy, how I probably shouldn't be eating whatever it is, how I'd need to brush my teeth, how I'd probably have to clean up whatever mess was made in the kitchen...you get the point.

I just don't get the concept of breakfast in bed other than it being a service opportunity to show someone you love them (although I'd much prefer other methods).  I know that generally the population looks at this as a wonderful luxury...it just isn't for me.

How do you feel about crumbs in your bed while you chew calorie-laden food with your fuzzy teeth and greasy face?  In other words, how do you feel about breakfast in bed? 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gleeful Love

I caught a few minutes of Glee the other night, something I rarely do anymore.

Mr. Schuester proposed to Emma.  Yes, Emma of the obsessive compulsive germaphobia.

Emotions and thoughts came flooding to me.  I recently have been worried a bit too much about my flaws, more importantly, that the people I want to embrace me most will reject me because of those flaws.

But I look at Mr. Schue and crazy, crazy Emma.  He loves her.  He loves her unconditionally, intensely, in spite of and because of all of her flaws.  They both know they will have to work incredibly hard to make it work, yet they proceed with faith.

Mr. Schue has it right - I want a Schue & Emma kinda love.

City Deals: The End of our Relationship

I have been an advocate of, and a faithful, loyal customer to CityDeals.com.

You all know I'm a frugal spendthrift most of the time (darned Anthropologie)

But I've had enough.*

Late last summer, something went down with their business practices (rumor is they were not paying their vendors) and the company went dark for a few days.  Upon relaunch, many of the vendors who were selling discounted vouchers through them would no longer accept the vouchers.  My beloved Smart Cookie was one of them.  I had 3 vouchers that I held onto, waiting and waiting to see if they would eventually accept them.  Nope.  So I returned them.  And this exchange ensued:

From: customerservice@citydeals.com
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 14:42:53 -0700
Subject: Return for Smart Cookie certificates
To: X


We have processed a return for your Smart Cookie gift certificates for $15.75.  This may be used toward future CityDeal purchases.


CityDeals Customer Service

On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 3:05 PM, X wrote:
Thank you so much!

I did have a question/concern.
The only reason I had to return these is because of the fiasco back at the end of the year - I'm not sure the details behind it, but I do know the company went dark for a few days and some of the merchants no longer accepted the certificates. 
So, not only did I not get to use my certificates, your website stated these had to be sent via trackable mail.  I went to the post office and discovered that it would cost me $3.29 for the very cheapest method of trackable mail. 
I was very concerned about this because I was returning a product because the company failed me and then I ended up being in the hole because of it.
Is there anything CityDeals is doing for customers in this situation?  Like putting a $3.29 credit on the account?
It isn't the end of the world and I know that the customer service rep answering this e-mail is in no way responsible for this, I just thought I'd ask. 

From: customerservice@citydeals.com
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 15:12:58 -0700
Subject: Re: Return for Smart Cookie certificates
To: X

Unfortunately, we cannot issue returns either for certified mail costs or for .99 for shipping which is charged when certificates are mailed out.  We merely suggest that for customer's protection in the case the mail should be lost.  Or you would be more than welcome to drop the form and certificates off at our office in Draper.
CityDeals Customer Service

I will never again be using CityDeals after I use my credit (don't want to lose even MORE money by not using the credit)
A large part of my job is customer service and I know the way CityDeals is practicing is abhorrent.  They are making their customers, the ones who keep them afloat, pay for their mistakes. 

Maybe it is only $3.29.  But it wasn't just that.  It was forty-five minutes of my time filling out forms and driving to the Post Office and standing in line and the gas money to do so.  The least they should do is put a $3.29 credit on my account.  If this were one of my customers, I'd give them an entirely free product for the inconvenience - and I would, I do this every day. 

What good is a great deal if they make you pay for their bad business practices in the end? 

Long Live Groupon!
* I realize good people would lose their jobs if CityDeals went under, I don't want them to go out of business, I just want them to change their business practices.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Potty Training Updates

What is it with the recent onslaught of everyone updating the world on the progress of their child's potty training?

I am sure this is very exciting, but I do not need to know your child has started pooping in the potty or has been wearing real panties for two days without an accident.  And, so you all know, I can't write "panties" without cringing a little. 

What gives? Or are you all thinking, "Oh you'll understand if you are ever a parent..."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Somebody's Child

I've only ever been somebody's child.

I've never been a spouse.

I've never been a parent.

Aren't those these the things that make us feel like adults?  Marriage, children of your own?  Maybe even purchasing a home or having your own business would work.

I am an adult, but certainly don't feel like one.  I've known no other role for my life than that of being someone's child.  I am a nurturer, a loyal friend, a devout manager/employee, a pet adopter, a condo-of-my-own dweller...and yet none of these things give me that, "I'm a grown up" feeling.  Sometimes I even get that tickle inside that I'm playing house and fooling everyone.

Other singles out there - do you feel grown up?
Married friends - do you feel grown up?
When did this realization  hit you?

Baby Riss

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Want to Win a Free Kindle?!

Want to win a free Kindle

Stephanie Fowers is many things to me - a dear friend, an old roommate, a partner-in-crime, an adventurer extraordinaire, and most importantly for this post, an entertaining author to boot.

Her first two books (Rules of Engagement and Meet Your Match) chronicle some real-life adventures we had when living together, so naturally she selected me as one of her judges for this little contest in honor of her latest book launch.

Check out Stephanie and her contest.  Check out Prank Wars. You won't regret it!
(and you'll also find out way too much dirt on my former ways in the Provo days)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Relationship Anchovies

To each person, there is a different level of "tolerable" in relationships.

Imagine this: I give you your favorite cheesy, delicious, ginormous pizza, but tell you that I have to put one anchovy on it and that you have to eat it, or you get no pizza at all.

Would that ruin the whole pizza for you?  Would you still want it?

For me, the anchovy would ruin the whole pizza and I definitely would not want it.  I'd search for someone else's pizza that had a habenero pepper or something I could tolerate.

Just because you can't tolerate the imperfections of one does not mean you won't be able to tolerate the imperfections of another.  And vice-versa - there is always someone who will embrace you, anchovies and all.  Heck, there is probably someone out there who will see your anchovy as a bonus goodie.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Claiming Your Territory: Defining the Relationship

When you are dating someone, do you feel the need to have a definitive conversation regarding the status of your relationship?

I've heard some say that a conversation never needs to happen, that if you are both mature adults who are clearly only dating each other and being physically affectionate with each other, then there is no question - you are together.  If you have been introduced to family and friends, with affection displayed, then that is a particularly clear sign - you are together. 

I've heard some say that you do need to have a definitive conversation where you "claim them as your own."  They say this conversation provides peace of mind and security, clearing up any uncertainty, eliminating the awkwardness when another man/woman (or four) approach you for your phone number, pseudo-dates, or actual dates.  There is also the question that all well-intentioned people ask, "So is he/she your boyfriend/girlfriend?"

What do you think?  Is this a conversation you should or should not have?  Why?  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

She's Not Into Me? Impossible!

Have you all seen 500 Days of Summer?
If not, go run and do it...now.

Why is it that when a guy tells a girl "We're just friends," the girl must accept that and move on, lest she be deemed too emotional or clingy, but when a girl says that to a man, the man actually hears, "We're just friends unless..."?  I mean, of course we are just kidding, right?  Of course we'll come around, right?

Men, we are not kidding.  We are not waiting for some sign.  I know there are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, when we say, in a serious heart-to-heart, that we are "just friends," we mean exactly what we said.  If we continue to want to spend time with you?  That is because you are a friend.

A persistent girl is looked at as psycho and men run like she's some diseased plague.  But a persistent man is constantly encouraged to keep going after the girl, no matter what she says, and if she rejects him, well that's just her problem.  What the? 

I want to grab them both and say, "Honey, he/she is just not that into you.  Move on.  Either be friends or don't.  But move on."  I actually have said this a few times fortunately/unfortunately.

How do you feel about this?  Do you think pushy girls are punished whilst pushy men are encouraged?  Do you believe girls when they say they want to be just friends?  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Marriage and The Gospel

“Why should neurotic, selfish, immature people suddenly become angels when they fall in love ... ?” - Denis de Rougemont

"Raw, natural talent does not enable you to play baseball as a pro or write great literature without enduring discipline and enormous work. Why would it be easy to live lovingly and well with another human being in light of what is profoundly wrong within our human nature?" - Timothy Keller

"The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the Gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The Gospel is—we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, and at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. This is the only kind of relationship that will really transform us. Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace." - Timothy Keller

These are some of the most beautiful truths I have read regarding marriage - you can find the entire article here.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I have shared this thought recently with someone very dear to me and also a darling blog reader.  I honestly cannot get this out of my head, which means to me that someone else needs to hear it.  So I share.  

The ever-spiritual and sweetheart Sharon, a friend from church, asked me to think of something I really, really want this year.  She then said to think about that thing in application to this quote:

"Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you.  It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.  It is believing and expecting that something will occur.  When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good.  Hope helps you conquer discouragement."  - Preach My Gospel p. 117.

I absolutely love this quote.  I've always felt this way about life, but could never quite pinpoint the words.  I could let discouragement get me down for not being or having everything I've ever dreamed of, but I know the Lord has made promises to me that He will keep...promises for His dreams for my life and the greater purpose therein.  I know He is directing my paths, even when I haven't a clue what's going on.  At times I have longed that He could hold me in His arms and comfort me, and those times are when I have felt on overwhelming spiritual assurance and warmth that He is there with me.  I trust in the Lord.  My hope for my life rests in knowing that He will fulfill these promises.  I can move forward each day with optimism, enthusiasm and patience because I know it will all work out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Home for the Holidays

I had a lot of adventures while I was home for the holidays.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll spare you the details and just show you the fun:-)
This is my FAVORITE of our family photos, I call this, "Andy discovers cat hair ALL over his suit after touching the curtains."  The looks of genuine shock on all of our faces are priceless.  Zoom in.  Totally worth it.
Skyline Chili makes my heart pitter patter!
Mom needs a bib when she eats at Skyline.  Yep, the manager came up and offered her one, not the 7-year old.  And then he tied it on for her.  Precious.
Together, at last, it's Skyline Time!
Yep, that's my dad.  In his workout clothes.  Before Sunrise.  I have a love/hate relationship with getting up before dawn to go workout with him, but seeing an outfit like this makes it all worth it, right?

We met in Tiffin (half way between Lorain and Piqua) to have lunch with my Grandma Betty and Uncle John. 
Everyone loves some Grandma Betty.  Did you know I'm her namesake? 
Go ahead - zoom in and read what Uncle John's shirt says.  And that is why my sense of humor was destined to be...well...what it is...or isn't...

My nephew Max!  I don't deserve all the unconditional love this little boy gives me!
What a troupe.
Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Past Year's Resolutions: 2011

When one sets a goal, it has to be something thought long and hard about, something desired with all the heart and soul - not something you do just because someone tells you you should at a certain time of year.

For this reason, setting New Year's Resolutions proves to be a little difficult for me.  I actually don't do it.  I set a goal when I know the time is right.  And don't resolutions wreak with the stench of negative stigma?  I don't want any kind of negativity attached to goals that are important enough for me to make. 

If I had set resolutions for myself in 2011, and they looked something like the list below, I would not have disappointed myself.

1. Win Employee of the Year with an extremely demanding company which has never before done an "Employee of..." anything award.

2. Earn and Perform the leading role in a musical - receiving the final bow at curtain call, also providing a strange sense of closure with my performing adventures.

3. Visit home (Ohio) more than once.

4. Maintain my six-days-per-week dates with Gym.

5. Maintain within 5-7 pounds of my finishing weight when I worked with a nutritionist two years ago. 

6. Organize a trip to New York City with friends I did not know the year prior. 

7. Add X amount to my savings (even through developing an insane and insatiable love for Anthropologie).

8. Continue to blog regularly.

9. Speak in church three times.  (Seriously, what did I do wrong?...or right I guess...)

10. Learn to love more unconditionally - realizing sometimes you must hold tighter and sometimes you must let go.

11. Be part of a radio show.

*Bonus* Have my larger-than-life photo plastered on the sides of  buses, bus stops, buildings, and most importantly - The Capitol Theater! (the theater for touring Broadway productions, operas, and ballets in downtown Salt Lake City)

Past editions: 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The "Resolutioners."

That's what I call them.  Who?  The people at the gym during January, trickling off in February, mostly entirely evaporated by March.

I love dedication to fitness.  Almost nothing is more attractive to me.  I love knowing that millions of people re-dedicate themselves each year and I am happy to know these people care enough about themselves and their families to do so.

What I don't love?  They take over my gym.  My gym.  They use him and then lose him.  I'm fine if they form a committed and long-term bond with Gym, but most don't.  Most just tease him with all that hot and sweaty business, making him think they love him back until one day they vanish.  Sure, they pay him off a little every month to console him for the loss, but Gym's language of love is Quality Time.  Little do they know that he will show his ultimate revenge when one day they wake up and all those pounds are back and they are once again out of breath trekking up the stairs. 

Resolutioners, to thee I plea - stick with it for yourself and for Gym.  Cause otherwise, you just majorly inconvenience my life for a few months.