Thursday, November 29, 2007

Brother's bday

Guess how I celebrated my brother's bday tonight! That's right - I went to a concert on a school night. I would have been home at a semi decent hour if it weren't for the gateway's endless parking garage. Now, can you guess who we saw? The legendary billy joel! Sometimes q song would come on and i'd turn to my brother to ask billy really wrote it - some of his stuff is like folk songs - timeless. What a guy. Not only does he sing and play like the wind still, he's very entertaining and funny - plus he can twirl a microphone stand better than some drum majorette from the 60's with her baton. Being the holiday season he threw out a couple celebratory numbes and when the audience sang along to "hark the herald angels" he called us the motab. It was a night full of love and music.

getting to know you! thank you julie!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags. I'm a bit on the lazy and late side when it comes to gifting.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. Again, it may be a matter of laziness. I think real are messy and don't always work and then what if I let it dry out then you have a hazard and then you have to dispose of it. Plus the prelighted kind are so handy!
3. When do you put up the tree? Truthfully, I don't. My roommate may put up one tonight, but I have to find the time to care enough to make the time to put one up. Know what I mean? I'm no scrooge - it's just I can barely keep up with life at this time of year.
4. When do you take the tree down? Perfect point - if I don't put it up I don't have to take it down.
5. Do you like eggnog? Sure - but milked down. Or my favorite is soy.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Usually it was a teddy bear. There was a huge one - such a surprise - when I was in junior high, I believe. And then when I was "too old" I still got the mother baby set I drooled over at the mall.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I bought it the day my mom let me skip school because it was the last day before Christmas, I needed to do research in the English library down town at the embassy, and I had gone to school unprepared for the trials of womanhood and needed her to come rescue me from that challenge anyway.
8. Hardest person to buy for? It used to be dad. Now I guess it's the roommate. I'm drawing a blank this year.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My mother just wants a photo 8x10.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? When I was 6 I knew I was getting a bike and I thought it would be yellow - my favorite color. But it turned out my dad's version of yellow wasn't mine. It was more of a goldenrod and since it was a refurbished one it had a large banana seat to it. I thought it was the ugliest thing ever invented and it made me cry. Too bad I didn't have a better sense of decency and appreciation for dad's hard work back then.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? I like to receive them by mail. I have yet to send any. Did I mention my laziness and general feeling of busyness at this season?
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas Story.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I try to do it all year round but really only get busy after Tday.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Sure - I must have.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I like it all. I especially enjoy gingerbread and pies and ice cream and mom's rocky road and toffee. But we always get See's marzipan as a gift so I think that would be the winner.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear. And colored. Since I don't do a tree I just like what I see and I've seen both and like both. But generally clear is best.
17. Favorite Christmas song? All of them!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? It's all good. This year I head to Sacramento with mohter to visit the sister. No one will be "home" this year. That happened a couple years ago and I fled to Seattle to spend it with Plewe and serve dinner to a bunch of hospital people. That was a good trip.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Rudolph. Commet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. That's enough.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Stars all the way.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Whenever I get them!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Coldness and darkness and dangerous snow.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Holiday! Parties! Good times all around!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Karate kid

I saw him. He was tying on his headband while sitting at the light of north temple and state street.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good bye houston

I'm waitng for my plane to take me home. Home is a relative term, though, as I used to consider houston home. People would ask where I was from and i'd claim houston as I lived here for three of my childhood years - longer than any place until I went to mexico city for all of high school - but can you count a foreign country as home? So I believed houston was as much as anywhere. I always remembered our address: 11707 glenway dr houston tx 77070. I loved my years here. My sister andrea, though, hated her years here - funny that she's the one who now lives here again. She pointed out that one of my worst life experiences happened while we lived here and we watched more R rated traumatizing movies here. Not to mention the monster sized roaches we'd battle daily. Ah, the memories! i'm glad I have them and i'm glad they all happened. And i'm glad we could drive by our old house last night and reminisce. The dark brown wood inside seems to now be white and we spied an exercise machine in our old dining room - but the stairs where I spent many quiet reflective moments appeared to be a similar hue of brown and the arches where we found countless locust shells still frame the porch and the yard seems to have never ridded itself of pine needles. And I was really happy to see that the elementary school at the mouth of our street still has an armadillo as its mascot. I only wish we'd had time to walk around the playground and surrounding woods.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I'm waiting to be picked up by my sister so I decided to share pictures of the fountains here at the temple. I found a secret one off to the side in a little grove of trees. Supposedly the church I attended as a child is nearby here but it's all foreign country to me.


It looks like i'm not the only one being a tourist at the houston temple this holiday weekend. I sure enjoyed the opportunity to take in a session and appreciate some of the unique beauties offered here. One of my favorite things are the blooming flowers outside. Hooray for no snow. And hooray for reflective time.

Dance dance

I had a good t-day. I played ddr for the first time. I got a lot of boos. Still it was a good time. I should have played longer. I had about 4 pieces of pie to work off and the largest slab of prime rib i've ever seen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Black wednesday

I learned from dona that today is black wednesday in airlines world. Something about being thwe busiest travel day of the year. And here I am on a plane, being a part of it. I'm flying to houston to bond with my sister andrea's family. Looking out the window i'm surprised by the gorgeous canyons below. I don't think i've flown from utah to texas before, so the flight path is new to me. If I had a better seat (non-wing) i'd have taken a photo to post. I have to strain my head to peek out the corner of the window behind me. It looks like totally wild country yet I just noticed a small patch of a perfectly plotted city. Behind me a fellow is snoring. I slept for a bit. I wonder what noise I may have made. Next to me are two burly weathered texan types. Perfect fit to the stereotype. I love to travel!

Scherenshnitte of my very own!

It's awesome to have original artwork gracing my home. I am now the proud owner of a Ferguson. Cindy did me the honors of sharing her talents by cutting a delicate but sturdy tree accented with a bird - all in homage to the best poem ever about hope. Well, emily dickinson also has a great poem about hope. Oops. I wonder which is my favorite now that I think about it. Maybe the paper cut can be about both - the tree one and the bird one. Thank you Cindy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


i tested my students on some greek and latin roots this week. i would give the meaning in english and then have the kids write down the root and an example of a word that used that root.
problem: eat greedily
answer: pig, piggy
that's the best one so far.


yes, i'm facing a very scary opportunity this evening. i plan to attend a jam session with a bunch of strangers. some nice lady found the shaved belly band on myspace and contacted dainon about harmonica lessons. he passed her info on to me. trying to be helpful i contacted her back and we got together a couple weekends ago to discuss harmonica playing. since then she has invited me to a jam. i got out of it last week. she invited me for tonight. i must go! i must face a fear! the worst that can happen is that i can listen to them all play and apologize for being so bad and never show up again. hopefully they won't glare too much. it's one of those moments, though, where i hope i get in a terrible accident on the way so i can't go. but that sounds terrible too.

Monday, November 19, 2007


this time last year i was standing in line at my ward's thanksgiving dinner party. the fellow next to me, who is a pretty good friend, reached over and ripped a gray hair out of my head. when i complained he justified his actions by saying that girls don't want gray hairs. i told him that next time he should at least warn me before he plucks. anyway, i noticed in my sister's photo recently that she has no visible gray hair. she's two years older. why should i be getting it before her? i think it's because i teach. except she's a home schooling mother so that reasoning doesn't perfectly work. maybe it's because i'm still single. yeah, that's it. anyway, my friend wasn't at the thanksgiving dinner party to pluck out offending hairs tonight.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

brain type test

Here are your EQ SQ results:

EQ : 55
SQ : 58
Brain Type : Systemizing
Take the EQ SQ tests

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Southwest turkey tomato soup

Here is the soup in its final form. I named it that so it can sound real. I think the zucchini slices give it away, though, as an imposter. At least it has a good flavor - lime juice is the answer. I think i'll have plenty of leftovers. When I pulled it out of the fridge to reheat it I discovered that the turkey amount had quadrupled and it looked more like turkey manwich than soup. A box of chicken broth solved that problem. Then I had to add a ton of the spices to get it back to a good "southwest" flavor. Like I said, go lime!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tomato soup invention

I once had a boyfriend who felt I wasn't creative enough. In terms of cooking I disagreed. But I don't think this is what he meant. I have a tendency to find recipes that I don't have all the ingredients for. Instead of going to the store (I hate going to the store - you wind up spending more than you should and buying junk you don't need - plus the parking, the lines, the cold, the dark - ugh!) I prefer to see what I have in my freezer/cupboards and use that instead. Tonight I found tomatoes and turkey in the freezer. The recipe I found online called for green peppers. And fresh herbs! (Lack herbs often don't stop me but peppers can.) So I kept searching. I had cilantro in the freezer so I added that to my search. This time I found wonderful sounding tomato soups - but they called for things like sherry and wine. Hmm. So... I combined! And then added. I needed enough for a RS function. I keep adding. It's still boiling. Tomorrow, before the function, when I reheat, I'll add noodles. I think that's in keeping with the cilantro theme. Since I believe in adding cinnamon randomly whenever chili powder is involved I just now decided to throw in a cinnamon stick to the simmering mess. I'll let you know how it comes out.

stolen wordless wednesday

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


the other day i was hanging with plewe and biff - in our little writing circle - and we were trying to come up with that word. i came across it today in a ny times article about john mccain. i liked the article. i was extra happy to see the word. it's a good one. use it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

another tree

hooray - cindy has blogged about the wonderful gift she's giving me. you must all check it out. here is a link to it. (she's also the one who taught me how to make links - thanks!)

father's grave

my sister took her little boy to visit dad's grave yesterday. he finally has a headstone. it's been nearly 6 months and i think the headstone just arrived this week. there were a lot of problems with getting the design just right. anyway - cute nephew, eh?

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Another haircut, another post. I think it looks pretty much the same but it feels good again and that's half the battle - feeling good. Don't you like the art work to my right? thanks kristin!

Friday, November 9, 2007

life's blueprint

i had my students start the new term by reading a speech by mlk about "life's blueprint." he gave the speech at a junior high about 6 months before he was assasinated. it's really good. i had my kids read it and do some visualizing with it. then for homework they were to write their own blueprint. most all of them want to do college, have a family, and travel - essentially. what made me laugh was one girl who listed "make babies" as one of the things she plans to do with her life. too funny!

My room now

It's done! My room has been transformed. Teaching in the library worked just fine! And i'm sitting in my pretty new blue room.

My room

This is my classroom. It is empty. I'm getting new carpet today so I spent yesterday afternoon packing and vacating. I get to teach in the library today. Wish me luck. And say goodbye to the warm and inviting orange. Tomorrow it will be blue. Which is good I guess. Look at me smile.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Old crow medicine show

I know - terrible picture. what it's depicting is also terrible - a very large man blocking my view of ocms. I so love them and I so wanted to just stare and sway with the music - but giants blocked my view. The second half of the show was better view wise but then I had some drunk girl bumping into me over and over and a drunk couple discussing movies at top volume next to me. It was kind of like a gallivan center crowd. Sadness. But the music was good and I don't smell like smoke.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


i was reading an article in real simple which led me to another article. anyway, i loved what this second one had to say about winning people over. this is an important topic to me as a teacher - i feel it's important i am able to capture my students' attention. i liked what this article said so much i'm blogging it so i can easily find it again when i need to remember it and so maybe any of you can get something valuable out of it.

"...Shift your attention from yourself to your audience.” Now, that’s probably one of the most important things my dad taught me about winning people over, and it works anytime you’re trying to make a positive impression. Don’t think, How am I doing? Do they like me? but How are they? What do they need? Look out, not in. Great acting or great speaking — or just plain great communicating — is, at the risk of sounding corny, about love. That’s how my father put it: You’ve got to love the audience so much that you’ll do anything to get your idea or your message across. When they feel that, they’ll love you right back. “And don’t forget,” he added. “Show ’em your passion.”

Monday, November 5, 2007

my halloween

the food spread was amazing - we ran out of fruit but the rest kept on going!
the drinkwater johnson family kindly came. two days later they had another son.
dona and me - the hostesses - happened to both be in red.
dennis and plewe looking rather hip.
the clue family: mr. green, madame rose, miss white, miss scarlett, french maid, mrs. peacock, and professor plum. or, vanya, biff, alexis, dona, cindy, dan, and mark.

good times had by all!
even the scary cat.

halloween in dc

here are my sister and her family. their costumes crack me up. for those who know my brother in law, you won't be surprised. he also has a nice curly tail on the back side.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It's raining leaves

You can't tell from this picture but that's why I took it - to document the rain of leaves. Oh, it made my heart leap it was so beautiful! Gently softly they just dropped and dropped like an endless feather pillow fight. I only regretted not taking the time to walk amongst them.

Friday, November 2, 2007


The party is over and the poop cleaned up, but leftover treats still fill my counter tops and belly. I am a fan of the rubber rat gaurding the gummi fruit slices.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Party troopers

Halloween 2007 has come to a close. Here are the troopers of the night who stayed and restored my living room to normal before calling it a night. It may have been an even later night if it weren't for a mysterious party pooper around 10:45. Yep, suddenly my house reeked of dog poop. Coincidentally, about 10 people no one recognized also walked in about that time. I took advantage of the moment and shut the whole thing down. There were about 6-10 dear church friends who hung out in the driveway long enough to be sure the crashers left without causing me trouble. I assured them my fbi agent friend could help take care of any problems. Let's just say it was a night of feeling blessed to the rim with friends! Thank you one and all for playing! I had a grand time!