Saturday, January 31, 2009

Alliterative Adjectives

So, on Thursday, I was part of a group that did a get-to-know-you introduction game. Using alliteration, give your name and an adjective or animal that works with your name. It worked out well for Adorable Annah and Brilliant Brittany, but for someone who loves words and has an extensive vocabulary at her disposal, I couldn't think of anything appropriate for a church setting.

The only adjectives I could think of:

I know--awful, right? I mean, if we were playing a bar game, and I was trying to pick up someone by dropping anvils on their head, sure, but not at a scripture study class. So finally, I just said, "TRu-Tigger."

Thinking about it later, I could still only come up with Tempestuous T as the least awkward.

After a quick Google search, I am annoyed by the fact that my brain completely ignored:
Traditional (Family History oriented)

Some work more than others and wouldn't have been too egocentric. Sheesh. Any others I should add to the list for next time?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Practicing Your German and other random moments of my week. . .

Orientation happens every other month on the last Wednesday-Thursday combination of the month. It means I am massively stressed, deal with really stupid people who do not read their email (or look at the agenda I have sent them at least three times before they arrive and have provided for them when they get to the office), leave the house at ungodly hours, and pray for the weekend.

It also means I distract myself with random things to make the week go by faster. My unwindings for the week:

1. The German Vocab section at (go to Change Subjects and have fun!)

2. Eric Snider's Sundance Diary:

3. Dear Prudie has been somewhat salacious lately--

4. Jon's Interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson:

And the follow up note:

5. The hysterical 30 Rock--

"I want to go to there" (any time Liz Lemon says this, my heart does a little dance):

I heart Jack Donaghy:

Take a moment, unhook your brain, and enjoy one last distraction:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rainy Days. . .

Driving home today was lovely. The corridor on 54 was like something out of a Whitman poem or Anne of Green Gables (the part that starts around 1:36 and goes to 4:42). Hauntingly lovely, the mist lingered among the trees, tempting me with whispers of perching on a windowsill with a good book or snuggling with someone in front of the fire, while having existentialist conversations about living away from it all (even as we turn on the fireplace with a light switch and I blog over our wireless network--ah, irony).

Don't you just love how romantic gray days are? With the color washed from everything, the innocence and simplicity of a black-and-white film take over. Fred & Ginger could be dancing their way out of the rain just out of view. Or Gilda could be on the roulette table with her guitar singing about the nature of men (See below. Isn't Rita Hayworth stunning? You cannot look away from her!). It makes you want to sing heartbreak songs in a dingy speakeasy or walk hand-in-hand down a lonely road. I love it.

There is a quote from a semi-recent Doctor Who Episode that explains my rainy day feeling the best:

"I love old things. They make me feel sad."

"What's good about sad?"

"It's happy for deep people."

Funny, yet perfect. It makes me want to escape in a sigh. . . . Happy Rainy Day.


Driving home today, I saw a bumper sticker that made me slightly uncomfortable.

It said, "GYMSOX." After a minute I realized the x was really a sideways Crucifix, and in small letters I saw the words "Get Your Mind Set On Christ." Now I am all for sayings that help kids and teenagers feel a connection to the Lord. I left the house for years with Mom yelling after, "Return with Honor!" and a little Iron Rod key chain, but I have a little bit of a problem with this one. Why on Earth would you want to connect the Savior of the World with sweaty, smelly, disgusting things that you pull off after a hard work-out or a trash-talking basketball game? Really, you want to equate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to gym socks? Am I being too harsh? It just doesn't seem very respectful. Thoughts?

On the other hand, does anyone now have George Harrison's I've Got My Mind Set On You stuck in your head? Sidebar: Who knew he could dance like that or that they used Disney's Haunted Mansion for music videos?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Opera days

I watched Moonstruck this weekend. Besides being shocked that there was a time when Nicolas Cage could act, I am surprised how I can't seem to shake it (It isn't some profound classic--it is definitely the 80s--bubble skirts, big hair, loud New York Italians, weirdly-quirky melodramatic moments). I'm not sure if it is the Opera or just the longing feeling you get waiting for love (I know, I should be more cynical, but the closet Romantic in me has to peek her head out once in a while).

I adore the Puccini (And in fact, it led me to listen to accurradio's opera station all Sunday). In high school, I used to love our local Public Radio's Opera Saturdays. My brother Nathan, not so much. But every so often, if I wanted completely naked emotions shouted to the heavens, I would listen and weep. When Puccini speaks, your heart soars as the first few strains catch your ear and then your heart is laid bare with an aching that sears so very deeply, and it is almost enough to make you believe in it all. There is something about that depth that allows you to painfully long for love, life, and all the craziness that comes with it--without feeling foolish about it--which is possibly why I can only listen sometimes.

"... Why you wanna sell your life short? Playing it safe is just about the most dangerous thing a woman like you could do. You waited for the right man the first time, why didn't you wait for the right man again?"

"He didn't come!"

"I'm here!"

"You're late!"

Sigh. . . Too bad real life is nothing like the Opera, or the movies. But a girl can be fanciful every so often, right? Aaaaand. . . back to real life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Living with a designer can be amazing, yet it can also be exhausting. A magazine gets tossed at you, "While you are sitting there, fold down the pages you like!"

32 Dominoes, 19 Elle Decors, 27 House Beautifuls, not to mention tons of others later, and you still can't always tell the difference between Hollywood Regency and Art Deco. Not to mention the subtle differences in fabric or paint color. And somehow you are supposed to convey visual ideas in word form, somehow understanding the complexities of just why something clicks in your brain to someone who is immensely more trained in the area? I read a lot of literature and edited a lot of papers in college (among other things). I cannot tell you what type of print that is and where it originated. Sometimes she makes me feel a little dull, not to mention slow (I feel I may have to take a textiles class, a design class, and an art history class--again--just to keep up).

Ruby recently saved a bunch of scraps from cloth heaven and they have been helping shape design schemes of our house. Though we have been poor, the idea of shaping a new year around color, art, and good design has helped cheer her. We have a list a mile long of things we are saving up for. First up, painting (mostly because it was the cheapest way to make a huge difference)!

B recently painted her room. For some reason, I thought I had heard the color was passion. Pounding my brain for days, there was no way to identify how a timid blue-gray (with hints of periwinkle in certain lights--though in the picture it looks almost white) could convey passion. Turns out, it is passive. Ahhh. . . Totally makes sense now.

Our second big painting project was the living room. I have wanted to paint an accent wall since before we moved in, but we could never settle on a color. After going through a trunk-full of design magazines, I have enjoyed the various stripes I have seen a lot lately, but wasn't sure exactly if I liked them for my house. Stripes have been big for a few years now (elongating a room, giving it boundaries, making it wider or shorter, tying together an area). My parents did a whole dining room in cream with glossy stripes alternating with matte around the square room. I adored the almost ribbon effect and hatbox feel it lent to the room (B is going to give me crap for not actually remembering the term). So, a few weeks ago when the BRu came home and said, "How about chocolate and cream stripes in the living room? It means we'll have to paint less since the wall is already cream," I thought about it, and the whole idea came together in my head. "Sure."

On December 30th, when we started planning (yay for increased journal writing!), I scrawled painting stripes on my calendar for MLK weekend--3-day weekend; payday; perfection! I could tell the Bster was getting a little worried about it, but I kind of shrugged it off. She visited Sherwin Williams, grabbing everything we would need, including the black bean paint, 6" rollers, a paint tray, etc (It says black bean, but it really is like melted chocolate--I have dipped strawberries in the exact same color). I knew the taping would take the most time; but Friday night taping became Saturday night, and then it was 7:30pm on Sunday and nothing was done! Slight annoyance led to an amusing squabble over taping and whether we were actually going to do this (okay, amusing after the fact). We taped the top and the bottom, worked out that we would need a ladder and a laser level (woo-hoo Internet comparison shopping); and Ruby went to bed knowing she had to work and I was going to paint.

My Monday:

8-9 Lowes
9-3:15 taping

3:15-8:10 painting

8:45-9:20 clean up and tape off

Tuesday's Snow Day (First snow that stuck in Carolina since '04) allowed us to put the room back together

Ruby was pretty nervous. I think it helped that I sent picture updates throughout the day. I think she truly enjoyed letting me paint and then being the one to officially remove the tape. I don't know that she would have had the patience or the attention span to do it with me (plus, it is probably better for our relationship). My saviors that day were Bryan, Jen, and Jordan, who selflessly showed up and didn't let me do it by myself. The hours of taping alone qualify them for sainthood. All three will be getting massive amounts of love from the Sisters Ru. Oh, and a tiny shout-out to Brad for his drop-cloths--couldn't have done it without you!

It totally transforms the room. Though still fiscally-challenged, we cannot wait to add art, window treatments, lamps, and so much more. B is a little shocked we actually followed through, but I knew if we didn't, we never would. So, thoughts? Feelings? Love it? Hate it? Terrifying paint experiences? Yay, tape (3 rolls of it)!

Living with a designer can be massively exhausting, but it can be pretty exciting, too.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer. I do not even own a camera, except for my phone. All pictures were taken with my phone (most of the finished ones at night), so please forgive the resolution and the lighting.

Disclaimer 2: The magazines served to help B identify my likes and dislikes. The actual design, originality, and creative inspiration are totally hers. She took all of my folds, all of my comments, all of my babblings, and found the perfect inspiration fabric that has me jumping up and down to keep going. She is even pushing me in my bedroom. When I finally do get to my room, it is going to be fantastic!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blog Diagnostics

Recently the Design Lines blog added diagnostics. Shortly thereafter, the Sisters Ru added diagnostics to their respective blogs. It has been fascinating to see who has been tuning in and where from. My TV entry sparked a few links from farther away, and I was kind of excited to see it posted on various fan-boards for shows like Supernatural and Bones.

That said, I think that my last post has been my favorite. Whether through comments or email responses to it, I have had a few long-lost and still-in-touch friends let me know how much they appreciate me. I didn't realize I needed it.

So, yes, Site Meter is enthralling and much more addicting than facebook ever was for me, but relationships are the main reason for this life--and I was reminded that I have the best friends anyone could ask for. Though I still would love to know who is tuning in from Jakarta.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Visits from Angels

Yesterday a good friend and old roommate stopped by for a visit with her almost-two-year-old. Her daughter is gorgeous and darling, and I adore her. Until Baby Ally became jealous of one or both of us, we had a chance to recreate old moments while making new ones. I think those quiet moments were my favorite of the little time we had together.

When we met, I just knew we were going to be friends. Despite not knowing each other well, there was an instant kinship that didn't need to be discussed or worried about, it just was. After a long day of working towards her nursing degree and a long night of working at BYU Info, she would come home, see me out in the hallway (across from yet another guy who would be "just friends" with me but would ultimately break my heart, who was probably playing the guitar while I sang), and plop down next to me to lay her head in my lap while I played with her hair. A few hours later, her hair massively frizzy (we're talking Bozo-the-clown huge) and the poor girl completely asleep, I would quietly arouse her enough to get her into her apartment across the hall, and I would head off to bed.

If one of us needed a hug, you just had to go in, look at the other, and you knew. No words exchanged, not even after, just a hug and off to whatever you had to accomplish. When I was depressed and wondered if anybody but Heavenly Father knew, she would show up. Even if it was for a few moments, I knew that I would be okay and that she was one of my personal angels. After a long day on my part, the easiest way to relax me is to play with my hair, and she would--until it was so greasy that it would stay straight up (right now my sister is saying, "Ewww!"). There were long nights getting caught in a Real World marathon or watching Saturday's Warrior on BYU-TV, and lots of me cooking while we talked.

She put up with a million fans in our room in the middle of a Provo Summer, my constant need for music, and a messy room, along with my many other oddities. She was the first to catch me (literally) the night I found out my younger brother died--knowing just how much I would need her and "Bybee and Marcia get down here now!" Going through multiple rolls of toilet paper and tissues, hugs from friends, and priesthood blessings, her maternal cocoon created around my broken heart (me on the floor at her feet as she ran her fingers through my hair) made that first night bearable.

Years later, her calming affect still lingers. We sat in relative darkness as the sun went down outside, talking like old times. Me playing with her hair; then her playing with mine as we covered life and how we are dealing with it, and a little girl scrambled over the both of us, trying to figure out this sisterly bond that just exists between us. We don't see each other often, but when we do, that perfect love we have for each other just happens. And, I am reminded, yet again, that I am loved for me, that angels are real, and that sometimes you meet them across the hall.

ETA: I've been very lucky to have many angels in my life; the Countess De Winters just happens to be the one who visited yesterday. . . My love goes out to all of you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Best of (Scripted) TV 2008

Y'all know I am a media addict, and that one of my favorite poisons is TV; so here it is, my scripted favorites in '08.

1. Best Show on TV--Pushing Daisies (or view episodes here):
Subtle pining/Cutest eyebrows: Ned (Lee Pace)
Best Delivery: Emerson Cod (Chi McBride)
Most Snarky/Best use of an eye patch: Aunt Lily (Swoosie Kurtz--her delivery of "Mid-middle-morning prayers" left me rolling)
Best Sidekick on TV/Best use of random singing in a TV show (and best use of a Bangles cover)/Best use of cleavage: Olive Snook, aka Itty Bitty (Kristen Chenowith)
Best Narrator ever: Jim Dale
Runner Up: Chuck

2. Best Summer Escape--Burn Notice (episodes here):
Best use of various characters & accents: Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan)
Most Moxie: Fiona, aka Fee (Gabrielle Anwar)
My favorite layabout/lady killer: Sam (Bruce Campbell)
Runner Up: Psych/My Boys

3. Best Writer's Strike Escape--Eli Stone (episodes here):
Best Assistant on TV: Miss Patti (Loretta Divine)
Best Boss who sometimes breaks into song, but only in your head: Jordan Wethersby (Victor Garber--SpyDaddy Bristow, I adore you.)
Best Asian Stereotype who isn't: Dr. Frank Chen (James Saito)
Runner Up: Sarah Conner Chronicles on TV and Veronica Mars, Buffy, Firefly, Wonderfalls, and Alias on DVD

4. Best thing to come out of the writer's strike--Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (watch here):
Best Supervillian who is really kind of good, sort of/"Peace, but not really": Dr. Horrible, aka Billy (Neil Patrick Harris)
Best Superhero who is really a tool: Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion)
Best Homeless Helper who likes FroYo and suffers for our hero's origin story: Penny (Felicia Day)
Runner Up: Some of the amusing Writers' videos on YouTube

5. Best Import--Doctor Who:
Fantastic Doctor/Lonely God/Sexy Brain: The Doctor (at the moment played with an enthusiasm that just makes you smile by David Tenant)
Favorite Companion: Donna Noble (Catherine Tate--just watch her in the last episode play the Doctor as David Tenant--she is genius!)
Best reunited couple: The Doctor & Rose Tyler (Billy Piper)
Runner Up: Torchwood/Instant Star

6. Best SciFi Show--Supernatural:
Best Brotherly relationship: Sam & Dean Winchester (Jared Padelecki & Jensen Ackles)
Best Fatherly Baddassery & Slap you upside the head common sense: Bobby (Jim Beaver)
Most heartbreakingly melancholy and beautiful Divine Being; The Angel Castiel (Misha Collins)
Runner Up: Eureka/Fringe /Smallville

7. Best Procedural--Bones (episodes here):
Partnership with the best chemistry: Booth & Bones (David Boreanaz & Emily Deschanel)
Cutest Couple on TV (Who will hopefully get back together): Angela & Hodges (Michaela Conlin & T.J. Thyne
Runner Up: The Mentalist/Numb3rs/The Closer/House

8. Best Comedy--30 Rock (episodes here):
Best Straightwoman/Single Gal: Liz Lemon (Tina Fey)
Best Corporate Boss whom you would think you would hate, but you can't help but love: Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin)
Best NBC Page: Kenneth (Jack McBrayer)
Best Posse who ascend out of the cliche: Dot Com & Grizz (Kevin Brown & Grizz Chapman)
Runner Up: The Office/Ugly Betty/My Boys

9. Show I am most looking forward to in 2009--Dollhouse:
Best Show Runner ever: Joss Whedon
Most likely to be cancelled after four episodes due to Fox being stupid.
Runner Up: Cupid

10. Random Awards:

  • Best Writing/Visual and literary poetry every week: The genius writers of Pushing Daisies
  • Best Badass: Casey from Chuck (Adam Baldwin)
  • Best Evil Duo: Amanda & Mark from Ugly Betty (Becki Newton & Michael Urie)
  • Best Use of Guest Stars: 30 Rock, Runners Up: Pushing Daisies & Chuck
  • Most heartbreaking TV episode: House's double episode season Finale last May (April?)--Beautiful, Runner Up--the finale of Doctor Who Season 4
  • Most heartbreaking TV moment of 2008: Cancellation of Pushing Daisies
  • Gratuitous use of a gorgeous lead to bring viewers into the show: The Mentalist's Simon Baker
  • Best Lipsycing: Jensen Ackles Eye of the Tiger rendition for Supernatural's Yellow Fever episode
  • Most wasted potential: Heroes & the cast of Heroes, Runner Up--the cast of Moonlight and the cast of Studio 60
  • Best Dialogue/Quotes: Pushing Daisies, Runner Up--the Office
  • Best Meet Cute: Doctor Who & Donna in the Partner's in Crime episode
  • Best used-to-be-a-British-TV-show-that-is-not-The-Office: Life on Mars
  • Favorite actor & actress who need a show of their own: Kristin Bell & David Anders, Runner Up: Lauren Graham/Amy Pietz & Andy Richter/Jason Dohring (and the entire cast of Studio 60, especially Nathan Corddry--and now the cast of Pushing Daisies)
  • Best Guilty pleasure over the holidays: Leverage
  • Best TV miniseries: The BBC's/Masterpiece Theatre's new Jane Austen Movies
  • Best New Character: Davis Bloome/Doomsday on Smallville, Runner Up--Castiel on Supernatural & Holly on The Office
  • Least utilized newly credited cast member: Justin Hartley (Oliver Queen) on Smallville & Julia Ling (Anna Wu) on Chuck
  • Most heartbreaking cancellation of last season: Aliens in America, though sometimes uneven, this was a fabulous little show.
  • Favorite Bromance: Shawn & Gus from Psych

A couple of unscripted just for fun!

  • Reality Favorites that don't make me want to give up on the entire human race: Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, Top Design, & Top Chef.
  • Best Reality Host: Cat Dealy, Runner Up--Heidi Klum
  • Best Reality Judge: Nina Garcia, Runner Up--Tom Colicchio
  • Best Reality Mentor: Tim Gunn, Runner Up--Shane Sparks
  • Best Election Night Duo: Stephen Colbert & John Stewart

Can you think of anything I missed? If you come up with something good enough, I'll add it in. Yes, I know I watch too much TV.

Happy New Year!

ETA: Karen rightly reminded me of our favorite Christmas Special this season. . .

  • Best Christmas Special: A Colbert Christmas, with our favorite guest star these days, John Legend (Now available on DVD--"Please help the Colbert children eat").

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