Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dear Driver

Hi, remember me? I am the person in the little red car that was in front of you on the freeway during the snowy commute. Nice to meet you, I am so glad you liked me well enough to stay so close to me that you almost rear-ended me four times. You are a real pal, but I usually make someone buy me dinner a few times before they get that close to me. May I just suggest, in a super friendly way, backing off my butt a little a lot especially in snow like we are having? I am sure that your super fancy Mercedes has million dollar breaks, but my little Vibe does not. There is a reason I have left so much room between me and the car in front of me, it is just good snow manners! Now I am sure this is your first drive ever in the snow, which is the only reason I can think of for not knowing how to drive in it, so I am happy to give this advice! Driving close to the person in front of you will not get you to your destination any faster; it only causes accidents and snarky blog posts! So here is what happens tonight now that we have snow on the ground: It will be really cold and the moisture on the roads will freeze. This is important to know because it will be even harder to stop quickly in your car. Which means you should stay back from the car you are following more than you think you need to … I suggest 4 car lengths, but then I am kind of a prude! I know you like your ½ car length so this will be a stretch for you, grow as a person!

So again, super nice to meet you! Back off!

Yours, Steph

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Meal... or Comfort Food

We have established that I am odd sometimes most of the time. I accept embrace this fact. For some reason yesterday I was thinking about comfort food and took it one step further and posed the following question to myself, “If I were on Death Row, what would my last meal be?” When we get past the morbid thought of being on Death Row (I wonder why I am on this hypothetical Death Row anyway) it is an interesting thought … at least in my mind.

The conclusion for me is sushi (a lot of it!), a chocolate milk shake, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies (with milk), and a huge bottle of chilled Dasani water. Sounds really gross in that combination, but individually all of the foods I really love.

Foods that became runner up (like in a beauty pageant which would fulfill the duties should the winner suddenly not be able to do it) were Chicago deep dish pizza, a Chicago hot dog, a nice medium Filet Oscar with asparagus, a slab of pork ribs (because I am about to die anyway why not try them once before I go? Who cares that I would have an allergic reaction?), a New York Cheesecake (not a slice, I mean the whole cheesecake really from New York) and Joe Morley’s baked beans.

That is all I have to say about that.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TLC Workshop

I have been asked to help with a free workshop at The Learning Circle dance studio next Tuesday December 21. This workshop is designed to show how the musical theater department works at TLC. The workshop age and time lists are below. The teachers are amazing! Stephanie Chatterton Maag will be doing the choreography, I am teaching acting, Casey Matern is teaching musical dance theatre, and Patricia Rogers is handling the voice lessons. We are all working on the same song/scene so students can get a feel for how musical theater should come together.

Our goal is to make it a fun afternoon for all of the students. The other teachers are some of the most amazing women I know in their field and, if I do say so myself, I am not so shabby!!

TLC contact info is:
The Learning Circle
8586 South 2000 East
Sandy, Utah 84093
801-973-1757

Group One (ages 3-7)
4:00-4:45 choreography
4:45-5:30 acting
5:30-6:15 musical dance theatre

Group Two (ages 8-11)
5:30-6:15 choreography
6:15-7:00 acting
7:00-7:45 musical dance theatre
7:45-8:30 voice

Group Three (ages 12 +)
5:30-6:15 acting
6:15-7:00 choreography
7:00-7:45 voice
7:45-8:30 musical dance theatre

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stress

So I think I am a little too stressed lately. My life is not as stressful as some, I do not have a family of my own to worry about. But I do work full-time, go to school full-time, have a busy calling (job) at church, my bedroom is a disaster zone (which stresses me more than it should), I am directing another show (why did I think that was a good idea again?!), I had to pay a large portion of tuition this semester out of my pocket which makes money seem tight, I was assigned a group in my class that is a little stressful, etc. I realized I need to do more things for me, just for me that are stress relievers. Even if it is just taking a minute to breathe deeply, I need to take some time for me.

I wrote a blog about stress a while ago, but I think it is time to revisit the topic. Any other great suggestions to relax when one is stressed?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Curious Savage Audition Notice

I am directing another play for Midvale City, The Curious Savage! I am pretty excited about it. Auditions are a week from today and the audition notice is below. Rehearsals are going to be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturdays starting January 4. We are going to have a fast 5 week rehearsal time, with 6 shows in February. I am pretty excited about this fun script and my assistant director and producer are as excited as I am. We especially need men to audition who play the piano (or the violin poorly.) We are a pretty fun group, but will work hard to put on the best production we can. So if you are an actor, or ever wanted to be one, I hope you will come audition for this show!

Audition Notice:
Auditions for the Midvale Arts Council's production of "The Curious Savage" will be held Tuesday, December 14, 7 - 9 pm and Saturday, December 18, 9 - 10 am with callbacks Saturday by invitation only at the Midvale Performing Arts Center, 695 West Center Street (7720 South). Auditioners should come prepared with a 90 second comedic monologue, a headshot and resume, and will also be asked to read from the script. The show will run February 4 - 12 and is being directed by Stephanie Johnson. Roles are available for men and women ages 18 and up. All roles are open. An audition appointment is not necessary. One male role requires the ability to play the piano. For more information and character descriptions please visit our website
www.midvalearts.com. Audition questions should be directed to stephanie@midvalearts.com.

Plot Synopsis: Mrs. Savage has been left ten million dollars by her husband and wants to make the best use of it, in spite of the efforts of her grown-up stepchildren to get their hands on it. These latter, knowing that the widow's wealth is now in negotiable securities, and seeing they cannot get hold of it, commit her to a "sanatorium" hoping to "bring her to her senses." But Mrs. Savage is determined to establish a fund to help others realize their hopes and dreams. In the sanatorium she meets various social misfits, men and women who just cannot adjust themselves to life, people who need the help Mrs. Savage can provide.

Character Descriptions
The Residents

Florence: Female; The elegant "mother" of The Cloisters, she believes she has a five year-old son.

Fairy May: Female; Fairy is a compulsive liar who is obsessed with having others love her.

Jeffrey: Male; Once a fighter pilot, Jeff was shot down in the war. He plays the piano.

Hannibal: Male; Hannibal, once a statistician, was fired and replaced by an electronic calculator. He plays the violin.

Mrs. Paddy: Female; Mrs. Paddy is a “painter” and hates everything.

The Savages

Titus: Male; Titus is the least popular senator in congress. He is serious, humorless, and direct.

Lily Belle: Female; Lily Belle was once married to a Slovak prince, and has remarried five times since then.

Samuel: Male; Samuel has the distinction of being the judge with the most overturned decisions in the U.S.

Mrs. Ethel P. Savage: Female; Ethel is a crafty but kindhearted woman with a shifted viewpoint of humanity.

The Staff

Dr. Emmett: Male; The staff doctor for this wing of The Cloisters, Dr. Emmett is kind, warmhearted, and he works hard to help his patients.

Miss "Willie" Wilhelmina: Female; Miss Willie is an administrative assistant and nurse. She is married to Jeff, who does not remember her.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Deep Thoughts ... by Starbuck

If radiation causes cancer why is radiation a cure for cancer?

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Crazies

My favorite crazies made the news, I guess. Look for my sisters Colleen and Debbie between minute 1:00-1:05; bless 'em! I was safely tucked in my bed with care, and Sissy, dreaming sweetly about NOT SHOPPING!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Crazies

Can we talk for a moment about the crazies that are standing in line right now in 16 degree weather to go shopping tonight/tomorrow? Oy. I have never gone shopping early like that, I have never had a deal that I HAD to have that much. But I have some sisters (you know who you are) out there right now and will be shopping all night long. ALL NIGHT! They have stops at one store that opens in a few minutes, then they are off to one that opens at midnight, then another that opens at, then one at 5, then one that they will hit later because they do not want the door buster ... thing. My goodness; that is love of a good deal! Me? I am having a sleepover with Sissy, Mom has LoMo, and Mac is upstairs with her dad. It makes me wonder if I had kids if I would be out there too? Stay warm my favorite crazies!! And by that I mean, "You cra-cra!! Yo!"

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving all! If you are one of those crazies out there shopping right now, or soon, be safe and no pushing!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chicago ... finale

Okay, the post to end the Chicago posts. As mentioned earlier I went out to Chi because Brady was in West Side Story. The Richter's offered to fly me out for the weekend, which was so generous! I was out there for 5 days. The last day I went downtown to my favorite old places to visit: The Art Institute of Chicago and Ed Debevic's.

By the planetarium there is the best view of the city

So here are my boys. Handsome, right? Dylan, 20, is on the left and Brady, 17, is on the right. Remember when I went out there D was 4 and B was 1. They are good men and I could not be more proud of who they have become.

This is the gang after opening night of West Side Story. l-r: me, Grandpa Arthur, Grandma Sylvia, Laurie, Jim, Brady, Katie, Dylan.

I have 5 musicals I do not like; they are my top 5 least favorite musicals. Feel free to hate once I name them from least to most: Oklahoma, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Annie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (I loath SBFSB!) So when Laurie told me that Brady was in WSS and I needed to come out and see it, I of course readied myself for the worst. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the talent in this show! The sets were amazing, the talent was 90% perfect for the roles, the orchestra was outstanding, and I admit I was a fan of this production. I could not have been more proud of Brady! That boy can sing AND dance. I was just a proud nanny the whole time. I cried at his final curtain call. The girls who played Anita and Maria were perfect! I was in love with the number Officer Krupke in this version. In LOVE!! They boys did such a great job with it. But of course I only had eyes in the production for Brady as Riff. I was really hoping that by closing night he would be won the knife fight. Side bar on the knife fight: They used real switch blades that had just been buffed down. Not safe. That is my boy up there Bernardo was killing... side bar done. Brady really is a triple threat and I cannot wait to see what he does in the future. He actually has an appointment to audition for the theater department at Stanford. Oh did I mention that my brainiac boy applied for Stanford, Yale, & Harvard? I tried to talk him into University of Utah, but no joy. He applied for 11 schools and most of them were Ivy League. Brainiac will probably get accepted to at least one of them. He wants to be a mechanical engineer designing green technology when he grows up. No too shabby for a kid who used to cry in the car wash! Oh sorry B!

So needless to say I loved my trip. I always enjoy spending time with this family. They really were good to me. I was treated like family from day one. These are good people and I am honored they trusted me to help raise their kids. I believe this ends my rambling about Chicago... or does it?

A Post Just for Ranell

So I have this friend from Chicago... We'll call her Ranell (because that is her name). Ranell and I met in Chicago (are you tired of Chicago stories yet?) If I remember right she took over as a nanny when my friend Colleen Johnson left. Side bar on the funny that was meeting my friend Colleen Johnson. Sister's name was Colleen Johnson before she got married and changed it to Molen. So when I met Colleen Johnson in Chicago I laughed and laughed and called Margo over to meet her and she laughed and laughed. It is a wonder that we ended up friends seeing that when we met I laughed. When she left Ranell took over. Is that right?

So what is so special about Ranell that she gets her own post? Oh so many things. Did you know that before I met Ranell I had never seen Pride and Prejudice? The long 6 hour BBC version. I had never read the book. I did not know who Lizzie and Mr Darcy were. I know, right? So Ranell arranged a group of girls to come over to my house where we all went up to the pool room and watched it. I think of her every time I put it on. When we were watching the show I did not know if they were going to end up together. I was like, "If they do not end up together I will burn this house down!" To which she was like "Want me to get you the matches?" True friend! (that exchange is a fictitious creation of what could have happened.)

Ranell has this laugh that is so infectious! I cannot not laugh when she laughs. And of course I think I am really funny so she laughed a lot! (so humble!)

Now I have never really been a girl who always is attracted to the guy that everyone else is attracted to. Do not get me wrong, I like the handsome, but for some reason I look first for the guy that will be a good dad and can support the family. Also eyes, eyes are rather important to me! So there was this guy in Chicago who actually was the first guy out there I had a bit of a crush on. Not huge, but a crush nonetheless. We ended up becoming okay friends, which was great, and the crush died over time. Ranell married that guy. ...pause while I shoot jealous eyes toward Oregon where they now live ... and we now return to our regularly scheduled post ... who I am sure is a great dad and is handsome to boot.

So why does Ranell get her own post when I have not seen her for like 8 years? I am in a Chicago state of mind. I need to go get me some deep dish pizza or a Chicago dog and just get Chicago out of my system. And one day, sooner than later, I really need to make it to Oregon and visit with my friends. Not long before I went to Chi I had lunch with our other friend Em and we talked about you, just saying. I miss you Ranell, thanks for the comment and reminding me about how much I love your laugh! Say hi to B for me.

You, the reader might be asking if the Chicago posts are done. They are not, I reply. I still need to post the pics of my boys and tell you all about West Side Story... the musical I love to hate.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Ladies Who Lunch

When I lived in Chicago I had some great friends. When I first moved out there I had Krissy, Lori, and Dora. These women were nannies too and taught me the ropes. Of course I cannot forget Colleen Johnson (not my sister, but my friend from Chicago), Ranell, and Jen. Then there was Molly, Margo, Christy, and Renee. The 5 of us were pretty close. We traveled together (multiple times), served in church together, played together and, of course, ate together.

While I was there this last weekend I got my girl's together for lunch. Well all of us but Margo who lives out here now. We had 2 hours to catch up on each other's lives ... and it was not long enough! I miss these ladies!

l-r Christy, Renee, me, Molly

I had so many memories run through my head from Christy calling me the crazy glue of the group, fighting with Nee over the dolla, the many many trips to Nauvoo, the last trip to Nauvoo where there was an unfortunate accident and that stupid ambulance was not driving my friend to the hospital fast enough, finding new uses for feminine hygiene products, Ghiradelli cheesecake, seeing Joseph for the first and 10th times, shrinkidinks, diet coke, Glen and Betty's car, Ghiradelli cheesecake ... we had it more than once ... and laughing. I think I laughed more with these women over the 4 years or so I lived out there than should be allowed. I have great respect for them and love how they shaped my life.

So to my ladies who lunch: ti volgio bene!! (Molly taught me that years ago!) I love you all and wish you well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Link Email

Have you seen that email from a friend that just contains a link to click on and no message from your friend? I have seen probably 10 of them in the past 2 weeks. Some are a "file share" link and others have '.au' at the end. Well these contain a virus that then emails your whole address book. Just a friendly reminder to only click on links of names you trust (not people you trust, but link names) and always open all links at your own risk.

And to the 'virus creators' there is a special place in hell for people like you. It is sandwiched between the person who created nylons and Ted Bundy. Enjoy eternity.

Added Note: I heard on the news last night that some of these viruses are designed to activate by even opening the email, not even clicking on the link. Which is worrisome because how many of those emails have I opened?! Be careful out there!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Let's hear it for the Boys

When I was 18 and fresh from high school I moved to Chicago to be a nanny for two of the most amazing boys. D was 4 and B was 1 when I moved out there. I was their nanny for almost 3 years, then went on an LDS mission, and returned to nanny for one more year. These boys are mine. They are my boys!! It was 16 years ago when I first met them and I was scared out of my mind to move from Utah to Chicago to work for a family I had never met. Fast forward to today, literally today, as I sit in the living room of my old home in Chicago visiting my Chicago family. I have been staying in my old room and chillin' with my little boys ... who are not so little now!

When I talk about my Chicago family I am talking not about a blood related family, rather a family I adopt as my own. I love this family just maybe slightly less than my immediate family back home in Utah. J&L (the parents) are good to me, always have been. D&B are just really good young men now. D, 20, is a basketball player in college (gulp!) and B, 17, is a senior in high school. D is now 6'2" and B is just behind him at a solid 6' (pics to come once I get home and can download them.) What I love about these two is that they are good men. They are polite, talented, and decent men. Can I say handsome too? Of course I can, proud nanny here!

My first day here I sat doing homework with B after school. Right now I am sitting doing homework with D, though I just finished and he is still working. The cool thing about that is that D and I have one class right now that are so similar we had a nice chat about HR stuff. Long gone are the days where we talked about Pokemon cards and played hours and hours of basketball outside. But I will forever be grateful for those memories because I believe they were an excellent foundation for what we have now, which is a really nice friendship as adults.

D is leaving to go back to college today, B is in West Side Story as Riff (he gets that from my side of the family) so has been super busy, and J is heading to China tomorrow for a business trip. Life marches on, but for 3 shorts days I had my boys again and it felt like home. Now Mom, before you get offended, I cannot wait to come home tomorrow to my family and friends. But this weekend was great for me to catch up with my other family.

Next up, a blog about the ladies who lunch!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Homework

Right now, at this very minute, I am sitting at a kitchen table in Chicago doing homework with a boy I used to nanny. Sure he is working on calculus and I am writing a paper about the legal environment of human resources, but it kind of feels like home... you know?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Boutique

Every year when we were growing up my Grams had a Christmas Boutique where she sold greeting cards and wrapping paper. It is such a rich tradition in my family that her grand children have tried to carry on the tradition after her death. Though admittedly we do not sell gift cards and wrapping paper.

This year, as in years past, the boutique will be at my house in Midvale 7792 South Coolidge. This year the following people will be involved:

My sister Colleen Molen with The Busy Bean with her custom made fabric creations such as purses and dresses.

My sister in law Kate Johnson Photography who is an amazing photographer. She will be able to set up a photo session in time for you to have your family photos taken for your holiday card.

My brother Barry and Besty's Mom Melanie are doing The Christmas Bakery again this year. They made delightful treats last year perfect for teacher or neighbor gifts.

My cousin Anna sells Scentsy which are wickless candles and other accessories. She will have stock on hand as well as be able to take orders.

My cousin Leslie with My Tulip Garden which is vinyl crafts and custom jewelry. She takes custom orders and will have plenty of things to sell.

My cousin Christa sells Mary Kay make up and will have gift sets along with her full catalog.

The boutique will be Saturday November 20 from 10-3. We have a great time and hope you will join us to get a jump on your shopping this year. Plus doing it earlier than we usually do will allow for time to complete custom orders. Plus, being not a "girly" girl, it is something fun to do with my girl relatives. If you have questions let me know, otherwise I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Special Call and Other Election Tidbits

  • Did you have the President of the United States specifically ask someone to call you yesterday and ask you to vote? Hm?? No?? I guess I did. I was not there to take the call, because that would have been cool, but it was nice to know President Obama still cares about his old pal in Utah! I am sure he would have called himself, but he must have had a busy day or something.

  • I told Dad he should just not vote today because our votes just cancel each others out so really Mom is the only one who really needs to worry about voting. I do not think he bought it ... I am pretty sure he saw through my plot there.

  • For the first time in my history I am sad it is Election Day. Those really fun Utah Voter ads are going to stop. I am going to miss that funny couple talking about election stuff. (You are going to receive texts about elections? Yes, I can text. Oh really? LOL. I do not even know what that means. Uh-huh.) I finally found out their names are Jake and Julie Suazo and they get my vote ... for coolest couple of the year.

  • Election day has magical juju for me. I was balancing the bank statement at work and was off by a mere $62,000. (chump change, right?) Well I found $20,000 of it pretty quickly and asked Besty if she could magically help me find the other $42,000. I opened the election site to look at the amendments one more time and between both Besty and Election juju I found it. That must mean my candidates are going to win!

  • There is one political figure that scares me a little right now. I finally figured out what my issue is with her. It is not her policy, everyone is entitled to their own views of the issues; it is not her voracious attack of things she is against; it is her actual voice. Besty used have this eye twitch when she heard someone sing a bad note. I now have that eye twitch when this political figure is on tv.

  • Do I need to encourage you to vote? I can, I can encourage. I believe strongly in the right of every US citizen to be involved in choosing the leadership. I believe that on Election Day our voice is carried out through our decision of who to vote for. So vote, if you want your voice heard.

  • I wore my lucky election shirt today. It is not really a shirt about elections, it is just the shirt I have worn on the last few Election Days. I have a lucky election shirt and good election juju. In the immortal words of Michael Scott "I am not superstitious, just a little stitious."

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Stories

Redundant title? Maybe.

Story 1 - And a Beer
I tried my hand at making some chili. First time making any, and if I do say so myself it turned out well. One of the ingredients in the chili was beer. Now I am not a drinker, I cannot even stand the smell of alcohol or coffee. Never been tempted to drink but I have cooked with alcohol before. Beer in the Rear Chicken, Chicken Marsala, Sake Marinated Salmon. All very good. So last night I went to the store after going to Special Needs Mutual to get my normal ingredients and a beer. It is impossible to buy a small can of beer. I could have bought a six pack or a big can of beer. I did not want a six pack just hanging around the house, so I opted for the big can of beer. I put the beer in my cart, walk around the corner ... and run into the second counselor in the Bishopric and his lovely wife, who is the Relief Society President. Back story, it is against the teachings of the church I belong to to drink alcohol. And here I am standing in front of two of my local church leaders ... pushing a can of beer in my cart. Did they notice? If so they did not say anything. I did not think I needed to be overly defensive and explain why I had beer in my cart. Though I am sure they are planning an intervention as we speak! It was a really big can of beer.

So I get home and start browning the turkey and onions for this chili. Add my spices, and it is time to add the beer to de-glaze the pan and so the alcohol can cook off. I open the can, it smells awful to me, I start to pour it in the measuring cup (ironically given to me by the same couple I ran into at the grocery store years ago for Christmas) and that crap starts to foam up so much I spill all over me, the counter, the stove ... and I managed to get a little in the pan. (the guys at work inform me today that you have to pour beer at an angle so as to avoid the foam up) So I wait for the foam to die down, get enough measured in, and start to let it cook off. I wash the counter, the stove, and me ... and me ... and me ... I CANNOT GET THE SMELL OFF!! Even now after a full shower and multiple hand washes I still smell a little like beer.

If my friends I ran into at the market had come over to do the aforementioned intervention last night I would have smelled like a distillery confirming their suspicions!

Story the Second - Angry Meds Strike Again
I am sure I have blogged about my struggle with my angry meds. As an asthmatic I sometimes need to be put on prednisone which is a steroid that helps lung function. This steroid, though, has some really bad side effect consequences for me. The first time I was put on it I hit the thermostat in our hallway with my elbow (on accident, not in a fit of rage) and it flew to the other end of the hall. I get these massive headaches, I do not sleep well, and get, what we lovingly call, the roid rage! I get angry for no real reason. Some days I can really control it, and others I cannot. Not at all. The day they put me on the prednisone I had a MASSIVE dose and my head might have actually fallen off temporarily. My Dad was washing a dutch oven and it sounded like someone was crashing drum symbols on either side of my head. All I could do was sit in the recliner with my hands over my head until it was over and cry. Oy.

Yesterday at Special Needs Mutual we had our Halloween Dance. So I have a headache, I have not slept well, and I am at a dance with individuals with special needs. One of the girls in my class has some behavioral issues due to some brain damage caused by a massive stroke when she was younger. I am the one in charge of making sure she acts appropriately. Normally this is not an issue. Last night she did not do anything more than she usually does at a dance which is try to dance with every guy she passes and get his phone number. Well ad the roid rage to the mixture and last night ... was an adventure! I would close my eyes to "rub away the pain" and when I opened them she was gone. I lost her more times last night than I care to say. She is FAST! They pulled out the limbo stick and did the Limbo Rock. Oh she got so excited, that she kept running to the front of the line and actually knocked over one kid that I caught before he fell. So I had to take her out of the dance to have "the talk." We have had this talk many many times before about appropriate etiquette around others. I think I was pretty good at controlling my voice level last night but she got upset at being reprimanded. While we were talking I decided to talk about her grabbing at guys (which makes some uncomfortable) and how to react if they say no. I actually heard myself say "No means NO! If a guy tells you no, walk away." I have become a cliché of a bad after school special starring Kirk Cameron or something. And it is all due to my angry meds.

On the plus side, I can take a full breath.

Thus ends the stories for the day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Mum

I have not said this on my blog for some time. Just so we all do not forget:

CANCER SUCKS!!

Two years ago today, Mom had her stem cell transplant. So Happy 2nd Birthday Mom!! I guess if you have cancer it is only fair that you get two birthdays, right? I remember those sucky days so vividly. I remember the smell of (ugh) creamed corn, I disliked it before and now cannot even stand to be in the same room as it. (That is what it smells like when someone gets a stem cell transplant. I knew each day when I stepped off the elevator if it was someone's birthday.) I remember threatening to pull the plug on Mom if she did not get up and take a walk. I remember Mom not wanting to eat anything because it just did not taste right. I remember that nasty drink she had to have after eating anything to help with the sores in her mouth. I remember how tired she was. I remember Halloween in the hospital with the kids in their costumes and Mom wearing a nice Halloween scarf. I remember us all shaving out heads and how incredibly nervous I was about it. I remember being more tired than I have ever been in my life. But mostly I remember how incredibly brave Mom was. Even when her life sucked and the treatment sucked and the pain sucked, she was brave.

So again Happy Birthday Mom. Congrats on 2 years of remission. And just in case you have forgotten how awesome that year was for you...

Transplant Day, can you see your lemon candy?
Right after shaving our heads
Yup, that sums it up!
Here's to many more birthdays, both of them!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stats

Have any of you looked at the stats of your blog lately? I just noticed that cute little link on the dashboard of blogger and was fascinated to see that I have a worldwide audience. After the US my biggest fans seem to be from Russia, Latvia, Canada, China, France, Luxembourg, Ukraine, Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia. Further I found it interesting that many of my readers find me if they google the image of Katee Sackoff (Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica) Not sure how that happened. I also know that my top four linked readers are Besty, Neighbor, Wretchel, and Squitch. (that means that more traffic comes from to my blog from their blogs.) And the afternoon seems to see more traffic to my blog.

Fascinating.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cyber Accountability

I have a new talk show I like that airs during the day while I am at work, thank heavens for dvr, right? The Talk is a show of women sitting around talking about issues, sounds familiar but is less political than some other talk show formats that are similar. Anyway they had Chandra Wilson on yesterday and I adore her, so of course I made sure to catch up on 'my programs' last night.

The opening segment was talking about the Glee racy photos, which I shall not comment on here, and cyber bullying. I actually liked what they had to say about being accountable for what we put online and wanted to share it. We were talking about something similar in class this week too only from an employer standpoint. Did you know that items you post about work or fellow employees on facebook, blogs, or tweets can be used by employers for employee reviews? Since the internet is public it is 'fair game' for employers too. Likewise many employers can monitor email correspondence that is sent using the work provided email service without giving you warning. So while many times we might want to vent online or email about work related issues it is not generally the best idea and there could be consequences.

So after watching this clip, do you agree or disagree that online services should be required to provide the identity of those who abuse their sites to bully others? I am torn though I lean more toward the side of "stop being a coward and hiding behind your cyber name." I can see both sides of the argument, but I have never been cyber bullied. I do think that if you cannot say something to my face you better not be a coward and put in online. Rude. I also think that if we were required to put our real names on things many people would be much more cautious in what they say.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hair

Gimme head with hair; Long beautiful hair; Shining, gleaming; Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Traditionally I keep my hair short, like really short. I like to be able to just run my fingers through it after a shower and go. When my hair is long it gets in my eyes, shoots out in funny directions, or just looks dry. So when Mom was going to loose her hair 2 years ago during treatment I was all for shaving our heads. Why not? It was short anyway.

Well this time around I decided to grow my hair out and donate it. No, I am not saying that Mom's cancer is back, but we were told 2-5 years and it has been 2 now. Since my hair is so short it could take 2 years to grow out; plus I bleached it blonde for Joseph, so that has to grow out and be cut off too.

Since this is so buggy to me (the long hair thing) I came up with a plan to motivate me. Of course the fact that donated hair is made into wigs for children with cancer is motivating; I mean come on, how great is that? I have talked with my hair dresser about my desire and I can have it trimmed every 2-3 months to keep it healthy which will be great for me mentally. BUT the big motivation is this: I cannot cut my hair until I have lost 'X' amount of weight. I have shared this number with my hair dresser and in 2 years this would be a healthy weight loss. So not only do I feel motivated to do this for a kid or kids with cancer but now I feel motivated to do it for me!!

Why blog about this? Well two fold: I know my readers live and die for a post from me (ha) and second there might come a time when I want to cut my hair... do not let this happen for at least 2 more years!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh Crap!

My Sister is amazing, she is talented and has a wonderful sense of humor. Girl is a hero of mine in many ways (the rest of the time I am her hero, you know it is true!) As mentioned in a previous post I had her daughter Mac for the last 2 weekends while they were on vacation. I missed a lot of sleep, but loved a lot of cuddles. So Sister, with her wonderful sense of humor, brought me a present as a thank you for watching her kid. It is a notebook made by this company: PooPooPaper. Just as the name suggests it is a notebook made from recycled elephant poo. She said it was to remind me always of the bonding Mac and I shared for the weekend; funny right?

Alright, so here is the deal. Funny? Absolutely. Gross? Absolutely. I would say 10% funny 90% gross, but she thought it was more like 90% funny and 10% gross. Bless your heart Sister!! The more I think of it the more I smile. I honestly, though, do not know if I have grown enough as a person to play with poo paper. I did find it a mark of our friendship that she knew I cared enough about the environment to use recycled products ... I am not sure the environment and I are friends enough for me to write on poo paper ... but who knows what will happen in a day or two when I have had time to digest (pun intended) having a notebook made out of poo.

Now to be fair, the paper is not actually made up of poo. Just the undigested grassy products that the elephants eat which are then washed and made into paper. For some reason that does not make it sound more sanitary to me ...

Love you Sister! And thanks for the 'crappy' present! (Ha, now that was 90% funny!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

The long and the short of it...

Posing an interesting situation to the masses here that we are talking about in HR class right now:

The basics of the scenario are thus: You are having trouble with a coworker right now. This particular coworker is not fully doing his or her job and it affects you directly. Let's pick something small: The receptionist leaves the front desk for about an hour a day and does not get someone to cover it leaving the phones unanswered. Since you hear the phones ringing, you answer to help out. This takes time away from you doing your work so you do not fully complete your job load. Basic scenario, but a realistic one.

Now the questions that are being posed in class are these:
  • Who do you talk to about this situation?
  • What are your expectations in this situation?
  • Do you have the right to make demands in this situation?
  • How do you react if nothing is done about this situation?
I work for a company where nothing would be done about this particular situation unless it directly affected the boss. Since it does not, I would have little recourse except get mad and lash out at the employee. But it really has made me think about effective human resource management. In an ideal world I would have a HRM to talk to about this and have the employee told that he or she has been hired to do a certain job and that the company expects him or her to stay at the desk to answer phones at all times (with very obvious exceptions!) Further I would expect that HRM could explain to this employee that disciplinary actions could be taken if the phone are left unanswered in the future. I do believe that the employee making the complaint can suggest helpful ways to fix the situation, but I do not believe the employee can make demands (one guy in class said he would demand the boss pay him per phone he had to answer, um no...)

I know exactly how I would react if the situation went unchecked. I would say something to the boss, then I would say something to the employee, then I would cry to my mom because no one was fixing it, and then I might have some chocolate. The thing about studying to be a Human Resource Manager is I see why it is so important. I am sad we do not have one in our office (yes I know technically it is me, but all I have the authority to do is cut the paychecks and pay the taxes.) I sometimes wish I had a Toby in my office.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My New Pet Peeve

I have a new pet peeve; and it goes something like this:

Red Cups
+
Wire Fences
=
My New Pet Peeve

I hate driving under those freeway underpasses where someone has decided to litter red cups by putting them in a wire fence. The Elder coming home from his mission does not need this welcome home. This is no way to tell someone you love them; it certainly is not a way to propose marriage. Want someone to get well soon? Make them some soup.

This is not cute, this is littering. And it is my new pet peeve!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Issues

I love election time, but I am not loving this year's lead up to election day. This year I just do not think the candidates get it. The issues I hear them talking about are not the issues I really care about. The one issue I am fed up with and would like the candidates to shut up about: partisan lines. Enough is enough. I would like to hear a debate about real issues, not a debate about which side is right. Not one side has all of the answers, not one side is right while the other is wrong all the time. There are some real issues to talk about and finger point is not the solution.

So what are the real issues you care about?

The issues I feel that are most important are education, the economy, and job growth. I have often thought that our public schools are woefully underfunded, our teachers are not paid enough, the classes are oversized and the kids do not get enough one on one teacher time. So let's get rid of the bad teachers, pay the good ones more, get our test scores up, and educate our children. I might be one of the few, but if it would go to education, I would not mind a tax increase for that purpose. The economy - can I just say that our failed economy is not a party fight? Neither the Republican or Democrat parties broke our economy. Not one person is to blame. So show me a plan to help fix it, and that person will get my vote. On the same lines as that is the job market. Where is the plan to grow the job market? That person will get my vote.

Not one party is right while the other is wrong. So how about putting aside party lines and working on one line? The line to fix what has been broken. So says this liberal-Mormon-conservative-Democrat!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Single Mom Respect

My cute Sister and her family are currently on vacation with my folks. They have been planning it for weeks. What they did not plan on was the little one being sick. So Sister made a really hard decision to leave the little one home with some very loving family members. So Mac lived with me this weekend, she is at the Aunts this week, and I will have her again starting Friday. Come on, she is 1, she will not even know she missed sitting in your stroller all week while everyone else rides the rides and sees the fish. Some things I have learned as a single aunt this weekend:
  • Kid with ear infection likes to cuddle
  • Kid with ear infection does not like medication
  • Kid with ear infection does not sleep a normal schedule
  • Kid with ear infection has a little ADD, one moment she is fine and the next she is not
  • Kid with ear infection can scream
  • Kid with ear infection will only eat mashed potatoes (results not typical)
  • Single aunt got sleep deprived pretty easily because she is used to being pampered with a full 8 hours of sleep
  • Single aunt loves to cuddle little ones all day even if her dishes are not done
  • Single aunt loves it when other favorite married aunt comes to teach her how to give medication
  • Single aunt would not trade time with sick niece for anything, including sleep
I have a new respect for all parents now, I only had to do it for 2 days. I especially have respect for those parents who do it alone. This is what I learned this weekend.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Controlist

Finn: Rachel is what you'd call a controlist.
Rachel: I'm controlling. Controlist isn't a word.

I am here to make it a word. I am a controlist. I do not like being called a 'control freak' so I adopt 'controlist'. I do not think needing to be in control is a bad thing always, especially if the person in control is me .... just kidding I was actually going to say 'is correct.' Now I understand there is a fine line between right and wrong. I also think there is a line between being right and being obnoxious about it. I also know that sometimes being a controlist makes me a crazy person (or cra-cra as Sister says.) I fully accept that my need to drive a car instead of letting others drive is crazy controlling. I like to be in control in a vehicle, which is why I have some anxiety when I fly. (The flight to Europe was interesting!) I know that when someone comes into my office and just throws something on my desk instead of putting in my inbox and I feel anger, that is crazy. I can see the crazy versus the 'I am just right about that' issues.

I am also a Phoenix. I am getting a Certificate of Human Resource Management through the University of Phoenix. Last night I had a group final due. It needed to be posted by 1:00 a.m. MST which is midnight in Arizona. For those who do not know UoP is team based learning. About half of our work is individual, the other half is group work. We are assigned teams usually of 4-6 people to do team projects with. This particular class only had me and one other student enrolled, so we were the team. I had my portion of the paper posted the day before it was due and waited for my teammate to post her portion. At 5:00 p.m. yesterday I was told she was 30 minutes from posting. Fine that gave us time to compile and edit. At 8 I was still waiting, so I asked her if I could help with anything. Nothing. At 9:30 she posted a rough draft of her work. I saw many formatting issues and her references were all wrong. So I started getting that all put together right while she finished her draft. And waited. And waited. At 11 she posted her final draft which was completely different from what I had just edited. So I compiled the papers, fixed the format again, correctly cited all quotes and references, checked word count, and we posted the paper at 11:45. I did not have time to edit for content. I did not have time to run the paper through the WritePoint and Plagiarism Checker because that takes sometimes 3 hours.

Now as an admitted controlist, you can only imagine how much anxiety I had yesterday. My grade was in the hands of someone else. It was not my best effort because it was not her best effort. I had no control over last night at school. I was helpless and I hate that feeling.

I am a controlist. I now am of the opinion that a controlist does not make a good Phoenix.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bean Shop

My very cool sister, Colleen, who I am sure I brag about all too often, just got another feature up on her sewing website: The Busy Bean.

(AH!! She just found a new purse she is going to try, I cannot wait to buy the test unit!! not what the post is about, it pays to have a Sister who sews!) Anyway, there are a few new features on her site that include recipes, a shop to buy already made items, and a custom order form link for those items to be made to fit you personally.

Some of my new favs in her shop are this owl hat

And this dress is so great!

If I did not love her so much I would be so very jealous of her crafty ability and hate her just a little... good thing I love her so much! You should see the cute doll she made for Mac's bday. The skirt she made me for a wedding recently was so beautiful!

Anyway, proud sister post is done! Check out her stuff ... or not!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A non-rant

I believe that every good (or snarky) rant post should be followed up by a praise post. Okay, I just made up that belief, go with it. Can I give high praise to the creators of TV premier week? Applause. It is my favorite holiday because I am a would-be actress/director/producer. I have DVR full of fictitious friends to catch up with. Mer and McDreamy, Sue and Will, Bones and Booth, Bob and Jillian, the 4 nerds and the hot chick. It is so good to have you home again!

While I admit to loving only 50% of the Glee episodes thus far this year, I was so pleased to see a Brittany S Pierce-centric episode. She and Sue share my award for the best lines ever. (I think my cat reads my diary.)

So praise for the return of the season. It is nice to have an incentive to get my homework done faster!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mind Clearing Rants

I have had some things on my mind recently, and feel the need now to clear it. This blog is my pensieve… I might be reading Harry Potter again…

Rant the First
Dude who was in the car next to mine this morning was smoking. While I find this a super nasty habit and cannot believe that people still smoke, I do believe he has the right to kill himself slowly if he so chooses. However, as a person with asthma who gets sick around smoke, I dislike this nasty habit greatly. I do take great umbrage, though, when this dude felt it was okay not only to flick his cig butt out the car window, but he did it so vehemently that it hit my car and missed coming in my open window by mere centimeters. Dude has no right to do this with a lit cig butt. “Keep your trash in your car, not mine. The world is not your ashtray.”

Rant the Second
State of Utah why do you have a law that you have no intention of enforcing until someone flaunts in on national television? Polygamy is against the law but is not enforced unless there are other circumstances associated with the case. That is until the polygamous family is dumb enough to go on a reality tv show and tell the world all about it. Leaving my moral judgment aside I have a judicial point of view on this. I do believe that people who break the law should face the consequences of their actions. Their actions might not be hurting anyone, fine, but their actions are against the law in the State of Utah. Polygamists, if you do not want to live by the law, lobby to have it repealed. State of Utah if you are going to have a law, then enforce it. Sure there are really bad people out there who break laws that hurt other people, I understand this, but enforce laws equally.

Rant the Last
This is a touchy situation for some. I do not pretend that I am an authority on this subject, but this is my blog and my opinion. Can someone tell me in words that will make sense why people are so riled up about a religious organization wanting to build a place to worship? I am talking, of course, about the proposed mosque in Manhattan. Some call this the Mosque at Ground Zero; however it is 2 blocks away from those buildings. Now I understand why some might feel it is a bad idea, I understand why some think it is a great idea. I personally think it is a religious place of worship and do not think the location matters. I do not believe it is an insult to the memory of those who have suffered or those who died in the September 11 attacks to build a mosque close to the World Trade Center. I do not get it. Are you telling me that not a single peaceful, actively practicing Muslim was killed in those attacks? The terrorists who perpetrated this gross attack were not following the teachings of the Muslim religion or they never would have done it. These people were radical extremist and terrorists. Saying that all Muslims are terrorists is like saying polygamists are Mormon. It is just not true. I believe these protests are religious persecution and it is discrimination. Would the argument be the same if the Catholic Church wanted to build a Cathedral or the Jews a Synagogue? I doubt it. So why the fight over a Muslim Mosque? Every religion has crazies, it does not make the whole religion crazy. What is next? Because there are allegations of priest misconduct toward young men in the Catholic Church, no Catholic churches can be built in the vicinity of schools? That just is counterproductive and I think these protests are too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Deep Thoughts ... by Starbuck

Embellishments are better in crafting and scrapbooking than in stories.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Civic Duty

There are these new ads playing in Utah about Election Day. They make me laugh so hard. I wish I could find one online to share, but alas I have not been able to. Funny. This couple, I believe she is pregnant, share info about Election Day. One ad I have seen is about early voting, another one they walk up to their normal polling place only to find it locked. She exclaims "But I was excited to perform my civic duty!" She then makes her husband check the door again only to find it still locked. I do not know why I laugh so hard, but I do!

Last week I received my preliminary jury qualification questionnaire. The month I possibly could serve is November. I have a trip to Chicago planned the first week in November which I had to claim on this qualification. I have never served on a jury, in fact a few years ago was the first time I was ever summoned; I was not chosen. So when I saw these dates I felt like this lady "But I was excited to perform my civic duty!" I assumed they would just excuse this term of jury duty all together since I had a conflict. However, I just received an e-mail saying that my qualification has been accepted with my request to be excused the first week okay'd. Which means I might still get to perform my civic duty! Voting and possible jury duty in the same month... am I the luckiest American ever?! I know there are some who would not consider me lucky, but oh man I am excited!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hot Breakfast

I am a cereal girl. I have never really been a fan of hot breakfast. Hot breakfast is usually served with pork products which I cannot eat. Of course there are substitutes for these items, but most of the members in my family who cook think of these items as the devil's food, they prefer poison (bacon.) So I just usually avoid hot breakfast as a rule. But since having surgery all I can think of in the morning is pancakes!! I want pancakes. This is odd for me. There really is no reason, nor is there a reason for me blogging about it. Just a craving. Odd really. Today I was driving down the road and it kind of smelled like burnt toast, not sure why. But all I could think was "Oh I could go for some pancakes right now!" hm...

1 Down

359 to go. September 1, 2040 that house is mine!! MINE!!!

My house, that I do not live in yet, is in Midvale a few blocks from my folks place. It is the house my Mom grew up in. My grandparents owned it for years; my aunts have lived there for a long time now. My name is now proudly on the title and I just made my first mortgage payment. My aunts will still live there until July when they will move out to live in an apartment or retirement community and I will take up residence there permanently (well until I move to Delaware for my high paying dream job... just kidding... I am not going anywhere.)

This house is old, it needs some fixing up, but I love it and could not stand the thought of it leaving our family. I have so many memories of walking in the door and smelling cinnamon rolls that Grams had just baked and she always had cookies in the jar, or playing Colored Easter Egg with my cousins on the front porch, and even being told to behave or I would get the strap. The smell of the shop out back is what I always imagined is what my Grandpa would smell like (I never met him.) The only really bad memory I have in this home is once I was asked to go out to the shop and get something. What I was not told is that Uncle Jim had shot a deer and he had it in the shop to bleed out. That was terrifying. You would think it would have put me off of deer meat forever, but I actually love it. I remember fondly sitting with Grams a few days before she died. She had been sick for a while and we took turns sitting with her so Aunts Colleen and Della could get a break once and a while. She turned to me and asked why Uncle Lee was in the light bulb. I knew the veil was thin and she was going to leave us soon. She died a few days later and I can still remember the mortuary taking her body. And while this could be a bad memory, I hold it dear to my heart, because I had so many good years with her and it was time for her to rest. I remember working in the garden as a kid and now as an adult I take pride in it. We had some of the best tomatoes this year and, child please, that cantaloupe that Aunt Colleen grew... oy it was good.!

So this house is mine, and while I do need to preserve these memories, in time I need to make it mine; make new memories. I am excited for the house, sad the aunts are moving out sooner than later, and anxious for a new chapter to start.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blog Stalker

I have this blog that I stalk. Just one, really. I mean the other blogs I follow are of friends or family that know I read them. But this one blog is a friend of a friend who does not live here in Utah. We have met, I know her, she knows me, I am 95% sure if we saw each other on the street we would recognize one another. But we do not know each other very well. I was reading my friend's blog one day and saw a link to this friend of friend blog and checked it out. I have been hooked ever since. I always squeal with excitement when her blog is updated, I think she is funny with a touch of snarky thrown in. Her blog makes me happy. I usually want to comment on some aspect of her post, but talk myself out of it because there is something about remaining an anonymous blog stalker. It made me think about my own blog stalker, you know who you are, who had a conversation with me one day about my 101 goals. I was like "Dude, how do you know about my 101 goals?" "I blog stalk you." "Oh, huh, creepy." So I am now that creepy stalker of friend of friend. So friend, thank you for having fun and snarky friends for me to stalk.

Hello my name is Steph, and I am a blog stalker.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Go-To Music

I have a few CDs that I turn to over and over again... they are my favorites. One would think I would get sick of them, but that does not seem to happen. My main genre of music, of course, are showtunes. I play Jane Eyre over and over!! It is my most played CD in my iTunes library. Then there are the CDs that I turn to when I am in a specific mood: Dreaming Wide Awake, Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone, Next to Normal.

Of course I am not only a fan of showtunes. I will listen over and over anything by Barenaked Ladies and I like their new stuff now that they are a 4-man band. Then there are the specialty CDs, the ones I play when I am in a very specific mood: My Chemical Romance when I am feeling super funky, Alanis Morissette when I am really mad, Dixie Chicks when I feel a little bit country, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (trilogy, trilogy) when I just need quiet time.

What is your go-to music? Why?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bits and Pieces

  • Today the home phone rang and the caller ID said "Phone Scam"... good one coach!
  • This one friend of mine, Peggy, had this blog post the other day that made me so very very happy. Please take some time to read her ramblings on getting old, particularly number 3.
  • I have had a headache for a few days now, I think it is because I am not on pain meds any more.
  • There is this fun new mindless game for my tom-pooter that is kind of addicting. It simply involves growing and breeding frogs. I have wanted an aquarium of fish and frogs for a while... thanks tom-pooter.
  • Recovering from surgery is the perfect time to watch all seasons of Grey's Anatomy.
  • The bad thing about watching all of the seasons of Grey's Anatomy is that suddenly every stomach pain is a perforated bowel.
  • The other day my cute little Mac was sitting on my lap. All of a sudden she decided to stand up and ended up falling off the chair backwards and landed on her head. It was an impressive flip, she has a future as a gymnast, but it also was good to get our hearts racing.
  • My first house payment is due October 1, I own a house, it is very ... adult of me.
  • I do not live in said house yet. But I still own it.
  • I went back to school to get a Certificate in Human Resource Management.
  • I did some research recently for a family home evening about school. When I found out what someone with my experience, a certificate in HR, and an MBA makes as a Human Resource Manager (salary) I almost puked from unbelief and joy.
  • Of course I will have to move to Delaware for the high HRM salary.
  • My mom is in Seattle for a week, she left today, I miss her already.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Chaz and Miranda

I have had a surgery before similar to the one I had Thursday; in 1997 I had a lapro surgery to get rid of some endometriosis that has been plaguing me for some time. The surgery hurt, the recovery was a bit bad, but I felt so much better when it was all done.

Well Thursday I was overall pretty calm about the whole thing. I was excited there was an end in sight. My biggest fear, honestly, was the Dr R was going to get inside and see that nothing was wrong with The Chaz (my gall bladder) and just close up shop. The Chaz and I have been fighting since February. I have had a CT scan, 2 ultra sounds, 2 x-rays, and a HIDA scan that all came back normal. NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH ME! Except that every time I ate anything I got sick to my stomach, I had a constant pain in my side, and there were other side affects that are not appropriate to talk about on ones blog. Even though the tests all came back normal I knew something was wrong. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, and I could not take it any more. Well I had visits with 4 doctors before one of them said that it sounded like my gall bladder was not functioning right even though the test indicated it was.

When Dr R looked inside she could not even see The Chaz at first. The Chaz was hidden behind so much scar tissue and other adhesions. This is why it hurt. The Chaz (back up, maybe I should explain now that Chaz is not a good enough name for my old gall bladder... it now is The Chaz because it seems to fit a bit more now!) did not look right; The Chaz had to go! Endometriosis causes organs sometimes to adhere to other organs in an attempt for the body to "cure" itself. While Dr R did not see any endo lesions (hurray for small miracles!) it is very likely that this is the cause of my adhesions. So Dr R cleaned out the adhesions and scar tissue, took The Chaz out, made sure everything else looked fine (my appendix, etc.) and closed me up.

The staff that worked with Dr R were incredible. So I walk into the OR, and I suddenly get nervous. I mean really nervous. Dr R came over and held my hand until I went under. She really is a great surgeon. She listened to every concern I had and told me my options, gave her opinion, and then fixed me! I would recommend this general surgeon to anyone who needed one. So why am I not using her name then? Well I do not have her permission to do so but if you needed me to tell you personally who she is I would be happy to.

So the Miranda part of this post. Who is Miranda? Now that we all know who The Chaz is... meet Miranda. If you have not see the movie Serenity, please see it. I mean come on, space cowboys!! The character River has a bit of a freak out moment and is triggered to remember a code word deeply embedded in her subconscious: Miranda. I shall not ruin the punchline and tell you who or what Miranda is, but rather the funny line that leads us to why Miranda is pertinent now. After this freak out that River has, her brother Simon, thinking Miranda might be an alter ego of River's says, "Am I talking to Miranda now?" At which point River gives the most classic "Are you kidding me Big Brother?" look. Well narcotics do funny things to me. One night I had taken some meds for pain and Besty looked at me and said "Am I talking to Miranda now?" This post today is brought to you by Miranda and the memory of The Chaz and the letter H.

I can eat and not feel super sick (except for last night because I think I ate too much at the yummy BBQ we had.) I know what was wrong with me is now fixed. My abdomen is sore, understatement of the year, and my back hurts because it is working a bit harder now that I cannot move my core!! But I feel better. I instantly felt better! The Chaz had to go!! Miranda can stay for a few days, mostly because I cannot believe how much I actually hurt after doing small things like taking a shower, and then once she is gone I know I will be fine. There is an update on The Chaz and Miranda, now I think I deserve a small nap or maybe some ice cream! :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Farewell Chaz

Downtown wins!! I think it is hilarious to name my gall bladder Chaz. So farewell Chaz, I hardly knew ye... I doubt I will miss ye!

The story of Chaz: Remember Charles in Charge from the late 80's? When Charles bumps his head he turns into Chaz... his evil counter part. I loved this character!! So when I was trying to come up with a nickname for Downtown, 'Chaz' was my first suggestion. She did not think it was funny, not a fan I guess!! So now my gall bladder which is making my life a living (fill in any bad word here) is now my evil twin named Chaz and will be removed today. So farewell Chaz! When he is gone I hope to be able to eat food without getting sick. When he is gone I hope to be able to live my life not in constant side and back pain. When he is gone I am going to have a tomato sandwich! When he is gone I will be off of pain and nausea meds on a daily basis. If I could write a song about my Chaz, it would be something like the Dixie Chicks song Goodbye, Earl! Because Chaz has GOT TO GO!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Right Thing?

Monday Besty and her Hub and I all went to a movie, we saw Inception. For those who have seen it this might make you laugh. For those who have not, please allow me to give a little of the story without giving anything away: The story is about dreams and the possibilities held within dreams. To explore dreams at times, sedation is used. The rest of the story hangs on this basic premise. At the end of the story (which was good, but oy I feel like I need to see it again to grasp it all!) Besty leans over and says something like "So are you worried about going under sedation this week?" UM... I AM NOW!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Too Connected?

I remember a day when I did not have a cell phone or email account or blog or facebook page... I remember that day well. How did we ever live without them? Now I have not totally gotten lost in the online social networking... I still do not really know what Twitter is or how to Tweet. But I wonder how we became so reliant on these electronic formats of communication (she asks as she blogs!) Yesterday afternoon visualize this picture: I was sitting in a chair on my laptop next to my father who was on his laptop who was next to my brother who was on his laptop who was next to his wife who was playing on the iPod Touch who was next to my mom who was on her laptop who was next to one of the kids on another iPod Touch. We really are living in a material world and I am a material girl.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Angry Birds

Speaking of my tom-pooter... raise your hands if you have experienced Angry Birds... Hands raised? How addictive is this game? The premise of the game is simple: the pigs have stolen the birds eggs and now the birds want revenge and to try to save the eggs. So for the game you slingshot the birds to kill the pigs. I like this game because I get to kill pigs. Now for the tens of readers I might have you may or may not know that I am allergic to pork. So killing pigs is kind of fun for me. I like pork, the taste that is. I like the flavor of bacon; sometimes on Christmas Eve I will have a bite of my brother's bacon... and suffer all night for it. And now I feel like I am smack dab in the middle of Fiddler on the Roof: Oh we suffer, we suffer in silence... So with this game I no longer have to suffer in silence. Eating pig hurts me... so now I have an outlet to hurt back!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Greetings

My niece Sissy and I are pals, or we used to be until I got the iPad. Now the greeting I get when we see each other instead of "Hi Steph!" I get "Steph where is your tom-pooter?" tom-pooter=computer=iPad. I have been replaced in Sissy's heart by a tom-pooter. I guess I do not blame her, it is pretty cool!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Speaking of Fairies


As my readers will know, my SIL Kate is a great photographer. Well she comes by it honestly as her Mom, Ruth, is one too. Ruth will be in town for an Enchanted Forest Fairy Portrait Day. She will be in town only October 1 & 2, so if you are interested book sooner than later! The info is on the flier, or you can visit Ruth's website: http://photographybyruth.com/. Or as the flier says you can call Kate for help: 801-722-9825

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Sourdough Express

The Sourdough Express arrived at my house last night at about 10:30. I have a good friend who travels for business. A. Lot. He sent me a text that told me he was just leaving San Fran with some bread for me, and what was too late to come on by? Um, never too late for Sourdough!! I am not saying that in order to be my friend you must bribe me with Sourdough from San Fran... but it does not hurt! Thanks J!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Feeling


I kind of felt like this yesterday. This is Squitch's kid Goose. Granted my shoes are black, my pants were black, and my shirt was white. But I felt like a princess sliding up next to the bar in my very first ballet class. I tied my very first pair of ballet slippers on my feet and I swear I felt like a little princess in pink. Especially when Stephanie had us pull out our imaginary crown (mine was sterling silver with fuzzy pink boa pieces all around) and our pretty necklace (again silver with a brilliant Princess Cut Diamond) and we got in first position.

This class is, of course, being taken at the studio I am working with The Learning Circle, LLC. I started with a stretching class which actually was pretty hard with my current gall bladder issues. But I am glad I did both classes. The ballet class is an entry level for adults. I was the only one in the class (besides Mom who observed mostly) who had never done any ballet before. I did not understand any of the French, but I did do a pirouette by the end of the night... not like Mikhail can, but still I held my own.

Today... well today my legs are on fire and laughed at me when I wanted to go up the stairs, but I had a ball and cannot wait for the next class! I am glad I made this goal with my 101 goals!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Afternoon Nap

I do not think I gave enough credit to my Kindergarten teacher with her blue mats, graham crackers, and milk cartons while I was in Kindergarten. In fact when I was younger I sometimes fought against nap time. WHAT WAS I THINKING??

Today has been a rough day overall. So at lunch time I went to get some chicken (one of the safe foods right now) and then pulled my car to the back of our parking lot. Opened the windows and laid my seat back. What a glorious nap!! I wish I could go back and tell Kindergarten Steph to stop raging against the nap machine! There comes a day when we want the blue mat, graham cracker, and milk carton again!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Far Away

I am having lunch today with a dear friend I met in Chicago. She and her cute family have been living abroad for years and are being re-stationed in a few weeks to another post abroad. She is one of the cutest people I know and am so excited to be able to find a few hours for lunch today. One great thing about living in our day and age is that even when we live half way away around the world we can still communicate as if we were neighbors. It is, of course, not the same as being face to face... so I am off!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Relief

Relief comes in many different forms and what may seems horrible to some might seems like the needed light at the end of the painful tunnel to another. One thing that I find frustrating is when something is wrong in our bodies, and we know it is wrong, but all of the medical tests say everything is fine. I found relief when the doc finally agreed that something was wrong with me and she could hopefully fix me next week. My next question is: If we can live without our gall bladder and appendix, why do we have them? I would like to name my gall bladder before it leaves me next week. Suggestions?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chunky: lumpy, chubby, bumpy

I was excited to win an Emmy tonight... or I guess what I should say is that I was happy to see someone win an Emmy after imitating, if you will, her character in Joseph for the last 2 months. I was wearing my lucky track pants for the occasion!! Congrats Jane on our, I mean your, Emmy!

The title of this blog is dedicated to my friends the Steadman's because The Pasthword Isth....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Truth

A good friend of mine from Chicago posted this video on her blog and I steal the idea from her!


I see my brothers when I watch this video, even the one that is not a daddy. So here's to you Everett, Barry, Patrick and Brad!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Its the little things in life...

Squitch's daughter Goose for some reason does not like me so much. She is 2 and from day one has cried when I look at her. It would be funny if it were not so sad. Kids generally really like me, so I have been so baffled as to why. Squitch's son P really loves me, the contrast is striking. One day Squitch came over so Besty and I could help her pick an audition song. They walked in and she freaked. I mean freaked!! She would not even be in the same room as me. So I started to think that maybe there is something wrong with me, with my aura or something. This same night she played really well with my niece even going down with Mom and LoMo to have a bath. So she will go play necked with a stranger instead of being in the same room with me... sad.

Last night I went to Squitch's house for a bit and Goose at first was a little ... well like we are together: love hate! In fact at one point she fled from me so quickly she did not see the wall until she ran into it! Poor girl. So I decided a new tactic was in order. I asked her if she wanted to come up on the couch and read a book with me. Then I ignored her. Soon she went to get a book and handed it to me... though would not sit with me but listened while I read. Progress! When it was jammie time I asked her if I could help her get jammies on. She went to get her pretty silkies and brought them to me and by the time she was changed, I guess she had forgotten (at least for the night) that she does not like me. We sat and watched a bit of a movie and when it was over and time for bed, Goose gave me a hug and kiss. I almost cried I was so happy! Maybe, just maybe, she and I can be friends now. And it all started with a book!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Power

The power in our office went out yesterday. I went down about 9:30 and we were told it would not come back until 2:00. That is a long time to be without power at work, especially in this day and age when everything we do is on the computer! But something interesting happened without power. Things got very quiet. I mean after the initial angry sounds of disappointment because we could not complete our work... or play on the computers for some! Things were kind of mellow, and very quiet for about 90 minutes until the power came on.

I have been reading the book 'eat, pray, love' by Elizabeth Gilbert (you know before I see the movie.) I am currently reading the pray part of the book, she is talking about her time in India. I happened to have it with me so I pulled it out to read a bit until something happened and I could get more work done. It will not ruin the book to talk about this, she was visiting an Ashram in India and there was a Silence Retreat she was helping with. 100 people came to the Ashram for a silence week. They did not talk for 7 days, rather they contemplated their lives and meditated. But they lived in silence, they made the world around them quiet so they could look inside and listen.

One thing I noticed while the power was out and it was quiet was that only some of us in the office could stand the quiet. 6 (out of 8) salesmen left, 2 (out of 4) office staff pulled out their cell phones and started watching videos or playing games. The quiet seemed deafening to them.

When the power came on at around 11 (like I said, it was only out for about 90 minutes) I could not believe the audible hum that suddenly surrounded me. The lights, 2 printers, a computer monitor, and my computer all turned on with a hum that I am so used to, I did not even realize how loud it is! I found it suddenly distracting.

I cannot claim to have had some overwhelming introspective or spiritual experience because of 90 minutes of no power. But one thing I now do believe is true: Sometimes the physical power needs to go off so we can feel our own internal power or voice. Technology is great, but how reliant on it am I? About a week ago I unplugged my alarm clock in my bedroom. It is now darker in my room and frankly I am sleeping better. Too much modern technology and lighted gadgets, I think, can sometimes block our internal light and inner quiet. I need to listen more to me. It might be time to turn some things off so I can do just that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's Like Going Home

Do you have something that triggers a fond memory from your past? Like a smell or movie line or something...

I started to re-watch Grey's Anatomy recently. I started with Season One and will go through the seasons I have on DVD. For some unknown reason it is reminding me years ago when I had this core group of single lady (all the single ladies) friends (who now all are married, some with kids.) Now the odd thing is I never watched Grey's Anatomy with any of them. This group was made up of my sister Colleen and our friends Candice, Elisha, and Jill. Still friends with all of them, that is not where this is going, we have not broken up!! But in the last few years our lives have changed. Jill got married and moved out of state. Colleen and Candice got married the same summer they both have children now. Elisha was recently married as well (and actually I think she is the only other one in the group who ever watched Grey's.)

We all did theater together, we had a small singing group called multi-fish! productions where we sang with a few other ladies. The rest of this group competed in the Miss Midvale competition together (let's just say I did not because I was too old!) But I have to say my fondest memories of these wonderful friends was doing our Award Show Parties!! We did them all: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, SAG, People's Choice, Grammy, Miss America Pageant, Golden Globes, etc. We all brought a very yummy, sometimes unhealthy, dish to share and named it after the particular award show. For example I usually brought deviled eggs and they were always different: Oscar Deviled Eggs, Emmy Deviled Eggs, etc. Elisha always brought the best pasta salad, Colleen brought Reeeeseees Peeeiceees (that is just how they are pronounced!) Candice and Jill usually experimented with something tasty. And always always always Elisha did a victory lap if someone we all wanted to win did in fact claim the prize. Ah good times.

Do not get me wrong, those of us still in state try to get together for the 4 main award shows still and to have a party. Our numbers and the food might have changed, kids and husbands have to be taken into consideration, but it still feels like going home. I do not know if it is because the Emmy's are Sunday, but for some reason watching Grey's right now has made me remember those days so very fondly this week. I think it is sometimes hard when everyone seems to be at a different place in their lives with small families and I have not really changed all that much. Still single, no kids. Not complaining, it just is different. It is nice to have such fond memories; these ladies really meant so much in my life and I believe helped to make me the person I am today.

So Fish's, if you are reading this, I love you! I miss the memory of us, the us that used to be. But I love the us we are now and I would not change it for the world.