Thursday, January 31, 2008

1-2-3 Not It!

So, remember when you were a kid and you never wanted to be "it" in tag? We would go to all kinds of lengths to avoid being "it." We'd yell crazy phrases, count really fast and put our thumbs to our heads, sometimes gouging ourselves in an effort not to be "it." We'd run as fast as we could and slide between other people's legs or run into brick walls in order to be safe. Well, as adults I don't think our desire to be "not it" wanes, but now we have no base. Someone tags you and you are "it." I suppose I could get tagged and just not respond, but then I'd be like the lame kid who gets tagged and decides he's done playing, thereby ruining the game for everybody else. So, in an effort to be a cool kid and not a lame one, I'm gonna be "it" in this game of blogger tag. Here are 6 little known facts about me:

1. My first crush was on my cousin Andy when I was 5. This began a long history of loving boys I can't have.

2. When I was young I used to enjoy organizing a box of 64 crayons in the best chromeological order more than actually coloring with them. How's that for nerdy?

3. I have an overdeveloped sense of empathy that does not only apply to humans. If I'm eating a baggie of cheerios (which I do almost daily) and one of the cheerios doesn't make it into my mouth I feel bad for the little cheerio who spent its entire existence waiting to be eaten and instead ends up on the sidewalk or the floor of my car. When I was little and was going to spend the night at a friend's house I would never bring a stuffed animal because I was worried that if I brought just one all of the other stuffed animals would feel bad that they were left behind.

4. My biggest fear is marrying someone who turns out to be gay.

5. When I eat candy that has multiple colors (like M&Ms or skittles) I always eat them two at a time, with same colors only. When it starts to get near the end and there aren't any more matching colors, I eat them in the best matching pairs (yellow/orange, blue/green).

6. In 11th grade I was cruising Taco Bell in my parents' car with Amy when we saw a boy who we thought was Andy Coones. We flirted with him, causing him to follow us. We soon discovered it wasn't him but we couldn't shake him and he followed us home. Once in our neighborhood, I went racing down a back street in an effort to lose him. I hit a dip, caught some air, and the bottom of the car scraped the street when we landed. The car "mysteriously" started having problems and cost my dad a pretty penny to be repaired. I never told my parents...until now. Sorry!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sleep Deprivation and Airplane Problems: AKA New Year's in LA

First off, sorry to anyone I offended with the picture in my previous post. I hope you haven't blocked my little blog due to inappropriate content. I promise to remain above bar (and butts) in the future :)

Considering the difficulty I had with purchasing my ticket to go to Colorado and then to LA for the holidays, I should have realized that my trip was doomed from the beginning. I'm not usually that good at taking such difficulties as signs that I should change my plans. Perhaps in the future I'll heed the warning. But, despite the problems, I had a really wonderful trip. I just spent a little more time on airplanes than I had anticipated.
After a great and relaxing time in Colorado (see the previous post) I headed to LA for a wedding and to ring in the New Year. I left for LA early on Friday morning. The day started off bad, as I woke up an hour and 15 minutes later than planned. Luckily, we only left the house 30 minutes later than planned and I got to the airport in time (sans shower). Unfortunately, the airplane gods didn't care that I had woken up at the crack of dawn and raced to the airport. They busted a part on the plane when they were refueling and we sat on the runway for 3 hours while they repaired it. Needless to say, I missed the wedding in LA, which was the primary purpose of the trip. The rest of Friday was spent with wedding festivities, catching up with Brecken, Niles, and the Foresters, and trying my darndest to stay awake and pretend I was having a good time. Apparently as I approach my 30s, I don't do as well with sleep deprivation as I did when I was a young whippersnapper. Though I didn't have to pretend to have fun once the dancing started...that is always a good time, especially with Brecken around. Girl can rock it on the dance floor.

Saturday morning we packed 6 adults, 2 toddlers, and two grandmas into 3 cars and headed for Anaheim (with at least one bathroom break on the way down). We had every intention of spending the morning at Disneyland with the kids (how great is disneyland with little kids??). Unfortunately, getting to Disneyland with little kids and grandmas is a little harder than going it on your own. Plus we had a ticket snafu. So, we spent what little time we had playing chase with the kids while the parents sorted out our ticket problems, and then parted ways as they went to enjoy the happiest place on earth. Courtney and I then headed to what might be dubbed as, "The second happiest place on earth" and that was lunch with Ted and Alison. The lunch was too short, but we got to catch up, and spend some time together, so that was nice. Then Ted and Alison made the second leg of Renee's LA Relay and took me to the Rose Bowl where I met up with Emily, Maggie and Evan to check out the floats for the Rose Parade. They were RAD. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I had no idea that the floats were made entirely of flowers and other organic materials. Every inch of those suckers had to be covered with flower petals, ground up lentils, palm fronds, and all kinds of beautiful stuff. It was cool to see how the floats are put together and it was really fun to just hang out with my friends a bit.

After the floats, we made the final leg of Renee's LA Relay and headed back to West LA where we met up with Jim and friends for the celebration of Jimmy's birthday. Of course there was way too much food and the usual hubbub caused by Jim whenever he's in public...which made for a great time. On Sunday the LA 1st ward wasn't meeting, which was a total bummer because I was looking forward to seeing everyone at church. But, we went to one of the Westwood wards and I got to see a fair number of peeps...particularly the marrieds :) Sunday afternoon I got to take a nap (yipeee) and we had a bunch of people over for dinner and games. It was just like old times and made me wish I still lived around the corner and could participate in the usual Sunday gathering.

On Monday my wildest dreams came true and I made it to Disneyland afterall. I drove down with Kami, which was great because it gave me some unexpected quality time with her. Courtney, 63, and my new friend A met us down there and we hit some rides at California Adventure before I had to head back up to LA. Monday evening we went to Emily's parents' house for a delish New Year's Eve dinner of lobster and salad. The food was amazing, but the best part was the company and being able to participate in a Winnie family tradition. They are such a loving and welcoming family and it feels so good to be in their home. I devoured the food and ate up all of the love in that home. I particularly loved Emily's mom's best friend (sitting to my right)...she was a riot!! I also learned that broom sticks can fix garbage disposals...who knew?

After dinner we raced back home and changed for the New Year's Eve Bash which was a great success. Lots of people came and it seemed to be a great time had by all. We did a little bit of dancing, a lot of chatting, and a bit of New Year's smooching (totally innocent I promise). I have to admit though, at the end of the party I was left feeling a little unsatisfied. Not from the lack of kissing, but because there were so many people who I got to "see" but not really sit down and catch up with. As people started to leave the party, my heart just sank because I had to leave the next day and I knew I wasn't going to see them again for a while. It left me feeling sort of disconnected and sad. I had a really really wonderful time (and lots of quality time) with those I stayed with (Courtney, Emily, Maggie, and Sara). But, there were so many people with whom I wanted to plop down on a big fluffy chair and talk for hours. There just wasn't time for that in the trip and it made me sad. So, New Year's Resolution #1 - plan my trips so that I have plenty of time to see everyone I want to see and do everything I want to do. Hold me to it folks!

After the crowds trickled out in the wee hours of the morn', I packed up my stuff, debriefed with the girls, and then headed to the airport at 4:30 am. I get to the airport well before my scheduled 6:00 am flight, to find that there is a horrendous line for ticketing and several airport agents who are no help whatsoever. Without giving me a chance to wait in the line, or checking me in at a side booth so as to make my flight, they make me stand in another horrendously long line (with only 2 agents manning the booth) in order to get re-routed on another flight because they, "didn't think I would make it." You can imagine that all of my forms of the word "what" were used that day as I tried to make sense of the ridiculousness that was unfolding before me. So, I waited in said line for OVER AN HOUR to get rerouted on a flight that left at 7 am. I thanked my lucky stars (and the very nice agent Jimmy) that I wouldn't have to spend all day at LAX and headed to my gate for a very short (and very uncomfortable) nap...the first sleep I'd had in over 22 hours. My flights (yes...I now had to have a layover instead of a direct flight) were uneventful and I finally made it back to beautiful Portland 4 hours later than scheduled. My dear roommate Ashley came to pick me up and had a big gulp coke waiting for me. Isn't she a good roommate? I guzzled it down despite my New Year's Resolution #2 to drink less coke, then went home to take a four hour nap. It took me several days to finally recover from the trip, but I think I'm almost back to normal now.

So, despite the lack of sleep and boiling frustration at airline travel, I had a really amazing time with my friends in LA. Thanks to everyone who made my trip so great! I hope I get to see you again soon!!

Belated Merry Christmas!!

Belated Merry Christmas to you all (except those of you who I saw over which case, you already got yours). I hope you all had a great holiday and enjoyed the Christmas season!! I had a nice trip home to Colorado with my family. Unfortunately, I didn't take any this one will have to suffice.
My trip started off last Sunday with a totally wonderful and uneventful flight to Colorado. My parents had picked up take-out from my favorite restaurant and we went home and mowed down on some moo goo gai pan and pepper steak. The week was spent mostly indoors in my pajamas hanging with the family. My dad and I did some last minutes shopping on Christmas Eve and I made a couple of trips to the grocery store with my ma. But, other than was a lot of lounging, playing games, and music swapping. Quite a nice rest. It snowed pretty hard on Monday night and we woke up to a beautifully white Christmas (one more reason to stay at home in our pajamas). Santa was very generous and I got some gifts that will help me fulfill my (yet to be determined) New Year's Resolutions.

The Christmas Miracle this year was that Desiree (my sister) actually like the gift I got her!! For those of you who don't know Desiree, she is really hard to buy for and she is not that good at hiding her disappointment when she doesn't like a gift. Many months ago I was shopping at Costco and I saw that they had all of the seasons of Quantum Leap on DVD. I picked up season 5 for Desiree and had planned to give it to her for her birthday, but I forgot. So, I brought it home, wrapped it up, and gave it to her for Christmas, not thinking much of it. You can't imagine my joy when she gasped with excitement upon opening the gift!! I nearly cried because I was so happy she liked it. Thanks for making it a wonderful Christmas Dezy-Wezy!!

Another highlight of the trip was a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit - 20th Century Edition. My dad usually slays us at just about every game we ever play. He is a strategist and a cut throat...bad combination. I don't think he ever even let us win at go-fish or chutes and ladders as kids. You can thank pops for my competitiveness (nature vs. nurture...hard to tell). But, we finally found a game that levels the playing field. Not only does dad have a handicap with the more recent pop culture but Desiree and I actually have a chance at answering the history and sports questions. It was neck and neck for a while as we all had our pies filled (or nearly filled) and Desiree and I were fighting for the final question. I lucked out and won the game, but it was hard fought.

On Thursday night we had a little post-holiday party and a couple of friends braved the snow and came to hang out with us. It had snowed most of the day on Thursday so we more than made up for all of the holiday food by shoveling the drive and walkway SIX times...yes...that's SIX times. We didn't want our dear friends to slip and fall on the cold hard ice. But, it made for good times. I get some sort of sick pleasure from a totally clean driveway...but it's probably because I don't live in a snowy place and shoveling is a rare treat rather than a chore. Desiree definitely didn't love it as much as me. But, she was a trooper and did some good hard work out there. And dad shoveled more than I've ever seen him before. Good family bonding in the driveway.

The Christmas party was fun since it was the one time I got to see most of my friends while I was home. Not everyone made it because of the weather, but it was fun to visit with those who were there. I got to meet Alice's BF, play a little with Amy's kids, catch up with Scott, Amy and Steffan (Cheyney, I've now heard both sides of the story), and see some of my dad's old friends that I haven't seen forever. It was great but left me feeling a little unfulfilled since I had to leave the next morning and didn't really get to spend a lot of good quality time with them.

All in all, it was a great trip. This time of year makes me especially grateful to have been blessed with a family that loves me and with friends who have stood the test of time. I have so many amazing people in my life that have helped me to become the person that I am. The people in my life have taught me how to love and be loved, even in difficult times. I always wish I could do more to be a better friend, daughter, and sister and show others the love they have shown me. This Christmas was a great reminder of that. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and know how much I love you!!