Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fusion Food Confusion

About a month ago, my office decided that our Christmas party would be a pot luck. We brainstormed the type of meal we wanted to share and everyone signed up with the chosen theme in mind. The theme: Baked Potatoes. Delicious, right? The long list was passed around the office and people signed up to bring every possible topping you could ever want for a baked potato. Some of the assigned toppings included Chili, Sour Cream, Olives, bacon bits, cheese, etc, etc, etc.

Apparently, some people didn't grasp the concept of bringing what they signed up for. Some people didn't understand that the theme had been set and when everyone brought their assigned item, a delicious feast would commence. Some people didn't understand that other people count on these specific items to garnish their baked potato!

Weeks passed and the day of the pot luck arrived. Everyone entered work with a song in their heart and a crock pot in their hands. Merry Christmases were wished and gifts were opened. With the spirit of the season, we all sat down to feast on our delicious loaded potatoes...but what is this?

The potatoes were bakes and warm, as promised. To go with them was butter. To top the butter was cheese and olives. But where was the chili? Where was the broccoli? Where were the other toppings? I looked around the room confused that no one else had noticed the missing necessities.

I looked in various crock pots to see what had been brought instead. I found beef stew and polenta. I found a large crock pot full of BBQ meatballs with Hogie rolls. I found another large crock pot full of sweet and sour meatballs with more Hogie Rolls. I found a jello salad and a chocolate cake that was so chocolaty, it was almost black. Don't get me wrong, all of the food was wonderful and delicious....but there was no fusion. The catastrophe was a fusion food confusion.

I sat down with my beef stew, polenta, BBQ meatballs and a jello salad. I didn't have a baked potato. I didn't want one anyway.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Taking one for the baby...

This time of year tends to inspire the exchanging of gifts, Christmas gatherings, and baby showers. Yes, thrown in with the fruitcake and the yule log was a baby shower for one of my co-workers. This co-worker is wonderful and therefore I was happy to attend a shower in her honor. I inquired about what she needed, printed off her Target gift registry, and proudly marched into Target to purchase the perfect gift for her bundle of joy.
I enter the store at about 6:30pm: Operation: Baby. I make for the baby crap...I mean, section and wander down the five aisles Target has sanctioned for babies. Apparently, all extravagance of infancy can be neatly nestled into five friggin' aisles. I beg to differ. I wandered those aisles at least four times and didn't find a single thing listed on the registry. I stopped a clerk to make sure the problem wasn't my own daftness..."oh," said the pubescent 16-year-old."I guess we're out of it." I understand stores run out of things, but the list in my hand was about fifty items long. I find it hard to believe they just happened to run out of all fifty items requested.
No. I was not about to give up. Target is supposed to be better than WalMart. They are supposed to have quality products for which you didn't mind paying the extra $1.25. I was on a mission. As I searched the five aisles for the fifth time I recognized a woman I had seen 15 minutes before. She looked tired and disheartened.
"Have you seen the EvenFlo breast pump?" she asked with a hiccup of hysteria in her throat.
"No," I replied. " I was looking for that myself. It seems as if everything people are looking for are mysteriously out of stock."
"That's what I figured," said the woman becoming more discouraged by the second. "Don't you love baby showers?"
"Nope. Sure don't."
We shrugged at each other and parted ways.
For the sixth time I circled the pointless shelves and BEHOLD! The magic diaper genie appeared seemingly out of nowhere! Without hesitation I greedily grabbed the "genie from heaven" and ran to the checkout.
As I drove home from my victorious find I realized that I had no gift bag, no tissue paper, and no card. Angry at my premature jubilation I settled for WalMart.
I entered the store around 9pm and saw an awkward character (as is a necessity of WalMart)...he was the Salvation Army bell ringer. The bell ringer (let's call him Steve) seemed oblivious to any and all passersby. Steve was preoccupied with his bells. He had one in each hand and was making them sing to each other. Imagine, if you will, a slightly inebriated Santa entertaining himself by assigning characters to his bells. Sad to say that Steve was the highlight of my evening.
I ran into the store, purchased the needed materials and wrapped the gift.

I found out the next day that the baby shower had been cancelled. Damn it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The End of a Friend

First off, let it be known that I love reading. I love literature, I love language, I love being so immersed in a book that I wouldn't notice a small earthquake as long as I was reading.

There are few books that put me into such a trance...Catch-22 happened to be one of them.

Today I finished Catch-22, after a month and a half of reading. Usually such a long time would suggest that I didn't enjoy the book. On the contrary, it was one of the best books I have read. It was sarcastic, ironic, hilarious, thought-provoking, and heart-breaking. I have never laughed so hard at a book as I have with this one.

While finishing a book creates a feeling of accomplishment, I feel a little sad to be finished with it. I enjoyed every page of it and, while it had a good ending, I wanted it to continue. I wanted to follow the protagonist and see if he succeeds. I am hesitant to read the sequal, as sequals are usually depressing and stupid, but maybe I will. Just to see if it can compare.

So, good-bye, Yossarian. Good luck in Sweden. Perhaps I will pick you up again in a few years. On to The Sound and the Fury!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Fish Out of Water

Last night I attended the Salt Lake Choral Artist's concert at the Mormon Tabernacle last night (Andy's Choir). Since Andy had to be there at 6 and the concert didn't start until 7:30, I thought I could use the time to catch up with an old friend and look at the beautiful lights. If you have never been to Temple Square between the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I suggest you go. It is beautiful.

On our way to Temple Square, my friend called me and informed me that she would not be coming. Awesome. No worries. I can still get some hot chocolate and wander. Ok. As we got out of the car (three blocks away) I realized that it was much colder than I anticipated. Slowly, we made our way toward the illuminated castle as my runny nose began to freeze. My toes began to tingle, then lose feeling...followed by my calves and then thighs. My gloveless hands began to ache in the unadulterated chill of the wind.

We reached the tabernacle and Andy had to go to join his choir. All I needed to do was find some warm drink, sit down in a warm spot, and read my book until the time for the concert arrived. Easy. I made my way to the "Nauvoo cafe" for a delicious treat. As I approached the counter I graciously allowed the 16 year old worker to finish her conversation with her friend on her hot pink razor. She looked at me with frustration, told the person on the end of the line that she "had to go" and proceeded to stare at me wordlessly. I looked around to see if I missed something and asked if I could order some hot chocolate. She handed me a pack of swiss miss (well, the equivalent of) and told me that it would be $2.08. Whatever. I grabbed a 16 oz cup when she informed me that the 8 oz cups are for hot chocolate. I asked if I could have a 16 oz cup seeing as how it was so cold outside and the fact that I just paid $2 for some powder. "No," said the adolescent. "You have to use the small cup." Whatever. I grabbed the non-biodegradable cup a little too fiercely and went in search of the "hot" water (which turned out to be luke-warm at best).
I looked around the cafe and every seat was taken. I had to brave the outside.

I exited the building slightly more frustrated than when I had entered and was run over by a pernicious 7-year-old. As we collided, my precious $2 8 oz hot chocolate met its end on the concrete outside of the cafe. I counted to ten as I found a near by seat. I pulled my phone out and called Tommy, someone I knew could sympathize with my predicament. I chatted with Tommy as I watched very jolly people skip around all the lights. I saw people on dates, families in warm coats, and random people asking for change...which was always granted. The temple was crawling with people and it reminded me of a not fun Disneyland.

I finished my phone call and checked my ticket to see what time the tabernacle doors would open for seating. Behold! They were to open in 20 minutes!! The clouds parted, and God smiled on me! Ever-conscious of my visible breath, I threw my sad empty cup away and ran to the tabernacle. I was the third person in line and at least had the company of very friendly old people around me. The missionary standing guard was quite congenial and offered interesting tidbits about the construction of the temple and the history of the buildings. He asked everyone around (by this time there were about 50 people in line) if they had read the most recent "Ensign" (you could tell he was from out of town because he pronounced it correctly). Everyone (but me) raised their hands and giggled from self-achievement. I stood looking around who had read the most recent "Ensign" until I noticed the man was looking directly at me. "For those of you who haven't," he said to me, "yadda, yadda, yadda." What he had to say was interesting but by this time I was concentrating on two things...#1: staying on my feet as my legs again, had no feeling...and #2: tolerating an old man rubbing up against my back side.

The line grew longer and I began to feel shoving. The people in the front were being pushed off their balance from the others behind them. I tried to move to where this strange man's body wasn't constantly touching me, but no matter where I moved, he followed, apparently glued to me. After working at a clinic for sex offenders, I tend to jump to conclusions. I turned around and asked him very politely to step back (as my attempts failed. Perhaps he didn't know he was so close). "Don't you like the heat?" the old man said with a toothless grin. Disgusted, I shoved my way to the other side of the line.

The concert was wonderful, the dinner afterward was great, but it was my experience at Temple Square that really made it worthwhile!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The New Priest

A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak.

After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done.
The monsignor replied, “ When I am worried about getting nervous On the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip.” So next Sunday he took the monsignor’s advice.

At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink.
He proceeded to talk up a storm.

Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:

Sip the vodka, don’t gulp.
There are 10 commandments, not 12.
There are 12 disciples, not 10.
Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.
Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.
We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.
David slew Goliath, he did not kick the shit out of him.
When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don’t say he was stoned off his ass.
We do not refer to the cross as the “Big T.”
When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said, “take this and eat it for it is my body.” He did not say “ Eat me” .
The Virgin Mary is not called “ Mary with the Cherry,.
The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.
Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at ST.Peter’s not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy’s.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My newfound ADVENTURE!

Friends!! The most exciting news!!
Last night I booked a trip to Ireland!

This was definitely a last minute, spontaneous, booking that began on Friday! I woke Andy up on Friday (with little tact due to overwhelming excitement) and told him that we needed to book a trip from Travelzoo right now. I explained to him that it was the last day to book and we just had to go! Now, Andy and I had discussed this...kind of. The conversation went more like this:

Andy: I got your email. You want to go to Ireland?
Candace: YES!!
Andy: All right. Let's go.

Now, in my mind, that was confirmation that the trip was definite and all we had to do was book. Little did I know that after that conversation, Andy hadn't given the notion another thought. You can guess his surprise and confusion when I woke him up and announced that we were going to Ireland. Poor, Andy. I am a bad girlfriend.

My hopes were crushed until I found out we could book until the 31st of October! I had five days to make this work!! Much discussion followed the next few days. Endless "What ifs" and "Hows" and "When" filled our days until last night. Andy was stellar and called the travel agent. He found out what we had to do, where we had to go, etc. He figured out how to make the trip possible. Yes, he is that wonderful.

When I got home, Andy had the trip pulled up on the computer. February 19-26, from JFK to Shannon, staying at the Breaffy House, automatic car, and loads of adventure! I screamed and giggled and danced and texted...all we had to do was enter the payment information. Trustingly, Andy handed me his Credit Card on his way out the door.

And that's it! I put the information in, and we are going! I can't even express my excitement. For once, I am happy that Christmas came in October!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

How is it almost November?

It's around this time of year that you realize the year is almost over. I swear that I just had my birthday (May) and find it odd that we just celebrated Andy's birthday (the 27th). I become uneasy when I switch my attention to the holidays that always seem to sneak up on you regardless how prepared you are. I find myself overwhelmed and suffocated by the thought of Christmas. I know it is over a month away, but it is here. You walk into stores and are instantly bombarded by premature Christmas music and the stink of holly. And then there is the dread of budgeting out your Christmas list for the year. Juggling the "giving spirit" while making sure you can afford rent, car insurance, food, gas, etc. I have this part down to a science. I pride myself on coming out ahead due to my clever ability to budget. Still...the mere thought is daunting. 'Tis the season for heartburn and anxiety.
Thanksgiving is four weeks away. That means Christmas is eight weeks away. New Year's is nine, then we have to start again. and again. and again. Forgive me. I focus on the inconsequential. I am excited to go home and spend Christmas with my family. Christmas is always better when you are home. It becomes meaningful when you were a kid. Not just a headache, but happiness. Maybe it is happiness because of all of the shenanigans leading up to it. I don't know.
I digress.
Andy's birthday was this weekend!! Festivities began on Friday when we went to see the Odyssey Dance Company's production of Thriller. If you live in the Salt Lake area and are not familiar with this show, you are sorely missing out! It is such a good time. We were harassed by the skinny zombie girls and decided to harass them in return. We named them and tried to carry on conversations. "Abagail? You look like hell! What happened to you?(Imagine that in a Robert Goulet voice)" The girls were unable to respond. Either we rendered them speechless or the only retort they could muster was odd sounding grunts.
Saturday (Andy's birthday) was a little strange. Andy had a choir concert the night of and spent the majority of the day in rehearsal. A group of us went to the concert to cheer on our favorite red-head. He sang with the passion of a monk and maintained the disposition of a surgeon. The concert was beautiful. I just love watching Andy perform. He is fantastic. The concert led to dinner at the Bohemian then back to the apartment for conversation on hot chocolate (accompanied by a mediocre birthday bad).
Sunday, Andy awoke at the crack of noon and had to run out and get Guitar Hero for the Wii. With his new toy in hand we headed home to play with it. Shortly after Brett called and Andy proudly told him of his new investment. Brett proceeded call Andy demeaning names...turns out he was at Best Buy purchasing Guitar Hero for Andy's birthday. Thwarted! All worked out as we went to see the Nightmare Before Christmas (in 3-D, fantastic!) and had a spiritual dinner at Ruth's Chris.
The birthday was successful. The boy is officially 26. But that means it is almost November. How is it almost November?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Phone Trees bloom as November approaches...

I tend to be on the phone. I am on the phone a lot. Most of my time on the phone is spent either on hold or trying desperately to climb the never-ending phone trees that surround various insurance companies. While these trees are treacherous and difficult to endure (most of the time), there is a lot to be said for the leisure time it grants me. Hence, I am writing a blog about them while I sift through the lush branches of "Press 1 for English" and "Press 6 for claims." I climb and climb until I hear,"All of our representatives are currently helping other customers. We know your time is valuable. Please hold for the next available representative." Ah, bliss. As I hold, I am entertained by various musac. Some of my favorite works are: a new age version of "Let it Be," an orchestral arrangement of "Tonight" from West Side Story (to which I sang along), and a healthy mix of Neil Diamond and Dionne Warwick ballads.
My enjoyment of the music is inevitably disrupted by a recording asking me to "remain on the line for the next available representative" or by the elusive representative himself. After that, the call is completed quickly. I feel abandoned and alone. To be blessed with such greatness only for that greatness to be brutally stripped away. As much as I hate for the "on-hold" process to end, I will always remember with fondness the moments that Neil told me he would rather be forever in blue jeans.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Working in a children's hospital

For those of you who are not yet aware of my underwhelming feelings toward children, they (my feelings) border on apathetic at times.
Why, you may ask, do I work at a clinic that treats only children. Answer: they offered me a job. Here are a few things I have to get used to:
1. Random children wandering into my office and talking to me or actually touching me (on one occasion, thus far). No joke! I was working on the computer as a child wandered into my office and tugged on my sleeve. After being scared out of my wits (I wasn't expecting that), I told the child to go find his/her mom.
2. Random screaming from angry kids, bratty kids, kids who climb on rocks...For one reason or another every child finds justification for screaming at the top of his/her lungs. Sometimes, the kids are being casted and are uncomfortable, some kids are afraid of the scary X-ray machine, and some are upset because mom won't let him/her reach into the fish tank and pet Nemo (curses to Disney).
3. Really horrible names for children. I often wish to be face to face with the cruel parents who name their children "Steevee" or "McKendall." And then there is the ever popular "Tucker," "Tanner," and "Tennison." What the hell is wrong with these people?
4. Holding children down while taking an X-ray. That's right! I help out in the X-ray room and I, on occasion, hold down a 2 or 3-year-old to get the film (thank God I am MANDT trained AND certified!). I really am working on my finesse as well as compassion.
I am a little bored today. My goal is to finish 10 patients a day but I am through with 13 and it is only 1:10pm. When I am finished blogging I will go put some charts away. One thing is keeping me unbelievably happy...the pictures we had taken on our wonderful trip to Southern Utah!
I think everyone who looks at my blog also knows me through myspace or facebook (if so, you have already seen these). If not:

My weekend was so much fun! Jamie is the best! She is so talented and is so wonderful to put up with us. For now, There is a child squealing and I feel like my head might fall off. Time to go file.
PS- I won $17 dollars in Mesquite!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Pictures of the Rockin' Ball...

These pictures can also be viewed on my Facebook account...

Car Troubles and other stories

Long story short, I have the worst luck with cars. My history of vehicular maladies would rival the Bible (no sacrilege intended). I think that I would have better success in a city where a car is no longer needed...but that is a different story for a different day.
On Saturday, Andy and I were delayed while on the way to meet some friends. As we drove down the ever-popular Fort Union Boulevard, my car jerked forward and the ABS light came on. Joy. Considering my car had been in the shop the week prior, you can guess my immediate irritation for the new car problem. Andy and I exchanged grumbles and continued driving. We stopped at a red light, then accelerated when the light turned green. Wait a minute. There was no acceleration. The car stayed in first gear. Also, all of the gauges were no longer in working order. Dang it. We drove from Fort Union to 45th south with Hazards on achieving about 15-20 mph. Awesome.
Sunday: My dad had the brilliant idea of having the car towed to the Acura Dealership this day so I wouldn't have to miss work. So, I did. I called trusty AAA and they speedily sent me a tow. Wonderful.
The man who showed up in the tow truck was very nice but incredibly hard to understand.
(Italicized words are words that I guessed in the conversation inevitably making a fool of myself)
Tow man:"mumble mumble black"
Tow Man:"mumble mumble black"
Candace:"Yes, my car is the black one, there (pointing to my car)"
Candace:"Oh. OK."
Tow Man:"What is wrong with it?"
Candace:"It won't shift out of first gear"
Tow Man:"Are you serious? Is your car fun to drive?"
Tow Man:"Is your car fun to drive?"
Candace:"Is my car fun to drive?"

Foolish Candace bows her head in shame and answers the question. The nice tow man towed the car to the dealership...all was successful.
I am sure that the car stories will continue but for now, I need a new alternator. :(

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The best weekend...

Last weekend was the best!!
Friday: I got a new job! After weeks of fretting and wondering if I could afford rent next month, I heard the jubilant words "I would like to offer you the job"!! I screamed! Then I cried! Then I screamed again! Then I called (almost) everyone I knew! I even called my darling co-worker who is currently in Romania (I love you, Hilary!). I knew she wouldn't answer the phone, but I had to try anyway!
I ran back to my job and proudly announced that it was my last day. I did not have the foresight to realize that giving such short notice would mean lots of work for me.
I got home around 7:15-ish and Andy took me out dinner. We celebrated such a wonderful occasion with our best friends Brett and Katie at a delicious Mexican restaurant. Two strawberry daiquiris later, I was feeling oh so wonderful and extremely proud of my new found job! What else did I do to celebrate? I fell asleep, of course.
Saturday: President's Ball! I woke up early and took my car to the shop at the wonderful hour of 8am. I went home and tried to go back to sleep. Success for about 30 minutes. Curses! Oh well. I got up, we watched some of Dick Tracy and decided to cast my hair. For those of you unfamiliar with the term: it is dying it temporarily. The brilliant redhead that I now flaunt will wither and die in a few months. Pity. Anyway, I casted my hair and headed over to my friend Heidi's apartment where we sipped tea and watched Mansfield Park (don't judge). I complained loudly for a solid hour as I watched snow fall from the sky in SEPTEMBER! yuck. Slowly, as the late afternoon/early evening stretched on, we began primping in preparation for President's Ball (alumni homecoming dance). Katie joined us when she got of work and I felt the stinging sensation of high school creeping in. No, it was fun.
Donning our breathtaking glamor, we went arm in arm with our loved ones to a delicious restaurant called Trio. Katie and I split a wonderful bottle of wine while the boys shared another. Simply wonderful. We ate and laughed and drank. How fantastic!
Then it was off to the dance. Like all old people, we arrived on time and noticed that we were the only ones there. This was not a bad thing. We were able to take the floor and beat it senseless before the twelve-year-olds began rubbing up against each other. The six of us danced and danced to the smooth sounds of a rockin' jazz band. Brett was even invited up on stage to sing with the band! Slowly, the hall began to fill with the aforementioned twelve-year-olds. Disgusting. Around 11pm the dance floor was so full there was no longer any room for us. We resorted to sitting at a table and making fun of the twelve-year-olds. Good times. Around midnight we left the shindig and headed over to Brett and Katie's. I proceeded to fall asleep directly, of course.
Sunday: My one goal this weekend was to purchase some professional looking clothes. For all intents and purposes, that was my Sunday objective. We woke up early to go have breakfast with my good friend Jamie (We really don't go out to eat that much. This weekend was just hectic). I got home, went grocery shopping and took a shower (hooray!). Soon after, Andy informed me that we were joining Brett at Octoberfest in half an hour. I've got to be honest. Octoberfest was not that awesome. I suppose the fact that I don't like beer nor do I like to get drunk will put a damper on the experience...I didn't have a great time. Then again, I was the designated driver. At one point, Andy and I joined the German waltz...the music ended right as we took dance position. I was none too pleased. I did enjoy watching my boys begin to find the smallest trifles hilarious. That is always worth it. Andy and I watched The Davinci Code on Sunday night. What a horrible movie. I know that movies are worse than the books but I didn't think that the book The DaVinci Code could be trumped! Amazing. It was good to laugh at.
So, the weekend ended with me being slightly worried about my upcoming first day and extreme exhaustion. Turns out, I need lots of sleep to function.
PS- Pictures of the sexy crew will surface soon...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Inspiration by Stuart Smalley

Sometimes, that is all you need to hear...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pernicious Pet Peeves

Everyone has pet peeves that drive him/her insane. I have several. Possibly more than I (or anyone) should.

* Grown-ups acting like children (especially at work). I have to enforce enough rules with the kids...I don't want to have to hold the hand of the staff too. When I ask you to put your cell phone away during class, that doesn't mean use it only when I am not looking. What exactly are we teaching our patients?

* Walking into a restroom stall and finding a large wad of toilet paper that hasn't been completely flushed. No floaters, usually. Just this wad of toilet paper. Seriously...who in the world needs that much toilet paper?

*People who cut in front of you on the freeway then find it necessary to slow down to 45 mph (no exaggeration). This happened thrice yesterday. I just don't get it.

*Looking for some matching socks and realizing that the sock monster has eaten one side of the pair!

*When people mistreat my friends. I know a darling girl who has spent many hours fretting about a completely irrational predicament because she was mistreated.

*Sitting down to a seemingly happy movie and ending up in tears by the end of it. If a movie is marketted as a jovial, family-friendly movie, I DO NOT WANT TO WEEP (Fox and the Hound, Little Mermaid, Miss Potter...)

*When people ignore good ideas simply because they don't care for the person who came up with the idea. I can not expound on this or I would be guilty of a HIPAA violation.

*Little kids who try to strike up conversations in public bathrooms. No, I don't care that you went to the aquarium today, yes, I know you are supposed to wash your hands before you eat, and it is none of your business why I am putting on lipgloss. Where's your mother?

* Jerks who refuse to use their blinkers. Is it really to hard?

Here are a few of my pet peeves. Please feel free to add your own special peeves. Enlighten me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Matching Socks

When I woke up this morning I was tired. As most of you know, my best blogs are written when I'm tired. Not saying this will be one of my best blogs...whatever.
Anyway, I was tired when I woke up this morning for reasons unknown. I stumbled around, brushed my teeth, took a shower, the usual. When I got to my closet I was distressed because I couldn't find matching socks!
I need to wear socks, I thought. In a panic, I tore through my half-full suitcase (optimist), random clothing on the floor, even my dirty clothes hamper. I realized that some sock eater had made a scrumptious meal of every other sock that I owned. I continued my search.
Why is it so important to wear matching socks in the first place? What has society come to that says I need to go crazy for 20 minutes to find a sock that looks like another? I had to sit down at this realization, this epiphany. I felt oppressed and short of breath. How dare society impose that amount of strain on people.
Wait a minute! I am my own person! To hell with societal pressure! With new found determination I clumsily grabbed two socks and jammed them on my feet. I looked at them proudly, one blue/purple striped and the other black with cartoon cats on it, knowing that I was fighting against the current. I was going against the norm!
At this point one thought occurred to me:

I need to do laundry tonight.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Spotted Tape from China

"Andy! What did you get me for my birthday?" I asked as I do for any occasion that demands gifts.

"I don't know," he ALWAYS replies though I know that if I can hold out long enough he will eventually tell me."

"Well, give me a hint," I say putting on the sweetest act I can muster.

"OK. Spotted Tape from China." What the hell? Spotted Tape from China? As I curiously opened the envelope to my card, I saw that inside the card were 2 concert tickets! What concert, you may ask? DEF LEPPARD, STYX, and FOREIGNER!! For those of you who are unaware of my love for Styx, it is a true love that will last a lifetime.

3 1/2 months later...

September 7: the day of the concert.

I anxiously put on my "Pour some Sugar on Me" t-shirt in support of the headlining band (even though I am most excited to see Styx) and Andy and I stop by La Frontera for a tasty treat. We get in the car 1 hour before the concert starts and make our way to West Valley City.

Wall to wall traffic. Curses! We wait, and wait, and wait. 7pm comes and goes and we wait.

At 7:30 we park and hurry to find out seats at the amphitheater (which is, by this time, extremely full and extremely drunk). Foreigner is booming in the background. Aging hair band roadies are drunkenly giving everyone they can find hugs and high fives. There is quite a diversity of people around. You have your crack whores who are about 85 pounds soaking wet and look like their skin has melted off and been reapplied. There are old men who undoubtedly own Porches due to their new found state of mid-life crises during which they have also bought their 25 year old wives (or mistresses) a shiny new set of DDD boobs. Impressive. No need to mention the 40-somethings with long mullets that are becoming skullets rocking out to their music of yesteryear as they pour their 10th cup of $9 beer down their throats. Then you have a whole bunch of 13, 14 year olds who probably found Dad's secret stash of 80's albums. These kids are great. They stand around awkwardly surrounded by old people occasionally headbanging until they get dizzy then they resort to playing on their cell phones. Then, Andy and me.

Jukebox Hero comes on...Every arm raises into the air and begins to pump in time with the music. The audience, indeed, has stars in their eyes. The crack hags were swaying slightly self-conscious of people watching them, the old men with their mistresses bounce in time to the music looking around while they sing to prove that they know the words, the old rockers sway psychedelically with their arms raised in homage to the rock gods. Wonderful. Foreigner is grand...but I am waiting for Styx.

When Styx comes on the stage I squeal with delight! I love every minute from "Blue Collar Man" to "Renegade"! What a fantastic show they put on! When "Come Sail Away" begins, not only do all hands return to the air, but lighters (cell phones for us non smokers) light up the entire audience. It is fabulous! We sway and sing...exactly what I was hoping for! I must admit with the tiniest bit of embarrassment that during "Renegade" I am guilty of not only the white man overbite but also of the New Jersey fist pump. Bottom line: I LOVE STYX!!!

Then, all Hell breaks loose. Def Leppard takes the stage and you can tell that this is what the majority of the audience is waiting for. Bras come of, shirts come off, women climb on the stage, just pandemonium. I am surprised how many songs I can easily sing to. We proudly belt out such songs as "Rocket," "Rock of Ages," "Love Bites," and of course, "Pour some sugar on me." As we sing and dance conservatively, crazy old people are stripping, dirty dancing, and making lewd gestures at each other. It is a blast!

Leaving is a different story. We walk out to the lot, find the car, and begin our hour and a half wait to get out of the parking lot. During our wait we see a man and woman doing inappropriate-for-blogging actions in the car. We see random drunk people stumbling around and yelling at others. My personal favorite is when a drunk man (seen previously at the concert running across an aisle of people slapping high fives) stumbles "behind" a car (in plain sight) and begins peeing without pulling his pants down. I check with Andy to make sure that I am not imagining anything. He confirms. Gross.

I had a fabulous time! I am excited for the next concert (worth going to) that comes to Salt Lake!

PS- if you are curious as to why Andy gave me the hint of "Spotted Tape From China": Leopards are spotted, tape sticks, and if you are from China you are Foreign. There you go. Problem Solved.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Mystery of the Runaway car

The bottom line is I needed shoes.

I put on an outfit, ready to go to a party, when I realized that something was missing.

I needed shoes.

Arm in arm with an ecstatic Andy, we skipped (no lie) into Nordstrom Rack and directed our eyes toward the shoe department. Minutes after landing in the 8 1/2 department I spotted the most delectable pair of bright red patent leather shoes! How spectacular they would look with my outfit!

I marched proudly to the counter and purchased my new-found treasure.

Upon exiting the Rack, Andy and I passed a most peculiar sight: A person-less Nissan was rolling straight for an unsuspecting Subaru! Andy, being the virile manly man that he is, gallantly saved the Subaru from a fate worse than death by stepping in the path of destruction. With Andy holding the car I ran to his side to assist in the hold of the beast. Together we struggled to push the angry Nissan back into it's assigned no avail. We resorted to keeping the Nissan at bay.

Struggling against the weight of the car, Andy and I began to perspire in the late afternoon sun. A few passersby noticed the sweat on our brows and asked if they could do anything to help. We requested they run into nearby stores to page the owner of the snarling beast. More onlookers approached to help out. One knight in shining minivan ran to the nearest Shopko to find some sort of object with which to contain this ferocious automobile. Minutes later, Sir Knight (I will call him Aloysius) emerged with a large plank of wood. Aloysius immediately began stomping on the wood to make smaller planks of wood. Brilliant.
With great strength Andy, Aloysius, and I heaved the attacking Nissan back into its space, quickly shoving wood pieces under the tires to keep it stationary. As we congratulated each other for our courage and superhuman abilities the owner of the Nissan walked out of Nordstrom Rack.
"What's going on?" asked the oblivious owner.
"Your car was rolling and almost hit that Subaru," said Andy indicating the frightened Subaru.
"Oh," said the owner. "OK."
The owner got into his car and drove away.
I walked away with adorable shoes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Switching Coasts...

Today my sister is moving from New York to San Francisco.

I always thought how cool it would be to just pick up and move from one city to another. How cool it would be to experience two of my favorite cities as a resident instead of just a tourist. How cool it would be to say that I lived in both cities.

Here are my pessimistic/realistic ideas:

#1- What a pain it is to move. I have moved four times in the past two years. It bites. Besides that, I had the blessing of a car in which to pack my few belongings and move down the street or even across town. I can't imagine packing all of my stuff up, mailing it across the country, and hoping that nothing breaks, nothing is lost, and nothing is stolen. Getting on a plane with nothing but a suitcase and hoping that all of my possessions will be waiting for me when I get there.

#2- How scary it would be to move to a foreign city. April was born in the bay area and has frequented San Francisco...but I don't know. It's a big change no matter how familiar you are with the area.

After pondering these two ideas I came up with a solution...April is my hero. This is such an enormous change, such a huge adjustment, but she has her head held high and is optimistic. She has this amazing ability to see adventure where I see disaster. She has found clarity where I can only see chaos and unknown. April has such strength and such charisma, probably more that she is aware of. I fully believe that April will take San Francisco by storm as she has already done with New York. I have no doubt that April will find San Francisco to be her calling, her home. I love April because she is who I want to be. I want to have the courage to make a life changing decision and be confident that the choice is right! I want to have the ability to walk into a new city, or even new situation, and come out of it with friends, knowledge, and experiences worth blogging about.

I know this has turned into a blog about how much I admire my sister, and I am glad. I am so proud of her. I am so proud of who she is. I only hope that one day I can move closer to her...maybe San Francisco?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

All Right. Who stole my appendix?

I have been having some medical issues for which I recently visited the doctor. As she poked and prodded my abdomen, I felt an excruciating pain as she pressed on my right side. "Oh," she exclaimed," does that hurt?" She pushed again and the searing sensation resurfaced. "Yeah," I responded. "It's a little tender there." The doctor sent me to get an ultrasound of my abdomen to rule out appendicitis.
As I lay on the exam table, the woman conducting my ultrasound explained to me "what exactly we were looking at." She glided the sticky gel around and landed on my uterus. "OK, here is your uterus. I see that there are no congratulations in order. Your right ovary looks good, your liver is great, your gall bladder is pristine, your kidneys are wonderful, and your appendix is missing."
"Missing?" So, I restate my question. Who stole my appendix?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Reasons I LOVE Arkansas!

I recently returned from a four day, fun-filled trip to Bentonville, Arkansas. Andy (my darling boyfriend) and I jovially boarded the plane and took off...destination: Tulsa. Bentonville is such a small place that you need to fly into the largest nearby metropolis: Tulsa. You could pay extra to fly into Fayetteville...but really. Who wants to do that?

OK, here are the reasons I love Arkansas.

1. The accent. The dialect of Northwest Arkansas is not the cute little drawl made famous by Scarlett O'Hara and other Southern Belles. No, Arkansas has a thick drawl that is reminiscent of the movie "Deliverence." This accent is what you might imagine if a conversation floats around to imbreeding or broken down cars parked on lawns in front of a home. This is a drawl that just screams "I AM A SHIT KICKER." It truly is the best. It makes me swoon.

2. Fine Family entertainment! During our trip, Andy and I went to two major attractions in Northwest Arkansas. One is Silver Dollar City (SDC as referred to by my dad). Silver Dollar City is a small amusement park built completely on the side of a mountain. It is great fun between the roller coasters and family friendly shows. This year they were featuring the Circus on ICE! That's right, folks! What's better than bumbling clowns? Bumbling clowns on ice skates! And we saw the show in all its glory. OK, the show was nothing to write home about, but SDC in itself is great fun! We were happy to endure the 102 degree heat because we just loved it so much. In addition to SDC, we went to a good old fashioned JAMBOREE (hoedown, if you will). The jamboree was filled with country music, some gospel, a little rock'n'roll (very little), and all the humor you could ask for. Half way through the show a door prize was given away. Guess who won? I DID! I won the highly coveted paper hat that is so versatile you can wear it in TWO different styles! Also, to have a true jamboree/hoedown, one MUST pay tribute to any possible veterans that are inevitably sitting in the audience. This tribute always includes a few patriotic songs, recognition of veterans, a display of Old Glory, and the necessity for everyone in the audience to rise in respect. Brilliant. The show was good. It's the whole patriotic part that makes it a little awkward.

3. Southern homestyle cooking. This is the food that sticks to your ribs and produces the severely obese people tooting around Wal*Mart in a motorized cart. We went to Lambert's (home of the throwed roll). This particular restaurant prides itself on large portions and (you guessed it) thrown rolls. As you sit at a table with a drink cup designed for Sasquatch you roll out the paper towels in preparation for your meal. Then the waitress brings your skillet. That's right...the skillet holds the meal of chicken fried steak, sketchy seafood, or any other deep fried that tickles your fancy. After devouring the delicious heart attack, you roll yourself out and attempt to fit into a seatbelt.

All joking aside, I had a fantastic trip and I will definately do it year.

Friday, August 3, 2007

National Watermelon Day!

Did you know that August 3rd is National Watermelon Day? I didn't either! Once I found out, I decided that my class will be eating watermelon, playing games, and having an all around FABULOUS time! Great. So, this was planned two months ago and I had forgotten about it until yesterday. Procrastination worked for me in college, it will certainly work for me now! This morning I woke up early to go purchase the watermelons for my classes today. At seven AM I strolled into WAL*MART (yeah, yeah. boo. hiss. whatever. good prices) with puffy eyes and a "none to pleased" look on my face. I grabbed a cart (of course the one that inevitably pulls to the left) and went in search of some beautiful watermelons. I walked through the front door and was greeted by the cheery 100-something greeter. "Good Morning and Welcome to WAL*MART!" I grumbled something in reply obviously irritated that this geezer is so damn chipper in the morning. I steered my cart to the watermelons and hoisted four large melons into my cart. Because I was tired, my mind wandered and I had two amusing thoughts.

1. One of my favorite scenes from "Dirty Dancing." Baby enters a private dance where people are "dirty dancing." When asked why she was there she replies, "I carried a watermelon." I imagined the chipper old geezer asking why I was buying four watermelons so early in the morning. "Because I am Baby. I want to carry a watermelon," I would reply. "Don't put me in the corner."

2. I also realized how ridiculous I looked. Who buys several watermelons at 7AM? ME. The procrastinator.

After I stared at the watermelons for God knows how long, I snapped out of my trance (again, really tired) and walked to check out. I got in line behind a man and began glancing at the stupid tabloids at the checkout aisle.

"What do you need all these bananas for?" asked the grating voice from behind the counter. The man mumbled something and I looked up to see that he had not one bundle, not two bundles, but EIGHT bundles of bananas. He walked away looking grumpy and sleepy.

I approached the cash register. The same grating voice asked, "Who buys a ton of bananas at 7AM?"

I smiled and thought, a procrastinator like me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nothin' like a demotivator to kick you when you're down

My job is is every one's, I'm sure. I used to work with juvenile delinquents as a, more or less, glorified babysitter, if you will. That prestigious line of work hold the title of a Mental Health Worker. About a month and a half ago (when I was a mental health worker), I was in danger of harm (physically, emotionally, etc) daily. My job was to watch the kids (hence the 'babysitting' part) and to keep the well paid people around me safe. If a kid was angry, it was my position to sacrifice myself so the "important" people remained comfortable in their respective surroundings. I was once told by a person in power that I was expendable. If I didn't like what was happening to me, I was free to quit and there would be ten others ready to fill my place. I was payed to take the hit. I know. Charming place.

Here are a few thoughts that display my feelings toward management...

Flattery: If you want to get to the top, prepare to kiss a lot of bottom. I have found that if you are a large man, it doesn't matter if you beat the patients. If you have a penis and a smile, it is impossible for you to get fired where I work.

Intimidation: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, but you'd be a fool to withhold that from your superiors. One of my favorite parts of a meeting is to walk in and have superiors stare at you as if you were some piece of gum that was scraped off his/her shoe. That is always pleasant. It makes me feel like a winner!

Pressure: It can turn a lump of coal into a flawless diamond--or an average person into a perfect basket case. I was, on occasion, 'talked to' for instances about the wrong time on an important document, for not consequencing harsh enough, or for misspelling a patient's name. Interesting that when the large men decide to rip ears off of patients, allow patients to escape, or let patients break rules, they only get 'talked to' as well.

Sacrifice: Your role may be thankless, but if you're willing to give your all, you just might bring success to those who outlast you. I have nothing more to add to this. This signifies any hard worker at my establishment. The people who give a damn about the patients often sacrifice their/our sanity to compensate for the lack of care shown by our superiors.

Worth: Just because you're necessary doesn't mean you're important. This little fact was made very clear in my discussion (or argument) with my boss. The mental health worker is very necessary, but if they were important they would be paid a hell of a lot more than the pitiful salary that is reality.

Finally, Burnout: Attitudes are contagious. Mine might kill you. This is the watch cry muttered in unison by the hard workers here. We shoulder burdens that are not our own and put up with crap and illegalities that should not be tolerated.

This was my attitude a month and a half ago. Unfortunately, my attitude today is a small version of where a was then. I am frustrated with what people get away with. I want to yell out "I come to work! I follow the rules! I am an asset to this company! I do what is asked of me with no complaint! I am not a flake! I do nothing illegal! I deserve more than this!"

Tomorrow, I'm sure this attitude will subside. As for now, I just felt like venting. To those of you who can relate, you are not alone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Wrath of Newark (or my incompetence)

I hate a few choice people who work at the Newark airport. I don't mean hate as in, "Gee whiz! That lady just ticked me off." I mean hate as in, "I wish upon her what I would not wish upon my worst enemies." For all that know me, I am not a hateful person. I more or less try to get along to...get along, so to 'hate' someone is a pretty big step.

After a blissful weekend in New York, I set off toward the airport to go back home (dear Salt Lake City). My sister's roommate was kind enough to drive me the ten minutes to the Newark Airport from Hoboken. Here is where we hit the first snag. It had been raining that day. Not debilitating rain, but a fairly good amount. Apparently, rain in New Jersey means that you plan an extra hour to your travel time regardless your destination. OK. Recap. I left an hour and a half before my plane was scheduled to depart. I was maybe 10 minutes away from the airport. We hit a brick wall of traffic. Damn.

What should have taken five minutes turned into 45 minutes. Yikes, I thought. I should probably call the airport! I found the number for the airport via trusty 411. I spoke with a very nice lady and explained my situation:

"I am sitting in traffic on the New Jersey turnpike. I will not make the 30 minute check in. I need to know if I should reschedule my flight now or if I should try to make it."

"This happens all the time. You should be fine. As long as you're there...have you checked in?" asked the cheery airport lady.

"No, I haven't." This was a HUGE mistake on my part. Dummy Candace. I definitely should have checked in before leaving the house. "I don't suppose I can do that over the phone?"

"No, I'm sorry. But find a representative as soon as you get to the airport. No problem. It really happens all the time."

After checking and rechecking with the airport lady, I hung up the phone with a new found determination. I can make it!

I got to the airport 20 minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave. I found the first representative I saw and asked for her assistance as my plane was leaving very shortly. The woman told me to stand in a line. "Please," I said. "I can't wait in a line. I have been stuck in traffic and my plane is leaving soon." The woman was annoyed but complied to my state of panic. She pulled up the flight on her computer. "Your flight has been delayed. You have plenty of time. Go to the line for the curbside service. It shorter than the line inside." I thanked her and stood in line outside.
After about five minutes (which seemed like an eternity) I reached the front of the line. I handed the man my ID and he handed it back to me saying it was too late. "Someone sent me out here to check in with you," I pleaded with the man. He shook his head and told me to go inside and wait in the line inside. "They can help you in there."

Angry, annoyed, and frustrated, I ran inside and stood in the line. When I got to the front of the line I explained, yet again my circumstance. The woman at the counter told me that she needed to go get someone else (her manager, I assume). I waited and waited knowing that I was screwed and that it was no one else's fault but my own. I was angry and panicked. The manager approached the desk and asked to hear my story. I started again and told her about the traffic, the phone call, the lines, and the advice I had gotten up to this point. The woman was apathetic and told me that my seat was given away a half an hour ago. She told me that whoever I had spoken with did not know what they were talking about. Also, if I had spent an hour in traffic, maybe I should have left an hour earlier. Good bye.

I was FUMING MAD!!! I understand she probably gets these sob stories all day, but for the love of God. Show some empathy. Even if you can't help me, don't be a total bitch about it.

So, I left the next day after a penalty for missing the flight. I love that airline. I will fly it ALWAYS! Arg. What a Bitch.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Awkward Milkshake

There really is nothing more uncomfortable than watching the sheer absurdity of an aging hippie couple on a date. The awkwardness, the laughable conversation, the odd comments (influenced by years of too much acid and/or pot)...this makes for the perfect setting while eating a delicious Iceberg milkshake.

Sunday, about the time between lunch and dinner when you are too lazy to do anything but too motivated to fall asleep, Andy, Brett, and I decided that what we needed to perk our current mood was a tasty milkshake from Iceberg. PERFECT!! We drove to the adorable little drive in and ordered a chocolate banana shake, a Reese's shake, and a grasshopper shake. Delicious. We sat at one of the tables outside to wait for our order. These tables (made of stone which had been baking for hours in the 100+ degree heat) were decidedly too warm to sit on. With a stroke of brilliance, Andy suggested that we move inside the little restaurant to eat our obtained treat.

We entered the restaurant to blast of cool air and an annoying cackling that would rival the most wicked of witches. We chose a table and sat, ready to enjoy our wonderful frozen goody in the blissful coolness of the welcomed air conditioner. The old lady cackled again. Irritated, I changed our conversation and tried desperately not to no avail. I couldn't help but hear the conversation of choice bands from the sixties: how they got their names, how the music influenced them, how the music shaped a generation...all fine, right? Well, it would have been had the conversation not proceeded as so:
Hippie Man: "I loved The Guess Who! Did you know that The Guess Who had a real name? Yeah! The Guess Who had a real name! It's like, wow! The Guess Who had a real name. Um, I don't remember what the real name was but The Guess Who had another name!"

Hippie Woman: "Hahahahahahaha " (insert obnoxious cackle--Whether sincere or for pity: unknown)

Hippie Man: "Yeah. Someone said, "Hey man! What's the name of your band," and they were like "Guess" and then the guy was like "Guess who?" and then the band thought it was so funny that they didn't use the real name any more. They used Guess Who. Isn't that funny? Guess who didn't use their real name anymore. They used Guess Who cuz they though it was funny."

Hippie Woman: "Hahahahahahaha" (continue the never-ending obnoxious cackle--sincere or pity? still unknown)

Hippie Man: "I saw them at this concert and there was a lot of smoking going on..."
Hippie Woman: "Yeah. The only reason I didn't make it as a singer is because I have Asthma. I just can't handle all of the cigarette and pot smoke. One time I was on a date and we were at this concert and and soon as we got to the Salt Palace (the old Salt Palace, not the new one) I turned around and said, 'we need to leave right now!' Isn't that funny!"

The next ten minutes or so at Iceberg was pretty much the same conversation over and over and over again. Allow me to state that I was not trying to eavesdrop. The restaurant was little and these people obviously had lost most of their hearing from too many hippie music festivals. In my defense, they were shouting the conversation (and the cackling). I wouldn't be surprised if their "date" was audible from outside the establishment.
I was mortified to find that the hippie conversation moved to the topic of "significant others." Andy, Brett, and I now had brain freezes due to the speed we were trying to ingest the ice cream. Our Hippies commented on how God just never put the right woman in his path and was therefore not supposed to get married. "No!" the hippie woman reassured him. "I'm sure that's not true" she said with a hiccup in her voice as she reached for his hand. I wanted to vomit. Not long after this gross display of compliment fishing did we high-tail it out of Iceberg.

Long live old hippies!