Monday, September 29, 2014

sometimes we get free canucks tickets at work.  friday was my first time going.  i got decked out in appropriate fandom wear and put a crazy gleam in my eye because everyone knows that sports fans are nuts and i like to fit in.  i picked up mireya on the corner of granville and *** and we made our way to rogers arena. we had a parking pass because we're totes cool like that.  but first we totally parked in a player's spot by accident which wasn't as cool, but we didn't let that deter us.

pathways had 14 tickets and our own suite.  it was pretty fun.  we also beat the pans off of the flames so that was cool too.  i don't know why it is always everyone's mission to get on the big screen.  it was mireya's fondest wish and by the end of the night we finally got the attention of a camera guy so we had our brief moment of fame, most of the time mireya was fluttering her canucks scarf in my face though, haha.  meanwhile connie was dancing disco like john travolta on speed in the background.  
saturday i helped with the stake primary activity before the women's broadcast.  i diced a lot of tomatoes and shredded a lot of lettuce, skipped with the girlies, and taught poor pinochio and before i knew it, it was time for  taco salad, crumble and then the broadcast.  i sat in a row that a lady was saving the whole row, but to be fair she was saving it with hymnbooks--something that is always in every row.  i kind of laughed at her and kind of didn't move.... i'm socially awkward like that.

there were a lot of good talks.  of course president U. gave a really good one.  

today i wore my wrap around bird dress to church with my gold leaf earrings (thanks mom and dad!) to church and i looked good.  i was getting sleepy by the end of sunday school and i thought about going home and skipping relief society.  but then i thought about how i needed to go to choir and also if i left maybe i would miss something really great that i needed.  so i stayed.  and rs was about elder bednar's talk about carrying heavy loads.  it was a good lesson and i'm glad i stayed.  had some insights and inspirations.  this last week was a doozy.  oh.  i got the job by the way.  i'm the new manager.  and anyways, it was a doozy and every day my exhaustion built to new levels until on thursday night i just started crying for no reason.  well there was a reason.  sheer exhaustion.  

anyways in august i went to seattle to hang downtown for a couple of days with my bestestbud.  here's a few phone pics of our fun times.

me as a jar head.  fun right? i enjoy my eyes at the very top. 
 i was very excited to eat at a place that had shrubs on the drink menu.  shrubs are yummy tart drinks made from fruit and vinegar.  i wanted to have a shrub since last christmas when i was making everyone fruit vinegars.  well this day my dream came true.


i ate a duck here.  and i was not disappointed.

selfies at the umbrella store...


ok...there was this ice cream/cup cake place that fats told me about.  i made her take me there.  and i was not disappointed.  gourmet flavours.  i think i pretty much got salted caramel cupcake ice cream... and there was also a really good one called hazelnut brittle with salted ganache... it was a lovely place.

ice cream makes me happy...here i look a little dopey.



 but it wears off...


Monday, September 22, 2014

busy day.  i barely sat down the whole day.  probably my longest sit down was for my interview.  the interview went alright, thanks for asking.  i'll probably find out the result tomorrow.  i know they only interviewed kaz and i, so i can't imagine they will wait long to tell us.

i have developed what i believe to be a dy-no-mite vegetarian lasagna.  this is where mom pops in and says brightly "it would be even better if you added some caesar dressing".  the woman is a caesar dressing fanatic, but it's served her well, i can't deny it.

after work i drove my squeaky car to pier 1 and looked at papasan chairs (aka dish chairs. ie. moon chairs).  basically it will cost 235 for the base, the bowl and a cushion.  gotta save for my retro comforts.

then i did something i haven't done in a long time.  i went grocery shopping.  i went to superstore because i have so many points on my card that i only had to spend 7.50 for my groceries.  feeling pleased about this.

i came home and made roasted tomato soup and ate it with some parmesan sour dough toast.  yumbly.

i'm tired all over.  i'm going to sleep until the cows come home.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

there's a weird bug that keeps visiting my room. it's big.  it flies.  it's slow.  i don't know what it is.  i caught it once and brought it outside, down the stairs and over to the fence that borders the park.  it flew out of my empty humus container and straight back towards my window.  last night i saw it on the inside again.  it haunts me.

i know the .5 of you who read this blog are really really super duper itching for an update about my hair.  well if i know one thing, it's to take the needs of my .5 readership to heart.  so the truth is my hair is in a terrible state.  it's dry and ratty and frizzy and rarely looks good.  i wouldn't care except i'm vain.  sarah and i always talking about turning my hair into a lion's mane.  well right now i'm scar and i want to be mufasa.  (at first i wrote mustafa... and i was like that sounds too middle eastern for the lion king...wait it is.)

i just had a typical sunday meal.  it's a meal i call 'mushy rice'.  and what i do is make rice in the rice cooker, and then i add stuff.  whatever stuff i have.  today, for example, i threw in a can of tuna, some goat cheese (why do they put it in a tube? it's so annoying and user unfriendly), some pesto mayo left over from the reunion, a diced tomato, some hot sauce and some rice vinegar.  then i eat it straight from the rice cooker bowl because i'm creative but uncivilized.

i told mom that i wanted a small desk to set up a little office nook for myself.  i told her to keep an eye out for one in all her garage sale-ing and thrift store rummaging.  and so i inherited renee's desk.  it's wood and cute and little and exactly right.  i might paint it turquoise or i might do something else to it.  and i want to get rid of my couch.  yes you heard me.  get it outta here.  instead i want 2 chairs, one of which will be a dish chair.  it's time to get this room together.  i wish i had someone to collaborate with.  it's the kind of thing my creativity is craving.  creative collaboration.   also organization.  but i struggle a lot to tackle any of it by myself.  i've succeeded so far to do my laundry and do the dishes and sweep the floor. i.need.help. s.os. mayday.

tomorrow i have an interview for the position of manager in the food services unit at my job.  i have mixed emotions about it.  i feel nervous, because even though i have been kind of doing the job for a couple of months, maybe i'll interview badly.  but i feel like it's just already my job, but i don't take it for granted that i'll get it, i just feel an ownership to it, if that makes any sense. and i miss lisa and feel guilty about applying for her job.  lisa= a lot of work joy and fun and craziness.  a couple of weeks ago i did a small photo shoot of her and her son matt.
i made them stand in the middle of the road because that's my m.o. i enjoy putting my subjects in danger.

today i saw mei lin for the first time since around the time i got back from egggjjjypt.  we hugged like long lost sisters.  i missed her.  i love her.  she gave me a cool book mark with chinese writing on it.  i asked what it said and she said she will need time to think about how to explain it to me.  so i gave her the packaging to study.  she also gave me a pretty magnet that is of a famous painting of mountains that was burned around the edges (the painting was burnt not the magnet)

anyways archie is camoflauging with this desk.  he's chameleoning. he sleeps in invis-a-mode.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

this morning i had to get up early and go to work by 6am.  all day i was running around.  just me and a weekend staff fill in today and trying to get enough people to do everything and trying to get the deposit done and trying to get ready for the new menu...by the end of the day my hair was 3 times it's normal bulk.  at one point i went upstairs and lay on the board room table and told barb why my life is so crazy and busy.  then i went down stairs and served lunch.  and then i worked an hour later than i should have and tomorrow will be worse, so just forget about it.  forget about everything.  just do it.  then lay on your bed and play candy crush.

i quit my respite job.  it was too much for me right now.

meanwhile i just ate a pineapple.  a whole one.  but it was small, ok.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

summer fun day

today was our annual summer fun day at stanley park. so i wore my funday funpants as is only right.  last year i drove there with lisa.  she told theresa that she didn't want to take the loser cruiser, aka the bus, a term that i taught her.  she brought two blankets and some magazines for me and her and kaz and we went down to the beach and took it easy, laughed talked and flipped through the magazines. on the way home we found this song on the radio that we totally dug and then spent all of the next day until closing time trying to figure out what the song was.  this year lisa is at home and less of a lisa and i took the loser cruiser with everyone else.  i brought a blanket and kaz brought a tatami mat and lindsay, the new girl brought magazines.  but it wasn't the same.  i stayed with them for a little while, but then got up and joined the activities.  in the relay race i was in charge of bringing back the spoon after somone had balanced a water balloon on it.  it was a biiig responsibility.  colin tried to throw his water balloon at me so i told pheobe to throw hers at him.  tit for tat man.  later we served lunch and i was in charge of the ambrosia.  we had subway sandwiches, ambrosia, potato salad and chips.  there was cookies and rice krispie squares and candy bags for dessert.  ugh.  i had too much sugar.  we took a group photo of everyone there and then i made everyone stay there and take a jumping pic because jumping pics are important as everyone knows.  i played phase ten with a dwindling group of people.  in the end it was me against dave d. and i lost.  before it was time to go, i had to walk down to the pool and pay for our people who swam.  when i got there i found one of our members surrounded by life guards.  apparently she had had a seizure.  so i had to pay, talk her into going to the first aid room with the life guards, and she was talking erratically and not making much sense.  meanwhile i knew the bus was getting loaded up but the life guards had called the ambulance because that is their procedure.  so i called lisa m. who had the clubhouse van and she came back and i left to get on the bus.  everyone was on the bus waiting for me and i got a lot of ribbing and teasing until i told why i was late.  on the bus ride home i became part of a texting triangle in which theresa was told to smell my hair and she did...weirwd.  she reported that it smelled like coconut...correct.

today when i woke up with a bright blue tongue.  i won't tell you why.

also i've been obsessed with a spanish show called gran hotel, which translated is grand hotel--surprise.  i have finished the first two seasons of it on netflix and of course it ended with a huge cliff hanger and is the 3rd season to be found anywhere on the world wide web?  no it isn't.  lo siento laura.  what am i to do???


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

i'm sitting on my lazyboy love seat with one foot dangling over the edge.  archie took this as an invitation to saunter by and swipe his nose and cheek across the tip of my big toe, causing extreme itchiness to said digit.

my laptop overheats without provocation.  it's annoying.

i've been depressed.  when mom was staying with me she could tell.  she asked me about it one day after we got back from the hospital.  we were walking with naked feet in hopes the cool grass of the park would give some relief to the burning.  "have you ever been this depressed before?" i couldn't answer her easily because just talking about it made me have a lump in my throat.  so i shook my head, swallowed the lump and said simply "no.", blinking back the tears.  mom didn't dwell on it but shared what helps her.  spiritual stuff.  prayer.  scriptures.  the atonement. the basics.  i knew she was right.  

i am starting to feel better.  you know what is the best?  going to church is the best.  i appreciate it so much.  there is so much opportunity to be blessed when i go to church.  it could be a hymn like the lord is my light, for example that reminds me and teaches me and inspires me with just the right thing that i was needing and thinking about, it could be bits and pieces of people's talks that inspire me in personal ways that really have not much to do with their topic.  it could be the strength of and unity of the good people in my ward--they don't know they are strengthening me just by being earnest and sharing, and loving and whatever.  they may say something in a class that isn't even the perfect thing to say but it was so clear to me that they are so good in their hearts even if imperfect, and the goodness bolsters me. it is the spirit God that does all this and  it really is a gift to go to church on sunday. 

good friends are the best.  i got to see heather for the first time since egypt this weekend and heather is the best.  and i am so lucky to have such good kind special people who love me in my life.  i know i'm rich in good friends.

prayer is the best.  you know every time i ask him for peace or strength or love or inspiration, he gives it to me.  he doesn't ever fail me.  and i don't always know it at the time but i see it after.  and i think i'm starting to feel better because i started to talk to him and ask him again.  like today i had to do a photo shoot and i really didn't feel up to it because i feel like that part of me, that creative, inspired, joyful part has withered inside of me.  i asked him to make me more than i am and to help me, and just simply and quietly he did.  he always does.

this beautiful world is the best.  Heavenly Father gave me eyes that see the wonders of his creations and a heart that glories in them.  and even in the darkest day i can't ignore the perfect, complete majesty and wonders that surround me.  all i need to do is spend a little time outside and he speaks peace and love to me this way.  and it is soothing to a ragged heart.  and it is joyful. and it is unspeakable.

so i'm still in the middle of hard things, and i might have more dark days ahead but i'm thankful for today.  and i'm sorry if i've been a wooden hearted dreary zombie when you may have needed or expected something else.  i'll try not to eat your brains.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

holes

i lost weight when i was falling in love.  i didn't even really try.  it just happened.  maybe because i was all filled up inside and i didn't hunger for anything else.  i don't know.  

now after it's over (not the love just the relationship), i look back on my week and realize i've hungered for everything.  that i've spent my time looking for ways to fill up the big gaping hole in my life.  this is not even anything i think about.  it's an autopilot behavior.  like eating 5 mini freezies and going straight back and getting 5 more.  but it's not just food.  it's everything.  i have been grasping for fillers.  but nothing works.  all is emptiness. it's all counterfeit. still it kept me mostly numb for a week.  

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." --Matthew 5:6

"Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy wine and milk without money and without price
  Wherefore, do not spend moeny for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.  Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness."--2Nephi 9:50-51
i haven't done this very well this week.  i want to do better.  i think one thing i have learned is that peace comes only from God.

i've let everything go.  i just don't care anymore.  i have nothing to give towards caring.  my kitchen is hideous.  clothes are piling up, my car's a mess.  i take minimal effort to do my hair and i care very little about my clothes.  all these things i cared a lot about before because i wanted to be better.  i had someone to care about and so i cared about other things.  it's weird that it works like that.  i think one day i'll be able to care again, it's just that now i don't.

work keeps me going, because they need me.  and lisa is sick and today somebody said the words to me that i have feared hearing.  they don't think she will be coming back.  i miss her.  i love her and i hurt about it all.

and a new thing--i'm angry. not at anyone or anything.  i'm just angry. today on the power of that anger i moved my bed from one side of the room to the other and lugged my dresser away and shoved my hope chest around.  all the time crying angry tears and thinking angry thoughts.  i don't get angry very often.  almost never.  but i'm finding it a refreshing change from the usual weak helpless feelings of suffering.  anger makes me feel strong again.  i remember i used to think i was strong...

and that's a little bit of where i am at.  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

an unofficial officiant of a wedding

everyone went to mary's mom's house for a big breakfast.  i didn't go.  i needed time to be alone, gather my thoughts, study, pray, cry, you know.  i slept until 10, which was 7am at home.  i had many quiet hours in which i did all of the above.  i was avoiding the wedding prep though and i didn't start to work on it until just before john and boyz got back.  john was a bit all over the place, but it was his wedding day so, that's ok.  they all left again at 3 to go get ready at some other place.  i was supposed to go too, but i balked.  i didn't want to get ready in a group of people, in chaos, and without my final thoughts ready for the wedding.  john was all "so you want your own private dressing room."  and i was all "yes.", nod, nod.  so we made a deal.  i got the room all ready for the wedding night, the bed made in new sheets and everything tidied up, and i got my own dressing room.  when they left, i had 2 hours.  ok good, i thought, an hour to get ready and an hour to prepare what i will say....and do the room.  at one point, i'm not going to lie, i started to hyperventilate.  i just didn't feel like i had the ability to do it.  i felt like i had no reserves of anything to give in my part of the wedding.  but i wanted to be able to do it for them.  i prayed a lot and eventually the rapid shallow breathing settled into that warm peaceful calm in my belly and i knew i would have help, that God could make me more than i am, like he has so many other times, and at that point i stopped worrying.  it was going to be ok.
i was ready a little after 5.  the wedding wasn't to start until 6:30, but i had said i would get to the venue (i told john to please refer to it as the venue, and he really took that to heart), marty's market around 5.  i still had to go down to the bottom floor of the hotel (by the way it was a cool old brick hotel that used to be a monastery) to the business centre and print out the vows.  so i did that.  and then i went up and asked for the shuttle bus to take me to marty's market.  it was out but the girl said it wouldn't be longer than 20 minutes.  what to do, but wait and look over my notes.  another couple was waiting too.  the man was either a little tipsy or just socially weird.  i couldn't decide.  finally the shuttle came and i waited out on the stairs with the couple.  it was raining.  hard.  it rains hard in pittsburgh, it seems.  like a couple of seconds out in the rain and you are soaked through and through.  so the shuttle bus/concierge guy knew about the wedding at marty's, and he was committed to getting me there first which i appreciated.  the couple were waffling on where to go for a seafood dinner.  he told them a number of options, but they couldn't seem to make up their mind. he was all, well i have to get this young lady to marty's market.  and they were all ok.  so we drove there, and i got out into the rain with all my luggage and bags and into the market.  i was a little worried that i would be later than i should and that everyone would be worried.  no one had a way to contact me because my phone was obviously off due to roaming issues.  but john wasn't there yet and neither, obviously was mary, so everything was fine.  mary's mom, that warm hearted soul, greeted me and asked me if i was with the boyz and john and i said no, i was alone and she said you are not alone, you are with us.  the wedding ceremony was supposed to be at the marina down the road, what john called the sub-venue, but marty's was to be the back up plan if it rained.  it was obviously raining very hard, so i asked if the wedding was to be at marty's because it didn't look like it was ready for a wedding.  no, said the owner of marty's, mary's friend, very firmly.  it's at the marina and it will stop raining soon and everything will be fine.  she seemed so sure.  ok i said and sat and waited for things to happen.

it wasn't long until john and the boyz showed up looking very handsome. john was wearing a light brown suit with a lavender shirt and bow tie.  christian had a robin's egg blue shirt, black vest and a bow tie.  ryan had a purple shirt, vest and bow tie.  they each were pinned with lavender boutineers (i have no idea how to spell this).  john, the boyz, colorado bob, and i all stashed our stuff in the back room of marty's market. i took my purse with me but didn't wear it because well it was red and this is one time where i did care about matching it to my outfit.  while we waited i took some pics of the boyz in the produce area of the market.


 of course some selfies ensued.  ryan always got cut out, a fact he rued.  ryan turns 13 today.  happy birthday ryan!

 this one makes me think that christian despises tomatoes...

 i love this one of ryan.  he knows how to rock a pototato.
 and christian finds so much joy from squash.
i am so glad the boyz were there.  i could be their fun wacky aunt and forget about my troubles for a while.

aaaaaanyways, after a while the rain did indeed stop and we all walked down to the sub-venue.  by this time my turquoise-pop-of-colour-high-heel-wedge shoes, were getting uncomfy, but not too bad.  they had a gorgeous lei made for me out of orchids.  however it was down on the table at the sub-venue in the rain.  luckily my purse was well stocked with kleenexes thanks to my love who forced them on me before i left egypt.  so once we got down there i just shook it off, and blotted and put it on.  not only was it so beautiful but also so fragrant. it smelled divine.  so the wedding planner stashed my unsightly red purse in a portable for me, and the wedding party and me were all herded up the hill to the marina gate and we waited for the bride to arrive.  john was made to only look forward so he wouldn't catch sight of mary before the time was right.  at this point everyone was all jitters and i was very calm, even though, i didn't know exactly what i would say at some parts of the ceremony.  my jitters were over.

when the time was right and every one was ready, the music started.  this girl was singing and she had a beautiful voice.  i gingerly made my way down the steep hill, thinking now would not be a good time for one of my characteristically spectacular accidents.  everyone else followed in their order.  mary and her dad started down even before the last were all the way down.  she had a teal dress, knee length and very pretty and quirky just like her.  john teared, mary teared, the music stopped, and i started.  and everything went well.  it was a simple ceremony. a friend did a reading which was nice, and there was an hour glass thingy where they both put sand into the hour glass, symbolizing their time and commitment to each other.  that part took some time because the sand went down quite slowly.  i had to hold the funnel, and i was all jiggle, jiggle, come on sand, let's get going!  then i said their self-written vows and they repeated them after me.  they were really nice vows and so mary, if that makes any sense.  for instance the words 'shenanigans' and 'tomfoolery' were included.  then they exchanged the rings and i almost forgot to talk about ring symbolisim but i did it after like that was the way it was supposed to be.  and then i was all "wait, let me check.. yep you are husband and wife, you can kiss the bride" and everyone laughed and they kissed and everyone cheered and i presented mr. and mrs. clarke and they stood in front of everyone, walked to the top of the hill and everyone lined up to hug and kiss them as they returned the venue for the party.  me and boyz stayed at the bottom because they were required for pics from the photographer.  while we waited we took some pics of our own.  (it turned out to be a gorgeous evening after all)

this is during the reading.  i stole this pic from fb.  thanks mary's mom!
hi.  i'm an unofficial officiant.  i don't think i'm all that and a bag of chips.  i just do what i'm told.



 this is my fave of the 3 of us.







 pittsburgh is the city of bridges.  there are all these cool looking yellow ones.  there are a couple in the distance.

 christian's camera, which was the go to camera, since i didn't have room for mine and ryan, ryan was quick to point out he had a better camera than christian, but where was it? it was in his dad's car..at the hotel..anyways christian's camera had this photobooth feature that we tried out.
then we kept forgetting it was on...
and again...

 so yah, john and mary are having a romantic moment here, but also i wanted to show a pittsburghian building...that's important too.
 so i sat around and waited through all the obligatory group shots, and was part of some of them and just chilaxed.  chirsten, the guy who was ordering everyone around--and what happened was that mary asked for a shot of me and the boyz with john and christen said 'later, first the big groups' and then he said to me, i hope you don't mind...i was all whatever, i am totally down with whatever happens.  he then said 'yah, did you have a beer before coming here?  you are just so relaxed."  ha.  beer.  pfff.  what did i have to be uptight about?  my part was over.  that's all that mattered.

let me tell you i had to really be persistant to get this jumping shot, but i think it was worth it.

 yah, that's my finger.  i'm a bad person but i don't care.  i don't care about anything anymore.  i may quit caring about doing any serious photography too.  in fact i'm pretty sure i am done.
 then we all headed back to the venue.  there was a fun first dance where mary's dad cut in and then john cut back in.

 there were no tables left so we sat on this bench.  there were good and quirky foods.  lavender lemonade, lavender maceroons, lavender ice cream... i approved. a very good mac and cheese... i was so full even though that was my only meal of the day really.


 the signing makes it official folks.
 mary's sister emily said i look just like her friend. so we took a selfie together.  i really like emily.
then not long after all this and that the couple lefted in a bicycle pulled cab for two...so cute, and not long after that, sam, mary's brother drove me and the boyz to mary's parent's house.  i slept in mary's comfy bed last night.  but first me and the boyz played chinese checkers.  and we talked with the fam and so on and so forth.

and now my plane is finally leaving...