21 December 2007

Innocence Doesn't Mean Better Off

Yesterday I was called in for jury duty at the 3rd District Court at the Matheson Courthouse. The selection process alone was quite interesting and the judge and the counsel returned to the courtroom after selection and read my name along with the seven others that would sit on the jury. Surprised but happy to be out of work for a day, I decided I would enjoy the experience.

The fascinating realization is that I didn’t have to force myself to enjoy it. It was such a great experience. One person on the jury commented that it was like watching a play. And it totally was. I had never been sure of the actual process so I absorbed everything they told us.

Basically, the State brought a case against a man who had been accused of using a counterfeit $100 bill at a 7-Eleven. Innocent until proven guilty is a hard concept for me to grasp because from the outset, I thought the guy had done it. But I tried to listen and take all evidence and testimony into either finding guilt or innocence. Witness testimony revealed that he and his girlfriend were selling her prescription drugs so they could buy the “drugs of their choice,” meth and cocaine, while living in their storage unit.

When he passed the bad note at the Sev, he was high on cocaine and had also been handed the money in the dark light of the storage shed. The clerk told him she would have to call the owner and then eventually, the cops. The defendant hung around the store for 20 to 30 minutes while she made phone calls. Finally, he decided that he would write his real name and real phone number on a slip of paper and leave the store. He was arrested a few blocks down the street and booked for 40 days into jail.

The jury unanimously found him to be innocent.

I have recounted this story to people at work and everybody says, “Why? He was on drugs, living in a storage unit, and he most likely got the counterfeit from a drug deal.” And my answer to all of those points is, yes. However, he was not accused of any of those things. The jury found that he did not knowingly pass the bad note so he can’t be convicted. And he wrote down his real name and phone number. Not actions of a guilty man. On top of that, the whole incident has to be isolated.

The saddest part is that since his episode at the 7-Eleven last June, his girlfriend has committed suicide, he still lives in a storage shed, and he is messed up on drugs. And that’s when I realized he’ll probably show up in the court system again and his innocence yesterday didn’t really help him out at all. I got paid $18.50 to be there yesterday but I would have given that and my whole month's pay to see that guy get a better deal than just being found innocent.

19 December 2007

One Room Bungalow for Sale

My sister Julie has always upstaged me when it comes to home making. She is like Martha Stewart but without the federal record and the nipping at the sherry bottle. From sewing scrunchies to making my couch cushion covers, she has a knack for detail and making things look fabulous.

Recently, she has added the title of general contractor to her resume. With the completion of a made-from-scratch gingerbread house, she has gone from making merry like Martha Stewart to providing housing for gingerbread men a la Ty Pennington. And Bryon has gone from more than playing the role of Julie's husband and has stepped in to assume the subcontractor role. Yes, in an Extreme Home Makeover fashion, Julie and Bryon have constructed a one-room abode from nothing but flour, eggs, spices and probably some choice words.

Vaulted ceilings and a pretzel-thatched roof give this charming bungalow a timeless invitation that says, “Come in. Stay.” A speckled stone finish is highlighted by seasonal red Christmas lights that make this a true home for the Holidays. A glowing fireplace tops off the cozy nature of this must-see home. Way to go Team Julie and Bryon!

12 December 2007

"Maybe it's the Sound of Distress"

Around 3:00 am last night I awoke to a pounding noise. It was short and intermitent so I kept falling back asleep. At 3:15 am it became annoying. At 3:18 am, I was suddenly awake enough to wonder if there was danger. Unfortunately, I don't have the danger-sensing unagi like Ross on Friends so I woke Ben up.

This annoyance was pounding on the walls or doors in the condo below us. Ben said, "Maybe they are remodeling." I loved that one. What jerk remodels in a community living setting at 3:00 am, now 3:30am? Then the Scout Master in him took the reigns on his brain and he said, "Maybe it's the sound of distress." Oftentimes, when I am distressed I pound on the walls. I see the humor in it now but when it's 3:30 am and you have new semi-weird but seemingly nice neighbors below you, you start to worry a little about somebody else's potential "distress."

Ben put on his jeans and sweatshirt and headed downstairs to listen at the door. He didn't return for a few minutes and being the worrier that I am, it seemed like a long time. Finally, he returned to let me know that the neighbor across the hall from the pounders informed Ben that one of the roommates had locked himself out.

Yes, in the time of cell phones, people still pound on the walls. Next time my car breaks down I won't bother with a phone call. I'll send up smoke signals.

06 December 2007

Best Seat in the House

Check out my finished product! Once again, many kudos to Julie for sewing the cushion covers, and also to Ben who said if I totally ruined the couch, we could scrap it and get a new one.

29 November 2007


Once upon a time, my mom’s good friend decided to sell me two love seats for $25. She also threw in a round kitchen table and a vase. Subsequently, Courtnie and I decided to fill the vase with cranberries at Christmas time. It was a cute idea until we neglected to take them out and they began to rot around Valentine’s Day. The top of the vase was too small to insert a hand for cleaning so we tossed the vase.

The couches and the table, however, have stuck around. We slip covered the loveseats and since then Courtnie has moved out, Ben has moved in (for marital purposes) and the slipcovers continued to slip, wrinkle, magically remove themselves from the loveseat, and create immeasurable annoyance for me.

One day, while in the shower, (ever since my mission I get inspiration in the shower—probably because while on a mission, it’s the only place of solace.) I thought, “I should reupholster my couches.” I presented the idea to Ben and being the “try-new-projects” kind of guy that he is, he said ok. So I learned online all about reupholstery. We bought a real couch at RC Willey, donated one of the loveseats, and I set into pulling apart the leftover loveseat. I’ll spare the details but if you would like instructions, tips, or moral support, please contact me.

Julie has graciously helped me stitch the covers for the cushions. And by help, I mean I cut the pattern and she sewed while I played with Spencer and Jackson. We haven’t completed the back cushions yet so I’ll post a final picture when they are done.

It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be but it was time-consuming and I recommend an electric staple gun. The manual one crippled my hand for a day or two.

Two Floral Couches: $25
Slipcovers: $80/each
Couch Reupholstery: $150
Brick-colored suede couch done almost completely by yourself: Priceless

There are some floral couches money can buy,
for everything else there’s reupholstering it yourself.

28 November 2007

Wii Rock!

Every good marriage offers moments when your choice in spouse is validated because of things they do, experience, etc. For example, one day Ben informed me that we were going to Europe for a “work conference.” My choice validated. Another example: I stumbled across the highly-coveted, ever-elusive Nintendo Wii at Costco one day and decided to purchase said item and surprise Ben. His choice validated.

Well, last week Ben suddenly became hell-bent on finding Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for the Wii. Once again, as Wii products go, it was elusive, mysterious, and totally sold out EVERYWHERE! I caught the bug and also became hell-bent. We began calling every Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy the valley over, stopping randomly at K-Mart or Circuit City just in case they had one, and furiously watching the bidding prices rise on e-Bay.

I even made a list of every Wal-Mart, Smith’s Marketplace, and Target within a 30-mile radius in desperate hopes that if I called while driving I would hear the words, “Yes, we have a few.” And then I would go 30 miles out of my way to buy one.

One night, while roaming Wal-Mart…ok, we went there just to see if they had the game…Ben and I came across an employee near the Wii game shelf with a few boxes. And to our pulse-raising surprise one of the brown boxes was Guitar-Hero-shaped. This had to be it! When Mr. Employee went around the corner to stock a shelf, Ben examined the box’s label for signs of the Guitar but was thwarted by a box with no information. In an extreme attempt at victory, he asked for my Swiss Army keychain. I posted as the lookout and Ben sliced the tape on the box. It was tense and suddenly I felt the need to remove my coat and scarf. He worked the box deftly and I kept an eye on Mr. Employee, waiting, at any moment to tell Ben to abort. Mr. Employee stayed occupied and Ben suddenly broke into the box! At last we broke into the box of…CD gift boxes?! What? Disheartening, but totally exciting.

Well Monday night I returned from work and Ben had randomly come across a brand new shipment of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock at the Best Buy in American Fork. Needless, to say we rocked hardcore Monday night and last night. Ok, he rocks better than I do but I am learning. And once again, my choice in spouse was validated.

26 November 2007

Go-o-o-o-o-o Africa!

This blog is not about reality TV recaps—that is what TVGasm.com is for—but I would seriously lament passing up the chance to comment on last night’s episode of The Amazing Race (AR) (not sure what number the season is on—it’s like 9 or 1,000…who knows?) So every season of AR, and a lot of other reality TV shows, has one couple who I think of as the “LA Couple.” They are the 25-year-old fakies from Cali that are trying to get discovered via reality TV. By first appearing on a fairly decent and wholesome show like AR, they become the reality whores of the earth by moving on to trashier shows with more BPSI (Boobs Per Square Inch) like Road Rules or The Girls Next Door.

So, Jennifer and Nathan (dating) are this season’s “LA Couple” complete with cleavage-baring tops, icky blonde hair, and plenty of whining and girlfriend bashing by Nathan.

Last night’s episode, filmed in Burkina Faso, Africa, required the competitors to learn a native dance and perform it for three local “celebrities.” The rehearsal dance showed Chewbacca doing an African dance with a lot of jumping and foot stomping while banging the end of a stick on the ground. All the judges required was an acceptable performance of this dance—minus the Chewbacca suit—which was disappointing. Oh, and each team had to include their own creativity. Let’s not even discuss the 40-year-old blondes who think they are 20, rubbing rumps and doing pelvic thrusts at the African villagers who have probably never seen Western dancing. Anyway, the task was not rocket science.

Suddenly, the filming cuts to the Nate and Jen interview where she says, with a straight face, and I kid you not, “I used to dance for the LA Clippers NBA team.” I fully expected her to follow up with, "So tube tops and my Rah Rah resume, like totally qualify me for African tribal dancing." But Jen Jen, I heard the tribal tryouts are totally petty and completely rigged anyway.

All dancing experience included, Jen and Nate still did not make the cut and incurred a 10-minute penalty. Nuts and bolts, nuts and bolts, Jen got screwed! Footage following the penalty included Nate and Jen running to the next Road Block where she bemoans, “I am going to get so much crap in the dancing world for this.” Honestly, Jen, don’t even bring your pom poms near me or I will spew all over your Wookie dance!

15 November 2007

This One Takes the Cake

Many thanks to Julie for inspiring today’s post. As the day is drawing to a close, my mind begins to wander from my work and I decide to check my personal email. Very few forwards in the form of jokes, anonymous terror threats, heartfelt stories with pictures of kitty cats, or pass-this-on-to-8-people-or-die chain letters, get forwarded from my email, let alone read or considered; however, I cackled out loud at this prized nugget.

Keep in mind this actually really did happen! This is someone who was moving from an insurance claims office.
Okay so this is how I imagine this conversation went:
Walmart Employee: "Hello 'dis Walmarts, how can I help you?"
Customer: "I would like to order a cake for a going away party this week."
Walmart Employee: "What you want on the cake?"
Customer: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that "We will miss you."

14 November 2007

The End of an Era

Last Christmas Ben gifted me the DVD box-set of Friends—all 10 seasons, with extra footage on each episode. Needless to say, this gift had all my friends and my sisters wishing they had my husband buying their Christmas gifts.

Last week we finished the final episode. After watching one to two episodes a night (sometimes three or four on weekend nights), for the last 11 months, our journey with the whole Friends gang has come to an end. As Monica would say, “It is the end of an era.” How true it is. And so sad all at once. Nevertheless, I emerged from said era with some observations:

  • Monica is more selfish in one-to-two episode doses than just once-a-week prime time airing.
  • Phoebe is less annoying than I originally thought. The writers also gave her all the funny lines.
  • Rachel’s wardrobe got sort of funky toward the end of Season 10.
  • Chandler is the person I would like to hang out with.
  • Joey’s jeans always made his rear end look big. Couldn’t wardrobe have handled this sticky situation?
  • Ross is (in Ben’s words) “a total Patsy.”
  • Saddest Observation: I can last through two episodes (approximately 50 minutes) however, anything longer than 50 minutes is met by my closed eyelids. Our 11-month Friends indulgence has conditioned me to fall asleep one hour into anything on the TV.
  • Triumphant Realization: We plan to focus our TV-on-DVD efforts on such shows as The Office, Arrested Development, and other things that come in snippets of 20 to 25 minutes.

09 November 2007

87 Snakes Had Nothing Better to Do

A Texas man, appropriately called, “Texas Snake Man,” recently beat his own Guinness World Record by sitting in a tub with 87 rattlesnakes. Surpassing his previous record by 12 snakes, Crazy Snake Man (as I appropriately call him) escaped unbitten.

If I was a Crazy Snake Lady, I would beat my own record by one and call it a day. But why did he stop at 87? Were there only 87 resident snakes in the area? Did only 87 snakes respond to the email to get whack with the Snake Man? Maybe only 87 snakes could take work off that day. It’s possible that rattlesnakes don’t like water so when they heard a tub was involved and potentially water (although there was none), some backed out. The other 87 braved the tub trauma, thus gaining their 15 minutes of fame. Whatever the reason for a less-than-100-snake turnout, I am more interested in why these snakes agreed to take the plunge with the Texas Snake Man, than the actual setting of the record itself.

01 November 2007

Overheard in the Office (3 minutes ago)

“Trunk-or-Treating breeds isolation in children. And it also breeds obesity because they are driven to the parking lot to get candy.”

I overheard this in my office less than three minutes ago and I can’t let it pass me by. Let’s break this one down, shall we?

Point No. 1 “Trunk-or-Treating breeds isolation”
Yeah, I can see how disallowing your children to run around in the dark from house to house with a group of two or three kids fosters so much more interaction than allowing them to join 10 to 15 families in a circle, parking lot, or what have you to socialize and acquire candy.

Point No. 2 “Trunk-or-Treating breeds obesity”
The appendage to Point No. 2 is especially awesome: “…because they are driven to the parking lot.” I never realized that Halloween was the holiday-o-exercise and that it required foot traffic to all destinations. All those years that I ran around for an hour to an hour-and-a-half has really kept off the Halloween candy weight that I could have packed on as an eight- or nine-year-old child. I am so grateful for that exercise.

Maybe Mr. Down-on-Trunk-or-Treating hasn’t had the opportunity to have his child hit by a car or kidnapped into somebody’s home while Trick-or-Treating. I guess we’ll have to wait until next year to convert him.

30 October 2007

Europe Has Things America Doesn’t, A Comparative Analysis

Europe has things America doesn’t and sometimes they are funny. Not that the absurdity of a soccer mom driving a Hummer doesn’t make me laugh, because believe me, it incites quite the chortle. And hey America has K-Fed, ABC’s The Bachelor, and Danielle Steel novels (sorry Mom, Julie, and Jenny) to bring the comedy to a whole new level. But Europe has some humorous (and possibly intelligent) alternatives.

America has SUV’s and other heavy artillery-hauling vehicles

Europe has Smart Cars
(Ok this one is not funny. It's actually...uh...smart, for lack of a better word)

America has money that is one color

Europe has an easy-to-use-if-you’re-illiterate, color-coded monetary system

America has toilets and toilet paper

Europe has bidets and real towels for wiping
(which seems neither funny nor intelligent to me but that one is up for debate)

America has Exit signs that
say “exit”

Europe has Exit signs that have a man running away from a date gone bad

29 October 2007

Tuna, Cod, and Salmon Too

It’s comforting to see that Red Lobster is “now featuring the freshest fish.” What, I am afraid to ask, were they serving six months ago?

02 October 2007

Memo to the Lady at the Bank

To: Lady at the Bank
From: Mar
CC: My Adoring Blog Readers
Date: 10/2/2007
Re: Your Annoying Phone

Effective immediately, when your phone rings and plays Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down as you do DAYS worth of banking while the line continues to stack up behind you, don't merely look at your purse emitting the sound and push it two inches away from you on the counter. THAT WILL, IN FACT, ONLY MAKE IT MORE ANNOYING!


28 September 2007

Chuckarama at Sea

We all know that foreigners dislike Americans for many reasons. We are loud, we pair fanny packs with orange shorts, green shoes, and have a husband will yellow man-pris, we think EVERYBODY should speak English, we overuse, overspend, overindulge, and we think that everybody wants to be American. I am convinced, after spending seven nights aboard Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas that foreigners also hate Americans because of their massive uncontrolled food consumption.

While strolling around Europe, I first noticed that most Europeans are not overweight. And in Italy, even the not-so-rich dress well enough to have stepped off the cover of Elle. Considering that many European cities are walkable and that they eat their largest meal of the day for lunch, Europeans are already a few weight classes below the good old US of A.

The triple threat enters with the fact that Americans like to take gluttonous week-long cruises on a floating buffet. After my second or third round of onion rings at the Jonny Rockets on the ship, I started to wonder about the Hispanic and Eastern European servers that just kept bringing us food. Could they afford to go on a cruise? Could they afford onion rings and shakes and Orange Fantas galore? This post isn't about their wealth or poverty. This post is about Americans who eat so much that they have to walk with a cane or think that Chuckarama is catering their vacation and that the concierge at the Ritz-Carlton is responding to their every whim.

10 September 2007

60% of the Time it Works, Every Time

Ever since the resurfacing of Blackbeard’s Delight (posted July 2, 2007), adoring fans county-wide, and some from Davis County, have emerged from the woodwork. This man has asked that his identity remain unknown.

06 September 2007

What Part of "No Parking" Don't You Understand?

Our current residence imposes quite the premium on parking. We have one covered, reserved space and Ben graciously lets me park in it every day. Due to narrow spaces in the parking lot of our condo complex, numerous No Parking signs dot the area warning things like “Fire Zone” and “Towing Strictly Enforced.” I have yet to see any car towed for any parking violation. Violations are abundant; enforcements are non-existent. I blame the HOA for being such towing sissies and not pulling out the brass knuckles to take care of business. People think they can make any open space their exclusive parking spot. It’s not like the Albertson’s parking lot the day before Thanksgiving; spaces are available. But if an open space isn’t thisclose to somebody’s destination, they feel compelled to block fire zones, ignore civil rules, and generally get my panties in a knot.

28 August 2007

That's Money, and Pizza, Down the Toilet

Lately, wherever I roam, I am treated to an abundance of information that makes me wonder who thought of it and what caused them to present it to the public. Last night while waiting for THIRTY MINUTES at the pharmacy, (that's another story that just upsets me), a display called My Alli caught my eye. Well-packaged in white and bright colors, I decided to allow it to entertain me while I waited THIRTY MINUTES at the pharmacy.

I didn't read too much of the brochure because it appeared to be another Metabolife-, Hoodia-, TrimSpa (baby!)-type of weight loss pill. These are my favorite because they claim that with fewer calorie consumption, exercise, answering to a personal trainer, AND religiously pooring your money down the drain for a pill, that even the fattest homebound person can lose weight. Allow me to steal Hyundai's most awful marketing campaign by saying, "DUH!" Of course rabbit food and running on the treadmill like a gerbil will cause weight loss. Not to mention less weight in your wallet as you donate all your cash to some guy selling sugar pills. Anyway, as this blog's tagline states, this is not political.

So onto what really made me ill. Ever since the 1998 "anal leakage" follies of Olestra, I love to read the side effects of drugs and food additives. Nobody could ever guess the side effects of My Alli, let alone fathom that this is what the brochure says: Undigested fat cannot be absorbed and passes through the body naturally. The excess fat is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it in the toilet as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza.

If I don't receive that within 30 minutes is it free?

23 August 2007

Thank You, Japan

Many thanks to Japan for endowing the world with the Wii, being overly fashion-confident with the socks and flip flops and now for betsowing upon us the following. Whatever this is, it's entertaining for a minute.


That's the Ken Gurff Gurantee

Usually I try not to venture south of Draper but my other half is from the Provo/Orem area so I actually get to go there a lot more than nature probably intended for a University of Utah Alum. Last Friday night, following a ragin’ family BBQ, we nixed going to a movie and headed to Ben’s office in Orem to pick up our Brian Regan tickets.

Just before exiting I-15 southbound at the University Parkway exit in Orem there is a digital billboard that changes every 15 seconds or so. I kid you not, just as we passed I was elated to see the next muse for my blog. A Ken Garff sign, in large red lettering that says, “Best Price Gurantee.” Man was I irritably happy. On one hand, poor grammar and most of all childishly careless spelling frustrate me to no end. Yet on the other hand, I just relish a blog idea practically handed to me on a silver platter—or on a red and white digital sign lit up like a blogger’s Mecca. With it only rotating through every two minutes or so, I am assured that this was meant for me. Maybe Ken Garff should just concentrate on backing up every car they sell and leave the marketing to a consultant.

This picture is brought to you by Ben exiting I-15, re-entering I-15 northbound, re-exiting, and re-re-entering southbound so I could gleefully await on the shoulder for a “guranteed” blog post. It has also been brought to you by the letter I, the number 15, and of course the absent letter A.

17 August 2007

"Was she drunk?," they cried

Having considered this post for a few days now, it's high time I wrote it. MSN Messenger is really the only way I keep tabs with a few people--my sisters included. Last Tuesday one of my sisters logs on and writes, "So I need to tell you my story."
Mar (thinking I'll hear a ditty about a funny stay-at-home mom mishap, or a laughter-inducing story about one of her children): Ok.

Sister: So our neighbor drove her SUV up over our curb, across the lawn, through the flower beds, and into our house."

Mar: WHAT?! Was she drunk?

Sister: Nope.

Mar: What the heck? (Now I have started a conversation window with Ben and another window with my other sister, to which they both reply "Was she drunk?")

Sister: She left the gym and took off her shoes so her feet were slippery and she ended up flooring the gas.

Mar: How does she floor the gas up over the curb, across the lawn, through the flower beds, and into your house?

Sister: Don't know.
Mar (now secretly wishing this had happened to me so I could blog it as my story): LOL! Will you take pictures?!

Sister: Yeah but she already drove off the lawn and went home.

Mar (now imagining what the slippery-footed, SUV-driving, alledgedly-not-drunk crazy lady looked like backing off the lawn): I know it's not funny but I am laughing so hard.

Sister: Yeah.

Mar: (now replaying, ok making up, what it looked like when she came barrelling down the cul-de-sac, wearing her Jane Fonda workout clothes and leg warmers, hair standing on end, with wild blood-shot eyes, and rage in her voice as she maniacally screamed, "Death to curbs, green lawns, and flower beds, and down with brick and mortar houses!" Then WHAM! And insurances companies cheer as crazy lady's rates sky rocket!) Nothing fun happens to me--I just have to go to Staff Lunch on Thursday.
Sister: Good luck with that.

15 August 2007

Staff Lunch = Torturous Junior High Flashbacks

Once a month, the company that controls 40 hours per week of my life holds a Staff Lunch where employees are “treated” to a free sometimes-catered, sometimes-ordered lunch. I like to eat and I love it when it’s free, however every time I attend, I have insane flashbacks of junior high where I nearly blackout and writhe on the floor in misery. If you have read Harry Potter you might think of it as hearing a cold high-pitched voice and seeing a flash of green light. I imagine that I am 13, brace-faced, sporting a mean brushed out perm with bangs three inches high off my forehead, and pegged Girbaud jeans.

I have friends at my office and I make great conversation of the social variety, but I wouldn’t say I am part of the “in” crowd at work. The male-dominated environment in which I work provides men who would prefer to be friends with each other rather than befriend other un-cool, un-male friends. So after carefully deciding on whether the Marie Callender’s pot pie or the Marie Callender’s artichoke chicken is my best food choice for lunch, I head into the lunchroom and feel like I have nobody to join and like I have everybody staring. (And it’s not because of how hot I am.)

As a 29-year old college graduate, social butterfly, and generally damn funny person, one would think that I could nip this problem in the bud…but then again Staff Lunch only rears its ugly head once a month…so why bother?

02 August 2007

Bridge collapse kills four, toll likely to rise

A Bankok Post Headline reads: "Bridge collapse kills four, toll likely to rise"

I just want to know, is that the bridge toll or the death toll that's likely to rise?

25 July 2007

That Was a Big Bag of Jolly Ranchers

In reference to my recent June 27th post, I am somewhat saddened, yet glad, to say that it was a big bag of Jolly Ranchers. I find exercise to be good for my health and general outlook on life, (although at times dangerous--people fall of their bikes, or occasionally, the treadmill*) and thought it would cancel out eating Jolly Ranchers as a snack.

I was told, and have since learned otherwise. On Thursday last week, after finishing a fitness class which I regularly attend, the instructor handed out a sheet with some abdominal exercises and "nutritional guidelines" and then announced that we all will eliminate sugar and white flour from our diets. Wait, rewind. She's the fitness trainer, not the nutritionist. So why is she calling the food consumption shots? So I looked at her as if she had just slapped me, and I said, "But I have a whole bag of Jolly Ranchers in my desk at work." And she said, "Give them to the people at your office." What? Part with my 3.25 lb. bag of watermelon, grape, cherry, apple, and raspberry comfort? Hell no.

But I like my fitness teacher and she said she would do it too so I said I would give it a week. Since last Thursday I have not had one Jolly Rancher, or any other sugar for that matter. I thought I would be irritable or upset but I actually feel good. Man I hate that fitness teacher changing my habits as if she was Stephen Covey. I haven't heard what his 8th Habit is...maybe it's no sugar consumption.
So yesterday, mustering all the courage and will power I had, I took my still 3/4 full bag of Jolly Ranchers and left them in the kitchen at work. Today I returned to survey the damage. And as expected, 24 hours later, there is only 1/4 of the bag left. People are total vultures--they'd eat plain dry oats from a trough in the kitchen so long as it was free. However, my loss (of candy and weight) will literally be their gain (of candy and weight). Ha ha!

*The writer has never fallen off a bike or a treadmill--she just knows people that have (Yes, a treadmill)

19 July 2007

"It's All Right, Cuz I'm Saved by the Bell"

Today's topic of discussion for radio callers was guilty pleasure TV shows. I am not talking about the big ones. Even though it is sad to admit, many people (excluding me) watch American Idol but they freely admit it, therefore discounting it's guilty pleasure status. And for the people who just can't pass up Grey's Anatomy, this discussion was not for you.

Some guilty pleasure TV shows mentioned (by adults) were SpongeBob SquarePants, Yu-Gi-Oh, Mythbusters and Man vs. Wild (however, those were DQ'd because they are apparently widely watched), any home shopping show and the Kanuk classic, The Red Green Show.

So what show is my guilty pleasure? Saved by the Bell*. Having spent many a half hour with Kelly, Zack, Slater and the rest of the gang while awkwardly suffering through my junior high years, I still can't pass it up. I don't know if it's the nostalgia, Zack playing a broom as a guitar, Kelly Kapowski's tapered floral pants and colored Keds, or AC Slater's mullet. I can't quite pin-point the reason, but I am definitely guilty.

*Does not include Saved by the Bell: The New Class, or Saved by the Bell: The College Years

16 July 2007

Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?

Thanks to Mr. Weasley's new haircut a la Rod Stewart, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has raked in $77.1 million and counting. Apparently, fighting the Dark Lord requires some British gusto and a sweet rockin' hair cut.

05 July 2007

Card Equals Cool

Right after sitting down at my desk today, I found out I would be leaving for a client meeting within two minutes. I only had time to grab a pad of paper and a pen.

Once at the meeting, I realized quickly that I wished I'd had a copy of the potential project requirements and a few previous notes. I learned today that worse than missing my notes was the fact that I had forgotten to take my business cards.

As the six of us met and shook hands, everybody else started handing out "their identities." Feeling like the poor schmuck at the country club or the person who showed up with no pants, I sort of just stood there and had visions of people sipping champagne and heartily chortling at a story told by a woman named Muffy Jane and I wondered, "Who would have thought that a 2" x 3.5" piece of cardstock wielded so much confidence or had such an ability to shatter self esteem?"

02 July 2007

Jeep Gems--Pearls of a Previous Owner

Recently, Ben bought a 1987 Jeep Cherokee so he can play auto-mechanic and I can play girl-who-cleans-car-interiors-with-toothpicks. At first sight, I wasn't Jeep jazzed. Every time I got in, dust clouds poofed up from the seats and sort of lingered like Pig-Pen from Peanuts. No A/C had me sweating like Chris Farley and unextractable coins embedded in the carpet teased me to no end. But after Friday's find and actually catching the vision of the finished product, I can't wait to go adventuring in it!

Friday night was spent taking apart the dashboard, cleaning the small parts in our kitchen sink and 409-ing the grime on the larger un-"sink"-able parts. Whilst I was in the kitchen scrubbing away at the two-decade-old car console, Ben was deep Jeep diving and surfaced with treasures to make Captain Jack Sparrow drool.

Item A, the first gem uncovered, is what I have affectionately named Black Beard's Delight. As a pirate ship-worthy hood ornament, this little bare-chested amber beauty makes me wonder about the previous Jeep owner...and if he's still single. RAWR! Ben had thrown it away prior to my decision to post about it, so he went dumpster diving for it. (I lament that there are no photos of that.)

I said, "Don't go in the dumpster." And he said, "I'd do it for you." (Not kidding--I guess I don't care if the previous owner is single.) Only to follow it up with, "It is awesome blogging material." As husband and wife, we don't look alike yet, but we think alike sometimes.

Item B I have titled Gentleman Caller. This treasure comes to us from a man named Erik who wooed his women with a heavy gold bracelett and a heavy fake Italian accent that wouldn't quit. For resistance training and strength building, I wore this item while we cleaned.

The last two items, C1 and C2, are a package deal which comes straight to us from the 1985 Fred Meyer jewelry counter. A charming insect lapel pin and a winning mosquito cuff bracelett--I call them Grandma's Travels because, reminiscent of my dad's mother's world travels, they are just the sort of ecclectic jewelry she would have loved.

Alas, the Jeep, purchased for a minimal price has offered up her most precious gems and provided a weekend to be treasured.

29 June 2007

It's Orefro, The Fro Sportin' Oreo

I forgot my password to an online account recently and in the process of resetting it, I had to type in the letters I saw in a box. Never in my life have those letters spelled anything (that would defeat a lot of security purposes if they did). This occasion, however, provided at least enough letters and vowels in the correct order to name my first Oreo offspring: Orefro.
Meet Orefro. He's cool. He's tasty. He's an Oreo. He's got a fro.

28 June 2007

You're a Mean One, Mia Grinch!

So You Think You Can Dance is pretty much one of the coolest and completely the gayest reality show on TV. But I love it...almost as much as I love Survivor.

The kids are good dancers, avid learners and they are really fun to watch. I actually find myself liking the performances that I didn't think I liked during the rehearsal.

Anybody who has seen this show for more than one season probably has pretty strong feelings about Mia Michaels, the "organic" guru of contemporary rug cutting. As cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel, Mia Michaels looks exactly like the Grinch who freaking stole Christmas! It's the weirdest thing--I'm not kidding you.

Not only is the resemblance totally uncanny but she is almost as nice as the Grinch. Maybe her dance shoes are to tight or her lesbian-quaffed mullet isn't screwed on just right. Whatever it is, at the end of each show, she manages to overcome her grinchy self and they say that her moldy heart grows three sizes each day. She cries and gives all the little dancers down in Whoville props for growing and being "human" yet "bird-like" enough to be part of "this competition."

One day when I have the time, I will Photoshop into existence the love-children of Mia and the Grinch, but for right now, I wouldn't touch her with a...thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole.

27 June 2007

"That's a Big Bag of Jolly Ranchers"

I have a Mar-trend, meaning something that I like to do, that I don't think a lot of other people do; sort of specific to my life's routine. I like to suck on Jolly Ranchers (JRs) after lunch and sometimes around 3:00 as the afternoon hunger begins to settle in. I sort of stumbled upon this Mar-trend as a way to curb hunger, get a sweet fix, and pick myself up when energy gets low.

Now a serving size of JRs is 3 pieces for 70 calories. Not bad in the least. I usually have a serving twice a day and I don't feel at all that my calorie count is compromised by this 140 calories of hunger-curbing, spirit-lifting goodness. (I really do comsume less of other foods by doing this so as Stephen R. Covey would so daftly put it, "It's a Win-Win.") I don't blow through the package too quickly either.

Yesterday, during my lunch break, I stopped at Walmart for the purpose of picking up more JRs. Ok, I didn't stop at Walmart, I acutally left work and drove there simply to buy JRs. (Don't fault me--I know somebody who drove from Sandy to Alpine just to buy a case of cherry flavored candy canes at Christmas time.)

While picking up the bag I usually buy (1/2 lb.) I noticed a 3.75 lb. bag of JR goodness. I had to look around and ensure that...no...I definitely wasn't at Costco. (For info on how to educatedly distinguish between Costco and Walmart, please write me personally.) So I decided I would save myself several trips to the Walmart nearest my office in the future by purchasing said 3.75 lb. bag and stowing it away in my desk drawer.

As I am writing this post, I am searching for a picture of this Costco-esque bag and find that apparently one can only purchase it on eBay...for $10.55...WHAT?! And $5.75 shipping and handling?! I paid $6 and some change including tax and I didn't have to sign for the delivery. But this post is not about the price--although I must say that eBay price is outrageous.

It is about the girl at the checkout counter who made me feel like a hippo for buying a 3.75 lb. bag of JR. I put it on the counter (my single purchase) and she exclaims, as if warning the world that I might eat the whole bag and stomp around gobbling up entire Walmart stores, "That is a BIG bag of Jolly Ranchers."

Nevermind the fact that I don't snack on anything else between meals and I maintian my 140 calorie intake of JRs and this girl is calling me fat. Bring it on sista!

26 June 2007

The Piano Man is a Guilty Pleasure--Is that so Bad?

I called a friend the other day and was pleasantly surprised to hear that she has one of those phones where the caller hears music until the "call-ee" answers the phone. Lovely! As I was treated to Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel, I thought, "I haven't heard this forever--and I love it!

Inspired by such a delight, I whipped out my 2-disc Billy Joel's Greatest Hits album and sang like an 80's rock star. Unabashed and unrestrained, I let my pipes go to songs such as Uptown Girl and Tell Her About It. The issue here is, would I have done that with somebody else in the car? Or even with the windows down? Uh...no.

I guess I would consider Billy Joel tunes to be a definite guilty pleasure only to be shared with my sisters. Julie used to have the Greatest Hits tape and, due to the inability to just skip a track, we knew every word to every song.

Many thanks to the Piano Man for sharing Scenes From an Italian Restaurant and making it undeniably clear that We Didn't Start the Fire.

25 June 2007

People Will Want to Read About This on my Blog

Generally, thanks to the DVR, I don't watch many commercials. However, due to their over-abundance, I'll be treated to a Sonic commercial every now and then. And by "treat" I mean "the commercials make me laugh."

Personally, one of them rings quite true at the moment. In regards to the item of consumption, the man basically says to his wife, "People will want to read about this on my blog." And his wife, in the most deadpan, slap-down fashion that only a loving, yet grounded wife can give, says, "You mean your mom?"

Yes, I bet that my mom, Julie, and Natalie, (and Ben when he isn't playing the HR guy, studying something about HR, remodeling the bathroom, or working on his car) will be regular aficionados of Mar's Musings.