21 December 2007
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
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
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
29 November 2007
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.
Two Floral Couches: $25
Couch Reupholstery: $150
Brick-colored suede couch done almost completely by yourself: Priceless
for everything else there’s reupholstering it yourself.
28 November 2007
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
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.
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.
15 November 2007
Okay so this is how I imagine this conversation went:
Customer: "I would like to order a cake for a going away party this week."
14 November 2007
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
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
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 an easy-to-use-if-you’re-illiterate, color-coded monetary system
America has toilets and toilet paper
(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
02 October 2007
Re: Your Annoying Phone
28 September 2007
10 September 2007
06 September 2007
28 August 2007
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
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
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.
15 August 2007
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
25 July 2007
*The writer has never fallen off a bike or a treadmill--she just knows people that have (Yes, a treadmill)
19 July 2007
16 July 2007
05 July 2007
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.
02 July 2007
29 June 2007
28 June 2007
27 June 2007
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
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
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.