Wednesday, August 23, 2006

the House party which almost didn't happen

I left right at 5:00 from work yesterday because I had to get home, turn on the oven, throw the leftovers in there to warm, change clothes, review my VT message, go visit teaching, get to the Target, and be back by 7:30 to greet House enthusiasts.

Arrived home: 6:01
Turn on oven: 6:05
Go Visit Teach: 6:15
Leave VT: 7:00
Arrive Target: 7:15

I had already decided to go to the fancy pants Target:
a) because it was slightly closer than the ghetto Target and
b) Because it’s fancy pants Target, where undoubtedly their DVD shipments are on time and plentiful.

7:15 - At the fancy pants Target:
Ack! I am sooo late. Okay, just get to Electronics, New Releases.

Not in New Releases.

Okay….where else. Where else? [looking, wandering.] Here’s Season 1….great. Season 2? Season 2? Where is Season 2?! I know it’s today…hmmm.

Don’t panic.

Right. Go back to the first place I was. Looking…looking some more. Oh wow, you know I don’t have time for this!

Wait a minute.

Is it even remotely possible that….no. It’s today. This is the fancy pants Target. Of all the Targets, this one would have it. It’s here. Keep looking.

7:20 – Still looking. Guy in red shirt and khaki’s toting laser gun turns the corner.

Me: Hi! Do you know where I can find House, MD. Season 2? It’s
August 22nd, which is the release date, and I’m

Him: Huh?

Me: House? The TV show? House M.D.?
House. TV show. Season 2? It’s August 22nd, which is the release
date, today’s August 22nd, and I’m

Him [pointing limply to no particular thing and walking away] : If it’s here…it’d be
over in rrrefruguhmuggashmuga.

Abandoned. Don’t panic.

7:24 – Leave fancy pants Target. Empty handed. [Gasp!]

7:25 – What my steering wheel heard:

I’m a good 25 minutes from home. I don’t have time to go to another
Target. I’m in my car hoping the food isn’t charred and the house hasn’t
burned down. I’m hoping no one has shown up yet and gone home because no
one answered the door. WHAT DO I SHOW THEM? WHAT DO I DO? I’ve failed.
I’ve so failed. Maybe we could watch the finale of Season 1?

Made it home in 12 minutes. No one is there. Yesssss.

Parry shows up first. I tell her my story.

Parry: Mary, we need to go to another Target and get it.

Right. I knew that.

Then Jasmine calls.

J: I’m on my way, do you need anything?!

Me: Yes! I would like one copy of House, M.D. Season 2 on DVD, please?

J: Ummm, okay, I’ll just stop in at the Watertown Target.

Right. This is….uh…this is not the crisis I thought. (ahem.)
We got started a little late. But when Jasmine brought in Hugh 2 I did the happy dance until Parry yelled at me to stop dancing and open it up already. (Oh, right. Sorry!)

More people came. We all sat on the couch, the seven of us, and lived happily ever after. For the first two episodes. The End. I wish you could see the smile on my face.

Parry and Jasmine, words cannot express the emotions wrought, the deep gratitude felt. Maybe I could search the Rod Stewart greatest hits collection; then maybe you'd have some idea. Lots of love to you both.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

the long anticipated

I have sailed the world, beheld its wonders
From the pearls of Spain to the rubies of Tibet
But not even in Arlington have I seen such a wonder...*

Ahhh, Hugh. It's just you and I tonight. And a bunch of other people I invited over. And leftover barbecue.

Come, night; come, House; come, thou day in night;
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter than new snow on a raven's back.
Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow'd night,
Give me my Hugh Laurie.**

*Sweeney Todd, sort of.
**Romeo & Juliet, sort of.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

3:40 p.m.

[My Cool Boss pokes her head in my office doorway.]
MCB: [low voice] What’s the chocolate situation look like today?

Me: One second.

[Opens bottom left desk drawer where stash of Parisian chocolate is stored.]
Okay, I was just about to crack open the Truffe Noir selection.

MCB: Oh, don’t open it on my account.

Me: Oh, I’m not. Trust me. Is the dark chocolate okay?

MCB: Yes, I’m definitely feeling dark.
[Furiously opening box, then ripping open foil to uncover beloved chocolat noir.]

Me: Look! It comes in rivets!

MCB: Well, hello there…
[breaks off a rivet of chocolat Truffe Noir and takes a bite slowly.]

Oh…[chew]….Oh my. Indeed, yes.

Me: It’s good?

[Takes a bite. Enjoys in silence for a while. Looks at MCB.]
Yeah. That’s…that’s….yeah. Holy crap. That's intense.

MCB: That’s good.

Me: That is good. Hey, thanks for going to Paris.

MCB: Any time.
[Exit MCB]


Monday, August 14, 2006


M. Catherine Thomas says that often the answers to our deepest concerns lie just beyond the veils of our unbelief. I’ve been thinking about this statement a lot lately.

Often the answers we seek are just beyond our veils of unbelief.

I’ve loved where my ponderings have taken me with this, and was about to share some of my thoughts. But then I realized that I’m more interested in what others might say about it, and was hoping instead to get your thoughts.

Is there an experience you’ve had with crossing over your veil of unbelief to get an answer? What happened?

Is there an experience you've had with not crossing over? What happened?

Please, please comment! (I promise to bring the funny back again soon, but I really could use some earnest discussion on this right now.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Lookie here what I got in my inbox yesterday…

Hi Mary,

I was wondering if I could call on you to say the closing prayer at
Sacrament Meeting this Sunday. Will you be in town? I'd very much
appreciate it! :)

Mental note: stay away from big words this time.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Thanks, Kelly. Sorry, everyone.

What is your salad dressing of choice? Balsamic with fresh gorgonzola.

What is your favorite fast food restaurant? In-n-Out’s pretty good. Plus, as a native Californian, I think this is the mandatory response.

On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant? 20% or more unless you are being very lazy, and sometimes not even then. Waitressing stinks most of the time, you guys. Maybe she’s having a really bad day. Maybe her boyfriend dumped her that morning and took off with her VCR. Maybe Table 4 stiffed her, and she’s wondering whether she can make rent this month. So your drink refill took 15 minutes. Okay, yeah, she forgot the lemon. But you went on with life with relative ease, so cut the girl some slack. I’m just saying. Unless she’s screaming epithets in your face, give her the lousy 20%. Many people don’t realize that tips represent perhaps 80% of her salary, so if you don’t tip her she’s making like $2 an hour. That’s like sweatshop wages, dudes. But maybe you really are that cruel.

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? Cheese and crackers. That’s pretty much what I do eat every day.

Name three foods you detest above all others. Broccoli. Oysters. Yams.

What is your favorite dish to order in a Chinese restaurant? Moo Goo Gai Pain, with 27% of the reason being how fun it is to say.

What are your pizza toppings of choice? Marinated mushrooms, spinach, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, smoked cheese.

What do you like to put on your toast? Butter. Not creative enough for ya? Fine. Toenails.

What is your favorite type of gum? Orbit Orange Mint. It’s outta this world!!! (oh, you!)

What is your wallpaper on your computer? Picture of my sisters.

What is your screensaver on your computer? The Windows thingie?

Are there naked pictures saved on your computer? I’m sorry, what?

What kitchen appliance do you use the most? Is the sink an appliance? I use the sink.

Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Yes.

Do you prefer to read when you go to the bathroom? Actually I prefer singing at the top of my lungs. Maybe some Bacharach or Tupac. Or sometimes I just make up songs.

When was the last time you had a cavity? Got one now, and thanks to the root canal earlier this year, it’s staying until my benefits renew in January.

What is the heaviest item you lift regularly? This question is dumb. I’m skipping it.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Nope.

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? Okay, see…here’s the problem with these questionnaire things. I’m tired now, I don’t care what I answer anymore.

How do you express your artistic side? I recite the Periodic Table of Elements if it’s none of your darn business.

What color do you think you look best in? Anything that matches my eyes.

How long do you think you could last in a medium security prison? If the jumpsuit matches my eyes, six months. If it doesn’t, four minutes.

If we weren't bound by society's conventions, do you have a relative you would make a pass at? Yes. All of them. My whole family is totally hot.

Have you ever saved someone's life? You know, I think I’ll just answer with free associations from here on out. Hope that’s copacetic for ya’ll.

Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000? Bruce Springsteen.

Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? Marginally transfixed.

Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000? Hope.

Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000? Lights in windows.

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? Enrique Iglesias.

Would you shave your head and get your entire body waxed for $5,000?
French Toast.
Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000? Chocolate Babies.

Would you never blog again for $50,000? Cheap and tawdry.

Is it over? Did I win?

the recliner

Here is what usually happens. I’m up a good three to four hours before everyone else since I’m still on east coast time. This is great because I can read, shower, walk the dog, whatever I want. After a while, though, I’m ready to pounce on the creatures upstairs sleeping because I’m bored. I didn’t come home to watch them sleep. Somewhere between 10 and noon, Leanne will emerge, followed by Laura. Princess Jennie Sue should be gracing us around 1, and Amanda will eventually show up at the house around 3 because the girl is a freakin’ narcolept. Once arisen, we usually find ourselves in Dad’s recliner. All of us. We do things like make gross sounds with our mouths directly in the ear of another. We pop zits, sing loudly, pinch, hit, and laugh. We laugh a lot. We talk about what we want to do that day, and who is showering first. We’ll argue about who started what and how bad someone’s breath is. Someone starts to tell a story, and then someone else jumps in to tell it more accurately. Inevitably, someone will scream out in pain when an elbow digs into someone’s rib. Later on, we may actually make it out of the house to do fun stuff. But it doesn’t really matter that much to me. All I really want is to have them near me. And after our day of shopping or movie-going, or nothing whatever, we’ll stay up too late hanging out, watching a DVD on the Bose Home Theater System, eating pan popcorn, and doing the same exact thing we did that morning. Lounging altogether in the recliner and pulling one another’s hair.

Monday, August 07, 2006


This morning I was rinsing out my cup when I jumped back three feet as something icky moved out from under a plate in the sink. I swear it was three inches long. Naturally, one is required to whimper like a baby, scream a little, and run out of the kitchen temporarily when one sees a three-inch MONSTER with 12 million legs and loooong antennae scurrying around one’s sink. It wanted to kill me, I could tell. It lurched at me. I think I even saw a switchblade in one of its tentacles. I had to defend myself. I turned on the water, and apologized to multi-leg creepy thing, but he was going to die and I was going to kill him. As he’s scuttles furiously to the far edge of the sink, away from the water, I’m shouting at him: “It’s okay, just go toward the light! It’s your time, man! Just accept it! You’re going to be in a better place! Far better than this crummy sink! It’s your time, man! Just die already!” I’m splashing him with water because he’s too far from the faucet. Then, at last, he loses his grip and slides to his doom toward the center of the sink. I move the faucet directly over him and crank it, “I’m trying to make this quick, pal! Work with me here!” I probably drowned him for much longer than I needed to, but just like in so many suspense movies, I’m terrified that he's not really dead. Never trust that they’re really dead.

Creepy guy is finally gone. Then comes the part where I have to take him out of the sink and throw him away. I hate this part. I don’t want to feel him, so I grab 67 napkins, pick him up and throw him away in the garbage. RIP, you son of a....

[photo stolen from Kelly's Blog, because this is exactly what he looked like.]

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