October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I get to look forward to trick-or-treating with my 8 year old daughter tonight, and it's going to be around 25 degrees Farenheit. Brrrrr! She is going to be dressed as a dead baseball player. We bought the required grey and white face paint, and she will wear her softball uniform, cleats, and we'll paint her face to resemble death. Never has she wanted the cutesy, girly, frilly costumes. Vampires, ghosts, scary things are more her style. And that's fine with me! I'm not a cutesy, girly, frilly type woman either!

My son wants to go trick-or-treating too, but we already rented his Elvis costume and returned it last week so he could wear it to school all day and wear it to the dance as well. He looked great. We told him he couldn't go because he's already taller than me now! He's 5'10". With a bass voice. So maybe it's time to give it up? But just in case, I'm prepared to help him become a dead soccer player.

The trouble with the whole trick-or-treat thing in Montana is that it's so much colder than a witch's tit that kids either have to wear a full length furry costume with long johns underneath, or they have to just go door to door with full winter gear on over their costumes. Sad, I know. And it sucks the double big one for the parents who care enough to take their kids out.

Previous years we've enjoyed Trunk-or-Treat, the activity the youth put on at church where the whole ward comes dressed up and they park in the church parking lot and park with trunks inward, and the kids walk around getting candy from all the decorated trunks until the supply is gone. Last year the witch's tit demanded that we take it indoors, so the people had to line the church hallways and the kids walked from bowl to bowl for candy galore.

What's up with those cheapskates who only hand out Tootsie Rolls?

I have to actually hand it to the cheapskates...as a kid my siblings and I would actually use PILLOWCASES to trick-or-treat with, since little, puny plastic pumpkins or flimsy plastic bags would never hold up under the sheer weight of it all.

We'd get home, demand hot chocolate, and each take a corner of the living room for the Most Important Halloween Event Ever: LET THE TRADING BEGIN.

Each of us would dump our pillowcase, then sort and count. This was serious business. If you forgot to pee first, you waited and ignored all discomfort and distraction. There was no way you could leave your pile, because when you returned, it'd be half the size you dumped out. No talking happened during the sort and count, unless it was an awed "Ooooh, a Whole Snickers Bar!" or a mumbled "Who gives a darn toothbrush anyway?"

Inevitably my piles would show that cheapskates do in fact rule the world...the Tootsie Roll pile was always the biggest. But I had a secret. Tootsie Rolls were my LEAST favorite. I had some serious trading power at my disposal.

Next came the best part: The NEGOTIATION. My favorite thing to trade for was the Dubble Bubble gum. Especially if the gumballs were of the fresh variety, meaning you could actually make a dent when you squeezed them. You either got the petrified or the fresh, no in-between. Either way, they are better than sex sometimes. Who cares if the flavor only lasts 4.3 seconds??

Once the trading was done, it was time for the most important part of all, Finding the Best Hiding Spot Ever. Without this detail taken care of, all previous efforts are deemed a waste.

Not that it truly matters, since for me, the candy was gone in less than a week. I really enjoy my candy, damnit. My children amaze me with their ability to save Halloween and Easter candy until it's stale. It's only because they found a Hiding Spot Mom Can't Find.

The photo included here: my dad's creativity at its best.

October 30, 2006

Can You Tell Which is the Lie? ~ TAKE TWO.

Oh shit...this is so embarrassing. It wasn't until I got the e-mailed comment from my brother Eric about my truths and lies that it dawned on me what I had done: I had listed 5 truths about myself! How blonde can I be?

Sadly, this is not unusual for me. I hope that Eric will get on here and vouch for me on this...I have moments like this on a daily basis.

The only thing I could do was change the 22 hours to 20 and hope I'd get away with my serious Dumb and Dumber moment...but no. You are too smart. I was not trying to cheat, I swear. In my own defense, I think it was the post I was working on when my boss showed up suddenly, so I published it fast without thinking.

So, in an effort to redeem myself and not look like a complete idiot, I've given myself a do-over here. One is seriously a lie.

1. During childbirth the first time, I went from being dilated to 6 to actually having my baby in only 15 minutes.

2. My first romantic (wet) dream starred me and . . . . wait for it . . . . Christopher Reeves. I was maybe 11 at the time. And it was HOT. Of course all we did was kiss, but it was lying-down-in-bed kinda kissing.

3. I once endured a 12 hour layover in Brussels, Belgium. We wandered the city and then slept next to a really cool fountain most of the day.

4. On an all-day hike at Girls Camp, I found a huge mushroom (6” across) that had another mushroom growing out the top of it which had another mushroom growing out the top of it. I picked it and hauled it back to camp because I knew nobody would believe me otherwise.

5. The first concert I ever attended was Kool and the Gang. It would’ve been a hot date except my host brother insisted in coming along, damn him.

The Answer!

OK, thanks for playing, everyone. I'm ready to give you the answer to my truth/lie post. I wasn't given the rules for when to divulge the truth, but I hate being left hanging, so I won't do that to you guys like SOME PEOPLE I know.

1. I jumped the fence of a locked cemetery in Vienna late at night and walked around the graves to see the headstones with candles burning in remembrance of the dead.

TRUE. I was with a group of BYU Study Abroad students and we were walking around and came upon the cemetery, and it was so beautiful but locked. We walked along the tall wall and we actually came upon a chair hidden in the bushes...so now my brother Eric knows how I was able to scale a wall, since he doubts I can do it. Thanks a LOT.

2. I don't know how to swim.

Sad, but TRUE. I was so mad at my mom when I was a teen and I confronted her as to why she didn't give me lessons, and she said, "Honey, I tried 3 times. YOU wouldn't get in the water."


3. My first kiss was with a man(boy) who later turned out to be gay.

TRUE. Cal M. I'm glad he found happiness finally. He surely didn't find any with me and my little dry peck of a kiss. In case you wonder, I did figure out how to kiss eventually.

4. I skipped school as an exchange student for over half the year. I never told my host parents.

TRUE, except for the never told my host parents part. I told them a year ago. In a letter. And oh how my German's suffered for it. I was such an idiot. Eric, did I ever pay you back for that phone call???

5. I rode the Greyhound bus from Billings, MT to Colorado Springs once. It took 22 hours.

FALSE. I DID take the Greyhound bus from Billings to Colorado Springs in the summer between my junior and senior years in high school because I got accepted for the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Summer Seminar at Colorado College to study art for a week or two (I can't remember the time frame of it, I only know it was awesome.) However, the bus ride was only 20 hours including layovers, not 22 hours.

October 27, 2006

Can you tell which is the lie?

Cele tagged me to write five things about myself, only one of them is a lie. Can you guess which one?

1. I jumped the fence of a locked cemetery in Vienna late at night and walked around the graves to see the headstones with candles burning in remembrance of the dead.

2. I don't know how to swim.

3. My first kiss was with a man(boy) who later turned out to be gay.

4. I skipped school as an exchange student for over half the year. I never told my host parents.

5. I rode the Greyhound bus from Billings, MT to Colorado Springs once. It took 22 hours.

Weenis Of the Week

Last night while I was on the computer, my son asked me to give him a back rub. After I rubbed his shoulders for a bit, he moved so I could massage his arm and shoulder. I was massaging when I noticed his elbow and I pulled the patch of really dry skin there. He said, "What's wrong with my weenis?" I had to laugh because I had forgotten that he told us a few months ago that the back of the elbow is called the weenis, and I told him that wasn't a real body part term. But he swore he thought it was, all his friends called the outside of your elbow a weenis. I told him his friends were pulling his leg and he was being gullible.

So last night I laughed again and repeated that I didn't think this was a word, really. But I was at the computer already, so why not? I Googled the word weenis. Lo and behold, it's there! I couldn't believe it. Apparently it IS the term for the back of the elbow. Maybe the slang term, but the term nonetheless.

I've decided the word weenis is too priceless not to use for my own ends.

Therefore, this post marks the beginning of my Weenis of the Week spotlight.


David Caruso.

I see him on the TV screen and I'm instantly mad for no apparent reason other than he bugs the crap out of me. I hated him in NYPD Blue, and I hate him in CSI Miami. Why do some casting directors think he's good at drama? I absolutely hate how he looks down all the time while he's speaking to people, then at the last second he looks up. Every single time, every single scene. And what's up with that voice of his??

David, you are a weenis.

October 25, 2006

Is reincarnation a possibility?

Why can't I lie in the sun like this and be perfectly content?

I need you!

I've got a dinner party at a restaurant this Saturday night (fundraiser for the soccer program at the local college) and we are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes. I searched the internet and came up with my plan, but I'd appreciate any good ideas from you, my friends.

I'm dressing in all white and sticking white notes all over myself that say stuff like: the check's in the mail, no that dress doesn't make you look fat, I'll call you, etc. I'm going as a little white lie.

Any ideas of good little white lies for me to use?


Follow Up #2 - vanity plates

Another follow up to my irritation over vanity plates.

The car in front of me at lunch had a license plate that read


I'm sure you can guess what color this car was.

October 24, 2006

Absolutely, Positively

I've looked back and noticed how depressing my posts are during PMS and throughout the week after. So...I'm going to list some random things that I like lately, in an effort to forget my pounding head and pull myself up a little bit.

Montchan, I like you. I like how you think Grissom from CSI is HOT, and how you think that David Caruso from CSI Miami is NOT.

I like that it's 60 degrees here today, with no wind so I can open the doors to my office and adjoining shop and enjoy the fresh air while the sun shines.

I like that my husband can digitally tape something naughty using DVR that we can RENAME to protect the innocent, and I like that we plan to watch it tonight after the kids go to bed! Yesss.

I like that I got to go to lunch this week with Jazzy and other family members whom I love. How fun it is!

I like that last night I got up off my couch and took the kids to Skate Nite for the school. I liked how brave they were skating, even though they aren't as good as they'd like to be.

I like that it's almost 5:00 p.m., so I can go home!

October 23, 2006

While we're on the subject...

I remembered an episode from my teens and felt the need to write it for posterity here.

My mom told me she was going to the store and needed me to come help. I'm not much of a shopper and never have been, but I am into bonding time with my mom, so I went. We got to K-Mart and I saw she had arranged to meet her best friend there too.

They each grabbed a cart, and had me grab one too. I said, "What are we buying that we need 3 carts?" My mom said, "It's a great sale, hurry!" I had trouble keeping up.

I got my first trickle of alarm when my mom had to stop and ask a guy who worked there where the feminine hygiene aisle was located. He pointed the way and our train of carts was off again.

When we got to the aisle there was a huge display of Stayfree Maxi Pads, buy one get one free. My mom and her friend started loading up their carts with as many boxes as they could. These were no small boxes. This was before the advent of Ultra Thin Maxis. I stood transfixed and horrified as the ramifactions hit me of wheeling carts full of these boxes through the store on a busy Saturday. Mom shook me out of my horror by snapping at me to hurry, fill my cart!

I don't remember filling the cart. It was probably so traumatic that I've repressed the memory. Too soon we were on our way, only they had stacked the carts so full that we couldn't see past the boxes to navigate through the store. When the checker saw us coming, he (of course it was a HE!) called for more checkers and he couldn't help his look of shock. Hell, neither could I.

Even worse, after he'd been scanning the boxes for what must have been 10 minutes, Mom felt the need to say something to the effect of what a great sale this was, especially for us, since we had 4 women in the house who used Stayfree. All at the same time, chuckle chuckle. Of course it never occurred to her to say something less embarrassing, like she was shopping for the women's prison, or that she worked for Stayfree and that a recall had happened and she was instructed to buy every box from every shelf in town.

I wished I could spontaneously combust right then and there, and hoped that my burning face was an indication that it was about to happen, but NO.

Wheeling my Leaning Tower of Maxi out to the car was the most embarrassing thing I've ever done. I had to keep one hand on the top of the stack to keep it from tumbling all over the parking lot. It took us forever to load them, and you could see the boxes and boxes through the windows. But the horror didn't end there. We lived on one of the busiest streets in town! Imagine driving by and seeing us unloading those boxes in a big line of kids from the car to the garage. We had a tall shelf unit in the garage, and it was full to the MAX (I know, puns are perfect in a story like this) for years.

You'd be proud of the inventive ways I kept friends from ever, EVER, seeing that garage.

Lovin' It!


Write the shortest possible sentence using the following words as reference:

Water Retention
3 day migraine (and counting)


Me, today.

October 20, 2006

Alltel Sucks!

One of my job duties is to purchase and renew cell phone contracts for the guys here at work to use in the field. Recently a couple of them complained their phones weren't charging right, so I looked and discovered 5 of them need new phones. I always like when we are buying multiple phones because sometimes you can get good deals that way.

You'd think it'd be easy to get new cell phones, right?

I grab the card of the Cellular One sales girl who helped me so well last time, about a year ago. I dial the office phone number from the card, and a little girl answers, "Hello?"

I say, "Is Candy there?"


"Candy. I'm Lisa from ***Construction and I need to order new phones."


"I need to order some new phones. Is this Alltel?"

"Alltel? Who's that?"

"Is this Alltel or Cellular One?" During the year Cellular One was purchased by Alltel.

"Moooo-oom, someone wants to talk to you about Alltel."

A woman picks up the phone and says, "Are you trying to call the Cellular One sales person? This is a private phone."

I say, "I'm sorry, I have this business card from Alltel with this number as the office number. This card is fairly recent...Why on earth would they give out an Alltel business number to a private customer so soon??" She agreed. She said she gets phone calls at least 5 times a day for that old salesperson. I'm wondering why she doesn't get her damn number changed.

I pull out my phone book and call the Alltel location that is located about 6 blocks from my work. The phone rings and then switches to a voiced recording saying "You have reached the Alltel Retail Store located on Broadwater Avenue. Our hours are from 9am to 8pm, Monday through Friday..." Shit. It's only 8:45 a.m. They aren't open yet. Gotta remember to call back in 20 minutes.

I call local Alltel location again. The phone goes thru recorded times and such, and I press 3 to speak to a sales person. It rings and rings, then it switches over to a recording that "all sales representatives are currently helping other customers. Please wait while we connect you to our national call center" where you have to choose between all sorts of menu options like Press One for Billing Questions. Press Two for Account Balance. Press Three to Speak With Customer Service. I press three. I get another 5 options to choose between. I screw up and push the obviously wrong thing, because the damn recorded voice is telling me to enter my 10 digit phone number, area code first. SHIT. I hang up.

Same as Attempt #3, including getting phone book back out because I've got to look up the local store number again, dammit. I finally get through to someone.

I say, "I am a business in Montana, and I need to buy 5 new phones."

She says, "I'm sorry, we're the national call center. We can't help you with that. All I can do is give you the local numbers so you can call them and they should be able to help you." She gives me the number from the phone book. I say gee thanks and hang up in disgust.

ATTEMPTS #5 - #15
I dial local number again. Get same recording. Same thing over and over for a few minutes. Wait 2 hours and try again. Wait until next day and next day and next day for a week and a half, same thing each day. Have lunch plans each day so am unable (and UNWILLING) to drive 6 blocks to finally get someone to talk to me.

ATTEMPTS #16 - #35
Finally one day while I was on the computer, I was fed up, so I sit and work on my computer while dialing over and over on speaker phone until suddenly on attempt #35 I hear "Thank you for calling Alltel, this is Marcie." I damn near pushed 3 out of habit, but thankfully I got it together and said, "Wow! I've been trying to get through to you guys on your phones for WEEKS, but you don't even have voice mail so I could leave a message! I need to get some new phones brought to my business so I can order 5 new phones from you." She says, "Here's a number you need to call, we don't do that but our business salesperson handles that." I get another number to call. I half expect this to be outdated and a residential line now too.

I call the phone number they gave me and I get a voicemail ~ leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

I get a phone call the next day from someone else, who said she was the business sales person and she got the message that we need new phones...I couldn't help myself, I told her how bad Alltel sucks and why. She was very kind and understanding, and I felt much better after my rant.

She agreed to bring me an assortment of current flip phones to choose from. She instead shows up with a laptop computer and tells me that they no longer are allowed to bring sample phones in to us, but we can see on their website the current available phones. She then attempts to log into her sales website using all sorts of codes and passwords. This took her at least 20 minutes. I was NOT impressed. Then she finally gets the screen up, and we look at the different phone pictures and wonder "WHAT THE HELL?" Finally she says, "I can bring you these phones if you'd like to look at them." Uhhhh, yeah. That's what we asked for in the first place.

Then she admits that Alltel wants them to do the laptop spiel because they are promoting the little do-hickie that plugs right into your laptop and makes you able to access the internet from anywhere without a wireless connection. I'd be impressed but I'm LOOKING FOR PHONES. I have a computer already, WITH internet. Thanks.

She brings 4 different phones to choose from. I call her and tell her we're ready for her, all picked. She's busy, will come in the morning.

She comes, and takes phones and tells me she's really busy today, but that we should have them by the end of the day tomorrow.

The next day she calls me and says that there was a little "Glitch" and that she ordered the phones and they'd arrive by Friday morning, Fedex. What? That's 3 days away! She says that's the way the company requires they do business orders. I say, "What? If I'm a single customer who pays $30 a month on my phone bill, I can walk in the store, and walk out with a new phone in less than 15 minutes. But a BUSINESS who pays over $350 a month on my phone bill can't get their FIVE phones immediately? Makes perfect sense." I get another, "I'm sorry. It really doesn't make sense, does it?" Uhhhmmm, NO. She says to call her when Fedex shows up on Friday morning, and she'll come right over and activate them all and take care of the rebate stuff and everything.

She shows up at my office at 11:45am. I say, "I told you I'd call when they show up. Did you ACTUALLY think they'd really be here by Friday at 10am? I've only been waiting for 2 weeks for these phones. What's another weekend??

Fedex came at 2:30 pm. She came right over, only now I have to activate them, because they weren't pre-activated as she thought they would be. Of course they weren't.

She tells me she's NEW AT THIS, she's only been doing it since JULY. I'm sure I'm her first sale since July, and that's why nothing goes like she thinks it should.


Remember how I told you I never drank alcohol before? Tonight just might be a great night to begin.


Is Blogger running funky and slow today, or is it just me?

October 19, 2006

Kiss this, Mr. Malia!

This post was inspired by my recent discussion with my sister about our experiences in driver's ed class together.

My sister Schmeg and I were fortunate enough to have driver's ed together one summer when I was 15 and she was 14. Before my siblings comment here and give away the embarrassing truth about me, I'll do it first! I didn't get my license until I was almost 21.

(.....interject a moment of stunned silence for this to fully sink in....)

I can't say this is because I'm a native of New York City so who needs one anyway?? I grew up in Montana and could have legally driven at age 14. Sigh. I procrastinated taking drivers ed until I was 15, and then I really procrastinated getting my license. Long story short, it was probably plain fear of failure, I'm sure. Maybe it was because I was really attached to being driven around in my big brother's bodacious brown bomb (Did we call it the poopmobile? Or was it shitty shitty clang clang?)...Maybe it was my fear that my life would suddenly morph into the hell of non-stop driving my 5 younger siblings around. Maybe once I list my memories of driver's ed, it'll be clear even to me why I didn't do it until I was way old.

Mr. Malia was the teacher who taught driver's ed (name not changed to protect the guilty). He was this short, stocky guy with feathered back black hair parted down the middle, who was obviously into weight lifting. He'd strut around the school with arms that couldn't really touch his sides due to their beefed up size. He was the wrestling coach, a football coach, and I think he taught health or something. I'm certain he was having an affair with the special ed teacher. She was a too-skinny, bleached blonde, dark red lipstick, leathery faced, high-heels-every-day kinda gal.

Anyway, we had classes for a week or two then we got to sign up for the driving sessions. My sister and I picked the early morning ones, 6:30 a.m. The first time we went for our driving session, we stood out by the car waiting for Mr. Malia. He finally showed up, and he walked right up to where we were standing and placed himself between us, too close.

"Did I ever tell you I just LOOOOVE tall women?" Both our eyebrows shot up at this. He was around 5'5" or so, if even. My sister is at least 6' tall, and I'm between 5'9" and 5'10".

I looked at my sister and said, "Did I ever tell you I just HATE short men?"

Talk about a creep. He'd take us on these drives, and he would watch each and every female jogger in short shorts, crane his neck to watch her to the very last glimpse. He'd have us drive to the little town that's about a 20 minute drive away, and we'd stop at Hardee's and have breakfast, then we'd head back, and each time it was the same. He couldn't have cared less about our driving. He was there for the gawking.

I don't remember Schmeg ever screwing up in driver's ed, but I always felt like I was a better driver. Even after I drove right through a 4-way stop in a residential zone. Even after that time we were in the lower parking lot at the base of the hill, practicing pulling up adjacent to the parking spaces, and reverse parking at a 90 degree angle to back into the space...I did the angle perfectly, but when I went to hit the brake, I hit the gas instead, and we went tearing up that damn hill backward!!! We could see my tread marks in the grass the rest of the year, bearing witness to my private shame. And still I thought I was a better driver. What a moron. Sorry, Schmeg. I admit here and now that you were a much better driver than me then.

More shocking that that, I PASSED DRIVER'S ED! I can't believe it. Must've been because Mr. Malia just loooves tall women!

Reason #37 I'm glad I work alone.

A few instances lately have confirmed to me that I'd never have the patience to work with people like my husband does. He manages a fast food restaurant. Some of them are adults, but most are aged 16-22 and it seems they are somewhat challenged in the brain department sometimes.

First, he told them this week that for Halloween he was going to wrap himself in pink cellophane and go as "Eye Candy." My husband is in his forties and while I might think he's hot, he's not your typical Hollywood version of fine. When he said it, he was expecting them to laugh and rib him for considering himself eye candy, but instead he got blank stares. From everyone. And they made him explain what he meant. Even then they didn't really find it funny. I personally think it's hilarious, and I hope he really does go to our party as eye candy!

Secondly, yesterday he had written the words "From Our Customers" on the envelope of each of their paychecks. Not one person at his work understood it. He had to explain it over and over to each one..."Where do you think the owner gets the money he pays you?" Some of them got it then and some of them didn't.

I'm so glad I sit alone in an office.

October 17, 2006

Follow Up on the vanity plates...

I drove from work to the grocery store to pick up some good bread to go with the great Austrian soup we were having for dinner (Janet, I was thrown into another episode of bliss, homesickness, and fond memories, thank you!!!!) when I saw yet another license plate that made me seriously wish I had waited to post my last blog.


Hell no. HELL No. Please tell me someone didn't do that to herself, or worse, that her spouse didn't do it to her.

Random Irritations #1

This post marks my first of probably many Random Irritations of Sister Mary Lisa.

I'm driving to lunch today and in front of me is a truck with this vanity license plate:


If any of my readers have vanity plates, please don't be offended. You can waste your money as you see fit. But come on! Obviously this person was trying to say "Prime Time" but instead I see Prim Tim. What kind of tough guy in a truck in Montana wants to be known as PRIM?? Sheece. The person who created this vanity plate for himself probably doesn't even know the word prim or what it means. But Sister Mary Lisa is the QUEEN of prim!

Vanity plates seem to me like an extension of people's insecurity about themselves coming out for all the world to see. I saw one last week that read SEXYBABY on it, and I couldn't help but think that someone who has to tell you that she's sexy probably isn't. There was once a guy who worked next door to me who parked his car out in front of my office window, with his XTRIC8TR license plate glaring in the sun at me all afternoon every day. He was an EMT in his second job, and my boss and I used to call him the "Eeextricatoooor" in a slow Clint Eastwood half-whisper voice as if we were trying to be cool and tough. Then we'd laugh at the vanity of it all.

Only one vanity plate has ever impressed me: My first OB/GYN drove a huge, old, white truck and had STORK on her license plate.

Jazzy on Hunting

Jazzy made me laugh with her post about hunting here.

Thank GAWD my husband is not a hunter. Nothing against it, but obviously I'd rather paint or photograph animals than shoot them.

October 16, 2006

What I do for fun on the weekend

The Marilyn Monroe pumpkin and Frankenstein (that only moments before looked just like a green Japanese sumo wrestler but now resembles the Hulk) were painted by me. The Coolest Ever pumpkin with the bats on one side and haunted house on the other was painted by my 8 year old artist daughter. My 13 year old (artist in denial) son also painted a very good pumpkin but wasn't finished tweaking his so we couldn't photograph it yet.

We've donated our paintings to a fundraising auction for a hearing/speech clinic for the Scottish Rite. I hope they sell for big bucks.

October 13, 2006

I've been tagged!

OK, I've been tagged by Liseysmom to do this little meme thing. What on God's green earth does meme mean?! Help!

Here goes:

3 smells that I love:
  • Rain, and wood after it's been in the rain.
  • Fresh laundry when I use Purex instead of that cheap Costco bucket crap.
  • Oil paint on canvas, because that means I've been doing what I love best.
3 smells that I hate:
  • Raspberry farts - you know who you are! That was VILE. When we doin' it again?!
  • Diesel exhaust from trucks or large construction heaters.
  • Stale fast food in a closed car. Don't ask.
3 jobs I've had in my life:
  • Bookkeeper at a grocery store
  • Assistant deli manager at a grocery store
  • Office babe extraordinnaire
3 movies that I could watch over and over:
  • Love Actually
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Princess Bride
3 fond memories:
  • My year as an exchange student in Austria
  • The night of the Raspberry Farts. Maybe I'll tell, maybe I won't.
  • Trip to Hawaii. I want to go back...
3 jobs I would love to have:
  • Fine Artist & Stay at Home Mom
  • Portrait Artist & SAHM
  • Artist Extraordinnaire. (I love the word Extraordinnaire. Am I spelling it right?)
3 places I have lived:
  • Montana
  • Utah
  • Austria
3 things I like to do:
  • Eat at Olive Garden (sorry Montchan, didn't mean to rub it in) with you know who you are!
  • Play hooky
  • Watch old black & white movies with my kids & hubby.
3 of my favorite foods:
  • Steak & potatoes.
  • Shish kabobs with steak, peppers, 'shrooms, onions, grilled to perfection in our Holland Grill. Heaven help me.
  • Chinese food, especially gai ding almond chicken.
3 places I would like to be right now:
  • That special rocky beach we found in Hawi town, Hawaii (Big Island)
  • Austria, duh.
  • In bed in my man's arms. Stop thinking nasty thoughts. He's comfy, OK?
3 websites I visit daily:
  • www.marcbohne.com - great landscape artist from Seattle
  • www.lipking.com - great figurative and landscape artist
  • Blogs on my blogroll, among others.
3 things that make me cry:
  • Any conversation I have during PMS week. Shit. Here I go again...J/K
  • The song in Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame - God Help the Outcasts
  • Song by Martina McBride - Concrete Angel
3 friends that I am tagging:
  • Jazzy, my awesome sis-in-law, and more importantly, my friend.
  • Janet - because your wit is awesome. No pressure! Don't forget the awesome, astounding, alliterations aplenty. Verbosity is allowed.
  • La - you know you totally want to do this! Let the good times roll!
  • And, just to be a rebel, because I hope I have WAY MORE THAN 3 FRIENDS WHO WILL READ THIS: all of you! I couldn't name you all or I'd be up all night, even though I really really wanted to. I mean it! Go ahead and do this meme thingy.

Happiness Is...

I discovered this morning that there is one way to make this not-a-morning-person smile.

Walking by the stairs, I heard my 13 year old son's shower running downstairs, and what music did he have blaring from his CD player??

Bing Crosby singing Silver Bells.

October 12, 2006

Blogaholics Anonymous

I'd like to welcome you all to Blogaholics Anonymous. Wow! We have a great sized group here today! Please, can everyone move their chairs back just a bit to make room for more chairs? We have some people in the back who haven't sat down yet. Come on in! Take a seat! Thank you.

Aaah, welcome! For those of you who don't know how this works, this is a support group for poeple who have admitted to themselves and possibly loved ones that they have an addiction to blogging. Nobody is asked to give their real identity here. Most of us go by our first names. We try to make this a safe zone where anything you need to say can be said without harm or judgement from others.

Our meeting consists of Sharing Time, with those people who wish to speak each taking a turn to tell others how they are doing with their addiction, although remember you don't have to share if you don't feel like it. Please start by telling your name, and how long you've been addicted to blogging. Then anything you say is up to you. There is a simple rule that we should each respect each other's right to say what's on their mind, and not to criticize or belittle anyone in the group. At the end, there are cookies, coffee, and juice on the table over there, and you can stay and chat as long as you like.

That being said, I'd like to start.

Hi, my name is Sister Mary Lisa. I've been blogging for 63 days now. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to quit. It's been so hard! I feel like my day is not complete unless I read every single blog on my blogroll, as well as those listed on the blogrolls of the blogs on my blogroll. I find it great when I discover new blogs and can't wait to find the next great blog. It's like I can't function anymore without it. And I love writing! Who knew? I thought I was only meant for creating art, but no. I love writing too. Now I have to divide my free time between the two, and right now it looks like blogging could easily take over.

I'm losing sleep because of blogging. I wish I couldn't eat because of blogging (I really need to lose a few pounds), but unfortunately it's just my sleep being affected. Oh, and my work. I'm having difficulty getting my filing done. I keep telling myself, "I'll think about that tomorrow." Hey! That makes me think of a new post I'd like to write...Scarlett O'Hara on procrastination....

Oh, sorry, my thoughts got away from me for a moment. What I'm trying to say is that blogging totally consumes me, but I don't want to get so bad in my addiction to where I have to go for the radical treatment known as HIATUS. I spit on the very idea. I'm hoping by coming to these meetings I'll find a cure for my addiction.

Thank you.

October 11, 2006

He's Ba - aaaack!

Today I got another letter in the mail from Mr. Ward Clerk. I'll post it here and you can decide for yourself what you think. I'm copying exactly as he wrote it...

Dear Sister F,

I just got home from Poplar, MT. I flew up there & picked up a young man with down's Syndrome who also has heart trouble. It is raining & cold, feels like winter is fast approaching.

I wanted to share something with you that I have learned about the nature of our Heavenly Father. He is so loving and Kind, and especially patient. On thursdays I serve as an ordinance worker out at the Temple. The ordinances need to be preformed accurately & correctly, yet we don't get any "practice runs." We study what we need to do & then go forward with Faith. We all make mistakes at one time or another, but our Infinite Heavenly Father (who is infiniately loving, kind & patient) understands that we are not perfect & accepts the best we can do. He also helps us to preform beyond our normal abilities.

The other night we were getting ready for dinner & I asked J. to go get the ketchup. So, of he goes running into the kitchen and tells (my wife) "I'm getting the ketchup mommy!" He is not big enough to open the Fridge door so I told him to ask mom for help. Instead, he runs up to the the fridge & knocks on the door, puts his ear to it to listen, and then holds up his hands & shrugs while saying "Nobody coming!"

Saturday evening (my wife) & I got to go out on a date (rare event but very nice). J. saw (my wife) putting on some lipstick & asked "Mom, are you & Dad going to get more babies?" He is such a character.

I was really angry at one time in my life. I stopped going to church, didn't want to serve, didn't want anything. It all started back when I was the Elder's Quorum President. Some one said something to me that offended me. It festered & snowballed. I came really close to losing my family over it. It was so EASY to be mad & find offence. Pretty soon I didn't know anything else but that. It was so HARD to stop being angry & to stop looking for offence. I have discovered that the path that has the least resistance usually leads away from the straight & narrow path.

Back in 1995 my parents, who had been married for 25 years divorced. I was 22 and we had joined the church when I was 4. At first I was really upset. "Mormons aren't supposed to get divorced." I kept telling myself. I was mad, hurt, sad, upset. My parents had been un-happy for a very long time. My mother never had anything good to say about my dad. She would yell a lot. I remember hearing "Bob N, I have never..." or "You are so...." Fill in the blank and you get the picture. My dad was not perfect. He was a closet Drinker & abused pain pills be cause of a back injury. So, after being upset I really thought about it & in my parents' case, they really were better off being divorced. My mom, for a number of years after, always refered to it as "Bob's divorce." She would always come over & just go off on my dad, & always end with "But I'm not bitter." She was so bitter she made lemons seem sweet. My dad used to be in contact a lot. He remarried about a year later & his new wife took him to the cleaners & then divorced him. I bailed him out of that & then he got involved with a lady from Minnesota. Sold everything & moved back east. It lasted about 6 mos & he came back, lived with us for about 6 mos. Now I haven't heard from him in a long time. It was about 2 yrs & we heard he was in the hospital. Drove to Helena to visit. Another 2 yrs. passed with no contact & so off to Helena we go & we tracked him down. I had written him a letter & he sent it Back! We found him. It's been about 2 yrs with no contact. You probably didn't really want to know all this & are probably thinking "Whoa dude, too much information." I can't say as I blame you. Although, I find my disfunctional LDS family funny, insane, sad & maddening all at the same time. Back in 1985, we were on a church float trip down the Jefferson River in Three Forks to the Missouri headwaters. My middle brother, K. (14) drowned at the headwaters. I was the last to see him alive. Why am I telling you this, I don't really know. I just sort of feel we have trodden down familiar paths. Please write me & tell me your thoughts. You can tell me I'm crazy, pathetic, or what ever. I'm pretty easy to talk too. Here's my e-mail: *****@bresnan.net. We truly missed seeing your family at Church today. I remember the last time you bore your testimony & I felt the spirit when you did.

Have a great day!! (with smily face below the exclamation point dots for eyes)
(Phone # inserted in margin)

Sincerely, J.N.

So, my first reaction is the desire to send him a single sheet of paper in the mail, with this in big, bold letters:


Renting a billboard might work, right?

I enjoyed breakfast with my daughter at her "Memories with Moms" event at the school this morning, and I was walking with her to her class at the end, when suddenly there in front of me was a woman from my ward, whose kids go to another school, but since their school has too many kindergartners, they ship them to our school. I have always liked her but never made time to become actual call-each-other friends.

After we said hi and figured out why she was there, she said, "I'm your new visiting teaching partner! We need to find out when we can figure out the whole lunch thing and do our visits." I stared at her and wondered if I should say something now...is it easy to just say to her face, "I don't go to church anymore"? I just didn't think a lunchroom full of kids and people was the place, so I told her I'd call her. (You may call me chicken if you wish!)

Now, if the RS president, who was the first to know I was questioning the church, who MUST know that we haven't been there, and that I asked to be released from my calling, hasn't figured things out by now, then I am non-plussed. I have no idea what to say or do. Is the bishop clueless? Is she?

I'm going to draft a letter and send it to the bishop and the RS president. In it I plan to tell them that I looked into the church's origins, and from the knowledge I have gained, I've come to the conclusion that the church is not true. I'll explain my specific findings that led me to my knowledge, and that I'm not explaining to debate the issues, but so that they'd know I wasn't offended by anyone or that I just want to be inactive. Maybe then they'll leave me alone and I'll get some peace!

I'm going to draft the letter so I can also e-mail it to my TBM dad and Austrian host family at the same time. Even though I want to get it behind me and move on, apparently I can't until I explain myself. Anything less just drags the torture on and on and on.

October 9, 2006

If a letter doesn't work.....

You may remember the latest letter (aka Love Bomb) I got from the ward clerk whom I don't know or talk to...

Last night we were sitting at home watching a movie together as a family, when the phone rings. It was Sister Ward Clerk, whom I've rarely spoken to, and never outside the realm of primary. She was only recently called to the primary, so I don't know her at all.


"Hi! It's J.N."


"I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all your hard work and dedication in primary. Sometimes people don't tell people at church how much they appreciate them, and I didn't want that to happen to you."


"OK, well, I didn't see you at church today. Is everything OK?"

"Just fine. I've never been better, actually."

"Oh.....Ok, then. Just wanted to say I really appreciate your hard work and dedication. Goodbye, then.


I have to say I'm not quite sure why these people want to contact me like this, unless the bishop asked them to. But they are the ones with the little kids who bear their testimony from the time they can first babble incoherently into the microphone when they are toddlers. Their daughter, who's my daughter's age (8), is the one who gets uber upset each time the class has fun or laughs or plays a game, because it's not reverent. I feel sorry for them.

Do they really want me to tell them outright why I'm not there, when they obviously already know why? Do they really actually think such a lukewarm letter and phone call are the pivotal thing that'll bring me back into the fold? It's insulting when they act like they think I must be AWOL because someone didn't appreciate me or thank me for all my hard work. If that had been the case, I'd have been inactive as a Beehive in young womens.

I'm thinking the next time they contact me, I'll ask them "Why are you calling me, really? Did the bishop put you up to this?" Or I'll say, "I have one question for you to answer immediately: What's my husband's name?" When they flounder and don't know, I'll say, "Since you obviously don't know me, please quit calling and writing me. I know the church isn't true, but friendship is, and you aren't even my friend, so drop it already."

October 8, 2006

Working on the weekend sucks.

I brought home a pile of work this weekend, something I hate doing, but the thought of doing it during the daytime next week in addition to creating payment applications for our clients was unthinkable.

Here's the gist of what my work entails today...
Take 1.5 inch high stack of copies of last month's invoices from subcontractors and suppliers and sort them by job.

Take job invoices and sort alphabetically by sub and supplier.

Track sub invoices and track their subcontracts to make sure they haven't overcharged.

Track change orders.

My work described in a word? BORING.

October 6, 2006

I know it's almost Halloween, but COME ON!

I'm standing in my bathroom, curling my hair this morning, when my son comes to me and says, "I just killed a black widow in the garage. See?"

I almost burned my head whipping around to look at him holding a jar lid with a curled up black widow in it. Spiders give me the willies. Seriously. Ask me sometime about my episode in the shower... But the POISONOUS ones? They really REALLY give me the creeps. I took the lid from J. in morbid fascination, and used a credit card to turn her over to see the infamous red hourglass. Of course, the only thing that could possibly happen did, since I was obviously in the middle of a terrible nightmare: two legs uncurled and twitched in a horror scene of epic proportions. I can't believe I didn't drop the lid as I screamed!

We dropped her in a jar so my husband could see. Today at my son's school they are having a fundraiser where they can pay a dollar and wear a hat all day. My son, being the class clown that he is, went to the garage to find some funky hats from my husband's collection we keep in a cabinet in there. The scary part is the spider had its home among the hats on the bottom shelf, and my son said he saw a big black spider, so he knocked it out onto the floor of the garage, and he caught it on the floor by one leg, and it was trying to escape, and my son hit it with a metal thing to kill it (HE THOUGHT!) and he grabbed a lid from the jar of nails, so he could bring it to me.

I've lived in this house almost 5 years and this is our first black widow.

Now, I have a greater appreciation for Jazzy's horror. She moved to Oregon, and in their new home they killed 5 black widows within the first month.

I'll never sleep the same again!

October 3, 2006

Film Noir SML

Well, tomorrow marks another milestone for me at work: My 7 year anniversary of working here. Seven glorious years working alone in an office, doing books and lovin' it. Or something like that.

(Insert wavy flashback lines)
FLASHBACK of Two Years Ago, filmed in black & white...

*Scene begins with sillouette of someone outside office door, visible through the glass*

Cue VOICE, film noir style...

"Monday morning hit me harder than yesterday's salami on rye." (SML enters shadowed office, wearing high heels, taking off trench coat and hat, turning on the radio, sitting down at computer)

"News on the radio can't be any worse than this sludge they call coffee." (SML begins typing)

"It was just like any other day. Same old story, same old line. The days had a way of blending together like the sea of faces rolling past me through the smoke at the club last night."

(Large black rotary phone on desk rings. SML picks up, says hello, nods...after a few moments she pulls receiver away from her ear, looks at it with confusion, and slowly hangs up)

"Something wasn't quite right. I knew it as much as I knew Bush shouldn't be president. My boss never called this early. His 'Good morning!' sounded too happy, too intimate, too personal. What did it mean? I wouldn't have to wait long for the anser."

(SML picks up folder labeled TIME CARDS and opens it. She suddenly stands up with paper in one hand and check in the other, a look of shock on her face)

"I had never been hit with something like this. My heart was racing faster than the news that Brittney Spears' boobs aren't real. Here was a check, made out to me, in the amount of one thousand dollars."

(Cue Dramatic Organ Music, one note, lasting five seconds. SML looks away from so many zeroes to read note)

"SML -

This check is our thanks for five years of hard work for our company. Your dedication is a key factor to the continued success of (our company.) Keep up the great work! Thank you!

(The Boss)"

(SML sits down slowly, shock still on her face)

"Either I was halucinating or my ship had just come in. I needed to make a few calls to see if hell had in fact frozen over. My mind raced with immediate thoughts of how and where I was going to spend the money. This was the answer to my prayers! I could buy all the art supplies I needed to fund my secret habit. I could finally take that trip to Austria I'd been dreaming of for ten years. Or I could be nice and plan a real vacation with my family for the first time. The possibilities roared through my brain like the wrath of God."

(SML looks up, right at the camera, lips open in surprise)

"Oh...God! That's right! How could I forget Him at a time like this?"

(SML folds her arms, bows her head, and says a silent prayer of thanks at her desk. She looks up and grabs her purse, and begins to rummage through it)

"I knew I had better take out tithing first, before I spent what wasn't mine of this bonus. Tithing checks to me were like taxes...hold the money aside weekly, but pay it as seldom as possible. I didn't realize I had this many checks in my purse. The stack before me rose like the Tower of Babel."

(SML adds stack of checks on calculator, then look of confusion and disbelief on her face....then frantic re-adding on the calculator)

"What the.....Something started to smell, and it wasn't just Mrs. Pollock's Brussels sprouts from downstairs. No matter how hard I added what I'd already paid and what I had to mail, my tithing was coming up shorter than a micro skirt on Paris Hilton. EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY-SIX DOLLARS short, to be exact. I needed some answers, and I needed them FAST."

(SML dials phone, is shown speaking into phone with eyebrows raised...silence during this part)

"My husband was on my list, and I don't mean my list of people I'm sending a Christmas card to. He was the one who wrote my tithing check out each week, and put it in the envelope in my purse. But apparently in May and June, when we traveled so much for soccer games, he felt like we couldn't afford it so he thought he might have skipped a few payments. This story was getting uglier than Martha Stewart's underwear drawer. If I added the tithing I owed from before with the $100 I owed on my bonus, the total came to $996. I was left with exactly four dollars."

(SML sits with look of total abject despair, because now she realises what she must and will do with the money)

"Filling out that tithing slip hurt worse than childbirth. There was no way in hell I was going to tell my non-Mormon husband about this bonus. My only consolation came when I realized that if I ever needed it, I'd have the best faith-promoting story to tell the next time the Stake President picked me out of the congregation with no forewarning to share my testimony, as he'd done 3 times before. Obviously God had prompted my boss to gift me my tithing money when I didn't even know I was short."

(Cue victory music...SML smiles peaceful smile with tears of joy in her eyes as she licks the tithing envelope closed)

***********THE END**************** Pans across screen.

I can't tell you how this true story (minus the dramatic film noir!) irks me. I can only shake my head in disgust at myself. It's a real testament to my husband...I told him about it a couple months later. It's a miracle he didn't commit me to a mental institution. He actually didn't say anything. Not even, "Why didn't you talk to me about it first?" Truly amazing.

I've been cursed!

Oh oh. We park our car in the back yard in our detached garage, but today my son went out the front door to put a movie return in the mailbox. When he opened the door he found a paper bag, decorated with water soluble markers, soaking in the rain that fell all night. Someone in the ward has started the little Halloween phantom thing again....they attached the following note, along with 5 copies of it, now stained pink and soaking wet:

Good Evening,

If you do not wish a curse on this house, you must make two treats and deliver them to two homes in the (Named) Ward. You have only three days, so hurry. Post the Phantom on your door until Halloween. This will ward off the Phantom curse from returning to haunt you and yours. Copy this letter and Phantom for each, then deliver them to a home that does not have a Phantom posted.


Nobody will convince me that we weren't targeted for first delivery because of the special status we now hold in the ward. Inside the soaking wet paper bag was a ziploc sandwich baggie with 6 M&M cookies inside. There are 4 people living in my home...I guess that meant one each for the girls, and 2 each for the boys? The pathetic part of it all: the cookies are so hard, that not even the Bottomless Pit I call my son wanted to eat one. You can bet I'll be cutting out all 6 phantoms and posting them on my door. Thanks but no thanks.

October 2, 2006

My reply to the PP

I e-mailed a reply to the PP's e-mail to me that I posted here last week...

Dear T.,

I appreciate your concern. While this is not easy, knowing how people at church will perceive me and my family, I've never felt more authentic or true to myself. I know that God lives and loves me, as He does everyone, LDS or not, and this gives me great comfort and happiness.

I hope you aren't feeling sorrow over me. I have personally never felt such happiness and such a sense of well-being in my entire life. For the first time, I'm happy as I am, and this is no small thing. It doesn't mean I've suddenly chosen a life of sin. My life is exactly the same, except I don't dedicate so much of my free time to attending church and working there. I have found a greater love for people, especially those close to me, and that's priceless.

My choice to leave the LDS church is based on a lot more than just the discovery that Brigham Young taught that Adam was God the Father. I discovered many things that caused me to come to my realization. However, because I respect you and your faith, I don't want to outline for you why I think the church isn't true. I would hope my true friends respect that and don't try the opposite with me.

Thanks for your sweetness.




Once again, General Conference has come and gone, something that means absolutely nothing to me. I didn't drink in honor of the esteemed event. I just completely forgot it was happening. I think my giving it no thought whatsoever is the best acknowledgement it deserves.

I may be giving away something here, but I watched it twice as a married adult. (Maybe Sister Mary Lisa isn't as good as she lets on!!) I figured I could read up on it on LDS.org or I could read it in the Ensign. I think I got motivated and taped it a few times over the years, but I never actually watched the tape. I usually embraced conference Sunday as a well-deserved day off from my duties at church. I've ALWAYS had duties.

Last General Conference, in the spirit of trying to prepare to get myself to the temple, I made my kids sit with me downstairs and watch it while my husband watched a Nascar race upstairs. He said he didn't care if I wanted to watch conference upstairs, but I didn't want to subject him to it.

As we watched it, I found myself getting mad, I mean really mad, if my kids started playing and not listening. I could see myself transforming into the glaring, angry, teeth-clenching, self-righteous, losing-the-lips form of my dad.....

That really helps kids feel great toward the church, I should know.