Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Free for All

And the FFA topic of the week is . . .

If I were a fashion runway model . . .

Well, for one thing, I would need to stop eating immediately and acquire a nicotine and/or crack habit pretty quickly. I’m a little worried, though, about how I would do on the actual runway what with trying not to fall over. Not from the 4-inch heeled strappy sandals, but from low blood sugar. I don’t do so well when I’m hungry.

Mostly, I think if I were a fashion runway model, it would only be because I was undercover, trying to implicate 7-foot tall scowling yardsticks in a drug ring. Not that I'm implying models do drugs . . . I'm just saying.

But I’m thinking it would go down much like that episode from 3rd Rock from the Sun where Sally has to infiltrate a group of alien models who are trying to take over the world. In order to trick the super-models into letting her join them, Sally has to go through intensive model training with them.

She has to learn how to walk in tiny skirts and skyscraper heels, and they teach her different looks (a la Zoolander). Show me “frightened”! Show me “seductive”! Show me “sleepy”! Show me “startled”! Show me “angry”! (By the way, I’m pretty sure I could pull off all of these . . . except maybe “seductive.” Just ask my kids about the rest.)

At the end of the training, she is exhausted and, of course, starving. They bring her out a big cheeseburger on a silver platter, and offer it to her. Her fingers tremble as she reaches toward it, but she carefully only takes one of the baby carrots off the plate and nibbles one bite. Then she yells out incredulously, “I’m full!” The models all cheer and hug her, knowing now she is truly one of them.

I’m thinking that’s the only way the runway model crowd is going to believe I actually belong there. I think I can pull it off.

Thoughts on the model lifestyle:

Plus: Getting to keep any of the clothes and/or shoes.
Minus: The clothes only fit sizes 0, -2, and -4, and oh yeah, where would I wear them?

Plus: Being thin.
Minus: Daily caloric intake of 500 (most of which is burned off by the nicotine or thrown back up).

Plus: Being tall
Minus: Hitting your head on door frames.

Plus: Getting into movie premiers and elite clubs based solely on looks.
Minus: I live in Utah. The only movie premiers and elite clubs consist of the latest Work and the Glory movie and the occasional ward function.

Plus: Having someone else pick out my clothes and do my hair and makeup.
Minus: Having to actually wear the clothes and having freakshow hair.

Plus: No more love handles.
Minus: No more eating frosting directly from the container.

Uh, I think I'm going to give up my modeling career.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tell Me Something I Don't Know . . .

You Are a Chocolate Cake

Fun, comforting, and friendly.

You are a true classic, and while you're not super cutting edge, you're high quality.

People love your company - and have even been known to get addicted to you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

How Things Are at My House

So, Sundays at my house go about like this: I frantically get everyone ready for church that begins at 9:00 AM (3 little girls + 3 heads of hair = no time to actually do my own hair). We run/walk briskly to church, usually because we leave after 9:00 (Hey, don't judge me. Did you catch the part about how I have three girls to get ready?) Lucy is a mute during Nursery but can't shut up during Sacrament meeting (she's the ward commentator, just in case you're missing anything that might be going on in the chapel). Ellis is embarrassed and thinks the whole ward can hear her, but I know they can't hear anything over the roar of their own children.

After church, we head back home where I slap together a few sandwiches for lunch and then throw Lucy in bed for a nap. More importantly, I then throw myself in bed for my own nap while the other two fend for themselves until Ellis gets home from doing finances and can entertain them. This is our deal.

FYI: if you come between me and my Sunday afternoon nap, you may lose a limb. Consider yourself forewarned.

So after I groggily pulled myself out of bed yesterday, Ellis told me about this Sunday's afternoon entertainment.

Larrin had created her own restaurant called "Smelly Nelly's" complete with signs, directions, and menus. Don't ask about the name because I really don't know. She informed Ellis that he had a reservation there for two. Ellis picked up his date (Marley) and paid 50 cents for a delicious plastic meal.

Marley told Ellis that they were married. She was 75 and he was 65 (because he's older than her), and they were celebrating her birthday. They had 5 kids, but the kids were home with the babysitter because they were just little. After their meal, the rest of the date would include a movie (a short one) and a visit to the bouncy house at Classic Skating. Marley is one active senior citizen, but Ellis just hoped his hip would hold out.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Free for All

FFA Topic of the Week:
For reasons beyond your powers to comprehend, you know that you will soon become the sole survivor of a trans-Atlantic plane crash and will be stranded on a desert island. You do not question your new-found psychic powers, but instead, you start packing the essentials. What 10 things will you take with you?

1. The flannel quilt my mom made for me in high school. It is extremely worn, the colors are faded, and there are a few places where a briefly-owned pet chewed holes in it (Gabby, I still haven’t forgiven you.) It might not make sense to take a flannel quilt to what is probably a tropical island, but hear me out. This blanket is the softest, most comfortable thing I own. My favorite thing in the world is to wrap up in it so completely that only enough of my face is exposed to allow adequate breathing. So even if it never gets cold enough on aforementioned island to wrap up in it (and who’s to say the nights won’t get chilly?), it would at least be more comfortable than sand or palm fronds for lying on. I must have comfort!

2. Peanut butter. I admit it – I have a serious peanut butter addiction. It’s not like I have to have it everyday or anything, but the thought of going any extended length of time without it makes me a little edgy. Easter time comes around, and I’m practically drooling in the grocery store because of those Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. Besides, it’s full of protein and fat (which while I may not need here, I’m betting will come in handy on my deserted island).

3. Books. Okay, a must-have. But how to narrow it down? I refuse to only take one. I must have a small selection to get me by until I am rescued (that was part of the deal, right?) So probably Pride and Prejudice, A Room with a View, A Girl Named Zippy (I’m going to need a good laugh), and my Book of Mormon, of course.

4. Soap and a towel. So maybe this is due to the fact that I deal with grimy children on a daily basis, but I hate being dirty. I’m the weird one in the family who eats most of her food with a fork, even if it’s finger food. I don’t like that greasy or grimy feeling on my hands.

5. Toilet paper. I think this one’s fairly obvious. Look, some of us have sensitive skin, okay? (P.S. Another reason I don’t love to camp.)

6. Toothbrush and toothpaste. I do not deal well with morning mouth. I have never understood how anyone could leave the house in the morning without brushing their teeth . . . although I have certainly encountered people who have done it.

7. Sunscreen. Let’s face it, I do not tan, I never have, and (I’m just guessing here) I never will. The best I can do is get a light burn and a whole slew of freckles. So if I’m going to have to face the ravages of nonstop sun exposure without the benefit of getting a really good tan, the least I can do is prevent skin cancer.

8. Notebook and writing utensils. Now I’ll finally write that novel I’ve been dreaming about!

9. Swimming suit. Well, this might seem like a weird one, but I really hate to wear wet clothes. So if I have to get wet, I’d rather be wearing a swimming suit (don’t want the natives coming across me in the nude . . .)

10. Multiplier. So Ellis has this thing called a Gerber Multiplier that he probably couldn’t function without. It’s like a little handy pliers thing, but it also has knives and blades and scissors and wire cutters and files and stuff like that attached to it (that all fold down into one little guy). Anyway, I don’t really know how the thing works, but it looks like it would be a handy thing to have on an island. . . especially if Jack from Lost came along and wanted to build me a shelter or feed me grapes or something . . .

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Friday Free for All Begins . . .

In what may prove to be a critically acclaimed move in the blogging world, some friends and I decided to begin a weekly posting called "Friday Free for All," or FFA for short. We compiled a long list of topics, choosing one each week to post on Friday.

The exciting thing for me is to finally be a member of the FFA. The Future Farmers of America is a club elite in my hometown of Spanish Fork, Utah, but unfortunately, I never wore the Wranglers or boots, I never learned to saddle up my hoss, and well, frankly, I never learned how to farm. So sufficeth to say, I was never allowed to join the ol' FFA. That, and I never actually tried to join. But hey, they never asked me to, either! It goes both ways, FFA.

So the newly formed FFA will begin our posts this week, and I'm happy to say there are no dress codes or farming prerequisites involved (take that, future farmers!) Whether this venture will be as successful as the aforementioned high school club remains to be seen.

Look tomorrow for our first posting!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Band of Brothers

Okay, just a quick note about our latest late-night viewing series. Has anyone else seen Band of Brothers? I think it was an HBO series at one time, but Ellis and I have been getting it from the library and watching it late every night because it's too hard to stop watching. Seriously amazing. (Although I have been really tired every day.)

It's so well-done and completely gripping that even though I feel like I may fall asleep on my feet before I can even get the kids into bed, once we start watching Band of Brothers, I'm immediately alert. Now, I'm notorious for falling asleep while watching, um, well, anything at night. I often wake up and find myself huddled on the couch by myself at 2:00 in the morning, silently cursing Ellis for leaving me there alone. (He repeatedly claims he "tries" to wake me up before finally going to bed, but I'm not buying it.)

But back to Band of Brothers. I absolutely cannot fall asleep watching this. I'm too tense during the whole thing. For those who, like me, didn't really know anything about it, the series is about a company of American WWII paratroopers. You see them go through D-Day at Normandy, Market Garden, and the infamous winter at Batogne (I actually have no idea if I'm spelling that right -- Peggy?) It's totally horrifying to see this portrayal of a war I already knew to be horrific.

Something I really love about this series is how each episode is told a little differently. You get different perspectives and different tellings -- sometimes just shown from a particular soldier's point of view, sometimes with a 1st person narrative going on. So incredibly well acted, directed, edited, etc. We have just two discs left in the series, and I'm really anxious to see how it turns out. Okay, yes, I know we won that war. But you would not believe how heart-wrenching it is to see these guys who have bonded and fought together for over two years get blown apart (literally) and have to deal with both the physical and mental casualties of war.

If you have not seen it, go to your library (or Blockbuster if you're not cheap like us), and get it. Now.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

True Confession

Okay, yes, I do have children. Three of them, actually. A friend of mine mentioned recently how her last 13 blog postings have been about her children, and nothing else. Well, she recently had a baby, so naturally we all want to see and hear about little T-bird (as I call him). But I started realizing that none of my postings have been about my children, and lest people think I don't like them, I thought perhaps I should mention them occasionally.

So prepare yourselves. What you are about to see is pictures (lots of them) and commentary revolving around my girls Larrin, Marley, and Lucy.

I'm including this picture of the girls drinking hot chocolate (something they insist on whenever it snows) because it's snowing again, for crap's sake. It's like a blizzard out there. Doesn't March make it spring??

Lucy, ever helpful.

Ellis usually takes over at bedtime. My gratitude knows no depths.

Larrin and Marley volunteer to do Lucy's hair. Clearly, she was not an unwilling participant.

More is always better . . .

Once Marley saw how beautiful Lucy's hair looked, she decided to fancy up her own 'do. Mission accomplished.

Larrin invites Marley to a duel of the shovels. (Note to self: do not let the kids watch Star Wars with Ellis anymore.)

The battle ensues.

Apparently, Larrin won. (Ellis will be thrilled to see they've found yet another use for the shovels. So then when it's actually snowing -like today-, and a shovel might be useful, they will be nowhere to be found.)

Lucy wouldn't put a jacket on that day but insisted that she needed Larrin's scarf. She is, of course, always our wild card. She talks non-stop, learned to count to 20 by herself right after she turned two (um, was I supposed to be helping her with that?), runs -and I mean runs- everywhere she goes, and loves to terrorize Marley by pinching her whenever the mood strikes her. She's the first child I've had to worry about moving the furniture around so she could climb on it to reach whatever she happens to think she needs (like the fruit snacks, or "snoot snacks" as she calls them, from the top shelf of the pantry). If only I could harness her powers for good . . .

Well, one my sweet little rug-rats just created a minor catastrophe (again), so I guess the plethora of pictures must end for now. I promise I'll throw more in here every once in a while.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Best New Diet of 2008!

If you're looking for a new weight-loss plan, I inadvertantly discovered what may be the most effective inhibitor of calories yesterday. If you follow my simple 2-step plan, you will be on your way to a newer, slimmer you! I call it the "Tight Pants Diet" (copyright pending).

Step one: Get out a pair of pants that are slightly snug. You know what I'm talking about -- that pair of pants you've been holding onto for when you finally lose that last 5 or 10 pounds. The ones you can actually put on but that pinch off your midsection, or just in general won't let you breathe comfortably.

Step two: Wear the pants.

Congratulations! Putting the plan into action was the hardest part. Now you can just sit back and watch those pounds melt away.

The Science Behind the Method

Wearing the tight pants does two things for you:

1. By contracting in on your stomach, the pants make you feel that you've just eaten a large meal. You won't want to eat anything because you'll think you already ate!

2. Even if you do get hungry, the way the pants painfully cinch around your waist and/or hips creates a very unattractive bulging of skin and fat. You will be too disgusted by your own appearance to eat anything but carrots and celery all day.

And it's just that easy! Call today and receive the complete "Tight Pants Diet" method for the low, low price of just three easy payments of $39.95! (Pants not included).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Stephen Colbert -- An American Hero

So, I just finished reading Stephen Colbert's I Am America (and So Can You!), and it was one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. If you are a fan of my favorite pseudo-UberRepublican, then you should really check it out. I love watching The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, but this book is even more ridiculously funny.

And if you haven't seen his speech from the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner, you must go to this link and watch it. I love how George Bush is completely unamused through the whole thing, and even the audience starts to get a little uncomfortable at laughing. It's fantastic.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cereal and Road Rage

So, inspired by Peggy's latest post (which, by the way, is an extremely entertaining one. . . you should check it out) and her recent disparagement of my ability to post more often, I've decided to keep in tradition of almost all my other posts revolving around food and dedicate this one (at least in part) to what may possibly be the world's perfect food:

Yes, I'm talking about cold cereal. The reasons for its perfection are fourfold. 1) It is cold (thus its name) and makes milk taste good. 2) It can be eaten as a meal or a snack (just ask my 2-year-old [or her mother] during church). 3)It is relatively low in calories, so unless eaten by the boxful, you don't even have to feel guilty about eating it. At least, I don't usually feel guilty about it. 4) And this is maybe most important -- it is ready in mere seconds. You're walking through the kitchen late at night really craving a tasty snack to eat while you watch Arrested Development, but clearly you don't want to take the time or energy to make cookies (or run to the store for ice cream). You open the pantry, and BAM! There it is -- the answer to all your snack problems -- Cookie Crunch Cereal. Little cookies all ready for the eating in just the seconds it takes to pour them into your bowl.

And, as a subsection of reason #2, it can be eaten without milk. So if for some reason, someone (your spouse) has used up the last of the milk without telling you, and you've already poured said bowl of Cookie Crunch, you're still good to go. Those tiny cookies are just as happy to be eaten dry out of a cup.

There are rules, however, that must be followed when consuming cereal. Sugary cereal cannot be eaten for breakfast. It just can't. It's like eating donuts for breakfast. Sure, some of you may think that donuts were invented for that exact purpose, but you have been misled. Sugar that early in the morning will only make you sick. Okay, it makes me sick. And I really have no use for those gut-bloating breakfasts of pancakes, eggs, or waffles. Those sorts of meals were clearly meant to be for dinner (my husband may disagree, but I don't see him coming up with any ideas for dinner. And I know my dad has my back on this one).

So I really like those high-fiber bran flakey kind of cereals that I swore as a kid I would never eat when I got to live in my own house and buy my own cereal (Rice Krispies was about as sugary as it got in my house when I was growing up. I try not to rub that in to Ellis, though, whose "sugar cereal" consisted of cracked wheat.) Special K Red Berries is my personal favorite; although I love Total Bran Flakes, too. Weird, I know.

Now once you hit afternoon or evening, that's an entirely different matter. Especially if it's for a snack, then naturally, you need a good basic sugar cereal like Lucky Charms or Waffle Crisp cereal (have you tried that? It seriously tastes like waffles with butter and syrup. I don't know whose making that artificial flavoring, but all I have to say is, bravo.) This does complicate matters, however, when it comes to my children because they are not so discerning when it comes to the nutritious vs. sugar cereal choice in the mornings. The solution I have discovered? Hide the contraband sugar cereal. I really have no other options.

Best times in my house: when we eat cereal for dinner. (Did I mention it's ready immediately?) Hey, it's fortified with 12 essential vitamins, I'll have you know. Some days, it may just be the healthiest thing they eat.

Okay, and just a side commentary to the guy who was driving the Beef and Other Meats van this morning: was it really necessary to pull in front of me on the 215 on-ramp, then slam on your brakes, slow down to 30 mph, pull in front of me again when I moved into the other lane, and then yell obscenities at me and my virgin-eared children when I opted to go around you (okay, I may have also opted to use my freedom of speech/sound when I laid on the horn . . . ) Seriously, though, two bits of advice -- 1) If you're going to drive like a complete idiot and yell at potential customers (not that Beef and Other Meats from a van is as tempting as it may at first sound), maybe you should consider not doing it in the company van with your phone number listed in bold. 2)Do us a favor and consider getting some dental work done . . . just for those of us who have to see your chipped, gray/yellow teeth spitting flecks (of other meats?) on the window when you're cursing us as we drive by.