Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August's Little Victories

After several fearful nights of being feasted on, I finally exterminated the mosquito living in my room. Twice.

For once, I mailed Ilene’s birthday present on time.

I found my chap stick!

After five years of driving the State vehicle, I figured out how to use the wiper fluid.

I found a chair I liked and bought it for the living room.

Took a basic Excel class. I get it now.

I got through a whole day without having to hear “Hey There Delilah” on the radio.

I found my chap stick again!

I built up a tolerance to my Listerine so now I can swish for the recommended 30 seconds without crying from the burning.

The ward finally secured an Enrichment leader for me.

City Weekly wrote a good review about our current show at the Rio!

Friday, August 17, 2007


I remember being on a bicycle. I don’t think it was my bicycle. It seemed a little tall for me, but I managed. It’s all quite fuzzy, but I remember being at the corner of 300 West and 300 South – just outside Tony Caputo’s, waiting to cross the street. It was sunny and warm, but not as hot as it has been the last couple of days.

At that time I noticed the handle bars seemed to be upside down. They weren’t before – but somehow I took my eyes off the bike and now they were. Because of this change it was harder to pedal and now my hands were up higher than I was used to.

I thought maybe if I turned the handle bars back to the way they were I would have an easier time getting home. I also noticed since the handle bars were switched, the front tire was a little flat. I thought about how I might fix that. I sure didn’t have an air pump. I hoped maybe somewhere on my way home someone would be pumping air and I could ask them to help me.

I wish I could remember what happened next. Maybe that’s when I woke up.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My mom just called. She opens with:

“I’ve been out all day trying to get donations for the Utah Chamber Artists auction.”
“Oh yeah, how’s that going?”
“I feel like Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.”
“Never seen it.”
“Oh. He kills himself.”

Poor Mom. I am not a salesperson either. I've never really mastered the technique of asking for money. I don't even like reminding people that they owe me money.

Sometimes I think I could be good at sales, but then I try and feel so out of my element that I don’t feel like myself anymore. If I have a connection with someone or some business, it’s easy. For example, I work for Sur la Table and I felt comfortable asking them to donate two spots at a cooking class for the Utah Chamber Artists auction (I'm UCA's informal slave). The culinary coordinator was happy to do it, no big deal. Plus, it's a donation, not exactly a check. But cold calls -- that’s another story.

Lately, since the Gallery Stroll has decided to launch its big ad campaign in the City Weekly every month, I’ve had to become more of a salesperson. It costs us $4000 to publish that centerfold each time. The hardest part is being a brand new organization and gaining support. Especially finding a presenting sponsor, because we charge $2500 for that (does anyone or their company want to present Gallery Stroll in September?). There have been more than a few times when I've gotten off the phone with a business and just dropped my head on my desk. Rejection and failure isn't fun. I should get used to it. I can't believe some people do this for a living. If any of you sales people out there have pointers for me, please share.

Anyway, I’m really proud of our Gallery Stroll pullout in the City Weekly. I have the pleasure of designing it myself. Make sure you pick one up this week and come to the Rio Gallery Friday night if you can. We have a really interesting show. This is a collaborative watercolor class project that some students at BYU did. They didn’t want to just paint pretty landscapes so they came up with something DRASTICALLY different. Come and see for yourself.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I want Martha's cat.

The other night I was looking through my Martha Stewart magazine when I turned the page and saw this picture.

Something came over me and I started to stroke the glossy paper with two fingers as I whispered, “Kitty.” I wanted to reach my hands inside the page, grab the kitty underneath its soft and furry front legs, pull it close to me and cradle it my arms. I nearly cried.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

100 Things You Didn't Want to Know

This began as a comment on Ilene's blog in response to her list of 100 things, but the comment had obvious potential of being way too long.

She took this idea from our friend Shonda's blog. And now I am taking it. I didn't actually think I would come up with 100 things, but talking about myself is easier than I thought -- especially when my stream of conciousness is on a roll.

1. I am afraid of lasik eye surgery.
2. It took me a long time to buy my own furniture because I liked the freedom of owning nothing.
3. When a Hummer is in front of me on the road I get a little tense.
4. Whenever my mom casually mentions something that happened in church that day, I smile inside.
5. The “Little Women” soundtrack makes me feel at home.
6. Jet skis and motorcycles freak me out.
7. That violinist guy on PBS with the wavy hair and brooch annoys me.
8. I think those singing Celtic women wearing prom dresses and headsets on PBS are weird.
9. I really do like PBS most of the time.
10. I love cinnamon in my hot chocolate
11. I would cry during just about every episode of Party of Five back in the day.
12. If you write me a nice note or email, I keep it.
13. I have about twenty pens, pencils and markers in this drawer at my desk that I never use.
14. I get anxious before a haircut.
15. I love thunderstorms and I love to open the windows so I can smell the rain.
16. I really want to grow my own herbs and vegetables.
17. A well-balanced and beautiful-looking meal is incredibly satisfying to me.
18. Family Home Evening was infrequent at my house, but I looked forward to it and I tried to get my mom to organize them more often than she did.
19. Unless I’m a huge fan and I have a good seat, attending a rock concert isn’t my favorite thing to do.
20. I’m willing to pay the extra money for a better seat at a play or other performance (unless it’s the symphony. I don’t need to see anything there).
21. In college, my heart would ache as I passed the choirs rehearsing in the Madsen Recital Hall. I don’t regret taking violin lessons, but I often wished I stuck with choir.
22. I don’t like to begin a new project until I’ve cleaned up everything around me.
23. I feel lucky that I get to work in a historic building rather than an office building.
24. Fluorescent lighting depresses me a little.
25. I love getting emails from friends.
26. I take criticism about my character very seriously.
27. I hope Lisa knows that I think she’s a great sister.
28. I like wearing jewelry but don’t miss it when I don’t.
29. The Mamas and the Papas will forever remind me of our family road trip to Canada.
30. I’ve never been one to sun bathe. In fact, I try to avoid getting tan most of the time.
31. I don’t know how to dive.
32. I owe a lot of my self esteem and confidence to my dad.
33. I make it a point to eat breakfast every day.
34. I love to walk, but I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy running no matter how hard I try. Of course I don’t try very hard.
35. I wish I read more.
36. I love it when Ilene leaves me five minute voice mails about nothing.
37. Saving money is a sport for me.
38. Sometimes I feel like I’d fit in better on the east coast.
39. I don’t have to be, but I love being the hostess.
40. Mom was right when she said I wished I had Alex Keaton from Family Ties as a big brother. I don’t know why.
41. I wish I didn’t forget how to speak Italian.
42. I don’t like to let dirty dishes sit in the sink.
43. If you’re trying to set me up with someone and you say, “He’s got a lot of money,” to me that’s more a red flag than an attractive quality.
44. I love fancy cars, but they don't necessarily impress me.
45. I’ve had my iMac for six months now and I still use my PC at work for certain things because I haven’t learned how to do it the Macintosh way.
46. I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure.
47. I don’t remember the last time I bought white bread.
48. I used to think it was Crown Burger until Rhett told me it was Crown Burgers.
49. I can go about four days before I really start to crave meat.
50. A couple people have shown me how to change a tire but I’ve never had to do it by myself, so I’m not confident that I could.
51. Buying quality mattresses was one of the nicest things I’ve ever done for myself.
52. I’d rather look up a phone number on than in the actual white pages.
53. I look forward to moving into or building a house where I can design the lighting scheme myself, that way my art collection will actually look good.
54. I love checking things off my “to do” list. I even write down things I’ve already done so I can check them off.
55. I hope my kids have dark hair.
56. People with a broad vocabulary really impress me.
57. Good manners impress me.
58. I’ve watched the first season of the following shows at least twice on DVD: 24, Alias, Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls, and the West Wing.
59. I’ll do just about anything for you if you ask me to.
60. I am much better at writing than I am at talking.
61. I think I’m going to look into taking some graphic design classes.
62. Sometimes I wish my job was like a school year, so I could get a different “summer” job and then return to this one in the fall.
63. I think cuplets would taste a lot better than mini’s cupcakes.
64. I don’t think Adam Sandler is that funny.
65. I’ve never had fake nails.
66. Nail polish doesn’t last very long on my fingernails.
67. I loved it when my cat would jump up on my bed and take a nap with me.
68. I greet most animals as if we’re old friends.
69. The thought of people hunting rabbits and ducks makes me sad.
70. I don’t like violent and gory movies.
71. I don’t mind movies that don’t end happily.
72. If I couldn’t have my dad, I would choose Atticus Finch. More specifically, Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.
73. It took me about three different sittings to get through Lawrence of Arabia.
74. October is my favorite month. Somehow, it makes me feel nostalgic, cozy and safe.
75. I love to window shop with people, but I usually only make purchases when I’m by myself.
76. Grocery shopping is relaxing for me.
77. I worry about potential problems too much.
78. I love it when people walk up to me and give me a hug, just because they’re glad to see me.
79. I like speaking in church.
80. I wish I knew how to dance.
81. I wish I knew how to take really good photographs.
82. I get cold pretty easily.
83. I don’t like to start any kind of project unless I’m confident I can do it well.
84. I love decorating for Christmas.
85. After cooking a lot of food, I don’t feel so much like eating it.
86. I’m not a camper, but I’ll pretend to be.
87. If I do get a finance charge on my bill, I’ll usually try to talk my way out of it.
88. I prefer to wash my car at home than go to the car wash.
89. When I do go to the automatic car wash, I refuse to get out of my car and “pre-rinse” it with the bucket of sudsy water. I don’t know when they started doing that, but to me, they’re sending a message that says “Our car wash doesn’t work that well.” If I wanted to wash my own car, I wouldn’t have paid for the car wash.
90. I hate WalMart. I hate the lines, I hate the layout, I hate how little they pay their employees. I especially hate that it’s not beneath me to shop there on occasion simply to save money.
91. I battle back and forth between the satisfaction of eating healthy (but spending a lot of money to do it) and saving a lot of money (but eating crap).
92. I like it when people have last names as first names (Carter, Anderson, Hales, Maxwell, etc.)
93. I don’t like watching people in uncomfortable situations.
94. My life would be easier if I wasn’t so afraid of people’s feelings being hurt.
95. If you can genuinely make me laugh, you can be my friend.
96. I don’t eat as much pasta as I used to.
97. I have little patience for kids that talk back to their parents.
98. The drowsy and loopy effects of NyQuil linger in my system for days.
99. I love giving gifts.
100. I wouldn’t want to return to a life before email and instant messaging.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Big Day for Birthdays

I need to wish a few people a very happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Ilene! Ilene and I have been friends for almost 10 years now. We met when we were sophomores. I remember the night she and her roommates took me out for an audition to be their roommate the following year. I guess I passed because Ilene and I lived together for three years after that.

Ilene and I were fellow humanities/art history students in college. We spent a lot of time passing notes in class; having vocabulary and "outwit me" contests. It’s amazing we got A’s in all those classes. We would write poems back and forth until our attention in class became necessary.

I worked in the LRC in the main library – the cool place to study because you could listen to music. Of course that was back in the olden days before everyone had an iPod. I worked up at the desk and people would check out CDs or bring in their own and I would play them at their appropriate listening carrel. Ilene would come and study there and when she got bored she would bring me notes (or have someone bring them to me).

Here is one that made me laugh pretty hard because it is so Ilene.
I knew what answer she was looking for.

One time I lent her my hair elastic when I was at work and she wrote me a thank you note in Latin. Somehow my dad got a hold of that (I must have left it in his office in the HFAC) and he set it to music as a Gregorian Chant. That was weird.

One of my favorite Ilene memories was when I came into her office one morning to sadly report that the boy I liked (and I thought liked me), the one I’d flirted with for weeks turned out to have a girlfriend. He worked with me at the LRC. Ilene came into the LRC later that afternoon with some flowers and this card:

Ilene has a magical way of knowing exactly how to love her friends. She can sympathize with me and make fun of me at the same time and I still know she cares.

We, along with our friend Marni moved to Portland after college. But sadly, we had to part ways as she stayed in Oregon to date a boy and I moved to SLC to work for the Arts Council.

She came to Salt Lake sometime the following winter to visit. Here we are in front of the car I had just bought all by myself. It was my first car and a big milestone for me.
A couple months later Ilene got married to the boy she dated in Oregon (that’s her cute husband in the back). Clearly, a big milestone for her.
I still have my car and she still has her husband, so both were good investments. Ilene and Dan now have two adorable boys and they live in Washington. For a good read, you should check out her blog (linked at the right). To read one of my favorite posts, click here.

I also need to wish a happy birthday to my niece Piper who turns two today. She is a gorgeous little girl and says “happy” cuter than anyone I know.

Last, but certainly not least, Happy Birthday to Kristi! I don't have a photo of her, but Kristi is great for many reasons, one being she makes me laugh all the time. I’m sorry I’m missing your dinner tonight but I will catch you and everyone else for cake afterwards!