Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fly Me to the Moon (or canyons)

All hail the intrepid explorers! I and my little gang went down to St. George to enjoy the three-day weekend and go hiking around the (somewhat) nearby canyons. Good weekend. Tiring, but good. None of us were particularly excited for the drive, but three and a half hours isn’t really that long. We got down to St. George Friday night and settled in at my grandparents’ house (“settled in” meaning we bought food and assigned bedrooms). Woot for free lodging!

Saturday took us out to Bryce Canyon, where we enjoyed every possible kind of weather there is within a matter of an hour. The boys were in one car and we girls were in the other, entertaining the shuttle bus behind us while we rocked out to the music. The canyon was incredibly gorgeous and very cool. We stopped so many times to take pictures . . . and to wrestle backpacks away from each other (too bad I lost that game, but it’s hard to win when Kelly, Becky, and Esther gang up on you). The best pictures were most likely of Jeremie, who, in true Jeremie fashion, never passed up an opportunity for a silly Kodak moment. All in all, we hiked there for about five and a half hours and were totally dead by the time we got back to St. George that night. However, that didn’t stop us from eating our fill at Olive Garden. Mmm, salad.

Sunday we went to a nearby family ward, which was totally full! It was like attending a stake conference! The six of us got to squish up next to each other on the bench, so it’s a good thing we’re all friends, right? The rest of the day was pretty lazy, but we went down to the temple grounds, walked around, and took pictures where we actually look decent. After that, we went back to the house and made a birthday cake for Steve, which then ended up being used as weaponry as Kelly and I started flinging chocolate frosting at each other.

The truly unfortunate occurrence of the weekend was that the weather went cruddy again on Monday, which meant we couldn’t do the hikes at Zion National Park that we wanted to. So it was an earlier arrival back in Provo than we originally anticipated, but that’s okay. We still had a good weekend all together, and I was happy that there were no major catastrophes on the trip.

Key Phrases of the Weekend: “Chihuahua.” “Go ahead, merge! I’m only imploding!” “It’s good!”

With affection and alliteration, Me.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

There Can be Miracles When You Believe

Woot! A miracle has occurred. The other day, Esther and I were in Wal-Mart, and while I was waiting for her to get her eyes checked, I was wandering in the women’s clothing section, which I never do at Wal-Mart. Anyway, I randomly picked up some jeans and thought, “Why not?” At this point I must point out that jeans and I have not been getting along for a couple of years. Nothing fits me the way I want it to, and none of them are ever long enough. I don’t know how many different stores I have gone to in an attempt to find jeans. And I found them at Wal-Mart. It was so completely unexpected, but talk about a miracle! (at least, for me it is, even though it probably sounds totally lame to everyone else)

Esther and I had our “housewarming” bbq last weekend, which ended up being pretty good. My friend Matt brought his grill over and cooked for us, we got our volleyball/badminton net set up in the backyard, and it was a good group of people that showed up. Had everyone that we invited and said would come actually show up, we would have had around 30 people there, but naturally, not everyone came, so we ended up with a group of about 15, which was a goodly number. The weather cooperated, so it was a beautiful day, and we broke out Esther’s telescope once it got dark and looked at the moon; got a brief glimpse of Saturn, too.

I planted my flowers Saturday morning, which was pretty exciting for me. Buying the flowers made me feel slightly grown up, and there was even a hummingbird in the nursery while I was picking them out, so that was a happy moment. Esther and I had a good time digging up all the weeds and yucky grass in front of our place . . . kind of. Esther started helping me once I’d gotten into a rhythm with it, so whenever I say I’m no good at anything, she reminds me that I’m a great digger. And then I feel better. We had a good laugh at ourselves while we were doing so, and an ever bigger laugh when we tried to work the lawnmower. Getting it started wasn’t a problem, but it wasn’t cutting anything. So back in the “Love Shack” it went (that is the name of the shed in our backyard—it’s painted red with the name in white; we did not name it).

And now for the quote of the week: “I’m not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose . . . it’ll be much harder to detect.” –George Carlin

With affection and alliteration, Me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gray Skies are Gonna Clear Up . . . maybe

The weather here has continued to prove an enigma. We had a massive rainstorm last week that was, in all honesty, very cool, but completely clear skies persist in eluding us. It’s definitely warmed up, and we have had a couple of days of blue sky, but nothing terribly consistent. It’s supposed to be nice the next few days, so I’m hoping the weather forecast isn’t deceiving me (haha, spelling “deceiving” made me think of Brian Regan). Especially since Esther and I are hoping to host an outdoor activity on Saturday (a bbq) in our backyard.

Mom and Dad were in Utah last weekend, and I was very happy to see them. They came down to Provo, took me out to dinner (Thai Ruby; becky was proud of me), so that was nice. The next day I went up to Salt Lake to have dinner at my uncle’s house. After dinner, my parents, sister, aunt, cousin, and I went to my uncle’s concert, where he was singing the oratorio “Elijah” with a choir. It was very excellent, and I actually recognized more music from it than I thought I would. Nobody knows that particular oratorio, but it’s really neat. It inspired both Mom and me to re-read the parts of 1st and 2nd Kings that talk about Elijah. Pretty neat, especially when he makes fun of the priests of Baal. “Maybe he’s on vacation, maybe he’s sleeping. Call louder!” (my paraphrasing there is extremely liberal.)

Mother’s Day I spent at my sister’s place in Clinton, where I got to feel all special as Nicole and Jake argued over who got to sit next to “fun aunt Megan” (all right, the “fun” in there might have been my imagination). My niece Ali just turned one and is totally adorable. All you have to do is stand her up as if helping her walk (which she doesn’t do yet) and she just laughs! It’s amazing! I’ve got cute nieces and nephews. I’ve just got a terrific family, as I realized yet again last weekend and yesterday while I chatted with my Grandma Kelly for close to half an hour.

Watched the extended version of Fellowship of the Ring last night at Kelly and Jeremie’s place. Wow, I haven’t watched that one in a long time, and I’m not sure I’d ever seen the full extended version, just parts. Lord of the Rings is not exactly a movie trilogy you can watch a lot within a short amount of time. And Fellowship always makes me a tad jumpy, because there are so many times when you don’t know who’s around the corner, waiting to stab you with a Morgul blade. (what a nerdy reference) But it was fun. We’re probably going to watch Two Towers next week.

In closing, let me leave you this scholarly tip: “No, Brian. It’s I before E except after C, and when sounding like A, as in neighbor and way, and on weekends and holidays and all throughout May, and you’ll always be wrong, no matter what you say!

With affection and alliteration, Megan.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oh, Auntie Em, There's No Place Like Portland!

They say that there's no place like home. That is especially true if you're from a home like Portland, Oregon. There really is no other place like it in the world. And that is a reason why I love it. It's insane, and it's weird, and most of the things people engage in there I would never do in my right mind, but Portland marches to its own beat and is exceptionally unique. If you want further proof of how strange a place Portland is, just read this little nugget from an Associated Press article entitled, "The chi of Portland: High weirdness in Nirvana":

"Acupuncture is not just for people. It's also for cities--if the city is Portland.

"Adam Kuby has stuck a 23-foot needle into the ground down by the Willamette River and hopes to plant more, choosing locations where he figures the city's 'chi,' or vital energy, needs some help.

"Unusual? You bet. Unusual for Portland? Not really."

Follow this link to read the entire article. Believe me, it's completely worth a perusal, especially if you're from Oregon. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=3232705

Really, where else on the earth would someone think of acupuncture for a city? It's a crazy place. Half the time, I don't know what to think of it. And again, I am far too conservative personally to ever participate in a lot of, if not most, events that are Portland-esque, but you can't help but glory in its individuality, personality, and sheer weirdness. I love the diversity of Portland, and I love its ability to throw caution to the wind and yet still be "one of the nation's more livable cities, listed among the best places to have a baby, grow old, go for a walk, ride a bike, take a jog, breathe clean air, own a dog, take public transportation, start a business (green or otherwise), go out for dinner or not get mugged."

So call me biased, call me weird, but I don't really care. You may go bug-eyed when you see the bumper stickers that read, "Keep Portland Weird", but I just smile, shrug, and say, "Hey, that's Portland. That's home. Isn't it great?"

With affection and alliteration (and a little bit of oddity), Megan.