Sunday, May 30, 2010

Life is a Highway; I Want to Drive It

You know you feel dirty when you walk into a Maverick and think, "Paradise! It's so clean!" And that was after just a day of "roughin' it". I went down to southern Utah with Betsey, Lisa, and Sharalyn for the last couple of days, and it was the quite the experience. Being Memorial Day weekend and this a somewhat-last-minute idea, there were no camping-ground spots available for us gals around Moab. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never camped adventurously, unlike a couple of the girls I was with, so I have to admit that I was a tad nervous (i.e., scared) when we found our first spot for the night, far away from man and plumbing facilities. (probably about twenty miles south of moab) Fortunately, we didn't get attacked either of the nights, so I'd say it was a success camping "in the wild". And boy, did we have fun setting up the tent in the wind, especially the second night. What an adventure! (i'd love to say i had a fabulous attitude throughout ... that would be a lie ... i let my nervousness win out for a while ... gotta work on that ...)

First camping location and morning "looks"
I'm the lump in red, Sharalyn you can see, and then Lisa 

Our chief purpose in driving down was to make a trip to Four Corners, the only place in the United States where four states meet (utah, colorado, new mexico, arizona). We headed down from our first camping spot on Saturday morning, stopped by the Monticello temple for a quick photo opp, and had a nice chat with a friendly fellow who lives across the street from the temple. When we told him we were heading for Four Corners, he immediately asked, "Why?" and proceeded to tell us about other places that would be far more worthwhile to visit. Nothing daunted, we still were determined to make the drive there and then visit other pretty places with the rest of the time we had in the day.

Once we arrived, we realized that the guy was probably right in warning us away. Why? Because the dang monument was CLOSED! We had a pretty good laugh at our expense and still took pictures. Really. We thought it was more funny than anything when we saw the sign. And we probably wouldn't have stayed there much longer than we did, anyway; we just didn't get to be officially in four places at once. Oh, well. The laugh was worth it.

From there, we wound our way back north and headed to Canyonlands Nat'l Park. We took a short hike on the sliprock to see some pretty fantastic views. I was amazed at how quiet it was. Because we were there in the pretty late afternoon, most of the traffic of hikers had probably been there and gone, wanting to avoid the hotter part of the day. It was just beautiful. I'll need to go back just for Canyonlands, because we barely made a dent in what we could have seen there.

 Before the hike at Canyonlands
Me and the Needles
Pointing things out
Taking a quick rest in the shade

We made camp Saturday night a few miles from Dead Horse Point, north of Moab, where I got a tad jumpy after hearing a rattling sound when I retrieved my sleeping bag from the car. My friends calmed me down, but I was careful to not walk anywhere by myself the rest of the night. Wasn't difficult, considering we all stuck to the fire before retiring to bed. (and yes, i know i'm a wimp ... i'll try to be better ... i think i'm better at camping when it's in a designated campground and i don't have to squat behind a bush to use the facilities)

 Second camping place

Came back today after we made the final decision to not drive through Arches, which was still a possibility up until we packed the car for the fourth time. By the way, Betsey is a champion car-packer. I was incredibly impressed by her organizational prowess. Lots of driving this weekend, but fun talks, random music sing-alongs, and beautiful scenery made it pretty worth it. Now I have the rest of the weekend to recover and sleep on something softer than a rock. 


"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong." -George Carlin

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Go to Sleep, You Little Baby

I've got a burning question on my mind. Why don't Americans have siestas?

From a combination of staying up too late, being pretty much on-the-go again this week, and spending four hours this morning raking and weeding in the Orem cemetery, I was exceedingly tired this afternoon and evening. Alas, I could not give in to my desires and even take a power nap, because again I was kept kind of busy and I knew that napping late in the afternoon would severely weaken my chances of a good night's sleep tonight. Oh, well. That just means I'll sleep really well tonight. I hope. Heaven knows I hardly even remember turning off my lamp last night.

 Garfield has it right.

Whatever happened to the days that I could stay up until or past midnight with the greatest of ease? Or at least could do so without feeling like I was going to collapse from exhaustion the next day. My, ahem, ... older ... readers may scoff, but this is one habit in which I can tell I'm getting old. I want to go to bed at a decent hour. I want to get a good night's rest. I want a steady bedtime. In some ways, I would love to be three years old again and take a nap in the middle of the afternoon. And I know several people who would gladly stand up with me in agreement (or lie down with a blanket, as the case may be). Which brings us back to the opening question: why don't we have siestas? Just food for thought.

I'd love to think that I'll be able to catch up on sleep this weekend. That won't happen. I'm going camping with my roommates, and despite my best efforts, I never sleep my best in a tent. I sleep, but never as much as I need to. Give me a real mattress any day. Don't get me wrong; I'm looking forward to the trip. It'll be great fun. I'll just really miss my mattress. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.


"When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, 'Did you sleep good?' I said, 'No. I made a few mistakes.'" -Steven Wright

Monday, May 24, 2010

In the Snowy Treetops

Before I begin, I just want to say thanks to those of you who gave me some excellent meal ideas: Tara, Becky, Emily, and Cami. Y'all rock, and I totally appreciate the input. And Jay, I'm still waiting on that recipe you told me you wanted to give me. -wink, wink- That being said, tonight is the first night I actually get to implement my meal planning. I was going to start last week and had it written down in my planner and everything ... and then the week happened.

My pen pal, Nathanael, decided to drop in and surprise me (and boy, did he succeed at surprising ... thanks for helping him out, sylvia) on Tuesday. Let me tell ya, it was the gasp heard 'round the world when he tapped me on the shoulder. Apparently, my face was priceless, but I guess I won't know exactly what it looked like until I get to watch my life in review in the afterlife. That ought to make for fun viewing. Anyway, after a month of correspondence, it was nice to finally meet him and really put the face with the voice. He was around for a couple of days, so my week ended up taking a pretty unexpected turn (which meant my meal schedule went out the window), but a pretty good turn.

The weekend wasn't terribly exciting, but after a busy week of being on-the-go, it was nice to relax a bit. Went out for ice cream with Jay on Friday night and ate brownies with Sharalyn on Saturday night. Sharalyn and I actually managed to watch three different movies in the course of an hour once we returned from our walk that evening. We began by watching Legend, but when we took a break after about half an hour to get the brownies out of the oven, we both agreed that not finishing the movie seemed to be a better option than, let's say ... finishing the movie. So we browsed around the tv channels and started watching Leave Her to Heaven, but the instant we thought that Gene Tierney was going to let her handicapped brother-in-law die, we immediately switched the channel, not wanting to watch that. Ended up on Step Up, which we all know is just amazing and wonderful cinema, but by the time we rolled onto that, it was getting later in the evening, so we didn't watch it for too long before Sharalyn said it was bedtime. snapping fingers And I was so looking forward to finishing that movie.

After church yesterday, took a drive down to Payson for cousin Scott's birthday bbq, which was good. Got to meet the newest member of the family, Bristol (sam and beck's little girl), as well, so hooray! I don't see Scott and Michelle nearly as often as I should, which is what I say about all of my cousins (and sister) that live within an hour of where I live. So I was glad that I was provided with an opportunity to see the family, even if I did leave before anybody else so that I could make it home in time to watch the series finale of Lost. (which, by the way, i really liked.)

Then today. Back to the grindstone. IN SNOW. I can't think of a single person who was glad about the weather today. It took a few hours this morning for the snow to turn to rain, so my office parking lot was pretty slushy for awhile. Of course, by the time I left work, much of the snow had melted and it was one of the rare sunny moments of the day, but good grief. Last year's freak snowstorm happened in mid-April. Why did this year's have to come a week before June?

And on that note, I'm going to make dinner.


"Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other." -Ann Landers

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Like to Eat, Eat, Eat Apples and Bananas

One of my frequent laments is that I never get as many comments on this blog as I wish I did. If nobody is reading this, why should I write anything? Now, I know that's unfair to those of you who do read this and just don't post comments, and it's not like I'm going to stop writing. Because really ... I like it too much to stop. However, I am sincerely hoping that this post generates some feedback, because I need some good suggestions, people!

I am making the goal ... once again ... to plan my meals. This is all in an effort to be more healthy, as we all know I don't always succeed at being. Here's the problem: I can only ever come up with about a week's worth of meals when I plan. I am not creative. I love lots of kinds of food, and I'll eat creative meals; I just don't think of them on my own. So I need help! Suggestions, recipes, anything. If you like to eat it, tell me about it! Because I shouldn't be eating pasta and broccoli every night. (or wendy's, for that matter.) I know you're thinking, "What's in it for me?" You will get a special shout-out on this, my blog. How's that for fantastic motivation?!?!?

I've got to eat, people. And I know you are all wonderful eaters, too, so I look forward to your suggestions. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get back to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and volleyball.


"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." -Mark Twain

Monday, May 10, 2010

Glad Songs Arise

Weekends with the family are always pretty fun, but this weekend was extra-special. Why? Because I (along with my mom, sister, and grandfather) got to play the Tabernacle organ in Salt Lake! Thanks to some music connections of my mother's, one of the organists stayed with my parents during his sojourn in Portland last weekend, and he invited my mother to come and play the organ when my parents were going to be in Utah. Needless to say, Mom knew that we would want to be a part of this. We met up at Temple Square on Friday morning and got to play!!!! Bro. Christianson seemed to have just as much fun as we did, running from side to side, pushing the different stops to show everyone the various sounds. What a great experience!

The rest of the weekend was spent at Kelly's, where family events took up the rest of the time. Gotta love it when your nieces and nephews are going crazy and wanting you to join in the fun.

Aww, look how cute.

In other news, still waiting on some consistent-ish weather to come Utah's way. Let me be more specific: consistent-ish nice weather. Good luck to us who wait.


"Oh, there are the usual things ... flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep." -Cogsworth 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life's Like a Movie; Write Your Own Ending

What do the Muppets seem to be missing? There are weirdos, monsters, rampaging pigs, and heckling old men galore. There are explosions, flying motorcycles, and precarious sets that come crashing to the floor without a moment's notice. There are running gags, whoopee cushions, and woman-chasing drummers. So what are they missing, judging from this (obviously) abridged list of sometimes-tacky characteristics? Maybe just a touch of class.

Enter Rowlf the Dog.

Now, don't get me wrong. Rowlf makes silly puns, both as himself and as Dr. Bob, the "quack who's gone to the dogs" in Veterinarian's Hospital. In fact, Rowlf had his down-to-earth, slightly "punny" personality long before The Muppet Show came into existence. As the Muppets' first nationally recognized character from his stint on The Jimmy Dean Show, Rowlf became a lovable star, thanks to his somewhat sarcastic remarks and humorous exchanges with Jimmy Dean (pre-sausage fame), even receiving more fan mail than Jimmy himself. Long after these interactions, he still would use his "canine humor" to tell Fozzie that he'd been "chasing the truck all the way, and boy, am I exhausted." And if Rowlf didn't have that kind of a persona, he probably wouldn't be my favorite.

(A sarcastic piano player? Big wonder why he's Megan's favorite Muppet.)

But Rowlf isn't just a facetious pup. He's a classy musician, who brings such acts to the Muppet Theater as Beethoven's "Fur Elise" and Gilbert and Sullivan's "Tit Willow". There are other musicians in the Muppet realm, sure (dr. teeth and the electric mayhem, anyone?), but Rowlf is the true connoisseur of fine music. He encourages Fozzie to help him play "English Country Garden" and admires the fantastic work of one Victor Borge, with whom he plays (a version of) Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

Let's not be afraid to be silly, everyone. Let's not be afraid to take those risks that others will say we're probably crazy to take. Maybe we are crazy. The Muppets sure are. But let's do it with a little class, too. Take a lesson from Rowlf and, by extension, from the imaginative and talented creator of the Muppets, who gave Rowlf his voice, Mr. Jim Henson himself. As his son recalled, "Kermit was my father's best known character, but a lot of people think he was more like Rowlf in real life ... except he couldn't play the piano as well." Let's push the boundaries of what we think we can do, but let's not forget to appreciate the finer things that add so much to life's sweetness.

 Frank Oz and Jim Henson with Rowlf


"I go home, read a book, have a couple of beers, take myself for a walk and go to bed." -Rowlf the Dog