Book of Mormon and the battle for Moscow

Slowly, the ratio in this town of good people versus horribly awful people is going off-kilter again now that the school year is beginning.  I would hate to generalize, but it’s something I noticed myself when I was their age – 18-year-olds are just so oblivious.  Bless their little hearts, I can see into each of their future’s.

That girl with the necklace, emblazoned with an engraving of the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple, she was a freshman, and when I told her I wouldn’t be in that job this spring semester, she asked me if I was retiring.  I shuddered to think how old she thought I was.  The kid whose parents are still e-mailing me for them a week before classes start – attention all parents: you should have absolutely nothing to do with a child’s college advising.  Support them, tour with them, help them with finances and financial aid, but never, ever e-mail their professors or department.  Oh and that blond girl who smelled like a baby prostitute and couldn’t remember where her audition was?  She was sweet enough, and I wished I was able to answer her questions, but her nervous energy just made me cringe, so thankful I am not that age anymore.

Basically, to sum it up, this time of year is an emotional roller coaster for me.  But Sean Astin, THE Sean Astin, as in the Goonies, Rudy and SAMWISE GAMGEE IN LORD OF THE RINGS, spoke at our University yesterday and the Marching Band performed for him.  Unprompted during an interview after, he complimented them so much, so generously and so sincerely that I was happy.  At work, that’s an accomplishment.


Okay, rant over, drop the mic.

B and I went to the Book of Mormon and oh my, was it the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on stage.  I shuddered to think of the conservative people in the audience, the religious people without a sense of humor, or even worse, if actual Mormons attended, not realizing the play’s message.  It was well-written, funny, the songs were beautiful and the acting was perfect – as a west coaster who has to see everything off-broadway, and as a huge enthusiast of theatre, the traveling actors for these productions are so talented that I never feel like I am getting something second-best.  Plus, a colleague was playing trombone in the orchestra, so I felt close to the production in an offbeat way.


Which came first?



Today, I wondered constantly – which came first, my bad mood or the bad day? Was my day bad because I woke up in a bad mood, or did I wake up in a bad mood knowing deep down inside that something bad was coming?

Either way, wondering doesn’t matter because it was just bad.  Sleep-deprived, I tried my hardest to get through the day, but one thing after another and I left feeling defeated.

This summer has been the fastest in the history of my life.  And after today, I’ll be glad to see August go.

The beginning of the end

View More:

(Alejandra Maria Photography)

Things are winding way down in Moscow and there are few of us left.  B takes our friend Nick to Boise tomorrow, then he’s off to Thailand in ten days.  Connie leaves for China in under a month, and Haley and Sol will move to Los Angeles soon.  We will be the last ones here come December, saying goodbye to a cold and empty Moscow.

Until then, it will be an exciting, anxious, kid-on-Christmas-Eve vibe nonstop around here.

In one month, I officiate my first wedding, marrying two of my dearest friends.  Officiating was a by-product of my real labor-of-love, helping the bride plan her wedding.

After our wedding, I felt proud of what I had accomplished.  When B proposed, there were two things I was excited about – marrying Bryan and planning a great event.  The actual wedding went by in a blur and I can barely remember the details, but we received so much positive feedback, tons of guests gushing about it being the best wedding they had ever been to.  I’ve worked in event coordination for nearly ten years now, first on the catering side of things, then on the planning side.  I know a lot and best of all, I subscribe strongly to the old fashioned values of being a good hostess, feeding friends and family, and gathering.  The act of gathering bears strong social and cultural significance, and it is something I have always been oddly and overly interested in.

When Milo and Riannon got engaged over Christmas after our wedding, I immediately offered my services to Riannon.  I told her I would help in any way she needed, and provide any and all help on the big day.  I am so honored they chose me to be the officiator – writing the vows was very personal for me and I’m so excited to stand up there with them.  Even more than that, I’m excited to take care of the details that they shouldn’t have to worry about, making sure guests are where they should be, everyone important is present for the big moments, and things stay stress-free.

Hopefully, after I help enough friends with wedding planning, I can start to do it professionally.  But for now, I’m happy donating my time for something I love to do.  I encourage every one of my friends to please get married immediately so that I’m never without a wedding to coordinate.



I’m back in the land of the living

It feels good to be back in this sacred space of mine where I can escape all the woes of this world and just be me.

Where have I been?  Unfortunately, nowhere cool.  At home, mostly on the couch or in bed, mostly in a pain-pill coma, and mostly just really depressed.

I got my wisdom teeth out mid-July, and what was a routine surgery that went perfect turned into my own personal hell on earth in the following days.  Dry socket pain is absolutely no joke.  What turned into only two days off of work became a week of unpaid medical leave, which will be a whole OTHER kind of pain when I get that paycheck next week.

Since healing, I feel such an exuberance for life that can only be attained by being a bed-ridden zombie for so long.  For 10 days straight, I woke up crying, telling B that I didn’t think it would ever end, and maybe I would just have to learn to live with this pain.  He assured me it would get better, and it did.  But I learned how desperate I can become when nothing changes after days on end – I expect change.  When I’m sick with the flu or strep throat or this whole wisdom teeth debacle, I want to feel different when I wake up.  And that’s really how I am about life – I know change is inevitable, therefore I expect it, I crave it, I open my doors to it always.

So much happened over this month I’ve been gone, and I will be getting to it all.  But for now, I’m back, I’m not in pain, I’m almost caught up on the avalanche of backed up work from my absence, and I’m ready to rock this bitch.


Quick little shout out to my handsome husband (this pic taken last weekend in Sandpoint) – he took such great care of me, put up with so many mood swings and childish fits, brought me sustenance and medicine, dropped everything to get me a milkshake when I wanted it, and all with so much love and no resentment or annoyance.  I love this man so much, it’s nauseating.



Stone fruits



I found out about a year ago that I am allergic to stone fruits.  I brought a sandwich bag of cherries to work and by the last cherry I could barely see and was itchy from my throat all the way to the back of ears.  After some internet research, I found that being allergic to stone fruits is a common allergy to develop later in life.  Peaches often made me feel equally itchy, but I believed it was because of the fuzzy skin which is more likely to retain pesticide residual, even after a thorough washing.  No, it’s because it’s a stone fruit as well.  Every one of my favorite fruits is a stone fruit, and I can enjoy them no longer.

I came home the other day to a beautiful bowl piled high with Rainier cherries.  B seemed so please, knowing I love fresh fruit, but alas, I had either never told him about this newfound aversion, or I told him when he was preoccupied and he never retained it.  I thought, what the hell, I’ll give it another shot, maybe it was something else entirely.  Sure enough, one cherry in and I had a bitter taste in my throat for hours and an itch in my face and throat through the night.  Sad, sad day.

Enjoy your cherries as long as you can!



Some changes

Every year I age, I become more adept at sensing change – changes in myself, changes in the world around me, or the opposite of change, a rut, a need for change, new challenges and roadblocks and joys and fears.

“Some changes happen deep down inside of you.  And the truth is, only you know about them.” Judy Blume said that.

I feel myself changing deep down.  Not in any noticeable way, or tangible way.  I feel as though my bones are harder, my sensibilities keener, a sharpen in everything around me.  I’m preparing to leave this place.  I’ve outgrown it and the next few months here will feel like walking around in overalls six sizes too small.  I used to love when I first lived here, going to the grocery store in the worst shape and not caring because you didn’t know a soul in town.  Now, I can’t even go to the gas station without seeing someone I know.  I don’t want that – a lot of my time in public is spent dodging people I know, and that’s a fact.

After Bryan graduates, we will have maxed out our opportunities in this college town.  We will be leaving with two Bachelors and a Masters degree, a dog, a marriage, and the best memories.  I never want to stop reflecting on these changes in my life, I never want to hide them or fight them or fear them.  This will be my ninth year here and I know when my soul needs a good ol’ classic shakedown.


My love hate relationship with Refinery 29

Any gal with good taste knows Refinery 29 is a wonderful resource for health tips, news, and style.  Following them on Pinterest made it even easier to pick and choose what articles I want to read instead of cruising their homepage throughout the day.  Let’s be honest, I’m most likely already on Pinterest, so that makes one less website to worry about.

Okay, so I love Refinery 29.

But some of their copy is downright idiotic, and I’m already planning a follow-up post about how out of hand the term DIY has become.


Today, I read a Refinery 29 article called “8 Gross Beauty Problems (We’re Going There!)”.  It’s obviously an intriguing prospect, but it fell completely short of real problems that are so gross that we should be shocked that they are “going there”.  They discussed problems like sties, the female mustache, and cysts.  Cysts!  So many of the problems were things that everybody experiences, and sties and cysts are part of being a human, not having a beauty problem.


So this post is for the one problem they left out, the problem plaguing all women on a hot summer day who proudly lack the thigh gap – chafing.  Things are about to get real ladies.

Chafing can happen anywhere from the thighs to the armpits and in between (the boobs, in case that wasn’t clear).  I’m a huge fan of finding the best solution for chafing and science never lies – silicone or petroleum jellies, or powder.  I’m not interested in smelling like an old lady or a baby, so the products above from LUSH are really the greatest things ever.

They also have multiple uses – dust them on your pillows for a dose of aromatherapy at bedtime, or use them as actual deodorant instead of the typical antiperspirant you are using.   I also have the dry shampoo from LUSH and really, because their products are fresh made and completely natural, any of them can be used as dry shampoo, or chafing powder, or linen freshener.

Check them out if you have this actual gross, don’t-go-there problem called summer chafing.

And be warned, Refinery 29 and I will have more words soon – some words of love, others not so much.