Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Internet Box of Chocolates

Moo and The Geologist came to the FP to visit us today. Woohoo!

I gave her a "hard copy" of this card (which I purchased at Walmart, in case you need one of your very own to hold and love and cherish).

In return she gave me a hug and showed me a blog in which a very crafty woman makes beautiful things, such as a gown, and then gives them away (e.g. Musette Bracelet GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!) Mostly we were oooing and ahhing over the thrill it would be to have a gown like this, especially when we were kids and had plenty of occasions for wearing such a dress.

In other news, my friend Jamila and her brother also made a detour to the FP and stayed the night with us. They showed me this comedian, and I in turn showed them this one.

Then my brother sent me this link to the Cars Toons (as short films about the characters from the Disney/Pixar movie Cars).

And, because I'm sharing all my internet loves right now, I'll throw this one in too. This wonderful man has taken the time to make videos of himself playing popular songs, then breaking down the fingerings so that you can learn how to play the songs yourself. I'm not much of a piano player, but I can pick up songs when someone shows me the fingering. And thus I did a little dance when I found out I could have my very own private tutoring session for Freee. Now if I could just find a piano....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Firsts, Both Involving Vehicles

1. I got pulled over.
On official Young Women business (Young Women: the organization at my church for teenage girls. I was playing Camp Leader for the Young Women in my congregation) But, it's not as bad as it could have been (such as the time that I turned into oncoming traffic, again, on Young Women business, because how was I to know that the street was divided what with Tucson refusing to provide streetlights!)

This is how it went down. My car's headlight was out, which, no big deal, right? People get to call out "padiddle"and I cause much joy for those people. And since I was on my way to Town for said Young Women business, I planned to get the light fixed the next day anyway.

But, nooo. The Town I went to is in the middle of a budget crisis, or else their police officers are extra-enthusiastic or bored (or all three). So, there I was, in an unfamiliar part of town, trying to find my way in the dark, my google map printout in one hand, my steering wheel in the other when I notice (and thank heaven I noticed!) flashing lights in my rear view mirror.

I guessed that my headlight was the reason I was being pulled over. (One can never be sure until the officer tells you why, but my dibs was the headlight). I was annoyed by this because (a) aside from the headlight, I was being a model driver (b) I was on the verge of being lost as it was and was already plenty tense (c) I've managed to get this far in life without being pulled over and, he was wrecking my track record over a HEADLIGHT?!.

So, in good news, the officer was pleasant, though somewhat nosy.

Now. This is the part my law school self is slightly conflicted about. As he's asking me what my destination is, and I'm hurriedly trying to remember the name of the people I'm going to see (I'd only chatted on the phone with them once)... I'm also furiously trying to remember the state of the law on this point.

Was I free to tell him to get lost, none of your business, just give me my ticket/warning or whatever and leave me alone, OR was I obligated to answer? (Now that I'm in a non-stressed state of mind I'm pretty sure I could have told him None of Your Beeswax Mr. Officer, Sir. But, the world of Reasonable Suspicion and attendant questions is a Very Mushy part of the legal spectrum and, understandably, I didn't want to run afoul of it.)

Anyway, I was too worried to tell him to get lost...which leads to my next point: I didn't KNOW my destination, having never been there before, having no idea what the address was. I said, "Actually, I'm going here." And handed him my goolgle maps print out.

At that moment I realized how sketchy any answers I gave him after that were going to sound. I didn't really know the names of the people I was going to see, I didn't know where they lived, I'd never met them before...this sounds just like the kind of answers that criminals make up, ahem, I mean, "give" all the time when questioned by police officers.

Believe me, statements such as, "I'm going to see a friend whose name is Friend, and sometimes Jack, but mostly Friend, and who I can't give more information about as I just met him today, but I promise, he's my best friend. Oh, and this is his car and so is anything else in it," are highly suspect.

Also note how I have a teenage girl in my car who looks nothing like me (she's darker skinned and has a Brazilian accent). Also note that her name has also conveniently slipped from my mind as soon as the questions started.

This is my story: we're going to spend the night with people from church. Right, the same church even though we live in a completely different and distant town. We've never met said people before, but it's ok, because I'm staying there too. And the reason we're staying the night is so that she (note I didn't use her name) can go hiking tomorrow. Hence the gigantic backpack in the back seat. And no, I'm not going hiking too, I just came to drop her off.

If you know anything about Mormons and/or girls' camp, the story doesn't sound all that implausible. But, viewed with an impartial, non-mormon eye, if someone told me that story I'd be skeptical.

And, of course, my out loud version sounded much less concise and there were a lot more "ums" and "errrs" and pauses and blinks, while I tried to assemble coherent sentences while my unhelpful brain was firing off things like: now he's looking around the interior of the car for open beer bottles and drug paraphernalia, now he's smelling for any odor of intoxicants, now he's looking to see if my eyes are watery and bloodshot.

Then a second officer (because I'm the kind of stopee that requires backup) pulled up and came around to the passenger side (while the first was still talking to me) and began shining his flashlight in the windows.

At this point, my sense of worry maxxed out and I almost said, "Look, I want to leave now. And if you pull the old, 'Can I just search your car really quick before you go' routine, my answer will be, ABSOLUTELY NO YOU MAY NOT. And I hope you spend the rest of the night wondering what it was you would have found had you searched my trunk. Byeee.")

But, I was hyperventilating, and he only issued me a work order and let me go on my not so merry way.

And thus, I have officially been pulled over. The one good thing about the event is that the family we stayed with turned out to be AWESOME times TEN! I had a wonderful time with them so much so that all bad feelings of being pulled over were canceled out.

2. I was in a car accident. Not serious, thankfully.

In fact, all that is broken is The Rock's truck's taillight. And it totally wasn't my fault at all! (huge sigh of relief).

The girl who backed into the taillight said, "I'm so sorry! I thought you had left [/moved] already."

Blink, blink.

Are you joking?! You weren't looking as you backed up because you thought I wasn't there anymore?!!! WAH!

So, she gave me her info, and we did not call the police, because, it's a taillight.

Famous last words, right? At the autoparts store they quoted it at $170! Thanks to the internets, I found one for $70ish. So, either I misheard the guys at the auto parts store or else their store is a total ripoff.

So, now I'm wondering, what if she wants her insurance to pay for it, but they won't because we didn't get a police report? What then? Never having been in an accident (which, technically, does this qualify as an accident since mostly it was someone being careless. I mean, she didn't say, "OH I accidentally forgot to look behind me." No. She chose not to look behind her. Hmm.) I don't know this sort of thing. And, also, the thought of dealing with an insurance company fills me with dread. Hours of phone calls and paperwork...no thank you.

Well, it's a little too late to do the police report thing now, I hope it all works out for the best.

Oh, and that also means that officially, I've been in a car "accident" live and in person. My very first.

Check those two firsts off my list. I think I've had enough of those kind for a while. The next one I have lined up (note that I'm instigating it of my own accord, which already makes it more desireable) is to cook BBQ chicken...bone in. (gasp!) That's more my kind of First.
--Lu

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is What I Get for Excercising

Because I've been sitting in front of the computer tonight for hours the Rock suggested (kindly, mind you) that I maybe do something that did not involve sitting in front of the computer (he can say things like that because (a) he's so stinkin' good looking (b) he is amazingly athletic and was on his way to racquetball even as he made the suggestion, so he is in no way a hypocrite (c) he almost never makes suggestions as to what I should or should not be doing (d) he knows I'll hate myself later for all the time I spent glued to the computer).

And so, in a fit of goodness I first tackled some laundry and then, inspired by the adrenaline rush that is Folding Clothes, I up and hied myself over to the track to do a little jogging.

It was such a lovely night out, what with the stars and the breeze and the not 115 degree weather that I seriously considered twirling the whole length of the football field. But, alas, there were other people present, and I didn't relish the idea of spectators.

So, after panting around the track for a while I hopped in my car (which, can I tell you...I left the window down and my keys on the front seat and NO ONE STOLE MY CAR! I love the FP!) and on a whim decided to go for a short drive (with the windows down and the music up, of course).

What I hadn't counted on was getting a FLAT TIRE (boo, hiss). Unlike other times when I've gotten a flat, I actually wasn't an hour from help in the middle of the summer, nor was I on my way to a job interview, nor did the flat occur on one of those single lane ramps that cross over the mess of other freeway lanes below. So. I counted myself mostly lucky and got home just fine on my now Very Flat Tire.

So, I get to keep up my Workout Enthusiasm by riding my bike to work tomorrow. (and, truth be told, it's a sad, sad thing that I don't already ride my bike there everyday because, (don't hate me for this) my workplace is less than a mile from my house).

The moral of this tale is: ride your bike to work from the start so your car won't have to harm itself to make it's point about Going Green. --Lu

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I SAW IT!

Check these off my list of Fun Things to Do This Year:

See HP6 (why was I one of the only people in the theater who thought it was FUNNY? Oh well.)

See Wicked. (sigh)

Next up: Go to Boston in the Fall.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Surprise!


HP6 is in THEATERS! WHAT?!


Yes, I was the girl who blocked off the day in my planner for the opening date of HP6 when it was in November (remember that debacle? And how Twilight tried to supplement the loss by moving into the old HP date?). I was the girl who sighed over how far away the movie was when it was still scheduled for that Novemeber date, and I was the girl who was Very Upset by the shift all the way to JULY! (are you joking?! That was an eternity away.)

I was the girl who asked that my birthday present be tickets to see HP6 even though I would have to wait 3 months to get them. And I was the girl who started asking for that birthday present 6 months before my birthday. And I was the girl who drove her husband crazy with HP talk (though it was a cheerful road as he got plenty of good teasing time in).


And, yes, I am the girl who just now realized that Harry's latest flick has been out in theaters for a few days now...and I didn't even know it. In February I could tell you the exact date the movie was coming out. I could tell you how thrilled I was to see it. How I was going to make a paper chain to count down the days (not really, but I was that kind of excited).

Somewhere in the mess that has been the month of July, I lost track completely of HP6 and just now as I was looking up something completely different on YouTube, I saw an add for The Movie.

It felt like the time I slept through my first class of the day, but didn't realize I was late. I got to the hallway of my class and saw a few too many of my classmates walking in the wrong direction and then, in a moment worthy of a movie, I glanced up at the clock and stopped dead in my tracks. Twilight Zone music played in my ears and I thought for a small moment that time had flashed forward an hour instantaneously.

And when I realized what had happened, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of indignation. I had been gypped out of a WHOLE HOUR of my life! (except that I had been asleep during that hour, so technically I had gotten a much needed benefit, unintentional though it was).

So now that my indignation at HP6's audacious sneaking is wearing down, I've got to figure out when I can make it to Town to see The Movie... I can hardly wait!

--Lu

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bartimaeus

Want a funny and enjoyable summer read? Check out the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.



I read the trilogy earlier this year, and now I'm reading it aloud to The Rock (I like reading aloud and he's sweet enough to indulge me). He likes the books enough to regularly request that I read to him. It's hard to leave the characters in their predicaments not know what's going to happen (hence, I pulled a few late nights to finish the books quickly because my sense of Patience is not as strong as his). Plus, the books keep us laughing.

The books recount the adventures of a young magician, Nathaniel, and the djinn who serves him, Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus (whose name should be said to the tune of Rock Me Amadaeus), is hilarious and slightly cynical and makes the books a delight to read. The books are also wonderful because despite the silliness, the underlying issues are serious. What are the consequences of revenge? How do you deal with the consequences of your choices when the results far more serious than you imagined? How do you change the world when it seems impossible? What do you do when the cause you're fighting for turns out to be ineffective, or worse, is corrupt?

I love too that the characters are flawed: they are all (usually) struggling to do what's right, even though they don't always succeed. They're learning as they go, and as a reader, you see their progression, cheer them on, get fed up with them...all without the author shoving a moral down your throat. In short, these are fun stories that delve beyond mere entertainment. I heartily recommend them.

--Lu