Monday, September 24

Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200.

A couple nights ago, I saw a television ad that could have fallen under the category of "shock and awe". I sat there, jaw dropped, unable to speak. When I finally remembered I had vocal cords, I still couldn't create whole sentences; they were more like noises and incoherant babblings. They sounded like, "ahhhhh" and "huuuuh" and "boooooooooo". OK, I did manage to squeak one word out that could be found in the dictionary. Except mine had way more "O's" at the end than Mr. Samuel Johnson ever intended it to have.

Before I tell you what my eyes were subjected to, a little background. I hate change. Hate it. Just when you get in the groove of something, it goes and changes itself. (Yes, I am a big fan of the book Who Moved My Cheese. I almost bought it at the Atlanta airport when I knew I needed a refresher course. But the penny-pincher in me beat up the change-hater in me, so I checked it out from the library when I got home.) I'm also a fan of tradtion. A bride should not see the groom before the wedding. Pizza should be eaten on Saturday nights. The Blazers should not reach the playoffs. Orange Fruit Loops should be eaten last.

Which brings me to the ad that has me in a tizzy, the all new board game: Electronic Monopoly! No more money! Visa logos! Batteries not included! What kind of crap is this?? And don't even get me started on the new playing pieces. Monopoly. . .without paper money?? Are you kidding me?? What's wrong with paper money? Yeah, it does help kids with math. Yeah, it is more fun when your stacks are visibly higher than those of your friends. What is it now: I have a bigger total number than you? whoopee! I would never turn in my $100 dollar bills because they were made on a different kind of paper (shinier & smoother) than the other denomonations. I never turned them in for $500's. This way I could psych my sister out and make her think I had more money simply because I had more bills. I love how they're all so organized under your side of the board at the beginning and mixed up as all get-out by the time the game was over 13 hours later. I know we use debit cards more and more and I realize that cash is being used less and less. But I spend 8 hours a day looking at a computer, then I may watch TV at home. Do I really want to play a board game that has me pressing buttons and looking at screens? The correct answer is no. I can just picture my kids playing this game and asking me to reminisce about the days when Monopoly had money, poker was played with actual cards, not on the internet and when I stopped being cool in general (1993, FYI).

I learned today that I am an old fuddy-duddy.

Sunday, September 23

Creating a line for the bathroom

Here were some of the more hilarous quotes from this weekend. . .taken totally out of context of course:

Girl 1: "Em Em Bop"
Boy 1: "Do you mean MmBop?

Girl 1 in faint whisper: "Is that sexual?"

Girl 2 in quizzical/disbelieving tone: "Do they really use those?"

I learned this weekend that I totally have middle child syndrome.

Good Thing I Have Pictures To Remember It By

I am hereby calling for a world-wide ban on The Grotto, effective immediately.

Don't ask me why, but trust me, the reason is warranted.

Friday, September 21

What the poo?

It's a great question. It has multi-purpose uses. It can be used in any of a number of scenarios. It's good for a laugh for those who haven't heard it. And best of all, it can be said in front of anyone. . .including my psuedo-niece who, although can't understand a word of what anyone says (because she's 2 months old) she still has a firm grasp of the concept of poo.

I cannot believe the amount of times I hear swear words throughout the day. At work, at school, at any store, on the soccer field, it goes on and on and on. Can someone please explain to me the value of swearing? Can someone please tell me how it makes you "cooler"? It does me no good to hear about your ____ parents, or your dissappointment when you miss a shot on goal, or when you drop something, or describing an ex. (You're the one who CHOSE to go out with them, remember?) It actually makes things worse. If you swear around me, I pretty much stop listen. I can pretty much guarantee that instead of processing what you're saying and how I'm going to decide if I'm going to response and how, I am now thinking: oh my goodness, why did that person just swear when we're swapping auto horror stories. Could it really have been that bad? Was I just subjected to lazy vocabulary? That probably means they're going to do it again huh?

Can someone explain to the rest of the world that, although you hit a yellow light, it's only going to slow you down by 2 minutes at the most. Next time, leave 2 minutes earlier. (myself included) I have always said that the only time I swear is in traffic. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's because I seem to be the most competant driver out there these days. . .and even that's debatable from people who have been my passengers. Case in point: my sister's POV is something to the effect of: "You drive like an old woman." A friend's POV: "I want you to drive me to the hospital when I go into labor because you have a lead foot."

And even if you can't stop swearing, maybe try substitute words, or swearing in a foreign language to ween yourself off if you can't stop cold turkey. How about these suggestions: 'freakin', 'shite', 'bizzo', 'heck' and 'darn it' for starters. Once we've reached the substitution level, then we can discuss what's next. Here are some of my favorites that I like to use often: Holy Moly!, Good Gravy, Oh Gosh Yeah. . .and not forgetting the best one: What the poo?

Thursday, September 20

Getting ready for school

The first day of school is next week, and you know what that means: getting up early to make sure my hair is cute, laying out my outfit & packing my bag the night before, mom making me a special breakfast and knowing that there will be a note written in my sack lunch that mom’s also made. OK, maybe that was the case 20 years ago. Now things are just a little different. I will be getting up late because it’s a Monday and a biological fact that it’s harder for humans to get up on Monday mornings. We are genetically programmed to struggle on Mondays. Now you don’t have to feel so bad about hitting the snooze 12 times like yours truly. My hair will be the same way I do it every day when I make that all-important decision around 7:25 each morning: curlers or curling iron? I can guarantee you the outfit will NOT be laid out but I can also guarantee my bag will be packed the night before. Mom will not be available to make fun-shaped pancakes but instead I will enjoy a lovely spread of Egg Beaters, toast with cinnamon and Dannon’s Lite & Fit peach yogurt. And for the record, that’s just about the best breakfast any amateur chef could make at home. It gets even better on the weekends when you add 2 cups of coffee WITH Hazelnut coffee creamer. Oh, and it probably a safe bet that I won’t be riding a yellow bus.

Some things will be the same though. We’ll have to state our name in class, the degree we’re pursuing and probably some “fun fact” about ourselves. I always panic trying to think of something fun to say about myself. You don’t want to come off as arrogant, “I spent the summer being a raft guide at my uncle’s resort in Bali.” You don’t want to seem pretentious, “After getting my BS at Cornell and MBA at Warton. . .” You don’t want to seem boring, “Um, I can’t think of anything.” And you certainly don’t want to appear like everyone else, “I want to go into PCC’s nursing program.” So let’s have a brainstorming session, what is something cool about me that the rest of my 59 classmates would enjoy? Perhaps that I have access to all things Nike at half price. That I have climbed the real life Mt. Doom. That my eyebrows are totally funky and I have to cut them every other day. That I am so unsuccessful at being a greenthumb that I have actually killed a cactus – a feat Mother Nature herself has probably never accomplished. Or perhaps that my right foot is half a size larger than my left foot – again defying biological odds since I’m left-handed.

Today I’ve learned that I am a creature of habit. . .and that I like it!

Wednesday, September 19

Traffic Woes

Now that school is back in session, traffic has gotten worse. (Or maybe it's gone back to normal and the summer months are just a nice reprieve??) After commuting the entire length of Hwy 217 for the past 4 1/2 years, I have figured out exactly how to minimize your time spent in the gridlock that is Beaverton. We will start our tour at Exit 7 / 72nd exit heading north toward Hwy 26.

1. Merge as SOON as possible. This is NO joke. The longer you wait to merge, the less likely someone will let you in. And trust me, you do NOT, I repeat, do NOT want to stay in the exit lane and mess with the light on 99W. . .especially if you're turning left. That in itself should be a rule in general: Never get off 217 at the Hwy 99 exit exit and plan to turn left. Your youngest kid will graduate high school before that thing turns green.

2. Now that you are officially part of the 217-ers, get into the left hand lane. As you pass the Hwy 99 & Greenburg exits, the left hand lane will be moving faster (as it should be.)

3. This next step is kind of situational, so we'll break it up into part A and part B. When approaching the Scholls Ferry exit, look farther down the freeway. Do you see free flowing traffic and no brake lights? Great. You have lucked out and this is part A. Do you see brake lights in your lane ahead (the fast lane)? Get over into the right lane NOW! More people are getting off at the Scholls Ferry exit than getting on from the Greenburg exit, so there are way fewer cars. Now's your chance - make a run for it!

4. We now approach the Hall overpass and traffic is coming onto 217 but no one is getting off. You will now see millions of red lights. No, Christmas has not come early. Everyone has come to a stop - in both lanes. Now is the time to get back into the fast lane because from here on out, it will stay the fast lane. Try to do it before the Denny exit because that's when a lot of semis and construction trucks want to join the rush hour party. There's just something not fun about following a cement truck at 30 MPH.

5. Both lanes will experience a bit of a slow down approaching the Canyon, Beaverton-Hillsdale, TV-Hwy, exit but after that, it will be smooth sailing for both.

And that my friends is your Hwy 217 morning survival guide. I guarantee you'll shave at least 2 minutes off your commute, or your money back.

Oh, and on the way home, get in the left lane and stay there.

Wednesday, September 12

Viva Las Vegas!

Vegas in the summer?

Two words: White. Linen.

Some hottie Mctotties! (but where's Marge?)
To sum up the trip in a word: hot.

Tuesday, September 11

September 11th

September 11th

Each year on this day
I hope and pray
That we as Americans never become blase
About what happend when our loved ones were taken away.

"Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."
George Santayana, American poet & philosopher (1863-1952)

Monday, September 10

Kool 105.9

So I was at my good friends' house last night, just chillin' & chattin' away when I suddenly had to ask the question: What radio station is this? I desperately wanted to know because every time a new song came on I said to myself, "I LOVE this song." And the next thing I noticed was the blissful absence of DJ chatter and commercials. And the next thing I asked myself (see, there IS a lot going on in my head) was, "How the heck did my iPod make it on the air for all of Portland to hear?) My patience paid off when I heard 3 lovely ladies singing the stations call letter: KOOL 105.9.

And while we're here, let me pose a question: have you ever pictured those 3 ladies singing call station letters? Is that a real gig or what? I wonder how much they get paid? I wonder how much time it takes. Really. Each spot is approximately 5 seconds long. They can't be in the recording studio for more than 15 minutes can they? And is it really 3 different people or is it 1 person singing 3 different times?

And now back to the songs. Oh the songs! I associate most of my life by different songs. There are some songs I will NEVER listen to ever again and there are some that I will not let anyone change when they come on. Most of KOOL 105.9's songs have me flashing back to errands with my mom during summer in elementary school. She would load me and my sister up, (baggies of snacks at the ready) letting the date determine who got the front seat. Mom had a numbered list and we would cross things off, add and delete as the day went on. You could always count on a visit to the PTCU where the primary mission was restocking on free, orange, triangle pens. The trip usually ended at Ware-Mart on Western Ave. where I would choose chocolate malt balls from the bulk food as my treat. These would have to be consumed before they melted into one big blob since it was now late afternoon and the sun was at its hottest.

What I wouldn't give now for someone to chauffeur me around, give me free pens, buy me treats just for sitting in the car and let me listen to some Cindy Lauper.

Of course, ask my mom and she won't remember any of this. She refers to those days as "The Lost Years." Man, did she miss out!

Lesson learned today: I really miss my dog. I know it has nothing to do with KOOL 105.9 but I really miss my dog.

Sunday, September 9

Going to the Chapel

I don't know what it is, but I seem to be completely surrounded by weddings lately. Don't get me wrong, I love weddings as much as the next girl - OK, probably more - but this is getting rediculous! In a good way I mean. This Friday, September 14, I know of not one, not two but THREE people getting married. I will be in Las Vegas for the nuptuals of one Miss Nancy McMillan, striking a pose in a bridesmaid dress made with love by my grandma. Also on Friday, Andy Boutwell and Aaron Carkin will be getting hitched as well. Best of wishes to all couples, but seriously. . .the same day?! At least it will make sending out Happy Anniversary cards easy!

And speaking of weddings. . .the lesson I learned today was: there really isn't anything better than talking to your BFF on the happiest day of her life. Miss Charla Swanson got engaged this weekend!!! Yea!!!

Oh, stickers are really expensive and I am destined to never act in "big church". I learned that today too.

Saturday, September 8

Running Atire

The biggest lesson I learned today was to never again run through downtown Hillsboro. And to never run through downtown Hillsboro when you don't know exactly where you're going. If you're lost, you spend a lot of time looking around at street signs instead of continuing on your way without stopping. After successfully avoiding being killed about 13 times on the rural road of NW West Union, I thought city sidewalks would be a piece of cake. Apparently, it is OK to make to make cat-calls at someone who has run 16 miles, and because they have sweated so much, and because the sun is out, has visible dried salt on their face, arms and legs. I hated it in Spain and I hated it today.

I have been on some LOOOONG runs during the past two months and before today, only one person in a moving vehicle has acknowledged my presence. . .with their voice I mean. (I stopped counting the horn honks weeks ago.) During an approximately one mile length, I counted at least 13 "acknowledgements." And did I mention I had dried salt on my face and bobby pins in random different places that gave up their purpose for holding bangs around mile 3 and that I was sweaty? I mean really sweaty? This is mile 17 for crying out loud! I stopped counting at 13 because I was basically delirious. For all intents and purposes I was dead. I definitely didn't have a right big toe.

So in conclusion friends. . .I will be walking my 7 miles tomorrow on the treadmill in an air-conditioned room, reading my latest book from the library.

I also learned my new Power Song kicks serious booty! Check out "Song of Hope" by the Robbie Seay Band and I dare you not to bob your head, tap your foot or sing along!