Tuesday, August 31, 2010


While flipping through a magazine the other day (yes, this was at my ill fated doctors appointment), I came upon something that gave me pause. So much so that I took a picture of it and thought I'd get your feed back on it.

Here's what I found:

In case, for whatever reason, you can't see the image, it's a picture of a page in a magazine that defines something called "Pre-Dating." This is what it says:"It's a new term that describes what happens before a blind date: the research of someone's online history. It's a new phase of the would-be relationship!"

I love how it makes it sounds so peppy and normal - and not the slightest bit creepy or stalkery. But having just gone on several blind dates I can relate to the idea of "pre-dating." I will admit to looking the guys up on Facebook, at least. But beyond that, I'm kind of lazy when it comes to researching my dates. I always forget to google search them or try to find out if they have a criminal record or are on the Most Wanted list or anything like that.

How much effort do you put into stalking, er, I mean "researching" your dates? Should I be more concerned about the guys I go out with than I am?

I also can't help but wonder what a potential date would find out if he googled me. I suppose he would find my blog, but I'm going to try not to think about whether that would make him want to go out with me more or less.

Is the idea of "pre-dating" smart or creepy? And for those of you who have done it, have you found out anything that made you not want to go out with the person because of your research?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dispute Follow Up

I'm feeling triumphant today because none of you voted for what the receptionist believed the time to be, and almost all of you agreed with me. I thought the card said 5:00 as well. Although, I will allow that it could have been 5:10.

So here's what happened. I double checked the card before leaving for work in the morning and confirmed that it said 5:00. I got to my appointment at 4:53. An hour later, I was still sitting in the waiting room. I'd leafed through all the decent looking magazines, read about what what clothes look best for my body type, what Julia Roberts liked best about traveling for her recent movie, and everything else the waiting room magazines had to offer.

The longer I had to wait, the more annoying the magazines became. I got really frustrated reading an article about "how to choose a hair style based on your face shape." Is my face shape oval, round, or square!? If I can't figure that out, my bangs will never look good! That's when I realized I was getting irritable because I'd been waiting for almost an hour.

But I figured I'd be next, right? No. When the old lady sitting behind me got called in at 5:45, I'd had enough. I asked the nurse who'd come out for the old lady how much longer the wait would be and she said, "probably at least 20 minutes." So I asked the receptionist if I could reschedule. That's when we had this conversation:

Her: Well, your appointment isn't until 5:50.
Me: The card said 5:00.
Her: Do you have the card with you?
Me: No. It's at home, but I double checked it this morning. I'm sure it said 5:00.
Her: Well, your appointment is at 5:50, so the card says 5:50.
Me: (This is where I imploded.)

Anyway, I rescheduled. And yes, I want to bring the card in next time to show her, because I'm mature like that. Whether or not I actually will remains to be seen. I have had to wait a long time in doctors offices before - probably even an hour. But the thing that really ticked me off was her telling me I was wrong about what the card said.

5:50! Yeah, right!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


What time do you think this card says? The receptionist at my appointment and I disagreed. I'm going to put up a poll with some options. In a day or two, I'll tell you what she thought. I think you might be surprised. I know I was.

Wednesday Thoughts

I'm not really feeling it today.

I will tell you one thing though. I thought you might enjoy this little story. When I was in Moab, I was looking around this little grocery store and I saw something I found a bit odd: anti-aging deodorant. I'm worried enough about aging on other areas of my body - but my underarms? Does anyone really care? And if I used the anti-aging deodorant on other areas - like around my eyes, would it work to fight signs of aging there too?

Wrinkly underarms. It's exhausting.

What's next? Anti-aging Q-tips?

Happy Wednesday. I guess. (Is it obvious I'm "blah" today?)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The real season of love

Check out what I saw growing in a local garden yesterday morning:

You know what that means...

Even though it still feels like summer, fall is coming. I've heard people say they can feel it in the air already.

I've been going into fall kicking and screaming but only because I hate winter, not because I hate fall. In fact, I absolutely love fall. I've been thinking about it lately and I think fall is maybe the best season for dating. What do you think? Here are some fun date ideas for fall:

*cider mills (creating traditions early on... so sweet.)
*corn mazes (even if you figured out how to get out early on, pretend you didn't.)
*haunted houses ("I need to hold onto you because I'm scared." - actually I do get this scared so I'm not mocking this. If I go to a haunted house with you, I really will need to hold onto you.)
*carving pumpkins (adorable - and competitive.)
*football games ("explain to me again what a 'down' is.")
*watching scary movies (cuddle, much?)

...and so many more.

Most likely I'll just be doing all of these with friends, but I'll try to trick someone into a date for at least one of them. What do you think the best fall dating idea is?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Observations on coming home...

...from vacation:

*I can smell what the inside of my car smells like again. From time to time people get in my car and say that my air freshener smells good. I wouldn't know because I've become accustomed to the smell of my car. But after being away from it for a week I could smell it for the first time since I bought it last December. Well, that's not completely true. A couple months ago my car smelled rank because I left a container with watermelon juice in the back of the car for a few days. That smell made itself known. But under normal circumstances, I can't smell my car.

*While I was on vacation, eggs became poisonous. This breaks my heart because eggs are one of my top three favorite foods. Here's a tweet from Conan O'Brien that sums up my feelings:

"The FDA egg recall has hit a total of 380 million eggs. I can't wait till they find the tired, evil hen that did this."

Maybe it's time I start raising chickens of my own so I can eat eggs again. I just hope I don't accidentally buy a rooster, like Kramer did (and some other people I know who will remain nameless).

Ok, I've spent far too much space talking about chickens and eggs for one post, so moving on....

*I wish I could tell you about my blind dates, because who doesn't love a good blind date story? But it's too risky. Yes, this is the end of the reflections on blind dates.

*Michigan is humid. My hair was flat in Utah and it's an afro in Michigan. Which is better? That's how I'll determine where I live the rest of my life. ;)

Ok, those are all the reflections I have for now... I'm home and trying to wrap my head around going back to work. But after spending time with friends and family today, I'm remembering that being home from vacation isn't too bad.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This is me, making a big deal about nothing.

Wanna see something kind of cool? Go to google, type in "Elizabeth Downie" then click on the "I'm feeling lucky" button.*

Don't ask me how I discovered that. I'm pretty sure it involved vanity.

*If doing that did not take you directly to my blog, I suppose I'd rather not know. In my head I'm pretending it means more than it actually does.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

Wednesday thoughts..... Wednesday thoughts.... When I'm on vacation I don't have as many thoughts as I usually do. And I'm afraid if I go on and on about my vacation you'll hate me since I was just on vacation a few weeks ago. I feel very spoiled lately.

But as long as you promise not to be mad about this, I'll tell you that I'm having a fabulous vacation. I only have one full day left but I'm trying not to focus on that. Do you want to hear about some things I've done? I'm assuming you do since you're reading this, but I've been wrong before. Here are a few things that stand out from this trip:

Arches National Park
- I know I already talked about this in a previous post but I absolutely loved that park. And Moab, the town nearby, is adorable - with lots of cute shops and restaurants. Emily and I camped in Moab, if you call staying in a cabin camping, and we had a campfire too. And in the spirit of totally roughing it, we also saw Inception, which I thought lived up to the hype. And is it just me, or is that guy from 3rd Rock from the Sun really cute all of the sudden?

Time with friends - I love my friends who live out here. I wish I could get them all to move back to Michigan but since that's not possible, I am totally ok coming here and spending time with them in Utah.

The outdoors - now you know I love the outdoors in Michigan. I love it so much I would marry it, in fact. But now that I've done some hikes in Utah and seen some more of the scenery here, I think it's gorgeous here too. I've been to Utah many times in the past but this is the first time I've truly enjoyed the mountains.

Eating at restaurants we don't have in Michigan: I had some "awesome sauce" at Wingers, some taco salad at Cafe Rio, some Jamba Juice, and I took your advice and got some root beer at The Brick Oven. I know they brew it themselves but there Emily wasn't convinced. She kept saying, "this is some good A&W!" But it really was good. I mean, I like A&W so either way...

Blind dates - what is not fun about blind dates? Tell me that. But truly, my attitude going into blind dates is always: you can survive this. And that's not to say I have low expectations for the guys, it's just that I get so nervous about it. But I've had some good ones out here so maybe my mantra will change.

: So, here's what happened. I was climbing up the side of an arch when I saw a huge snake - a rattler. So I scrambled away and tripped over the edge. That's when this happened (the picture is blurry enough and the scrape is healed enough that hopefully this doesn't gross you out when you're trying to eat or something):

Ok, the truth is I did get hurt goofing around at Arches, but it was in a much lamer way.

So those are a few highlights. There's so much else I could say but I'll leave it at that. As I mentioned before, I'm sad my vacation is ending. Good thing Michigan holds many good things too!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

FHE book

Several months ago when I was in the blogger brawl (remember that?!), I met someone named Janna McFerson, who was also in it. She told me that she had written a book and needed people to review it. I was pretty excited about doing it and eagerly awaited the arrival of my copy in the mail.

The book is called "There's No Place Like Home... Evening." For those of you who aren't LDS, Family Home Evening is a program that encourages families to devote one night per week to spending time together as a family. There could be a spiritual lesson shared, or maybe just a fun outing or a game night. Whatever the agenda is, the point is to spend an evening together.

This book is dedicated to single people who don't have FHE as a family unit, but instead have it with other singles. It's written as a guide book for planning FHE nights for singles and I have to say, it far exceeded my expectations. Like most single LDS people, I have been in the position of being made co-chair of an activities committee and thinking, "ok...where do I go from here?"

This book is like finding the answer key to a hard test and being told you're allowed to just go ahead and reference it the whole time you're taking the test.

Janna laid it out perfectly - she talks about what the point of FHE is, what troubles you might come across as you're planning activities, and then she just goes ahead and gives you a whole years worth of ideas! But she doesn't just list them, she gives ideas for hand outs, refreshments, and ways to get people excited about attending your activity. The book even comes with a CD full of hand out and flier ideas.

The illustrations in the book are very fun, and to be honest, when it arrived I just couldn't stop flipping through it to look at the fun pictures and fonts. But even more important than the fun lay out is the content. If you are put in charge of FHE or really, any activities committee, I would highly recommend ordering a copy of this book. I knew it was going to be good, but I didn't know it was going to be this good.

I know this review is very gushing but trust me, I don't owe Janna any favors and she didn't pay me to write this - it's just a great book! Thanks for letting me be one of the first to see it, Janna.

Can't complain.

I'm on vacation and I gotta say, I'm not hating life. I hope your weekend was as fun as mine. I went to Arches and was in a nonstop state of awe-struckedness (yes, that's a word). Have you ever been there? It's just breath taking. There are more pictures on my other blog if you want to see a few more.

I kind of forgot when I planned a trip to Arches National Park that it would involve climbing pretty high at times. I also forgot that I'm afraid of heights. But I survived and really loved it there. If you have never been there, I would highly recommend it!

Where are your favorite vacation destinations?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mitten Made

Faygo, Jiffy Mix, Verners, fudge, pasties, Coney dogs... these are just a handful of foods and drinks that Michiganders love. #1 on that list is probably Faygo, which I'm pretty sure they don't sell out outside of Michigan. For you non-Michiganders, Faygo is a brand of pop - or as 40% of you call it, soda.

It comes in tons of flavors - my favorite is Rock 'N Rye. I just had some last week for the first time in a long time and it honestly rocked my world. Soooo good.

What are some foods that your state is known for? What would you miss if you moved away, or what do you miss from your home state if you're no longer living there?

I was just having dinner with friends last week and they were talking about their favorite foods from Utah, where two of them have lived. I can't remember the foods exactly - but one of them was some brand of bread - I think it was "grandma's something or other bread." (The memory's the first thing to go, I guess.) And the other was a brand of honey. If I can remember the names of the items, I'll look for them when I'm in Utah next week.

To my Utah friends: anything I should try next week? Foods or restaurants?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

As some of you know, I had a blind date this past weekend. Unfortunately, I can't get into the details of how things went because well, there's no mystery about who's writing this blog, is there? (Naming this blog after myself was not my most brilliant idea.)

Even though I can't tell you about that one, I've been on my fair share of blind dates in the past and have several more coming up this month. Blind dates are incredibly nerve wracking, to say the least: "is he going to look like his picture? is he cuter than me? what if he's a non-talker? what if I start monologuing? what if he's a serial killer?"

So I thought I'd come up with some rules for blind dates to save both you and me some pain in the future:

1. Try not to over think it. Your life was fine before you met your blind date and it will be fine afterward if things don't work out.

2. Don't wear your retainer all week in an effort to make your teeth extra straight for your date. It will just make you that much madder if things don't work out.

3. Come up with some topics to talk about beforehand so you don't panic and ask him how long he's had that mole.

4. Keep it light - no politics (unless you agree) or other controversial topics on the first date. You can surprise him with your crazy opinions on the second date. It will be more fun that way!

5. Wear your cutest outfit - you'll be more confident. But don't bother rushing home from work, re-washing your hair, re-blowing it out, and basically going all out for your blind date. Too much pressure. Try to look good, of course, but no need to spend 3 hours prepping for a blind date. (I mean, unless he looks really cute in his facebook pictures, of course.)

6. Even though the person who set you up just knows you're going to fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after, don't let it stress you out. (But I should warn you that it's very possible this is going to be your last chance at love so don't screw up! But no pressure! :))

7. Call your friends after the blind date and dish on every detail. Save up the funniest stories and tell them to me.

Do you have any blind date survival tips to add?

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Olde Timey Baseball

Ever since Conan O'Brien went to (and thoroughly mocked) an olde timey baseball game, I have wanted to see one (here's the best link I could find to Conan's sketch - it is definitely worth watching). Today that dream became a reality when I went with some friends to Greenfield Village to see an authentic game: the Greenfield Village La-De-Dahs vs. the Columbus Buckeyes.

It far surpassed my expectations and what I'm about to say next might blow your mind: I enjoyed it more than a Tigers game. And I love Tigers games. Even the occasional shouts of "huzzah" couldn't get me down (yes, I still have an aversion to that word).

I'll paint you a picture: olde timey costumes, players ranging in age from 18-70, no mitts (ouch), stopping the game to wave at the passengers whenever the train went by, and here's the nicest part: when my friend and I walked past the announcer, he tipped his hat at us and said, "ladies." I've never felt like more of a lady.

As I was watching the game, I kept thinking, who are these olde timey baseball players? How did they get into it? It fascinates me when people pursue off the beaten path hobbies. If you could be a reenactor, what would you reenact?

These players were nice enough to offer their bats to Sarah and I for the picture.

In closing, today is my 7th day in a row of blogging. I figured I'd make it a full week and see how it felt. It was kind of fun! Heaven knows I have plenty to say - unfortunately, not all of it is necessarily blog worthy. I think I'll give you a little break from reading my daily thoughts but who knows... I may miss writing every day and do it again (insert evil laugh here).

Friday, August 6, 2010

Damsel in Distress

Last night I was driving home from a friend's house... wait, that's not a dramatic enough start to this story. Let's try this: it was getting dark last night when I left my friend's house. I had a long drive ahead of me and was completely unaware of the danger that lie ahead. How was that for a start?

So as I was saying, I was driving home from a friend's house last night when suddenly, I heard a terrible sound outside my car. It sounded something like this: "sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss." I'm no mechanic but that sound usually means one thing. My friend Amy was in the car with me and we both looked each other nervously. I pulled over and sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed: flat tire.

There's one thing I know for sure about flat tires and that is that I know nothing about flat tires or how to fix them. Luckily for me, I have a cousin who lives near where it happened and her husband came over and put my spare on for me with the help of a guy in the neighborhood.

As I stood there "supervising" them, I felt increasingly guilty. There they were, on their backs, grease all over their hands, getting eaten by mosquitoes, trying to figure out my weird jack, and I'm just standing there holding a flashlight - trying to make it look like I'm really doing something - angling the flashlight just so. They were both very nice about it and brushed aside my thank yous but I was conflicted in my role as damsel in distress.

Should I know how to put my spare tire on my car? Don't answer that because I know what the answer is: yes. Or at least probably. I can put windshield washing fluid in my car and you know... put gas in it and drive it and whatnot. But I can't change the oil or identfiy the serpentine belt (unless it looks like a snake, which is how I picture it). Do men mind helping women with things like that? I think that question might be sexist, actually. It assumes that all men know how to fix flat tires and that women don't. Secretly that is my perception but I'm embarrassed by that - it's not very progressive of me.

Who among you can change a flat tire or do other minor car repairs? (And can you teach me?)

(Sixth day in a row of blogging - can you handle it?)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What up with that?

Ok, how is it that "soda" is winning in my soda versus pop poll on the side? Where are all my Michigan readers?

Oh yeah, this is my fifth day in a row of blogging. What up with that?*

*I promise I'll never say "what up with that" in this blog again.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

Yesterday was voting day - I love voting. I love filling in the little circle next to the candidate who I like best and feeling like I'm doing my duty. The only thing I get nervous about is voting on the ballot initiatives. I read up on them before hand so I'm not taken off guard but I sometimes find the wording to be a bit confusing. "The citizens of said community will henceforth agree to never not pay more or less than 50% of 20% increase on the tax on every 3rd school in a five - seven mile radius..." Huh?

A few years back there was a ballot initiative which I believe was called "stump the hippies" (like me). It involved the environment and I remember being quite concerned about it. I read through it several times in the days leading up to the vote but couldn't sift through the double negatives. It was so bad, I couldn't even determine if voting 'yes' would save or destroy the environment. I asked some friends about it, hoping they could help me sort it out but after reading through it together, we were even more baffled. In the end we determined a "no" vote was the way to go but it turned out we were wrong. As I was watching the election results on the news that night, I remember thinking, "wait - why are those guys in suits laughing and pouring oil all over the trees and why are they draining the Great Lakes? And why do those people in the tie dyed shirts look so sad?" Tricky tricky ballot initiative. Everyone was standing around baffled, going, "Wait, I thought we...? What happened there?"

So yeah, it's a pretty serious thing, voting.

Some other things on my mind today:

  • I wish people would stop saying summer is almost over. We still have one more month!
  • I just got back from vacation but am leaving again soon to go to Utah for a week! Way excited to see friends and sites.
  • I've written in my blog four days in a row - what's up with that?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Not Cool, Time Magazine.

Not cool at all. I received this in the mail today telling me about the amazing senior citizen discount I can get on a subscription to Time magazine. I'm assuming Time got my information from AARP since some jokester signed me up for that.

Unless.... I'm older than I thought I was. I should probably take a look at my birth certificate and double check something.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Too Far

Picture it: You're at a friend's house - a friend you know well (or think you know). This friend seems to have a level head. She's a little bit lonely but otherwise perfectly fine. You ask if you can use her bathroom. She says "of course." On the way to the bathroom you notice her bedroom door is open. You glance in as you walk past. Your eyes bug out as you notice this on her bed:

Do you say anything to her? Do you pretend you didn't see it? Do you order one for yourself??

*Thank you Sara, for the link!
**This situation is purely hypothetical! It didn't happen. (Unfortunately.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reaching the Peak

Sometimes I feel like I've over complicated getting married. In my mind I've turned it into something impossible. It's like how I imagine climbing to the top of a mountain would be. I've circled the mountain, attempted to climb it with varying degrees of success, even nearing the peak, but I've never gotten all the way to the top. And after spending most of my adult life trying, I've determined that it is (nearly) impossible to reach the peak of that particular mountain.

When I see people get married, I think, "How is it possible? You love him and he loves you and you believe you can tolerate each others imperfections and you have agreed to bind yourselves to each other? How?" Not because I think it's a bad idea; I think it's a wonderful idea. I just don't understand how some people manage to get to that point and others can't seem to.

The other day I was talking on the phone with a friend who is trying to set me up with his friend. In the course of the conversation, he said something like, "it's not about dating a ton of people, it's about finding the right person and getting married." It sounded so simple. Meeting the right person and getting married. Pretty straight forward, right?

I think that when people get married early, it's hard for them to understand older single people like myself. It seems to them that I'm making it overly complicated or waiting for someone perfect, but that's not the case. Or.... is it? Maybe I am making it too complicated. I hope that when and if it does happen for me, it's as simple as my friend made it sound.

I'm not so naive as to think there are no problems along the way for my friends who get married. And I also don't think of marriage as the end - although comparing it to a mountain peak does make it sound that way. Throughout life, there are many mountains we have to climb. This particular mountain is just the one that most baffles me.

Don't misunderstand me - I'm not circling the base of the mountain in a panic or anything. I hope this post doesn't come across as desperate. My friend's words just got me thinking about this conundrum. I'm wondering if there's an easier way to get to the top than the paths I've been choosing.

Thoughts? (And if you're thinking arranged marriage, I beat you there.)

Note from me: After reading this the day after I posted it, I really wanted to take it down. It makes it sound like the only thing I think about is getting married, which is not the case. But I decided to leave it up anyway - take it how you will. It's a part of me.