Thursday, March 29, 2012

What I want

Life is good. I got some new running shoes today, I took a nap, and if I do say so myself, I had a pretty darn good hair day. But sometimes, even when life is good, you just want a little more. Not a lot more, just a little more. You know what I mean? Here are some things I want tonight:

* I want to NEVER have my butt featured in one of those "America's fattest cities" articles. I saw this tonight and wondered once again, did the reporters ASK? And what would they say?? "Could we feature you in an article we're doing? It's about obesity and your gigantic derriere couldn't be a better visual. No offense." "Oh, none taken!" was the response, I'm sure.

(not actual size)

* I want to NOT really like the new Justin Bieber song. I know I should keep this to myself but I have always been very honest with you all about my music guilty pleasures, so why stop now? Darn that Justin Bieber and his Justin Timberlike sounding voice in the song "Boyfriend"! Here's a link but only listen if you're willing to risk liking a Justin Bieber song. If you never have before, this could be a game changer for you. Not something to be taken lightly (link).

* I want to not be in 35th place out of 41 in my work bracket competition.

* I want my grandma to settle on ONE news anchor who's hairstyle I should get. So far she can't decide which would be best on me. If there's one thing my grandma has opinions about, it's the hairstyles of female news anchors. She told me today that one anchorwoman looked like a complete mess the other day and clearly hadn't had time to get her hair done before the news started. She pays very close attention to their hair and uses that information to give me tips. She likes the way I've been wearing it lately, though she prefers it the way I wore in that one time (I don't even know).

* I want to be able to eat three cookies tonight without looking like the butt picture above....

K, I guess those are some of the things I want this evening. I had written more but backspaced over those paragraphs... In other words, this post was juicier five minutes ago (but not that juicy).

What are some things you want tonight?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

Wednesday Thoughts.... Wednesday Thoughts.....

I'm trying to figure out what my thoughts are this morning and it turns out I don't have many. Or I have too many...I'm not sure which it is.

One thing I know for sure is that I'm achy! Last week, I went on a nice long bike ride with Sarah and Katherine. While on this bike ride, Sarah informed Katherine and me that she was going to run some races this summer and that she'd chosen us to run them with her. We both just laughed in response to this, because neither of us are runners.

But later I started thinking about it, wondering if I could become a runner...? So I decided to give it a go, and this week I started the "Couch to 5K" program. So far, so good! Sarah, ever the optimist, is already trying to get me to sign up for a half marathon in June. While I appreciate her enthusiasm, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around running a mile, let alone a million miles (pretty sure that's how many miles are in a half marathon). Sarah tried to encourage me by saying we could totally run 13 miles in under six hours, but she may as well have said, "we can totally run across the United States in less than 2 years" because that's how long the half marathon sounds to my non-runner's brain.

If any of you have any advice on the best running shoes, by the way, I'd love to hear it! Also, have any of you tried the Couch to 5K program?

In other thoughts, I'd thought I'd share a couple funny things with you today to get you through the midweek slump. The first is a pinterest find that I found hilarious!

Next, this video that my friend Jesse showed me yesterday. The more you watch it, the more you need to keep watching. You're going to think it's dumb at first, but then you're going to need to watch it again. You've been warned.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


It's springtime and Michigan is blossoming. I forgot that the air smells like blossoms here in the spring time. In the winter the air has no smell at all. Sometimes it smells like snow, but this year we got practically no snow (strangest winter of my life), so the air just smelled like nothing. Well, either nothing or car exhaust.

Anyway, the blossoms are blossoming and they're beautiful and fragrant. I love being able to spend more time outside too. We've had record highs all year so it's been wonderful to be outside. (This week it's getting cold again, but that's beside the point.)

I thought I'd share with you some instagram pictures from the past few days. Some are from a service activity I went to in Detroit over the weekend, and some are from a couple walks I went on yesterday (in Ann Arbor).

The area in Detroit where we were has an artist community, with some very cool and/or interesting works. You'll see what I mean...

I debated about posting these because I suppose picture posts are not overly interesting, but a friend of mine often sends me instagrams of where he lives and I love it. I love seeing different parts of the world and country! I hope you enjoy it as well.

Mural on wall in Detroit.

Paint going down drain in street
My friend Liz and me
Art installation in Detroit
Ann Arbor
Mural in Ann Arbor
Looking into the Robot Repair store window
Grafiti in Ann Arbor
More blossoms in Ann Arbor

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Great Divide

The Hunger Games movie comes out today, and with it the typical reactions that come from whatever the BIG thing of the time is. Whether that thing is an anticipated movie, book, sporting event, or website (Pinterest comes to mind) the reactions always seem to be the same. While there are plenty of people who are simply indifferent to the BIG thing of the time, there tends to be two groups that are most vocal about THE THING. Here's how I see the breakdown of the two groups:

1. The excited group: These people love the BIG thing. They post on their blogs about it, on Facebook, on Twitter, and they talk about it a lot. You can recognize them by their facepaint, costumes, online posts, t-shirts, and tear streaked faces on the night of the event. They exhaust their friends who have no interest in the BIG thing with nonstop countdowns, chatter, and squealing. They debate over who should have played so-and-so in the movie, then complain that the movie didn't do the book justice. They camp out for hours to get tickets. This is the thing that gets them through their mundane lives for the time being and they want everyone to know how awesome it is!

2. The above-it/exhausted crowd. This group is so above the BIG thing. They can't be bothered with the posts or mania. Their interests are more elevated. They're more sophisticated. They're busy being productive members of society and don't have time for this, thank you very much. They post things on the internet asking if they are alone in this. They pretend to be burdened by the idea that they might be alone. They see such cultural phenomena as the thing that divides the masses, and they're happy to find themselves among the elite, high above the rest of the plebeians. They are free thinkers; they don't do what society tells them to do, man.

At this point some of you might be thinking, "is she talking about me?" Well,  don't get all worked up because I'm probably not. In fact, I'm probably talking about me (in both groups). I'm also talking about lots of reactions I've seen over the years from others. And I should mention that a lot of people are in group 3: they just don't care. They're not above it or beneath it, they're just involved with other things. That group isn't as much fun to talk about.

I have found myself in all the groups, depending on the event. When it comes to The Hunger Games, I'm more in group 1. Though I have, at times, found myself annoyed with people within my own group. It happens. I consider myself a more mature, elite member of group 1. Some people in the group are acting very immature. I, however, consider the whole thing to be a fascinating study of literature and culture.* See, while I may be in group 1, I have a bit of group 2 in me.  (I'm both excited and pretentious.)

Here's which group I've landed in on some of the BIG events that come to mind:

Star Wars movies (all): 2, all the way.
Star Trek movie (most recent): 2, but I saw it and it was "ok" (mostly because of Chris Pine). I'm still above it though.
Harry Potter books: 1, completely. Book release party and all.
Harry Potter movies: Somewhere between a 1 and 2. More of a 1 though.
Baseball: 1
College football: 2
Pinterest: 1, as you well know.

Which group are you in?

*Lies. I liked the books and am looking forward to seeing the movie for pure entertainment purposes. I'm so not above it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

As Seen on TV

My coworker, Ann, sits at a cubicle about ten feet behind mine. I recently asked her what she thought was a strange question, "if I were using a thigh master at my desk, would you be able to tell from where you are sitting?" I'm not sure if it was the visual of me using the thigh master at work that made her laugh, or simply the memory of the long lost 90's product the "thigh master" that amused her. Either way, I haven't bought one yet.

But I want to.

If I had it my way, I would own ALL the exercise doo-hickies. I think ALL of them are the key to getting my abs in perfect shape, or the jiggle completely out of my arms and um...other areas. Luckily, lack of space and insufficient funds have prevented me from buying everything so far. I still have a bunch of stuff though - a mini trampoline (you might recall), a stair climber, pilates equipment, a foam roller, weights, arm bands, and more.

But I also want the thigh master, the shake weight, and any of the many products to make my abs even more fab than they already are (hard to imagine, I know).

Like this ab roller machine. It looks like something you'd see in your gynecologist's office, right? But no, it's actually the magic solution to the best abs of your life. (Or so it promises.) And I want it.

I don't buy it though because I figure I can probably get the same results from doing sit ups and crunches. But the problem is, sit ups and crunches are boring! I want the crazy contraptions! Not because they're magic solutions but because they're more fun. And they're magic solutions.

What is the best exercise doo-hickie you own? What's the craziest? Which is the one collecting dust in the corner?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

This week started off with a bang! in the form of food poisoning. When was the last time you had food poisoning? Did you feel like death warmed over? Did you feel like you had been kicked in the gut by a mule the next day? Yeah, me too.*

I still haven't figured out where the food poisoning came from, but if I had died from it, my sister had strict orders to avenge me. Thankfully, it didn't come to that, and yesterday I was even able to enjoy a little time outdoors. The weather in Michigan this year is bizarro. It's already super warm - in the 80's! The trees are getting buds, the flowers are blooming, and the grass is already turning green. I'm certainly not complaining, but this is the strangest year ever. Maybe the Mayans were right....

Anyway, here are a few pictures I took yesterday.

I have a lot more to share with you, including a couple more stories from my vacation, but those are going to have to be put on hold until I start feeling less like a food poisoned human and more like a normal human again.

Oh! One more thing! The Hunger Games movie opens in two days! Who's in??

Happy Wednesday!

*I've never been kicked by a mule, but I'm pretty sure it feels something like this.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


My sister shared this video with me the other day and it really spoke to me on the subject of self esteem and the way we see ourselves. I loved it and could relate to it 100%. Except that the girl who wrote it has always been self conscious about her nose and I've always been fine with my nose. To be honest, it's one of my favorite features. It doesn't stand out, it does its job and doesn't make a big fuss about it. But there are plenty of other things about my body that I have had a hard time dealing with over the years, and which I've practically defined myself by (negatively).

The video is 12 minutes long which initially almost made me not want to watch it, but it seriously flies by. It's very moving and I think you'll all be able to relate to it in one way or another. 

This video supports what I was saying the other day in my  post about self esteem. We don't love people because they are flawless; we love them because of who they are. As I've gotten older, I've gotten tired of always feeling self conscious about certain parts of my body and have been working hard on not obsessing over these parts. The interesting thing is that most of the time when you tell someone you're close with about the part of your body you're self conscious about, they are surprised. We're so much harsher on ourselves than other people are of us! We're not our nose. Or our butt. Or our hair. Or our mouth. Or our acne. Or our feet. We're much more than those parts.

What did you think of the video?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Arizona Adventures: Special Assignment

Monday I had a completely free afternoon and was looking for something fun to do! So my friend sent me an assignment:

1. Go to Bahama Bucks to get a shaved ice drink.
2. Go to the Mesa LDS temple with a blanket.
3. Put on sunscreen and sunglasses, lay on the blanket and soak in the sun.
4. Instagram pictures of the temple: a close up of a feature on the exterior of the temple, a cool feature somewhere on the grounds, a photo looking up from my lay out spot, and a self portrait.

It was the best assignment ever! I hung out on that blanket reading and daydreaming for hours. The air in Arizona smells like citrus - who knew Arizona was full of orange and lemon trees (besides everyone who lives there)!? And the weather was perfect on Monday - sunny and around 80 degrees. Here are some of the pictures I took while "on assignment":

I'm sorry you have to see my butt in this picture.

And that was my lovely, lazy, sunny afternoon - my last afteroon in Arizona (for now). And bonus: a couple hours into sunbathing, I took a half hour break to get some of the best Mexican food I've had in a long time for lunch. Tacos, horchata, rice, beans, sunshine....

Arizona, will you marry me? (Oh sorry, Michigan. I still love you too!)

Wednesday Thoughts

I love this! (source)
I have several more Arizona Adventures that I can't wait to tell you about but I'm going to put those on hold for now to write some Wednesday Thoughts.

I'm home from my vacation now which is bittersweet. I loved Arizona, and the people I know there are pretty awesome. And I want to go back like now! But the people I know in Michigan are awesome too, so - what's a girl to do?

While on vacation, I had some thoughts I wanted to share with you. Male readers might not be as interested in this as female readers, but I could be wrong. After all, my prolonged single status could be used as evidence that I know little about men.

But I digress. What I was thinking a lot about over the weekend was self esteem. This is a topic that is on my mind all the time. It's possible I've mentioned it on here before, that self esteem is something I struggle with. This year, however, I've really been working on improving it. One important thing I've worked on is not saying mean things to myself and then replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones. So far, it's really helped a lot.

But this weekend I was in several social situations with a lot of new people - including some cute guys - and I found myself falling back on that evil comparing game. You know: "she's skinnier than me, she's young and cute, she's super stylish, she raises weevils"... and while those things may be true, that doesn't mean that I have nothing to offer, right? (Enemies: don't answer that!)

I talked to a girl the other day who told me that she feels she's competing with all the girls she knows for attention from guys. That got me thinking and I decided that that really isn't how it works. I mean, we just are who we are, and people either like us or don't. But we're not all trying to be the same person or have the same skills, or the same thighs, or the same education, etc. It's apples and oranges, really. And cantaloupes, pears, grapes, etc. All kinds of fruits. And maybe veggies. Girls are fruits, boys are veggies. I just decided that. It makes sense in my head.

Anyway, my point is that there's no point in comparing ourselves to others because we'll almost always come up short. Or it could go the other way where all we look for is the flaws in others. Neither is healthy. Or accurate.

What are some ways you have worked on improving your self image? I've heard some women say that being in a good relationship improved their self image. That's awesome, but unfortunately not happening in my life right now so I've mostly depended on positive self talk, cultivating my talents, and trying to ban negative self talk. I really have seen an improvement.

The thing is, while we should do our best to take care of ourselves, there's no reason we have to be/look a certain way to be loved or found attractive. I've heard some guys say they are self conscious about their receding hair lines and I think, "I couldn't care less about that," or they complain about their bellies and I think, "but that's cute!" In other words, not all "imperfections" are bad or make a person unattractive. Some "flaws" can actually make a person more endearing. In my opinion.

Am I babbling? I'm babbling. But I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Adventures in Arizona

I'm still on vacation in Arizona, and I have certainly not had a boring trip! I have a few stories to tell you but I won't overwhelm you with all of them at once. I'll start out with one that happened Saturday night. Here's a hint: it ends like this:

The scene: the exit to get on the highway
The crime: getting rear ended in a hit and run situation
The suspects: a scruffy looking dude and his unkempt girlfriend

So, to simplify, my friend Kristine and I got rear ended last night and the guy who hit us fled the scene. Two good Samaritans who witnessed it chased the guy to get his license plate number. Meanwhile, Kristine and I got the license plate number too and called the police once we'd pulled over.

After updating our Facebook statuses (priorities in check), we checked out the bumper and there was no damage, thank goodness.

Now here's the awesome part: the police caught the guy. One cop car went after him, and one came to us. Our police officer, also known to Kristine and I as "Handsome Cop" ('cause he was) kept us updated on what was happening with the police officer who caught our hit-and-run perp.

Meanwhile, he was also giving me grief stemming from the oldest war in history: Michigan vs. Ohio. After he looked at my drivers license, our conversation went like this:

H.C. (Handsome cop): (exasperated mouth noise) Michigan! (looking up at me with scorn in his eyes. Then explaining:) I'm from Ohio.
Me: (Realizing the severity of the situation.) Oh, so we're mortal enemies.
H.C. Yep.

Handsome Cop went back to his car after that and did whatever cops do in their cars, then he came back and told us that the guy had been caught, and that there were warrants out for his arrest so they were taking him to jail. I expressed some excitement then said, "I shouldn't be so happy. I don't hate the guy." And HC said, "really? Cause I do."

You guys, HC doesn't mess around. He straight up hates perps!

After that, he went to meet up with the arresting officer to get the paper work to bring back to us. He told us he'd return in five minutes but a half hour later, wasn't back yet. Kristine and I were getting impatient. After all, we had places to be. Luckily, he came back about ten minutes later, apologizing and explaining that the guy "was high and got belligerent and had to be beat up a little bit." Adding, "it happens."

The rest of our conversation went like this:

HC: If you feel worse later, give me a call.
Me: What's your number? 911?
HC: It's on the paper.
Me: Ok.
HC: If she (pointing at Kristine) is having a seizure later, call me.
Me: What if I'm having a seizure??
HC: No, we don't care about you.
Me: What?? Because I'm from Michigan!?
HC: Yep.

You guys, the situation between Ohio and Michigan is no joke.* Anyway, all's well that ends well. Except of course for the guy who hit us, got beat up, then thrown in jail. It didn't end awesome for him. But Kristine and I (and the car I was driving) were fine, and we were grateful for that. Plus, it's a pretty good story, huh?

*It's a joke.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

I know Wednesday Thoughts is late today, but I have a really good excuse! I've spent the day traveling and haven't been at my computer till now. The bad news is, I've been up since 4:30 this morning and am exhausted. Every time I try to think of something funny or interesting to write, it escapes my mind before I can command my fingers to type it.

I'm pretty sure that didn't even make sense. That's how tired I am. So I am just going to show you pictures of where I went today: THE GRAND CANYON!! Some quick thoughts on the Grand Canyon:

1. It was freezing there. I was so glad I brought my Eskimo coat!
2. I didn't see the Brady Bunch (though I still have fond memories of our trip together)
3. There was snow on the ground. That just isn't right.
4. It was beautiful and amazing.

Arizona friends - what are some places I have to visit or eat at while I'm here (Phoenix/Tucson/Flagstaff)? I need tips!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Camera Woman

Twice a year, all of the local congregations of my church meet together for a special meeting called stake conference. No, not steak conference, though that would be awesome. Because the groups meeting at the church for stake conference are so big, there is a video camera system set up to broadcast the speakers to the large group in the back of the auditorium. Usually someone experienced with how the camera works is in charge of the whole operation. Today, I was.

Here's how it happened. I walked into the building with my sister, Katherine, and we ran into our dad right away. He is usually one of the people in charge of the camera. Our conversation went something like this,

Dad: You're in charge of the camera today.
Me: haha
Dad: No, really, you're in charge of it.
Me: Wait, whaaaaa?

The end.

So he gave me a really quick lesson on how to use the camera. The camera itself was situated high up on a wall, and the remote I was given was to control that. Thank goodness most of it was already pre-programed. For example, if I wanted to focus on the chorister, I only had to press "3"; if I wanted to focus on the speaker, I had to press "1" and so on.

The problem came from people being different heights. That's when I'd have to do some actual adjusting of angles and other tricky things that I was not trained for. Turns out the "up" and "down" buttons as well as the "left" and "right" buttons on the remote are EXTREMELY sensitive. So in trying to adjust the camera to be focused right on Angelina Jolie for example (this is purely an example - she did not speak at my church meeting today. I can't emphasize that part enough), this is what would happen:

It would start like this:

Then in trying to fix it, something like this would happen:

At this point, my friend on one side of me (who was enjoying my agony) would be saying, "it's too far over! Move it to the right! The right!!!" And I'd start tapping on the remote, palms sweating, to try to make it better when something like this would show up on screeen:

Then this:

Then finally, something I could live with:

The problem was, I had the devil on one side of me (sorry, Rob) and a couple of angels on the other side of me. Rob would say, "it's too far over to the right, tap it to the left" and I'd look at Katherine and Brady for confirmation and see that they were both shaking their heads, telling me it would go too far if I tapped it again, and that the people watching the screen were going to throw up if I adjusted it too much. So I would leave it.

And just as I would start to relax and enjoy the conference, a new speaker would get up, this one five inches taller than the last, and it would begin again.

Later in the day, I laid down to take a little nap. As I drifted off, I kept thinking about what I could have done differently and about the experience overall:

Why didn't I pan the faces of the choir? Would people have enjoyed that? Did anyone appreciate my camera skills today? Should I have zoomed out more when that one guy was speaking? Could I maybe have two or three cameras set up next time for better angles? Should I go back to school to learn how to be a better camera woman? Is there an award ceremony of any sort for best camera skillz at a stake conference? Would I be nominated?

With all that in mind, if anyone took notes today at the meeting, could I borrow them? I know there were lots of speakers there today but I'm not sure I heard a word they said.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pinterest Finds Friday

Guys, I really don't know if you enjoy my "Pinterest" posts or not, but sometimes I just can't resist showing you some of the funny things I've found on Pinterest. They're just too funny not to share. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have. Let me know which is your favorite!

"Crying is only acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon" (source) I love Ron.
Poor dog!! (source)
Not sure why this is funny every time. I just know it is. (source)
For all the nerds out there (source)
Written by the son, I'm assuming. (source)
I don't want to live in a world without photoshop. (source)
I laughed for a couple days about this. (source)
Couldn't resist another Parks & Rec one. Love this show! (source)
Coolest thing ever? Possibly. (source)

Which is your favorite?