Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The West Coast Makes Me Drowsy

I shouldn't have done it, but I did. I ate a sausage egg and cheese McGriddles sandwich for breakfast. It was accompanied by a deep-fried potato cake. And slightly balanced by a glass of orange juice. I think it entirely negated everything that happened in the gym only moments before. On a more positive note I practiced excellent portion control during lunch.

I've mentioned it before, but I really love good bedding. I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud last night. They had a huge ultra-comfortable duvet and several large pillows. I need this in my life on a more consistent basis.

My manager is one of my new favorite people. He's only 26, and he has such a blatent sense of humor. I love it. He's always messing with our Puerto Rican co-worker and it just makes me laugh. I love my life!

This is really mean to say, but a woman came to our evening presentation that looked frighteningly like the ugly transvestite from Minnesota. I felt bad for her. We also had a young Russian man who was named Semen.

I get a king-sized bed all to myself tonight. Usually this would be awesome, but after last night's comforter, it just seems to be lacking something. I have also been experiencing a desire to be in bed with someone lately. Not in an inappropriate way necessarily, I just want someone there. As awesome as single life is, it's sometimes lonely...

Monday, July 30, 2007


I bought another wallet. I really enjoy this one and plan on developing quite a friendship over the next several months and/or years.

This week I am the proud steward of a rental car. A chevy impala. Fairly new and complete with a free jazz CD. I'm pretty sure that's just because whoever drove it before me left it in the car, but I'm not complaining.

Oregon is beautiful. I'd really like to come back and visit Portland on vacation.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Euthanasia

I've updated the Mulletin Board. The best mullet I saw this week involved pig-tails, but I never got a picture. This picture was the second best mullet - permed. It took quite a bit to secure this photo. It's actually harder than one might imagine, thus it's not the best picture, but it'll do.

For breakfast I broke up a crunchy granola bar and poured milk over it - it was delightful. In the midst of my morning repast I came up with an idea - pumpkin milk. Like chocolate milk, only pumpkin flavored. It could be a seasonal treat like fruitcake or Asian tourists.

I like my nose.

Oh my, we hit the jackpot this afternoon. I feel like I'm on the show 'Freaks and Geeks'. We had everything from the transvestite (no joke, he sat on the front row) to the grandma in the wheelchair with the depends in her bag, to the woman with the kitschy jewelry, big bow, big bangs and side pony-tail who apparently hasn't left the house, or read a magazine or newspaper, or seen television or a movie since 1992. We had probably half a dozen mullets - one of them donned by a woman who was mistaken in thinking that her black tights would pass for pants. All you can do is laugh.

Our speaker just called all the women in the room elephants. She told a story about animal behavior involving an elephant earlier in the presentation, and she just compared the women to elephants. She was meaning that they're powerful and just don't know it, but what she said was "You're all that big powerful elephant too." Oh my.

"Oh my" is a phrase that I think needs to be a bit more mainstream. It's so appropriate in so many situations.

I found a wallet on ebay called the magic wallet. It’s one of those wallets that has elastic bands in it and when you open it up one way you can put stuff in, and when you open it another way the stuff is secured under the bands. I thought about getting it…I still may. And I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s running commentary on wallets. An update may or may not follow in a subsequent week.

Ok, so the transvestite needs some expansion I think…at least the topic does. This guy was…well…sad. He was quite tall, had a gut, man hands, varicose veins, no fashion sense, a bad wig, and truly atrocious dental hygiene. I felt bad for him. But what can one do? You just accept the person and move on.

There is a song I love. I listened to it on the plane ride home. It’s “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” by the Scissor Sisters. The premise of the song is that this guy could dance, but he just doesn’t feel like dancing that day. It’s a great song because it’s up-beat and happy, but frankly I don’t know that I’ve ever felt like that. I did some little tap dance or ballet pose this week and my manager said, “I’ve missed that.” We’ve worked together several times. It was refreshing. I always feel like dancing – always. Especially when watching Hairspray...or in the shower.

Friday, July 27, 2007

That time of the month

So, most of the women in our lunch session were CRANKY! We would attribute it to weather, or traffic, or something else that one can't control, but it's a gorgeous day and there is no traffic, so my theory is that they were all attacked by rabid squirrels upon awakening this morning, which as everyone knows, makes people cranky.

I love Target.

I haven't eaten a home-made brownie in forever! I've had a couple of really good brownies this week, but they were most definitely pre-manufactured. I need some Betty Crocker, from the box, gooey delicious goodness. mmm

I bought a wallet. It was sort of an impulse buy and I'm not sure I'll use it much, but it's a cool wallet. It's Superman. Is anyone surprised? Probably not. I think I'm still going to get another wallet...we'll see...

We went to see Harispray tonight. I love this movie. I don't know what else to say.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Mall of America

For the purposes of this post, everytime the words "Mall of America" appear - you should just automatically insert the echo-y voice.

Today our events were at the Mall of America - what an adventure that was - literally. My manager and I got up early to get over there and get set up before bringing the girls over. Little did we know that we'd have to go through a security screening that would rival Fort Knox and then plunge into the bowels of the earth before making it to our ballroom. I mean - wow. I had to surrender my driver's license for the day.

We did make it, however, but that was only the beginning. Our ballroom was situation conveniently inside the amusement park. Luckily it had thick doors, so the roller coasters, masses of people, and annoying beeping horns from the kiddie rides didn't disturb our events.

During lunch Danielle and I rode the roller coaster. I almost threw up.

I bought something because, hello - we were at the Mall of America!

During the day, to try and preserve my sanity, I often communicate with my friends through various means i.e. phone, text, e-mail etc. My friends love me. A lot. I love my friends. A lot. But I've recently come to the conclusion that a lot of my friends have some serious issues. This makes them all the more endearing, of course, but it makes my heart hurt for them. I wish I could give them all a hug, make them a huge pan of brownies, and have a good cry before going to laugh our guts out while watching the white trash people who peruse the mall. And yes, even the Mall of America!

All of the wallets I've been able to find that I like cost approximately $129. Or they have plastic involved - I'm not ok with that. Or they are tri-fold. A bi-fold is thick enough, I don't need an extra fold, that would be superfluous. Maybe I should just cave in and get a boring leather bi-fold wallet from Wal-mart...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Meh...no, double meh

After scouring the internet (including frequent and varied searches on eBay), local shops, and large retail conglomerates, though certainly not an exhaustive search, I've come to the conclusion that I may have to resort to my old standby for coolness in accessorizing - make it myself. This has been wildly successful in other attempts i.e. my current scripture case, my crocheted 'cool' armband, my secret society hat (wink wink). I'll look around a little more - the thrift stores haven't been hit up and I've got an entire day at (insert echo-y voice) The Mall of America *echo echo echo* tomorrow, so we'll see what I can dig up. It's too bad the store with the uber cool underwear doesn't also have uber cool wallets...sigh...

This is my current favorite song. I rock out to it about once every 5 minutes. This video is just a random one I found - one more person with too much time on their hands, and why are they so often Asian? Although it makes me want to make a random video of my own seeing how I, too, am a person with too much time on my hands, but I digress - it's the only way I know how to share the song with you...so enjoy:

On my way out of our hotel this evening I almost did a windex window. I just coined that term myself, so let me explain - I didn't see the window and I nearly ran into it, but I noticed that the carpet, rather than continuing like it would on a normal floor, actually had a window frame running across it, therefore I stopped before making a complete idiot of myself.

I went swimming tonight. I do, in fact, suck at swimming. Not only is my knowledge that of a beginning 9-year-old, but it's tainted by 15 years of misuse, neglect, and memory loss. But I got my heart rate up, so I guess it wasn't completely useless. With any luck I'll get better over time. Plus I have friends who are swimmers and I'm sure they'd be more than willing to give me a pointer or two...maybe...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Land of a thousand...

Why is it that in Walker: Texas Ranger, the bad guys always wear flannel?

Most of the downtown area of Minneapolis (or St. Paul, I'm not exactly sure which one we're in) is connected by walkways on the second story of the downtown buildings. On our lunch break we wandered a bit to find some food. We discovered that there were food courts and other things of a similar nature abounding in this hyper-terranean world, but that most of them close around 2:00. So, we didn't get to experience any of the local flavor. We just got Subway.

I apologize in advance for this next bit of information - a girl came to our event this evening without a bra. This should just not be done. I respect that some women feel a need to be free of the restraints of the man and his social impositions, but for the sake of the rest of us, when you're in public hike 'em up or strap 'em back.

I have an aversion to swimming as a means of physical exertion. This is the result of myriad factors, not the least of which being that my swimming technique consists of what I remember from swimming lessons when I was 9. But today as I was conversing with my co-worker Danielle I thought about swimming. This mostly came because I decided I might start working out twice a day. Once in the morning before heading out for the day, and once at night before going to bed. As I write I realize that this plan may only come to fruition on weeks that I'm working, but I digress. So, I decided that swimming would be a good variation from running - especially since running hurts my knees and swimming is much lower-impact. But don't worry - I won't be purchasing a speedo any time soon.

We went to a Target this evening. It was the first day it was open - thus the service was overly spectacular. I think I was asked roughly 15 times whether I could be helped in any way. There were so many red shirts wandering around I almost thought I was at the Magic Kingdom on the first weekend of June.

I need a new wallet. This means that there is a wallet somewhere in the world that belongs in my back pocket. I haven't found it yet. The only wallets I can find are leather...and boring. Why is it so much harder to find absurdly cool accessories for men? For women they abound, for men they live in fear and seclusion...like people who shop at Fred Meyer. Any suggestions on where to find such a spectacular accoutrement to my currently near-flawless wardrobe would be very much welcome and appreciated.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back in the saddle

Well, after 5 weeks of glorious vacation, I'm on the road again - and I love it. More women's conferences, this time in Minnesota. Or as the say here, Minnesoota. We have a rockin' team, and we're gonna have a rockin' week.

On the flight out I sat by a big-boned woman who was rather...flighty (no pun intended). She would converse sporadically and without reservation. She asked me a question in the middle of my nap as if interested in starting a conversation, but failed to produce any follow-up questions. In the course of our rather disconnected conversation I found out that she was from Minnesota, but is currently living in Oregon where she moved with her now ex-boyfriend who recently threw a clock at her.

We're about 20 minutes away from the (insert echo-y announcer voice) Mall of America *echo echo echo...* which really is quite incredible. 3 floors of shops surrounding an indoor amusement park. I think they may have every mall store known to man. And even a few not known to man. We'll be back later in the week and I'm sure there will be a wealth of opportunities for people watching, and hopefully even a mullet sighting.

Tonight we watched "I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry." There were some funny moments, and a good message, but overall I found it rather crass. I would have walked out about half-way through, due to boredom more than anything, but I was with my team and had nothing better to do. I'd say don't waste your money, but if you must waste your money, wait and only waste a dollar.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Punting down the river in nothing but a dance belt...

Ok, so I was wearing more than just a dance belt, but I did go punting. And for those of you saying - "Greg played football?" - no. Punting is like gondoleering in Italy, only it's British and not so dressed up. Think of the scene in Mary Poppins during the chalk paintings. It's gliding down the river using a big stick as both a propellor and a rudder.

The odd thing about punting - I'm really good at it. Astonishingly so, in fact. By the end of our short time on the river my traveling companions were looking at me in awe and calling me the puntmaster. Granted, it was in a facetious tone, but the point is I was good at something athletic - hooray! And I think it's because it didn't involve hand-eye coordination. Here's the proof - enjoy, oh and sorry about the fashion statement. (The other picture is of my future wife punting - I'm just lazily steering with an oar.)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potterific

Well I've been in England for a few days and it's been rather adventureous, to be sure.

Before the overview I have good news, and bad news. The good news is that the euro-mullet is alive and thriving here in the UK. The bad news is that I never have my camera out and ready when they appear, so I haven't been able to update the mulletin board. With any luck, though, I'll get a shot in the next couple of days.

Monday I had the pleasure of being exposed to all the travesties of Baliwood and Indian cuisine airline style on our flight to England.

Tuesday we toured a bit of Oxford. Mostly we were just trying to stay awake so that we could overcome the jetlag that night.

Wednesday we went to Bath where we sampled some rather disgusting natural hot spring water and saw a rather drunk Nicholas Cage wearing an atrocious lime-green sport coat.

Today we saw the new Harry Potter movie. It was actually really good. I thoroughly enjoyed it. My dear friend Mark says that Helena Bonham Carter stole the show as Bellatrix Lestrange. And though she was good, I must heartily disagree. First she wasn't in the show enough to steal it. Secondly the delightful quirkiness of the young miss Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood was practically the only thing worth watching at certain points. She made my day. The classic Harry Potter characters were also at the top of their games - as far as the adults are concerned anyhow. And Imelda Staunton as Delores Umbridge was nothing short of brilliant. And that, my friends, is my humble, yet accurate, opinion.

After the movie we went for tea and scones at the oldest coffee house in Europe. They've been serving coffee for almost 400 years:

Our tea was accompanied by the largest bowl of potpourri in existence.

Here are some other pictures from my trip so far this week. The first is of the picturesque countryside. Well, really, it's Mariah and I taking mock-engagement photos in the picturesque scenery. This is followed by one of said photos also containing creepy Keith in the background. I think we could write a novel based on this picture.

The other two are just cool pictures that I like. They're of us during a walk through the park. After traipsing about the countryside for a couple of days I've decided that I would love to move here. However, I'd only really like it if all my favorite people could be here with me. One day perhaps I'll fly everyone out to England for a trip. We'll go to Bath and have Sally Lunn buns at the famous Sally Lunn house. That would be delightful.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

4th Dimension

I traveled to my hometown for the 4th of July, and that's like traveling to a different world, not just a different state or country, so I figured it merited a post.

The 4th of July festivities back home have always intrigued me. They consist of the following: Starting at 7:30 in the morning there is a 5k run. Then the parade - one of the longest in creation - followed by activities on the park. These activities include, but are not limited to local entertainment (Hooray for my little sister singing, and the local fiddle group), a fishing booth, navajo tacos, the pentawhirl, deep fried twinkies, and the diaper derby. Everything wraps up about 1:30 with the culminating event of the day - the 4ht of July Fish Grab. Then everything is kind of dead until the fireworks at night.

Here was my involvement in those activities -

I ran the 5k. Now, those of you that know me well are probably thinking "What?!?! What on earth possessed you to get up at the crack of dawn to do something athletic?" I know, I know. Well it's one of life's little twists. I've been running lately, and my Dad invited me along, so I went. It was actually kind of fun. I came in 111th out of 133, which should set things back into normalcy for those of you who thought hell had frozen over. I did beat my Dad. And I came in right behind John Beck - the BYU quarterback. If I'd have known it was him before the race started, I would have tried harder. I also beat the mom with the stroller, so I was feeling pretty good.

We watched the parade - all 2 hours of it. Pointless, but it's a tradition. The following was my favorite entry from the parade:

I think I'll make a game out of it. Whoever can tell me what's wrong with this picture first - I realize there are many things wrong with this picture, but the main thing - gets a cookie. Those who were there don't get to play - sorry.

After the parade we spent a wonderful morning/afternoon on the city park. I had a fried twinky - which was delightful BTW. I saw some old friends. I even had the pleasure of observing the crazy kid from my high school class still being crazy. And I don't mean cool crazy, I mean creepy crazy. Some things never change.

And the culminating event of the day was, of course, the Fish Grab. Now you can't really tell from the video, but the little pools are filled with trout. I'm sure PETA would have a hey-day with this one:

Then it was time for a float down the canal. I didn't contract giardia, and there were only a few dead animals joining us, so it was a good day. It was very cold though, despite the infernal temperatures of the air. I think my body temperature was lowered a degree or two. I took a hot shower and wrapped up in a blanket for about a half an hour before I felt warm again. Good times in the canal.

The rest of the day was filled with movies, ice cream, impromptu meals, a nap and watching the fairly mediocre fireworks show from the roof of my parent's house. It really was a great day.

I love quirky small-town holidays. In my home town, everyone comes back for the 4th of July. My ten-year reunion will actually take place over the 4th in a number of years. I probably won't be married, so just to cause scandal and feed the rumor mill I'm thinking of either borrowing a baby from a friend and pretending to be a single father, or bringing a male friend and being conspicuously ambiguous about the nature of our relationship.