Monday, June 30, 2008


Signs that I'm about to start my period:
  1. I cannot get out of bed. I sleep heavier than at any other time, and it takes me a long time to actually wake up - even if I am walking and have taken a shower.
  2. My entire body aches.
  3. Everything that I do annoys Clin.
  4. Everything that Clin does annoys me.
  5. I have no sympathy, or patience for my daughter's actions.
  6. Everything makes me anxious.
  7. Dogs barking make me want to own a gun.
  8. I cannot wake up from naps.
  9. I feel that I have completely offended everyone.
  10. I don't talk to others for fear of offending them.
  11. I over analyze everything. Phone conversations, looks, actions, and emails. For example: I receive an email and assume it is targeted to me. So I quickly hit, Reply All - defend my actions, hit send, and then worry the rest of the night that my response was without tact and once again will offend.

In summation: I turn a bit crazy.

I'm even overthinking what I'm doing posting this, and will overanalyze everyone's comments and then I think that no one will comment and that I will be okay, but then I think aren't parents reading this and won't they be offended, and then I remind myself that my whole purpose in blogging is to get over my fear of offending everyone, and then I know that I will continue in this thought cycle until I actually start my period.


There is an empty (movie size) box of these in our garbage can. This is one of the most disgusting sites that I have ever seen.


Try them. You will know right away.

How someone managed to finish them off? I have no idea.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Dear Mr. Kirby Salesman:

Thank you for making me feel dirty. Very, very dirty.

It wasn't your tone of voice, or your manner, nor the way that you looked at our house. You are actually a really nice kid. I say kid because you look just like the young kid on Ratatouille. Hair and all.

I wouldn't have even let you in the house, but Clin opened the door. You said a free cleaning of one room - but no mention of your product. Clin heard "free" and "clean" and you were in. So we spent an hour and a half with you.

I warned you that Millie was afraid of vacuums. I thought that would be my out. That I would hide in her room, protecting her from the noise. But no! She was fascinated by the magic of your vacuum. Your tricks: the baking soda on the floor, the cigarette (tobacco sucked out, wrapper not touched), and all of your small white circles that showed the dust/lint/hair/dirt that resides where we live.

In fact Millie laid on the floor, belly down, hands supporting her head - as if she was watching a movie.

Yes, I wanted to purchase the amazing vacuum of the century. I wanted a motor created by Nasa. But there is no way that I'm going to spend that much on a vacuum. Not when there are so many needs that take precedence over wants.

So now, I feel dirty. But the main reason? One hour before you arrived, I had vacuumed. Everything. I even did the baseboards. I didn't even have the excuse of it being a day, or a week. No - my only dirty excuse was an hour. And all that work I did was obviously for nothing.

And the saddest part? I only vacuumed to make myself feel better - to feel like I was accomplishing something. And that... only lasted an hour.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

saying, "Come on! Be a Parent."

I learned some new parenting techniques while in New York.

If you care about your child going to college, keeping a scholarship, moving on in life - and if all of those things depend upon that said child taking the ACT, then it should probably happen before a trip to New York.

If, by some crazy act of allignment that no previous ACT times workout and the last and final opportunity to take the test arrives at the same time this child happens to be in New York - the following is highly recommended:
  1. Know the Time and Date of the ACT test.

  2. If the test is at NYU - make sure that the child knows which building, a room number, and has a telephone number to contact the testing service just in case. Walking into an NYU building on a random Saturday morning and asking where to go to take the test probably will not work.

  3. Know the required method of payment and make sure the child has that type of payment. Asking roomates if they brought a check book the night before the test will not solve the problem for two reasons: 1) It doesn't have the child's name or address on it, 2) It is an out of state check.

Good advice for us all - I would say.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

eating and eating and eating (part 2)...

The following is a continuation of my report on our trip to New York with a group of 64 - most of whom were high school theatre and film students.

Clin's Detour:

Great idea Clin. Walk to central park from the Natural History Museum (just across the street) but take a detour since it's lunchtime. We walk about four blocks south and one or two blocks west in search of the infamous Gray's Papaya. All with a group of about 60 hungry/tired people. But it was worth it. We arrived, lined up and they had us out of there in about 30 minutes. Most got the recession special: 2 hot dogs and a papaya drink for $3.50. This includes the tax. Yup - that is a true special. And I will say - best hot dogs ever. I mean it. Costco hot dogs are dust in comparison.

Then we, as a group, headed south one more block and returned east a block to hit Magnolia Bakery. Again - I thought it would be crazy. Clin and I visited the original location a couple of years ago and it is tiny. I thought the group would be lined up the rest of the week, and no way would we make it to Central Park. We were out of there in 15 minutes. They were fast, the location is much larger, and they have room to sit down and eat. It was very enjoyable.
And can I just mention? - I'm not a cake fan. Never have been - but the banana pudding beats all and was worth it.

Thank you Meredith for the banana pudding tip. That's right, Clin and I have a New York friend (although we knew her back in the Provo days), and not only was she kind enough to give us tips on the best - she works at the store. She also decides what is made each day as well as does teh writing on the cakes. And her story is really interesting - so head to her blog and read if you're interested.

Public Apology Tangent:

Meredith -
I'm sorry that I didn't end up calling you on Saturday of our trip. By the end of the week, we were so tired and focused on getting kids where they were going, that it never seemed liked we had much time to plan ahead and do anything. Please don't feel slighted. I'm not really great at friend making, or keeping. So I hope this didn't spoil the friendship that may have remained. I'm so proud of you and will keep reading your blog and living vicariously through you. Jackie

Other food eaten:

Norma's - Told the wait was 45 minutes, ended up waiting 2 hours. Mom and Dad actually waited with us. After that wait anything would taste good. I orded exactly what I had 2 years ago - The Waz-za. It is a waffle with fruit in it and fruit on top with a creme brulee top. The creme brulee is what forced me to get it. Now that I look back, I would have preferred to return to S'Mac or Peanut Butter & Co.

Max Brenner: Chocolate by the bald man - Overrated. I was so looking forward to this place. I was expecting to be wowed. It was compared to Willie Wonka, a menu of all desserts. Clin and I ordered the Sharing, which is a Tasting for Two of their different treats. Always the way to go when there are too many choices, right? Wrong this time.

Let's refer to this visual. We received a plate of items (above) that included: 1) chocolate and peanut butter snack, 2) banana split waffle, 3) chocolate sauce, 4) pop rock candy chocolate lick, 5) chocolate-covered ice cream.

Then they also brought us a dark chocolate fondue (upper right of the picture), with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows and a grill to toast the marshmallows.

We were so sick. It was too much. Too rich, too dark, and did I mention too much? (My favorite was the pop rock candy chocolate lick). One problem was that we had no idea how we were supposed to eat some of the items, if other things were meant to mix with others, and soon everything began tasting the same.

A warning to the wise - stick with the milkshakes. Everyone seemed to love them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

star struck.

The following is a continuation of my report on our trip to New York with a group of 64 - most of whom were high school theatre and film students.

Walking around New York, visiting the theatre, mingling with the famous.

  1. Mario Lopez - Hot dog vendor by day, member of the cast of A Chorus Line by night. He walked right by me wearing a back pack and white tank top. (And no I am not stalking him - I'm thinking perhaps I have some type of magnetism that just draws A. C. Slater to me.) He is shorter in person.

  2. Lead Singer of Counting Crows - Enjoyed In The Heights with him. We shared a moment. He a few rows in front of, a few rows behind. His hair is much crazier in person.

  3. John Slattery - Clin spotted him in the will call line for Boeing Boeing. Right in front of us. Yes, I could reach out and nuggy that beautiful grey head of his. Instead, Clin touched him on the shoulder and I promptly looked down, or at other people, or anywhere else so that he would know that I was not associated with Clin nor did I, in any way, support Clin's actions. Clin said that he enjoyed him in Ed (which I really did enjoy him in), and he said "Thank you, I enjoyed doing that show." I got the feeling that he was not pleased to be pointed out like that in a crowd. Clin did not get that feeling. Again - he is short.
  4. Mr. Charlie's Angels - spotted in the will call line for Boeing Boeing. He went up to Mr. Slaterly and shook his hand and the two stood in front of the theatre talking for quizte awhile. Must be the mutual actors association - you know, both act.... Perhaps there is a trust involved if you both act in major movies/TV. Mr. Angel is also short.
  5. Megan Mullaly - We saw a few famous in various productions - but our group got to stay after Young Frankenstein and talk with cast members. Megan happened to join the cast members and talk with us. This is what I learned: She is short, didn't get Will & Grace until in her 40s and thus totally looks younger than she is, she let the other (lesser known) cast members talk most, has never had voice lessons, very down to earth. Go Megan!

Monday, June 23, 2008

eating and eating and eating...

The following is a continuation of my report on our trip to New York with a group of 64 - most of whom were high school theatre and film students.

When Clin and I go to New York - a highlight is the food. I blame my interest in new and fun food stems from too many hours spent with the Food Network (although Clin's family says that he has been food obsessed since birth.)

Some of my favorites:

S'Mac - I can't believe that we did not take pictures of our food at this place. But here we are in front of the menu. This was my trip highlight. Not very expensive - and What can I say? It's all Mac & Cheese. I got the Mediterranean, Clin got the Masala Mac, Brent (another chaperone) got the Alpine, and Amanda (Brent's wife and chaperone extroardinaire) got the Napoletana. I liked mine - really rich with Goat cheese, but I really loved the Napoletana bite that I had.

My only disappointment was that we did not go back. I thought about it the rest of the trip and it still lingers in my mind.

ChickaLicious - I can't remember where I heard about this place - but we were looking at their website over a year ago. We stumbled upon this dessert bar trying to find another restaurant. Completely lost, not planning on eating a meal of dessert - but the second we saw it we said oh yeah - we've been meaning to eat multiple courses of dessert. And it was perfect. Not too much, and oh, so good. Go here now.

Clin and I both ordered the Prix Fixe - which comes with an Amuse, an Entree Dessert, and Petit Fours. Here Clin poses with his entree - which was a type of fruit/dessert soup and was like eating light clouds with a bit of air.

My entree was the Warm Chocolate Tart with Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream and Red Wine Sauce. I wanted something chocolatey but also the pink peppercorns intriqued. I mean, come on, who has ever heard of pink peppercorns? It was really great. I ate slow, made it last, and kept telling Clin that I scored the better entree. He disagreed.This is an image of the petite fours, which consisted of: homemade marshmallows covered in coconut, chocolate truffles, and pecan shortbread. My tastebud's happiness from favorite to least: Shortbread, truffles, marshmallows.

I wanted to return to this establishment as well. It is tiny. Only 20 seats, the owner is right behind the bar creating the desserts in front of you. You can see the only back room, which is smaller than a bathroom, and then there is also one bathroom - that is it. Everyone is right there with you, while you eat and talk. And everyone is very, very nice. Clin and I were the only ones eating at the about royal treatment.

Peanut Butter & Co. - This picture is of Amanda, Me, and Brent in the back of the Taxi trying to book it over to Peanut Butter & Co. This has been on our list for a few years, and it is a bit out of the way as far as the planned itinerary goes. We had to make a concerted effort. But it was well worth the wait. I was dreaming about peanut butter the rest of the trip and am sad that we didn't purchase a bottle to bring home for us.

I ate the fluffernutter (my first ever), and it was so rich I could only eat half. Clin got White chocolate Wonderful Sandwich (White chocolate peanut butter and orange marmalade - and I thought it also had almonds on it as well.) Oh, heaven. I ate the second half of it as a midnight snack and it was divine!!! And it was very, very messy.

The store is tiny - no place to eat. So we headed down the block and ate in a tough looking section of Washington Park. Our table was a chess board and we had sets of people playing chess on each side of us (you know, making money by winning). We felt out of place, but it was fun to watch.

Momofuku - Noodle bar. What's up with trendy restaurants not having a sign or even anything on their door (ChickaLicious too)? We got lost finding this place (but then happened upon ChickaLicious). But when we did - oh, wow noodles.

To Be Continued...

Friday, June 20, 2008


Favorite quote from the NY trip:

Brent Cox: Hey look Amanda. It's Mario Lopez selling hot dogs.

We look.

And in fact it was Mario Lopez selling hot dogs at a cart just south of the Museum of Natural History. Almost as fascinating as the museum itself.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

reveling in theatre.

The best part of NY is the theatre. Lots and lots of theatre. It is usually different from year to year, and everything else that we visit (Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Ellis Island, Grand Central, Museums, etc.) we have seen at least 3 or 4 other times. But the theatre...all new.

We saw 8 productions this time. And I thought I should rate and review here. You know, in case you decide to jaunt on over to NYC and see some theatre; you can use my esteemed opinion in making your choice.

  1. In The Heights

    1. I am so in love with this musical. You know, hip-hop dancing, rap, ethnic corner of the world - completely up my alley. If you know me, I'm all about that. The script is a simple story - probably predictable, but that simplicity lends itself to the reality of the feelings behind the music. And witty, witty humor.

    2. Great dancing. Transitions between scenes - dancers come on, they make a dance move as if a complete dance break/song is about to burst out and scene begins. Talk about smooth.

    3. Bonus! My parents (of the baby boom generation) were able to understand the rap. And they weren't offended. That means - family friendly:)

    4. Finally, I love Lin-Manuel Miranda. He wrote the music and words and came up with the concept, and is one of the lead characters. I will repeat: I love Lin-Manuel Miranda. Not in the husband/wife type of love. No....I love him for every other reason. Such as:

      1. He was a 7th grade teacher for a few years - after graduating from college, writing the original draft of the musical, and before becoming a broadway star. I'm partial to teachers.

      2. He is really likeable as the lead, Usnavi. And the lyrics are very witty. He won a Tony for music/lyrics.

      3. To promote the show he re-created the song from High School Musical 2 where Zac Effron sings on the golf course. But he changed the lyrics and filmed it in Central Park. That's right, dance moves and all. Go ahead and watch. I dare you to tell me that he is not likeable.

  1. Jersey Boys

    1. Continual singing and dancing. And the whole time I'm thinking (and everyone else in the audience is as well), how can they still be singing and dancing and sounding so awesome?

    2. Watching all the 40+ yr old audience get into it. Something about reliving their youth? I don't know, but they go crazy for this music.

    3. My favorite moment - a man in the lower part of the balcony stands up and starts dancing at the beginning of Sherry Baby. He then realizes slowly that no one is standing with him. The woman next to him tugs on his pant leg and he slowly sits down. Awe. Some.

  2. The 39 Steps

    1. I'm not a Hitchcock fan - but this was so entertaining. Very theatrical. Minimal props - stage looked like we could see back wall and side brick. 4 characters and only 1 of them played the same character throughout. 3 others played what seemed like a 100+ characters. (including a muddy bog. That's right. One man portrayed a muddy bog.)

    2. One man fell backwards onto his back, his legs flipped up and kept going over his head and he ended up on his stomach. All without padding. Take that Donald O'Conner.

    3. Fun. Ny.

  3. (or 5) Mary Poppins

    1. Story was a bit weak. Why does Mary Poppins leave half way through? What makes her come back so soon after?

    2. Okay - the critics weren't too hot on this, but come on. It's Mary Poppins. Fun music, great dancing.

    3. I am in love with Bert. He is so likeable. I watched him in every dancing number, couldn't take eyes off of him. Did I mention that I'm in love with Bert?

  4. (or 4) Boeing Boeing

    1. Very funny.

    2. Women portrayed were a bit over the top. But funny.

    3. I love you Christine Baranski.

    4. Mark Rylance made this extremely funny. He won a Tony and deservedly so. His character was the strongest part of the show.

  5. Wicked

    1. What's that you say? Number 6 on your list? You are shocked. I can tell. Please note: I have seen it 3 times now. Nothing beats seeing it the first time. And nothing beats seeing Kirsten Chenowith as the original Glinda.

  6. (or 8) Young Frankenstein

    1. 100% innuendo and double entendre. Or, as I like to call it, boy humor.

    2. I just don't find boy humor funny. I don't know why. I don't think it is very witty, an easy joke - and I don't see the humor in it.

    3. Production quality was great.

    4. Igor was hilarious. Hi. Larious.

  7. (or 7) Spring Awakening

    1. Beautiful Music

    2. Staged in the style of Brecht. I love that.

    3. Script was very cliche. Come on. The whole first half is about teenage sexual angst, and the second half turns into Romeo and Juliet-ishness. I understand the turmoil associated with keeping such things secret - but this was taken to an extreme level. A bit overdramatic. A bit high school drama. I thought that I would be changed, moved, feel something. Just when I was feeling that the show was saying something deep/beautiful, the storyline took me out of it.


Back from NYC. It was a good year. All in all - there was only one student that drove me nuts. Out of a group of 64 that counts as a really great year.

Our trip was exciting, in a calm way. (Nothing tops the excitement of 2006 travel agency cancellation/bankruptcy the Friday before we left.) I'm going to write about the trip from a topical standpoint, rather than a daily journal. For a more detailed re-telling head to Clin's Blog.

Monday, June 16, 2008

returning from NY.

Monday Agenda:

  1. Freetime to see and grab anything last minute. (e.g. macaroons, garlic knots, and more macaroons)

  2. Wrangle our group onto shuttles.

  3. Board plane and sleep.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

in NY....still.

Sunday Agenda:
  1. Norma's
  2. Matinee: Boeing, Boeing
  3. Evening: Our Choice (Tony Awards tonight so not much is actually playing. Clin and I may see Avenue Q - since it is playing and we still have not seen this.)

Reminder to you All:

Watch the Tony Awards! And please tape them as well, just in case our VCR does not work. What's that you say? You're shocked that we do not have a DVR/Tivo? So is Clin. But that is for a future post.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

still in NY.

Saturday Agenda:
  1. Take students to Empire State Building

  2. Clin and I jaunt to J.P. Morgan Library

  3. Matinee: In the Heights

  4. Evening Show : our choice. (39 steps, or Sunday in the Park with George, or Gypsy....too many choices.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

in NY. (cont.)

Friday Agenda:

  1. Ellis Island - my favorite

  2. Walk to Wall Street to September 11 site, to China Town

  3. Wicked

Thursday, June 12, 2008

in NY. (cont.)

Agenda for Thursday:

  1. Museum of Natural History

  2. Magnolia Bakery and Meredith

  3. Central Park

  4. Mary Poppins

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

in NY.

Agenda for Today:
  1. Lincoln Center Tour
  2. Matinee of our choice (possibly Spring Awakening)
  3. See Young Frankenstein (hoping no students walk out -- or Mom and Dad)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

arriving in NY.

Group of 58 this year. 6 chaperones. Mostly students and, thankfully, many adults/parents. Mom and Dad are our roommates this time around.

Today we arrive, eat, and then see Jersey Boys.

Monday, June 9, 2008

saying, "Happy Anniversary!"

8 years. Wow. 8 years sounds like a long time. This is my favorite photo from our wedding reception. (Picture quality stinks because we currently have no scanner, and I had to take a digital picture of the picture and....our camera stinks.)

How are celebrating? Taking the girls to Brigham City to be with Pappa and Granny Lany, Maddox for dinner, and then New York here we come.

Clin- Thanks for your patience, for understanding mood swings, and for your optimism, for making the girls breakfast last week, for mowing the lawn, for making me spend money, and making me leave the house. I love you.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I am so, so sick right now. If I watch one more minute of this movie I will have to throw up.

in love.

or perhaps it is an addiction? My happiest evenings include this show. It is on two glorious days each week. I wish that it was on 7. That's right, all 7. Yes, an addiction. I feel happy when it's on - sad when it's not. Just like a drug.

This year is the most exciting - not 1, 2, 3, but 4 of the top twenty are from UT! Yup!! And two, Gev and Thayne, have worked with Clin through Hale Centre Theatre. Both also did workshops with his Musical Theatre students....and both are beyond nice, beyond talented and worthy to win.

The bestest news is if the Spouse knows them, then I get to claim at least 2 degrees of separation and possibly even 1. And I have automatic favorites (or should I say friends? best friends? cousins? we are practically related you know.) to root for.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I currently have no readers. This is a nice place to be. I am entering the wild world of blogging, hoping to find a way to escape the daily repetition of waking, eating, enforcing time out, and sleeping. The point? This blog is about me and for me. Selfish? I know!

If you are reading - Please don't be offended. I have post-poned this venture for two reasons:

  1. I only write in my personal journal when I'm sad, menstruating, depressed, or all three. I've told spouse that upon my death he should burn all journals. If not - all happy memories will cease to exist upon their reading. And offense will occur. I fear that may happen here...although I hope to exercise a bit of tact and control.

  2. I have lost friends; good, college roommate, forever friends type friends. One Christmas, as I helped plan a friends/roommate reunion, lost friend emailed the following to the entire group

    -Lost Friend: "My son has peanut allergy, and doesn't have enough impulse control yet to not eat peanut stuff if he sees it, so I hope you wouldn't mind not bringing things with nuts?"

    -Roommate #1: "Okay for me to bring [my sister]? She'll be coming down from Seattle that night, so she'll probably be late, but she really wants to see all the girls and babes."

    -Me: "Yeah! Of course [your sister] is invited. I don't think you even need to ask....that is, unless she is a peanut, or manufactured partially from, or in a plant that packages peanut products."

    -Lost Friend: "Just so you know, so you don't do this to someone else too...It's pretty insensitive and offensive to mom's of peanut allergic children to be made fun of for trying to protect their child from something that shows up at parties often, and yet kills them. Families of peanut allergic children need nothing except support and understanding from their friends and family in order to deal with their problem. If your inclination is to joke about this serious problem, it would be wise to first wait from a cue from the family that they're okay with it being a laughing matter."

So what happened? You're on edge, I've got you hooked. I cried, then I groveled, apologized, and said apology was accepted. I have not heard from Lost Friend since.

I have many, many other examples (future posts).

Grandparents - I know that you want to hear about the kids. Maybe. Sometimes. If I'm really depressed. Again, selfish. I know.

So do not be surprised when you are offended....or depressed after reading this blog. Just blame me, my selfishnes, and don't complain.