Month: March 2012

Let me introduce you.

Guys. She’s shiny. She’s clean. She’s elegant and silver and has the most perfect action my fingers could ask for.

I got a laptop.

(!!)

I know. I did, completely, just purchase a laptop on the basis of “I love how these keys feel under my fingers.” Is that ridiculous? Perhaps. But I have never quite gotten into the groove of the Kitchen Computer’s keypad. Oh, but Regina, she’s got some great action. My laptop is named Regina. As in Regina Spektor. I don’t know why. I just decided right here in this paragraph that this should be her name.

She’s a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Which, obviously, is apropos and stuff, since I am, likewise, a pro.

I got a laptop because I got an agent. A little reward for a great accomplishment, don’t you know. Do you like how I buried that in here?

I’ll tell you more about that great story in another post. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying (very enjoying) the fact of blogging from the living room floor.

Also on the floor, I’ve completed the first unit of Rosetta Stone’s Mandarin Chinese lessons. Yes. Why not? I can almost tell the difference between these sentences: “The man is drinking juice” and “The girls are reading the newspaper.” But only when there’s text that looks vaguely American attached. But how cool is that? Who wouldn’t want to learn to speak Mandarin? I ask you. I ask you.

And I think I’ll quickly run out of excuses not-to-blog, since I can take Regina with me wherever I go. (Do you think the musical RS will approve my choice?)

Happy weekend, everyone.

Ketchup. Catsup? All right. Catch. Up.

I’m feeling much better. Thank you. And sounding almost normal. Keep the prayers coming / fingers crossing / voodoo dolls dancing. I’m totally feeling the love.

*Things I’ve Learned While Not Having a Voice* (In No Apparent Order)
## I can live without answering the phone for days at a time. Days, I tell you.
## In a pinch, Atomic Fireballs can stand in for coughdrops. But only if you’re a person who eats sugar. And if you’re a person who does not eat sugar or sugar-style substitutes, your cough drops options are slim and strange.
## When Mama isn’t talking, the decibel level in the house is strangely low and lovely.
## ¬†Whispering is evil. And I should never, ever do it if I want my voice back. So… sign language.

Brilliant Kid 1 got her ACT scores. She had to go to the Rude Counselling Office Secretary [1] and ask for it. RCOS took her sweet time, for whatever reason having a difficulty with the spelling of our last name (sheesh). After moments of hemming and hawing (she really hemmed, and also hawed — it’s part of her job description) RCOS said, “You got a 36” and paused for a long time before saying “on the English section.” Kid 1 restarted her heart and possibly did a little fist-pump. RCOS then told her her other (only slightly less astronomical) numbers which “averaged” (I’ll trust her, I didn’t do the math myself) to 32. [2] We’re pleased. Why, yes, we’d love to send her to university for free. Thank you again.

I am again convinced that “GOOD OMENS” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is the funniest book I’ve ever read. I’m re-enjoying it oh-so-much. There might be some snorting aloud. It happens.

Sunshine? I’m ready for you. Although the theatrical cloudiness of the sky is lovely and poetic and stuff, I’m really ready for some afternoon rays.

You know how death and other unfortunate things are said to happen in Threes? I’m here to tell you good things do, too, if you’re looking for such good things. And if you can count to three. I think present company is good there. Details soon.

[1] As opposed to the very, very nice Counselling Office Secretary, who is always polite to both adults and students — just imagine that.

[2] 36 is a perfect score. ACT is the western states version of SAT. All righty. “They” say that a kid’s second try will often be 2 points higher than the first try. This was the first try. All done bragging now.

Eww. Sick.

So I have had this little cold for a week. I took a day off, stayed in bed and everything, and it did start to feel better.

Then I performed Nunsense on Saturday night. Oy. I made sound come out almost every time sound was supposed to come out, but it wasn’t always the perfectly-exact sound, if you know what I mean. I am not being ironic, or even exaggerating (believe it or not) when I tell you that I gave that performance everything I had. An hour later, the voice was nearly gone, and the next morning, I sounded dreadful. Much of yesterday I hid in my room and tried not to speak. I’m taking that same approach today, hoping (praying) that some magic of the herbal-tea-and-cough-drops diet will restore my voice by tomorrow. Cause I have things to do, people. I have book talks at the elementary school book fair tomorrow. How are those kids going to know which books to beg their moms for if I don’t tell them? And Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I’m teaching school. Then the Nunsense closing night on Saturday. See? I need some voodoo.

What works? How do I recover a lost voice?

Secrets? Tricks?

I’m so proud.

At our church on Sundays, the teenage girls meet together, and as a rule, I’m not there. Because I’m not a teenage girl, and I don’t have an assignment with them. But yesterday, my brilliant friend Macy (remember her?) came to present a talk to the girls. So I went, too. And as they girls were starting their meeting, they were asked, “Does anyone have any great news to share?” And my Kid 2 raised her hand and said, “My sister won Region Drama best actress, won first place in dramatic monologue, and her one-act play took first place.” And then my Kid 1 raised her hand and said, “Oh, yeah? Well my sister got superior ratings at her violin federation yesterday.”

That’s the kind of bragging I can get behind.

Again. Again. Again.

Do you ever feel like your life is on repeat? Those same things, again and again? Like, for instance, we watched the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert again this Sunday afternoon. And, again, it felt a lot like THIS. Also this time, I wanted the guy who designed the lighting to come out and take a bow. Wow. The lighting.

And I’ve been doing a lot of school teaching. And I love being a substitute teacher, because it gives me the very best of the teaching opportunities without any of the hard work. (Yes, that is just exactly the kind of girl I am. Are you new here or something?) And this week I got to talk about To Kill a Mockingbird, and even to watch Gregory Peck be Atticus. Oh, Gregory. Oh, Atticus. You are one in my heart. And I got to teach high school seniors about resumes, so naturally I took in like 500 bloopers from the worst resumes ever written and shared them. Also, I showed them THIS. Because I own the skill of getting around the local school district’s non-YouTube filter. Add Hacker to my resume. Also, yesterday this dumb thing I did: I asked a certain class to do a certain thing, and several of the kids said they’d do it. So I wrote their names down. Here’s the thing. I teach these classes now and then, maybe almost once a month. I’m THEIR sub, if you know what I mean. And they like me. And I like them, too. And I’m learning many of their names. But. Mostly the ones on the top half of the attendance rolls, because once I hit the Ms, I’m just ready to move on instead of making eye contact with everyone. See? So yesterday, I wrote down the names of the kids I could remember, then I had TO ASK A COUPLE OF THEM TO TELL ME THEIR NAMES. They were offended, in the most polite way. They teased me. One said, head cocked to the side, “Really? You don’t know me?” And I laughed and said, of course I do, you’re my very best friend, and COME ON. It’s not like you know MY first name. And he got that “What are you talking about?” look on his face and said, “Becca.” Like, duh, lady. Then he told me who he was and I repeated his name seventeen times, and now I will never forget it again. First or last. Or initials BS (no kidding). And I used to think I was good with names. Turns out that as a sub, you end up with about a thousand different students a month. And I’m just not THAT GOOD.

And Nunsense is a riot. We’re pretty darn funny, if I must say so myself. Again. (Saturdays in March at 7:00. 100N 100W in Heber City. I’ll be there, I promise. I’m the one in the NunSuit.)

Also, apparently while I was inside a building somewhere, Spring sprang up around here. Sprang is a word. Spell checker doesn’t even try to stop me from using it. Sprang, sprang, sprang. I’m giddy with freedom. Sprang. It sounds like “boing” — another word that is very fun to say and type and read. At least for me. And, need I remind you who this blog belongs to? I thought not.

And remember once when I told you I read NORTH AND SOUTH? And that I wanted to adore it? Well, I finally found enough minutes to finish watching the BBC miniseries. Guess what. Go on, guess. Oh, all right. I’ll tell you. I said these words to Husband: “The movie was better than the book.” He gasped and made me repeat myself. (It’s happened before. I feel that way about the Wynona Ryder/Susan Sarandon/Christian Bale version of Little Women, too.) But N&S was so lovely that I will watch it again. When I get 4 hours. Check back with me in a few months. (Keyword: Richard Armitage. Yes. Yes.)

I made hotel reservations to go to this lovely place in July. It will be glorious and tree-full and hot and humid and my hair will be a flat-out disaster. But it will be awesome nonetheless. (Sometimes I just like to write things that aren’t words normal people would ever say.) (Should ever say?) And my parents are there, and it will be so, so good to have a real, face-to-face, hug-it-out kind of conversation with them again. It has been WAY too many months. (11 already.) And I’m going to find out how to get an excursion on a Mississippi River paddle boat, ala Mr. Mark Twain. They’d have that, right? (Google, come to my aid.) (Again.)

And, since it’s been very nearly a year, I’m thinking about paying someone to cut my hair again. Just a trim, but a trim done by someone else’s hands sounds like quite a treat. Yes. That sounds like a lovely idea. I’ll let you know if I actually choose to act on that lovely idea.

Then there’s this: On my no-white-flour, no sugar thing, I lost 12 pounds (mostly in February). And then I started getting cocky and cheating now and then (pizza, yes — pasta, once — cookies, only the lemon ones — and it’s girl scout cookie ice cream month [thank you, Dreyer’s], so, Samoas, yes) and for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been at a stall. But I’m back on the wagon again. Why do I feel the need to tell you these things? I have no idea. But I told you anyway. You’re welcome.

 

Save me some Daylight

So tonight we move the clocks. Husband is very excited. He loves evening light, and even though he understands that the day isn’t actually ANY LONGER (still 24 hours, mostly 12 dark and 12 light as of now), there is light after he comes home from work, which makes him think (rightly) that he’s got a life outside the office and the commute.

I am less excited, and not only because I have a 7:00 meeting tomorrow morning. I like morning light. I like to wake up and see the sky holding that blue pre-dawn light. I like arriving at school on those work-days with the sky light. And let’s face it, I’m going to bed early, so the light night thing is less important to me (and even, sometimes, gets in the way of my plans to fall asleep by nine). (Just kidding.) (Sort of.)

But it has been the most mild winter in our 11 winters here in the Frozen Mountaintops, and we’ve even had a couple of warm-your-skin days lately. Spring is moving in, and I can give up some weeks of morning light to make room for Spring.

So I’ll see you bright and early (dark and early?) Sunday morning, and if I feel the need to grumble, I’ll do it while it’s still dark so nobody can see.

Books! Books!

Okay, so here’s the thing. I’m reading a book or two that I’m enjoying, but I don’t know if I can recommend. They’re marvelous works of writing, but not exactly Virtuous and Lovely, if you know what I mean.

But I can tell you this: A new book is coming out this week, and it will be all kinds of lovely, recommendability, and enjoyability. TWITTERPATED, by our very own Melanie Jacobson.¬†You know that in general I like to actually read a book before I recommend it, but this isn’t your general In General. Because after THE LIST and NOT MY TYPE, we know what we can expect from our Melanie J. (And there’s more to come. You can read about the more here.) This TWITTERPATED book? It will be sassy. It will be funny. It will be romance-y. It will be awesome, because MJ is good at creating awesome.

Also, Kid 4 (the competitive one) was adding up reading minutes for Literacy Month, and he busted through all the Percy Jackson books during February. Now he’s reading Frank Cole’s Hashbrown Winters series, and is asking for a recommendation for the next series. Want to give us some ideas? He’s read the first 2 or 3 Harry Potters, which is probably enough, up to this point in his tender years. He’s 8. So keep that in mind. No gratuitous violence, m’Kay?

And y’all have a couple more days in which to pre-order Tell Me Who I Am, right over here on my sidebar. Saving 30% is what the Cool Kids are doing.

(And for those of you who have been asking, my next book-thing is in limbo. “Limbo” is code for “in the hands of several agents.” So, we’ll see. Patience is my favorite thing, don’t you know.)

 

Nunsense

I’m in another musical.

I know. I’m seeking help.

But this one’s FUNNY. I’m playing Sister Mary Hubert in NUNSENSE, and I tap dance. And sing gospel. And strut across the stage. Also, I tell jokes. Which is where you come in. I need a few extra jokes for half-time warm-up. That’s not really what it’s called. That’s just what I call it. But I get to open Act II, and if you know any funny Nun jokes, or Catholic jokes, or Mormon jokes, or Bible jokes (Okay, and let’s keep it G-rated, people, can we?) I want them.

The show starts next weekend and runs Saturdays through March, 7:00 at Timpanogos Valley Theatre, 100 North and 100 West in Heber City. Tickets here or at the door.

End of advertisement. Back to your lives.