Friday, July 31, 2009

Miss You, Mark.

This August 2nd will mark three years since the untimely death of a beautiful friend. I can't put into words how bright, unique, talented, kind, and unexpectedly hilarious my friend Mark Higbee was. It's been three years, but there's rarely a day that goes by without his crossing my mind. He is dearly missed and loved by everyone who was fortunate enough to share even a moment with him on this planet.

Moving along, it seems that Mark was quite the fan of one of my all-time best heroes, Mr. Dave Barry. If you frequent my blog, you know that Dave is featured as a regular in the right column. So, as a tribute to my friend Mark Higbee, I'm going to put Dave in the spotlight today...front and center spot on the blog! This little snippet was sent to me by Mark's mother, as a way of remembering him. Thank you, Annette, for sharing this with me.

I'm passing it on to you so you can have a good laugh. If you have any sense of humor at all, you WILL laugh. Oh yes, you WILL laugh.


1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings".
3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
5. And when God, who created the entire universe with all of its glories, decides to deliver a message to humanity, HE WILL NOT use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.
6. You should not confuse your career with your life.
7. No matter what happens . . . somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
8. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that person is crazy.
9. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
10. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
11. Never lick a steak knife.
12. Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.
13. The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.
14. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
15. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
16. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.
17. "The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.
18. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
19. Your friends love you anyway.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Mary Poppins Weekend

I just had a Mary Poppins weekend.
Practically perfect in every way.

BYU sent me to Chicago for an alumni event on Friday night and it was a smashing success! I got to meet a lot of really fun and interesting people.


all work and no play makes Jacey stupid for not taking advantage of a free trip to Chicago!

Jon drove from Omaha and we hit the town!

We got lots of great suggestions for things to do while in the city, but when you've only got one day, it's impossible to see and do everything there is to be seen and done in the windy city.

ALSO...I was under very strict instruction to NOT...I repeat...NOT plan anything. I have a tendency to over-plan, according to SOME people from Nebraska, so I swore an oath not to Google anything "Chicago" prior to this trip. I'm happy to report that I kept my promise and held planner Jacey's head under water until our weekend was over. And we still had fun! And I didn't even die!

We took the architectural cruise on the river through the city. VERY cool. Check out these awesome pics that my little phone cam took. Good job, little phone cam!
The Budweiser clydesdales happened to be hanging out at Navy Pier on the day we were there. Massive animals! The pic doesn't do this guy justice.

We walked all the way to the end of Navy Pier out to Lake Michigan. Caught some "interesting" entertainment. But not that interesting. Not that entertaining, either. But who cares? We were in Chicago!

Gosh, the city has some wonderful views, does it not?

We're on the underside of a large fountain near the river. That's water cascading down behind us.

Here's that fountain from the outside. Along with another great view. Did I mention the great views in Chicago?

Would you like fries with those baby browns?

We topped off the evening with a FANTASTIC show--the Blue Man Group show! We loved it! And look, it's a real Blue Man taking a picture with us!
When in Chicago, one must talk about the food. We had some Giordano's pizza, which came highly recommended to us by my little BYU alum buddy Joseph Tateoka (and the lady in the elevator in the Hotel Monaco). Thanks, Joseph...and elevator lady!

Also, we ate Double Stuf Oreos and lots of them...with milk, of course. What's that got to do with Chicago? Absolutely nothing. We just like to eat Double Stuf Oreos. Do we need a reason?

Other than lots and lots of walking, those are the highlights. I had such a great time in Chicago. Thanks, Brad Rawlins for sending me, and thanks, Jonathan Warren for making it a Mary Poppins weekend...and for the free therapy to help me quiet my planning compulsion. You're the best!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wireless Woes

I wasn't given a writing assignment, per se, this time around. I just felt inspired by a recent real-life incident that annoyed the snot out of me. So here goes. Feedback welcome, as always.

Wireless Woes

I went to the car wash yesterday. I wasn’t hurting anyone. I was minding my own business. I only wanted my minivan cleaned, nothing more. I sat patiently while the work was done, sipping my diet soda and thumbing happily through the pages of a waiting area magazine, when “she” walked in.

You know who “she” is. You’ve been accosted by her at some point, either in the grocery store aisle, the line at the bank, or maybe even in the hushed lobby of a doctor’s office. She’s the one yammering into the air and making eye contact with, well, no one. You wonder to which of the forty people in the room she might be speaking. Nobody seems to be engaging her. You even wonder if she is talking to you. Then you see it, the tiny bud in her ear and the itty bitty hot pink phone in her hand. She’s chatting away with someone possibly hundreds of miles away. Not only is she not addressing anyone in the vicinity, she is tactlessly unaware that you or any of those other unfortunate people are even in the room. Nor does she care, for that matter. It gets better. When she was born, doctors discovered that she was missing a vital body part. That’s right; she was born without an indoor voice box. She’s loud. She’s boorish. And she “needed” to make a phone call. Right then. It couldn’t wait. The guy on the other end needed to know immediately that she wasn’t really up to much of anything.

I want more laws for people like her. Here in Utah, we already have cell phone laws in place, like the one that prohibits texting while driving. We all know this is a matter of public safety. Likewise, men and women with certain medical conditions-like the absence of an indoor voice box-should have their phone usage closely governed. This, too, is a matter of public safety. Yesterday, for example, as I sat with the other increasingly irked patrons in that small waiting area listening to one side-the LOUD side-of a totally unnecessary conversation, it was all I could do to keep from calmly walking over to her and making that bud a permanent part of her ear canal. My new law idea could prevent such an incident. Purchasing a cell phone shouldn’t be any easier than buying a gun these days, especially if you’re going to use your phone as a weapon for crimes against humanity. I want medical records queried and background checks performed before any store clerk carelessly hands over one more cell phone to a member of the general public.

Where did the manufacturers come up with the Bluetooth® moniker, anyway? Wouldn’t “BlackEye” or “PurpleShins” be a more fitting name for this device, since that is what many of us wish to administer to its users when we encounter them in public places? And speaking of manufacturers, they could do us all a favor by turning back the technological clock a few years. I recall the infancy stages of the cell phone, when they were all hand-held and the size and weight of a cinder block. I say we revisit the good old days of cumbersome phone designs and make it highly inconvenient for this woman and her minions to annoy us in our car washes.

Would it have been too much to ask of her to simply take her conversation-and her outdoor voice-outside? Of course, when I say “outside,” I mean Wyoming…or Canada.

I probably sound bitter…and intolerant…and slightly disposed to violence. Perhaps. But this isn’t about me. I’m not the bad guy here. I just wanted my car washed. After all, texting and driving in a filthy car can be extremely distracting. Safety first. That’s my motto.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Trails

I just had a maaahvelous weekend with one of my most favorite of all people.

My friend Jon came to visit for a couple of days. He lives in Nebraska. They don't have mountains there. As you may know, Utah does. Serious mountains.
So it only seemed natural that we go on a couple of hikes and enjoy them while he was here.

Before I continue, I'd like to take a moment to point out that, when we weren't trudging over mountain trails, THIS is the sweet ride we used to get around in all weekend. I think Jon would smile if I shared with you the fact that I mistook it for a Mustang at first. We rode around for about an hour before I realized I was in a Camaro. Oopsie. I'm a girl. Sorry.
Ok, back to business. Here's the photo log:

This is our first hike up to Stewart Falls near Sundance. The trail was a bit rough for a novice such as myself. In my defense, he thought so, too. Lots of loose rock and pretty much travelling on the edge of a cliff for a good portion of the hike. But still fun, with a sweet reward at the end.

I happened to like the view in both of these shots. (o:

We made it to the falls!
Day 2 hike: Sunset Peak, from Little Cottonwood Canyon

This was a really pretty hike with a pretty well-maintained trail most of the way. The forecast had been calling for hot and sunny all week. On Saturday morning I woke up to cloudy skies and drizzling. We would NOT be deterred, though! No, NEVAH!!!

When we got to the trailhead in the Alta parking lot, the temp was in the fifties--at the BOTTOM of the trail, mind you-- completely gray, windy, and raining. Still, we forged ahead.

I took this pic at the beginning of the hike. He's a little wet, no? His face here pretty much tells the story. We were wet and cold for most of the trip. Still had fun. Still glad we did it.

A view on the way up:
This is a view from what I THOUGHT was the top of the trail, the END of the hike. Jon had news for me. "Oh, look, there's more trail over here!" growl...
We still had about another .2 miles to go. Doesn't sound like much, does it? SAYS YOU! Try it at an uber-steep incline on a completely sandy trail. Sand good on beach. Bad on hiking trail. Holy calves workout, Batman!

But oh, the reward at the top. Yup. That's snow. Yup, it's July.

I think we spent approximately 3 minutes at this lookout point. Did I mention cold? And wet? And windy?

In summary: between two hikes in 24 hours' time, one comedy club, one Star Trek movie (yeah, that's right, I saw a Star Trek movie. There's only one person on the planet who could get me to do that), two family get togethers, lots of driving around in a SUPER hot car that is definitely NOT a Mustang, a healthy dose of sleep deprivation, and one bout with an energy drink-induced tummy ache from hell, I believe I speak for us both when I say the weekend was a success.

Love you, Jon. Thanks for another great time.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Feelin' the Digital Love

I snapped these Skype shots tonight of my kiddos on the webcam.

Other than some grooming issues, I'd say they look pretty darn ok. (o:
Don't really feel like writing much tonight, other than to say that I miss those little faces. Can't wait to have them back home.
Oh, and I'm extremely grateful for modern technology.
p.s. My little Livvi has her first loose tooth. What a big girl.