Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Winds of Change?

Well the boss just sat down and shared an idea that he and the co-owner are working on of becoming a distributor rather than a wholesaler, adding more to our product line and perhaps even opening up to the general public. That, of course, would mean a showroom floor where our product can be on display which would mean a new office for us since this one just doesn't have the space. They are meeting today to discuss it further and if they decide to go forward they are thinking of re-formating our name, our image and opening the new office in time for next year's season which would probably mean by the springtime. Talk about exciting!

There is one maybe good/maybe bad thing about the change: Dan is thinking of moving the company out of Orem and into Sandy or Draper. Nothing is for certain; the pros and cons of relocating have still to be fully looked into, but I may have to move in the springtime (that or face a commute, which is a possibility, at least if gas prices don't crawl back up over $4, my car starts behaving or I get a newer one in better shape).

Thankfully my college has a branch in Salt Lake if it comes down to it, though it would be strange to essentially start over meeting new instructors and fellow students. I am sure I could be happy up there as well as down here but I am certainly not looking forward to the additional air polution.....

Oh well, as I said before there is still plenty of time between now and then, and nothing has been agreed upon.....

I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Did I mention I hate waiting?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sometimes you just got to put your foot down....

But it sucks when the only response is a bit of a lurch from your car who really wants to give you speed, but can't.

My car is sick.

I think its the engine but I can't tell for certain. The temperature gauge swings between the 1/4 and 1/2 marks like a pinball which really concerns me since my temperature gauge has previously only sat like a statue at the 1/8 line, regardless of the weather outside.

It also has no real get-up and go quote an old Saturday morning commercial its get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went. Something tells me a chunk of cheese will not make it peppy again though. Which sucks because I freaking love that car and just paid it and the tranny re-build off this year. Its the first major thing I have purchased and I think its on the downhill slide. Of course it has 140K on it (30 of those are mine) but I really really love how it drives (up until now anyway). Freak, I just paid it off and now I am worrying I will have to buy another car to replace it, but you really want to have some oomph when you are driving in this state to keep some idiot from plowing into you as he sails along at speeds well over the posted limit.

sigh. You can't win, can you? I will try having someone take a look at it in the next couple of seems like everytime I get ready to take it in something else comes up. But I have to know if I can trust my car to get me home if I take it out somewhere. As it is I don't trust it to get me to Salt Lake and back but then that could simply be certainly rules out me driving to Swiss Days in Midway this weekend, but then I was seriously considering not going this year anyway because I don't want to be tempted to spend money that would be better spent elsewhere.

Well, if I end up having to get something else I guess I can always try for something with a sunroof....I really want one of those....but I will still miss my car.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Happy Discovery

Happened for me this weekend. Some of you may be aware that one of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman (for you who haven't read him....pick up a copy of "Neverwhere" right now!...or "Good Omens" will suffice if you really want to laugh)

I have a local used bookstore, The Book Baron, that I have been stopping by to fill out my Orson Scott Card collection when I noticed that they had a copy of Gaiman's "American Gods" in excellent condition. Now I did not currently own a copy of this book though I had borrowed my mom's copy once upon a time and, while a tad disturbing in spots (as a warning to all the guys out there, don't read the opening prologue unless you want to really be freaked out)I really did enjoy the I grabbed the Book Baron's copy, paid my modest $2.00 fee and brought it home.

And promptly set it on my bookshelf where it sat for the last 2 months.I didn't think much of it, I'd notice it on the shelf from time to time when I'd scan my titles for some fun reading, but I'd always pick up something else....until Saturday.

I grabbed the copy on the way to the bathroom thinking I'd have a bit of a soak in the tub (something I rarely do these days--I know my family will be shocked to hear that) when I opened up the cover and got quite the shock.

I had an autographed copy.

Oh. My. Freaking. Heck. Neil himself...

I stood there in stunned silence for a moment, screamed a few times on the inside and then lovingly set the book back on the shelf. There was no way that baby was ever coming CLOSE to the bathtub, or the sink, or a beverage glass or even food for that matter.

Funny thing is that Neil is going to Las Vegas in September for a book symposium and has stated that he will be autographing books. I was wishing I didn't hate Vegas so much because it would be fun to meet the guy...but its not worth a trip to Vegas just to stand in line forever for an autograph, even if he is reading from his new book (I have him reading some of his own works on CD so I can pop those in at anytime!)

Now I don't have to....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Out of context...

Random statements snatched from a dinner conversation last night. I won't say who was involved or how many people there actually were but trust me, the casual eavesdropper might have been in for some shock and confusion.

"I love Satan...he's so funny!"

"You need to focus...oh look--a bright and shiny object"

"Its not as if its a bad thing....they're just blobs"

"You can do it anywhere and no one will even notice!"

"I think I'm hot, I think I'm hot, I think I'm hot"

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Is it just me or is the internet getting...well....smaller?

It seems like today many of the sites I used to go to are now filled with teensy writing in a pale gray font against the typical white background. Who the freak can read it??? I certainly can't.

In fact if I come across a site that uses the above-mentioned format I don't even bother with it--I simply move on to another site. The sad thing is that most of these sites seem to have information on them that they want to share with the world; do they not see the irony of presenting the material in a manner that no one wants to waste time trying to decipher?

Are they trying to cut down on the amount of space they are taking?

Isn't the internet, according to Bill Gates, essentially limitless?

So what gives?

If anyone can explain this downright annoying phenomenon to me I would be happy to read anything you want to send to long as it is submitted in a clearly legible format.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I can't Twitter!

Silly little technologically un-advanced me can't figure out how to link up my Twitter updates to the blog! Ugh! Guess for the moment you're all going to have to be Twitterless......

Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting Older

Just realized that I will be 39 in exactly 2 weeks. Where did all the time go? There's just no way I should be that old...I remember when I was 12 doing some mental arithmetic, realized my parents were 32 and thought that my parents were old! I look back now and think of what it would be like to be raising a teenager and just can't imagine how in the world I would do it. Seriously, I would have no idea what to do with a kid. My friends have assured me that its different once you have the kids, that it just works out, but still.......

But I digress. I was talking about me getting older.

39. Wow. Shouldn't I have a mortgage and a 401K plan by now? Its bad enough that it wasn't until earlier this year that I finally decided what I want to be when I grow up! Yes, I have a goal of where I want to be and what I want to be doing by the time I am 45 but this really seems like I am some sort of uber-late bloomer here. Shouldn't I feel old? I don't.

Don't get me wrong, I have my mornings where you have so many kinks in the spine you feel like you'll never get it straight again; that you're doomed to walk around forever hunched over like some demented Quasimodo....but then the kinks usually straighten out and I get on with my day. Other mornings I just roll out of bed ready to roll. No idea why some days are better than others but I have to say I enjoy the second option the best! Regardless of the condition of my spine I still can't shake this feeling that you are only as old as you feel on the inside. Unfortunately the inner child in me still can't wrap her head around the concept of retirement plans and money market accounts....

Luckily I had a pep talk yesterday with one of my elders...he told me it is never too late to get yourself into gear, start over and make something of yourself. Of course he wasn't speaking to just was a talk given by a member of the church...but it still struck a chord.

I guess its true what they say: the only time its too late to make a fresh start is when you are dead.

Don't worry, I'm not dead yet!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oh to fly the friendly skies once again.....

Who would have thought that this gal, the one who went for years without flying, would be taking 2 trips in one year? Yes loyal fans I will once again be taking to the skies this November because....(wait for it) brother is getting married! No, I will not be heading for New York but rather home again to Spokane as this will be the easiest for all family members. Frankly, I am excited and really am not worried about the flight....MY BROTHER IS GETTING MARRIED!...the thrill of being there for the big event and seeing everyone again is pretty much overriding any qualms I may have about flying.

Oh, did I mention my brother is getting married?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Death to Stephenie Meyer???

WARNING....I would say this post contains spoilers but you really can't spoil a book that is already collapsing under its own crapy-ness.

I just read a bunch of posts about the new Stephenie Meyer book "Breaking Dawn" and man do the fans have it out for her. Having read the book in question I can understand some of the comments but having fans out there screaming about how we all need to return our books to "teach her a lesson" is a bit extreme. I mean, its not as if we didn't know what was coming.....Ms. Meyer herself stated that everything in "Breaking Dawn" was alluded to in the last couple of books. Hmmm...lets see.

"Twilight" was a good book; sure it had its problems, but still very entertaining. Then came "New Moon" (which was total crap....) and then "Eclipse" which was a bit okay but mostly crap as this point you are really tired of everybody being hot for Bella (hell-o, this is annoying enough on "Smallville" with everyone wanting Lana's scrawny bod!) And if we have to listen to her one more time going on about how ugly she is (when its obviously not the case) I was going to reach out through the pages and just slap her.

Meyer then took a break from the world of vampire/werewolf romantic triangles and wrote a seriously bad book called "The Host" about romance between a human and a body-snatching alien slug who just happens to be snuggled inside a hot body. I won't go into all the ridiculous details but this "made for adults" piece of (dare I call it literature?) is actually the first of a trilogy (yeah, I'm laughing over that one!) Now all of the teenyboppers in the world who just had to have their copy of "Breaking Dawn" at midnight are crying foul?

We all know Meyer isn't a very good author (anyone who has read the earlier stuff knows this)...she lucked into writing about some interesting characters (though the fact that she has supposidly stated that they talk to her, keep secrets and hide stuff from her is a bit disturbing and makes me wonder when she took her last anti-halucinogen). Her writing is not going to win her awards...but then bad dialogue never stopped George Lucas from making Star Wars into the cash-cow phenomenon it is. (I'm not dissing you George...other than your dialogue getting seriously sappy in parts I am actually a fan of the original 3 films, but lets get back to Stephenie....)

For me? Yeah I wanted to read it, and I bought it...thankfully for a very cheap price. I was wondering what in the world Meyer would fill an entire 700+ page book with...and now I know: rough sex, an impossible pregnancy, an obscure and very contradictory storyline, an ex-lover imprinting on (and probably someday mating with)her newborn "child" ... and all of this in a book that is geared towards the pre-teen/teen market?!?!?!? I could go on but I have to say that having your main character, whose eyes we have (through 3 1/2 books) seen the world through suddenly become a background character during that before-mentioned "impossible pregnancy", literally giving the story over to another character to observe from a safe (and clueless) distance was a total cheat. If Meyer didn't know how to show us firsthand why Bella made her choices and how she survived it, then she should never have taken the story in this direction. The storyline was already stupid to begin with but the sudden last second saving of Bella (when she was already dead) by directly injecting her with "vampire venom" that Edward just happened to have prepared? Please...we're not morons here. And what's with the Volturi coming, threatening and then backing away as total wimps in the end with no real battle taking place? This completely unbelievably bad ending was supposed to leave every fan feeling happy, regardless of whether you were rooting for Team Jacob or Team Edward. Sadly, those of us on Team "Just-Give-Us-A-Book-That-Doesn't-Suck" were left wondering just what smacked us... personally, I think it was the author's laughter on her way to the bank.

Disappointed? Yes. Returning the book as a form of protest? No. Will I read it again? Never. I'm lucky to have bought the book with the intention of giving it to someone else afterwards so its not going to be hanging around on my bookshelf (sorry Lucie...that stinker is yours now!)

Will I still watch the movie for "Twilight" when it comes out in December? Probably....I have to admit though that from watching the trailers I think fans are going to be just as disappointed in the film adaptation of the series beginning as they are in this series wrap-up.

Friday, August 8, 2008

More of my usual, incoherent thought process....

Well today was a long day....cleaned the office and then pretty much sat here twiddling my thumbs waiting for someone to call and place an order. Funny but it wasn't until around 2 in the afternoon that it dawned on me "hey, I could put on some music". Listened to some of the various artists I have on i-tunes and then went to a file I haven't listened to in awhile; an artist named Mary Fahl.

For those of you not familiar with her name, Mary was the lead singer of an obscure little group called October Project who ultimately broke up. She recorded a solo album (which was amazing!)and then a whole lot of nothing. I have no idea what is going on since the website hasn't been updated in forever but today I was reminded again of just what a powerful voice this gal has.

Why do I write this? I'm not quite sure. Have you ever had one of those musicians you swear just inspire you to start writing, drawing, creating? Its as if the music alone were all the muse you'd ever need. This gal's voice does that. I need to pull her CD off of the shelf (along with those of October project) and take another listen this weekend. Curious? Here's a link to her song "Going Home" from the movie "Gods and Generals"....let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Is easing up...still here but nowhere near the pounding its been giving me these last few days. Thanks for the concerned comments and emails guys!

I am coming down off of the freak-out of skipping classes this month, though I still feel guilty and like I should run down there, beg forgiveness out of Tim (my instructor) and get my butt back on track.....but I won't. I need a break and I am going to allow myself to have one. Now if I could just get this crazy idea of "Hey, I have time, why don't I can jams and jellies like crazy and get a booth pulled together for the Sundance Harvest Market". Someone just shoot brain obviously works on the idiot setting of "out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire". Next year, fine....I will be out of school and will have time and can also spread my spending out over a wider period of time rather than dump this new challenge onto myself.

However, if a jar or two just happens to sneak their way into one side of Jase's booth......

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Well we cheated but I have officially managed to withdrawl from class this month. According to Cheyenne (school registrar) if I was to simply drop my classes I am automatically disenrolled and would have to go through all the paperwork all over again (soooooooooooo not what I want to do). I'd already dropped my online English class because I didn't need it (I have a transfer credit available for it!) and we were weighing the options when Cheyenne mentioned that I was still officially enrolled in that class because she hadn't had a chance to pull me out yet.

Sneaky us went and dropped me from my advertising class (bummer....I really was looking forward to taking it) and then noted the system that I had a transfer credit available for my English class. Since I am not officially dropping the English class but rather putting it on "hold" waiting for the transfer credit to be entered I am not officially off the schedule and will automatically be enrolled in new classes next month! Hooray! Cheyenne says working the system like this will not cost me anything money-wise as my transfer credit will void out any fees for this class (especially since I hadn't attended my online class) and, since I didn't go to my advertising class on Monday I couldn't be charged for it now that its been dropped.

I can honestly say this is a relief knowing I have the next 4 weeks off of school and can re-group here. By the time classes start again for me we should be pretty dead here at work and I should have gotten a lot of the stress out of my system...not to mention that I can now try and get a few things done at home that have been put-off for the last 9 months (of course some of it can wait a week or so for me to just freaking relax and lose the dang headaches).

Of course I am, at the moment, stressing over what this will do to my class schedule and feeling that (unrealistic as it is) I have somehow failed again. I know its not true...I will start up again next month. Its not like I am dropping school, just taking a small breather, but it still feels like failure. I hope this feeling goes away pretty soon...its giving me a bigger headache than I started out with this morning.

the pain that just won't go away

Freaking ow!

I've been at home Monday and Tuesday with a killer headache and not eating much (pain will do that to you!) I had an eye exam to see if my rx had changed or something but it wasn't that. I stopped at WalMart last night and bought Excedrin and a couple of caffeinated colas and tried knocking it out that way. It mostly helped. Enough that here I sit at work, Excedrin down, a hefty-sized cherry coke mostly empty and my head down to a lesser throb. I guess if it helps me lose the headache that its worth having to kick the cola habit again. I just read my brother's blog though and he mentions combining Advil and apparently works miracles on his migraines and he doesn't need the caffeine. Something I would have been happy to learn yesterday!

I think that its stress more than anything else. I have a lot of it right now in the form of working extra hours even though I was sick, school, etc etc....I think its all just catching up to me. Not much I can do at the moment about work...or school for that matter. I tried seeing if I could take a month off but it was no-go...they just aren't set up for people to take a break. If I don't feel better by this evening though I am going to stop by the registrar's office and insist she give me this month off; seriously, its not worth killing myself over. As for the etc etc....I am not sure what I can do there either since I feel hideously guilty for saying "no" to people. I plan to stop at WalMart again tonight and see if those "Stress tabs" really work. I certainly hope so because this headache is driving me crazy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Turns out I didn't end up helping my friend with her canning today as she and her family went camping so my roommate suggested we drive up to Park City for the Kimball Arts Festival. Hmmmm...hadn't been to Park City before and this sounded interesting so I agreed to give it a shot.

We drove up into some truly beautiful countryside and passed the Olympic Park where I can only assume those large slides were for the downhill skiers??? And then we were off around so many twists and turns and whatnot until we found ourselves pulling into a parking garage about halfway up Main Street. $10 later found us walking towards the festival and another $8 in entry fees (per person) landed us on the street itself. A nice lunch at the Hungry Moose Bar & Grill and then we were off to explore.

Well it was easier to let gravity assist us so we first headed down the hill (quite a long ways down the hill actually), stopping at whatever struck our fancy. Reaching the bottom we then turned around and walked back up the hill....and up....and up.....and up. Freaking heck this was a long hill.

We finally made it to the top of the hill and I was grateful to finally be heading downhill again towards the car. Of course then it was up 3 flights of stairs and then a scenic drive above the city, where I am certain at least a few of the shots I took of the lovely aspen trees should turn out. Then it was a leisurely drive back to Orem. Seriously, I got loads of exercise today.

Beautiful crafts, jewellery, art, photography, welding, mixed name it and they pretty much had it. More than once I was knocked over by the prices on eerything: no framed photography piece was selling for less than $750, and often for much more than that. Matted 5 x 7's and 8 x 10's ranged at about $50 each and one super cool metal sculpture that I fell in love with was $2100 while another neat one a little taller than me (and very simply made from scrap metal) was $19,000 (and no, I didn't accidently add an extra zero). A couple next to me had no problem with the price except the wife complained that she'd be happier if the piece had eagles on it rather than crows! Another gal was looking at some verrrrrrrrrry expensive jewellery (not to my taste but I could see how it would appeal to the commercial market). She turned to her husband and mentioned how she had nothing that would go with the set she was admiring and he cooly responded, "You'll just have to get a whole new wardrobe to match it then". Dang. As the roommate said more than once today, this was a world we were not familiar with and probably never would be.

I bought 2 pairs of earrings (a total steal for the price this gal was asking for fact she was the one booth with bling that had items under $20 that I saw). Of course I also came home with a pound of fudge (which will be cut into small pieces and frozen for later consumption) and 2 bags of candied pecans (yum!) Not to mention our stopping on the way home at the Rocky Mountain Candy Shop (or whatever its called) where I promptly got a walnut carmel apple and 4 pieces of english toffee! Calorie-wise this was not a good day, but most of it has yet to be eaten so it will definately be frozen for some future weekend!

All-in-all...a very nice day. A bit of an eye-opener as to what some people will spend for things....but a very nice day.

Shawna's Summer Movie Review--The Mummy 3

Okay, the movie I have really been waiting for this summer. Opening day, 4 p.m. I'd cut out of work early to see this one because I didn't want to wait until the 7 p.m. showing. I'm at the Scera theater, hungry because I skipped lunch and didn't have time to grab something before the show. The lights go down, the movie starts....

And I forgot all about my rumbling stomach.

Okay, yes, there are moments of true hokey-ness....that's what makes these movies so much fun to watch. There are moments of stilted acting....I can live with that. On the whole; two freaking thumbs up.

The biggest difference is Rachel Weisz did not reprise her role as Evie, apparently not wanting to spend several months in China away from her young children. Maria Bello took up the mantle and ran with it in a fairly different style, but done very well. Once I stopped watching to see if she tried copying any Evie "mannerisms" and just settled into the movie I really began to enjoy her performance. Frankly, she was great, considering the characters of Rick and Evie are now a little more sidelined to make way for the newest adventurer; an all-grown-up son Alex. On a side-note I wasn't as impressed with the actor playing Alex, wavering between a very distinct American accent and then sounding a bit British (you may recall our original Alex definately had a thick British accent going on in "The Mummy Returns") but it was more of a mild distraction than a serious flaw.

As for the movie, it seemed a little contrived how everyone just managed to run into one other in Shanghai but the movie addresses that a little later on....if you're a bit confused, just wait, there's usually an explanation coming (except the relationship between the modern day Chinese general and his female assistant--I have no clue what the heck was happening there).

The opening segment as to who the bad guy is and why he's so evil runs a bit long, but is very interesting. Extra points should be awarded for the original idea of how the terra cotta army came to be (yes kids, there really is a terra cotta army that was found in China). The Yeti (abominable snowmen) are a bit of a stretch but no worse than the pygmy warriors in Mummy Returns. The special effects are absolutely amazing, there are some very well choreographed fight sequences (though more kung fu would not have gone amiss) and John Hannah as the incorrigible Jonathan is, as always, a complete enjoy every minute he is on screen.

My only wish is that they could have found a way to bring Oded Fehr into the mix to help kick some Chinese Mummy butt.

Overall rating is readers may disagree but I enjoyed this even more than "The Dark Knight" and will not only be buying this one when it comes out on DVD but I will also be seeing it once again before it leaves the theaters.

Friday, August 1, 2008

What to do......

Well the new Stephenie Meyer is released tonight at midnight which has left me with a bit of a dilemna: do I cancel my sweet Amazon order of free shipping and the book at $12.64 (however it wouldn't arrive until Wednesday of next week--which Amazon failed to mention at the time of order!) or do I cancel that order, fight my way through throngs of rabid teenagers at my local Wal-Mart and not only snag a copy at $13.87 (plus tax) but I also get to read the book starting tonight/tomorrow morning.

Decisions, decisions.

One the one hand, what's a few more days? I have pretty much already committed myself this weekend to canning on Saturday at a friends and organizing more of my crap at home before heading to Jase's for a BBQ after church on Sunday. If I don't get the book until Wednesday night I will have Thursday and Friday after work to read since I don't have class either night next week.

I admit, impatience won out and I guiltily entered my Amazon account to cancel the order only to receive the following message: "Sorry, your order is currently being processed and cannot be cancelled."

Well, look at it this way: I have something to look forward to, I will be available to keep my plans for this weekend, I saved $1.23 plus tax not to mention the dollar or so in gas driving to Wal-Mart and back. There will be no lines to wait in surrounded by giggling girls debating on Jacob vs. Edward, and I will not be fighting off hordes of love-struck girls on my way to the mailbox. No, I can simply snatch my copy out, zip back the 100 feet or so from the mailbox to my bedroom, and emerse myself in guilty reading pleasure.

If I don't answer the phone Thursday or'll know why.