Thursday, July 31, 2008

A week in San Fran...and I've STILL not found the H&M...either of them.

It just seems terrible doesn't it? An entire week in San Fran an I've YET to venture to the H&M. Sigh. I do have Steven to consider. I mean, the boy is so very willing to do anything I please, I'd feel bad dragging him through a (wonderful, amazing, excellently priced, and completely stylish) clothing store our first few days in San Francisco. He's never been to the city - and since I have - I figured it would only be fair to hit up the "usuals" before hitting the "not so usual (for men)". That's just what we've been doing.

First, Bob and the boys are FANTASTIC. We met them day one when the cab dropped us off at their doorstep. Bob is jolly. We both really like him. For more details about our first weekend see here. Our first week has been...interesting. Bob's car (BMW thank you) exploded, and has been sitting in the driveway since our arrival. Hm. That said, we've had to cab, ferry, walk, walk, and walk our way around Corte Madera where Bob lives. It's about...oh one 30 minute ferry ride and a $75 cab ride from downtown San Fran. We both really like the area and- as seen on our combo blog of awesome - the backyard IS the Bay. Can't go wrong with a Bay Backyard. Ohhhhohohohoooo no. Steve and I spend many of our meals outside overlooking the bay. Cute right? So cute.
Speaking of cute. Steve and I share a twin bed in one bedroom. It was a little awkward at first but I think we're both pretty used to it. Oh stop it! I'm totally kidding! Sheesh! Scandalous! That's what you're all reading this for; seeing if you can find scandal. Psh. No scandal here my friends. Look elsewhere for your smut entertainment. The house is lovely and we each have our own room (duh..come on guys..seriously), and share a bathroom. Bob's boys, John and Michael, are here with us of course. John is on leave from college for the summer and Michael is the 15 year old fella we'll be teaching on our European jaunt. He and his friend Dylan, who we've yet to meet but will soon, are hopefully both ready to absorb what Steve and I's very serious academic minds have to offer! Bwahahaha! Riiiiiight. Serious.

What else what else. Our days are mainly spent walking to and from the shopping center (a yon 40 minute walk from the house...worth it though cause there's an awesome TeaCake shop which (aka Cupcakes to the American person) and I LOVE them. I'll take a pic soon - no worries), eating...eating...Steve bought a Frisbee so we play some of that now for a little physical activity. Of course we help Jolly Bob with his business and are preparing for the upcoming "school year" by registering the boys and ordering assessment tests. Today Steve and I ferried over to San Fran (I do love the Ferry) and walked Chinatown. I bought a saweet little blue leather wallet with intricate red flower stitching upon the front to replace my craptastic clutch I bought from Buckle for double the price (mumble...stupid overpriced....grumble...trendy..mumble..never again). I also bought a simple turquoise necklace on a silver chain from a flea market vendor. A trip well spent I'd say. The weather was perfect. Unlike the sweltering crowded death of last Saturday, today was much cooler, still sunny, and thank the Lord not nearly as crowded. Steve and I agreed it was the better trip of the two.

And there's more to COME!

Alcatraz will be hit up next...followed by some more exploring and so help me H&M! Steven will go. Steven will love! And believe me - there will be photos to show our stylish finds at the San Fran H&M. Stay tuned...burreeeep.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Fond Farewell!

(Left to Right Back: Lauren, Miranda, Will, Joseph (no really he's there),Russ,Howard. 2nd Row Right to Left: Rachel S., Caye, Andrea W, Teri, Paige, ME!. Front Row Left to Right: Kelcie (the new me) Cheryl, and Rachael C.)

I've been working at BYU Independent Study for 5 months now...give or take. And quite honestly, it doesn't seem like that long. That's the kind of job this was. One where it was okay to come to work, where I kept busy all the time, and most especially a place where I interacted with some of the most fabulous individuals imaginable. I believe you can love what you are doing - anything you are doing - if you enjoy interacting with the people you work with. Creating an environment - most especially an office environment - where you feel content to come to work each day, sharing the stress, the laughs, the inside jokes, the pranks, and getting to know about one another. It's really priceless.
I've worked many jobs. Some I loved and some I've not liked so much. Although BYU IS had its own share of inter-office politics and the occasional drama (it's an office job - an office job with a lot of women- there's going to be SOME drama) - it's been the best place I've ever worked. Perhaps it's because I finally had insurance and benefits and didn't have to be treated like a sniveling little peon at Banana Republic by the uppity Orem Mothers who married Rich Orem Fathers and go shopping all day everyday crowd. Perhaps it's because BYU takes very good care of their employees. Perhaps I loved all the 70 little monkeys (aka student employees) I ATTEMPTED to manage each day. Perhaps it's because I did enjoy my co-workers so much. But whatever the reason - it was a little bittersweet leaving BYU IS for the last time on Friday. I definitely have a lot of memories there - and made a lot of (hopefully) like long friends. In fact, if it weren't for my job at BYU IS - I may never been embarking on the European Adventure I am now. In fact, I KNOW I wouldn't be. So thanks for the good times BYU IS! You made me realize what a fabulous Institution BYU is - and just how many great people realize that too. Don't worry though - I'm still a UofU alum and will be the loudest cheering Ute in whatever part of the world I am when we BEAT BYU in Rice Eccles Stadium this YEAR! HOLLA!!! Boo-ya.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How do you pack for a year? Someone tell me please.

Throughout the last week I've began packing for my year-long European Adventure. Honestly, packing is hardly the word I should use. That would indicate that I've created some sort of mental organization or even a hastily scrawled list of what should go, what should stay, and then accordingly putting everything neatly in its place among my two suitcases. Yes, two suitcases. Two suitcases for a year. What I HAVE been doing, if I can't call it packing (and I can't), has resembled a panicked whirl wind of mental debates and mind numbing deliberation: sweaters, shorts, jeans, dresses, SHOES! I don't even want to TALK about shoes. This goes with that, but that sure takes up a lot of room. I need a black one, a brown one, I really like the green one. How often will I wear this? How much in the way of "cold weather" clothes should I bring? Should I just take the bare minimum and plan on buying my wardrobe? Oh...but that silky maroon cami would look classic under that black cardigan on a cool evening in Geneva. Does Geneva have silky maroon cami's? Can I BUY A SILKY MAROON CAMI!?!??!?! Flip flops, walking shoes, running shoes, hiking shoes, red shoes with the buckle on the top, to Ugg or not to see the delimma (and heard the head explosion). And after the clothes are sorted again and again - well there's the socks the underwears the toiletries to consider...the pajama's! Oh I forgot about the pajamas! Work out clothes!

Blaaaaaswweebuuuhhhahhhhhhlaaaa! Okay...deep breath...lets think about this...

An entire year. What does that entail? Well a Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring for sure. So there's that to consider. There are many Sundays and weekends that would indicate a need for nicer all be it "going out on the town" types of ensembles. Yet, I must be conservative, light, and consider the fact I will be shopping like a madwomen in some of the most celestial shopping locations in the world (read Turkey;Grand Bazaar of unique items, Paris; well Paris! Hello!, Italy;shoes, H&M's on every corner, strange jewelry stands and souvenir shops, London; Oxford Street, Milan, Geneva, flea market upon flea market...I don't need to go on...but I could. I could!). Thus, I want to leave room...dare I say OODLES of room for those unique and fabulous items I may pick up on the Champs Elysee or Piccadilly Circle (the thought also came to me that Steven, being a boy, could have a good deal of room to move around in his suitcase, ya know, cause boys have one type of this and one type of that and they're precious...(rubbing hands together diabolically)..he could!). Thus the idea is to pack everything I need - keeping it to stylish and useful essentials - leave a good amount of "growing room"- and consider usurping some space in Steven's suitcase should the Grand Bazaar head scarves and authentic jewelry call for such. Hm.

Thus, here's to calling all packers of suitcases, business travelers, or travelers of any sort, road trippers, weekend vacation enthusiasts, and specifically world travelers, what do I pack? What should I prepare for? Is my dark brown Hippie skirt worth taking (answer is yes...)? I'm ready for the Internet to do it's blog reading duty and let me know how in the in the Turkey, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, and so-help-me London world-do I pack for a year? I leave it in your faithful hands...I'm going to go get some chocolate and calm down.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ah ha ha ha. It had to be shared.

more cat pictures
Everyone's bag has an angry sometimes, am I right? Sometimes, when our bags have angrys we need to step back, take a deep breath, and think about smoothering kitties in bags when we travel. I mean, your bag would have an angry TOO if it were stuffed into a pink carry-on.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paris in Silky Blue deserves its own post...Non?

You can capture the vision now, can't you? Picture this bold, beautiful, blue, gem sitting comfortably on my "still in decent shape after several months living abroad with better food than America could dream of but somehow I was able to practice some restraint" bod, in a French Restaurant in Paris. Of course, we've chosen the restaurant closest to ... The Théâtre de l'Académie Royale where we will enjoy the renowned Italian Opera La Boheme, or perhaps a french classic: Cyrano de Bergerac (my personal favorite). Following such a cultural enjoyment, naturally there will be a stroll on the Champs Elysee, or peut-etre (uh..perhaps...caught in the moment there) une marche (a walk) around Le Tour d'Eiffel while it glitters in the Parisian evening. Sigh. And what can pull an evening like this together in perfect silky blue Parisian unity? I think you know...(and it comes in petite - tres bien!).

C'est magnifique, non?

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Great Weekend Post Usurped

There are a lot of things I've been meaning to post lately. I had an excellent 4th of July weekend with the family that also may include getting very purposefully and vehemently flipped off by a van driving psycho-soccer mom near the Benjamin, Utah exit. Yes. Vehemently. She's literally did a full body turn, took her hands off the steering wheel, twisted her face to look as scandalized as possible under her bleachy streaked bob, and flipped me off with such force I was winded. Now WHAT, you might ask, could have possessed this whacked out woman to make it quite clear that she objected to whatever minor traffic infraction I may or may NOT have committed? Well I'd like to tell you - but instead I'm going to let you know the two things that have taken over what would've been a very nice, relaxed, even sentimental post about being with family and enjoying the intricacies of my little cousin, Taryn, twirling her lip ring (I have' Weird for sure).

Impostor of an otherwise Happy Weekend Post #1 - Courtesy of Inside Edition at 2:30 in the afternoon: The top story: Christie Brinkley wears great threads to battle for custody of her children against her husband who had an affair with an 18 year old girl and is addicted to Internet porn. No really. I went home for lunch yesterday and turned on the TV. Usually I will just lay there with my eyes closed and stroke my kitty (wow...that painted a much creepier image than I intended...oh well..painted now) but for some reason I decided to see what the TV had for me. It opened with Inside Edition. Meh. I think entertainment "news" shows are a joke and although I guess some folks find it interesting that Brad Pitt likes hummus on his Ritz cracka's "just like a regular guy" (regular guys have millions of dollars and an exotically gorgeous (all-be-it eccentric) wife and houses in France, Florida, and Florence). I, however, do not. I more indifferent to it all and will usually use such frivolous shows to fill in time before Simpsons or Seinfeld - a clearly more useful way to spend my TV watching time (oh the ironies of that statement). Well my friends, I am cured from this method of "time fill" before a something I actually enjoy watching forever. Again, I didn't expect real reporting or a real story - but Inside Edition's entire 5 minute bit on these people's lives -which are falling to shambles - and Inside Edition focuses on how great Christie Brinkley portrays the classic soccer mom, the endearing professional woman, and flaunts Ralph Lauren and Prada with such pizazz as she accuses her husband, in front of her children, of poor parenting, sexual secrets, and pornographic addictions. Great piece Inside Edition! Maybe next we can talk about making over the victims of the earthquake in China. I just don't understand why becoming suddenly destitute means you have to dress shabbily.

Impostor of an otherwise Happy Weekend Post #2 - courtesy of "dudes" and "flooseys." 3:21am That's when it occurred - the first "Weeeeee! SPLASH!!!" My bedroom window overlooks the pool at the Canyon Meadows Clubhouse. Since Canyon Meadows was built in a rush and only made to LOOK like quality rather than actually BEING quality - one can hear every noise committed by any creature within a 50 yard radius of one's condo. Thus - combining my window being close to the clubhouse pool and miscreant neighbors and residents of Canyon Meadows, is a very noisy, clearly annoying situation. Some dudes and flooseys decided on this Thursday morning at the wee hour of 3:30am to squeal and yell madly as they ran and jumped into our outdoor pool - which of course closes every night at 10:00pm. What does it matter that it "closes" when no doors lock and the fence is merely 5 feet 11 inches tall? Really? What does it matter? A dude could toss a floosey over that thing in an instant. This early morning romp in the pool loudly lasted about 1 hour. 1 hour in which I tossed and turned between dream of drowning in a community pool full of dudes and flooseys, and my previously very pleasant dreams of Paris and a gorgeous flowy blue dress a la Banana the end a dude was wearing the dress as he swam laps around the Eiffel Tower which was teetering dangerously over a herd of flooseys clamoring over a fence. Sigh. Ruined. Oh, did I mention I had to work at 6am this morning? Yeah. Got up an hour after the loud romp turned into other noises I don't even want to mention. They solidified the "floosey" theory of it all - that's for sure.

So although I'm sure you were all looking forward to a video of my little cousins lip piercing, stories of fishing on the lake, riding four wheelers, and how much fun it was to hang out with my family all weekend because I won't see many of them for an entire year - instead you get to hear about the annoyances that usurped all thoughts of sentimental reflections and dreams of Paris in silky blue.