Friday, August 21, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth – On MY Special Day!

Once upon a time, I heard a wondrous rumor that Disneyland gives you free admission on your Birthday! This was hard for me to believe. I mean, yes there are the usual known “freebies” on your Birthday. Some places give free gobs of ice cream with a spitting sparkler of death, some places sing and clap and dance until you want to throttle whatever schmuck friend you have that TOLD these fools it was your Birthday, and some send you 15% discount coupons good only on your Birthday and only on these two over sized ugly items if they happen to be in stock. All gimmicks used by restaurants and retail stores to try and make you feel special on your special day, when in fact, you can see the disdain shooting like phaser beams from their eyes “So it’s your Birthday. Big deal. Who the *&^%$ cares.” Wow.

Thus, when I heard that Disneyland gives you free admission on your Birthday, I was enamored with the idea. I dared not hope! I dared not DREAM! Could it really be? Could I really get into Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, for FREE on my Birthday! If this proved to be true – it would be the best Birthday freebie any corporation has ever offered anyone with a Birthday ever. EVER I tell you!

Well my friends, the rumors are TRUE! Today I officially registered to enter Disneyland, the HAPPIEST Place on EARTH, on Monday, October 12, 2009 (aka, my 26th Birthday) for FREE!! What better place to feel young again? What better place to celebrate the day you entered this world than in Disneyland???? What birthday party could ever top riding the Indiana Jones Adventure ride, or sailing through Pirates of the Caribbean, OR sitting in your coffin through the Haunted Mansion? (Do you realize that they change the Haunted Mansion to Nightmare before Christmas in October? I KNOW!!!! Win win win and WIN for me). What’s also fairly incredible is that my Birthday lands on Fall Break… so I won’t have to worry about missing class or any such thing to accommodate my dream Disneyland Birthday excursion. I will, however, have to find some great friend to go with me. Any great friends out there who love some Mickey Mouse and Cinderella as much as I do? Eh??? Check your calendars! I need a Disney-buddy to really make this dream a reality. And remember…
When you wish… upon a staaaaaar. Makes no difference… who you aaaaaaare… anything your heart desires…. Will cooooooome. TOOOOOOOOO. YOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUuuuuu….

If you would like to register to go to Disneyland on YOUR Birthday for FREE - go head and click here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

500 Days of Summer - and I had my last this weekend.

I spent a rousing weekend in Moab with my Ward. What what! It was a river rafting trip down the Colorado and boy was it good times. I had some times in the “big raft” and some times in the “rubber kayak”. I brought my camera but not on the river. I’m hoping for some “facebook tags” from others who took pics and then I can post them for your enjoyment. I know how you like to look at pics of a bunch of people you don’t know having a Ward activity. At any rate - all in all – I vote it a great final summer trip. Why final summer? WELL!

I am starting school in a week and a half. I’m starting school AGAIN. I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it yet – though I have bought some textbooks here and there and am starting to adjust my schedule accordingly (aka making Frisbee really count this Wednesday and finishing up me “leisure reading” for the next 6 semesters… sniff sniff). Soon, my free evenings will be inundated with reading texts and writing papers and studying for tests. Honestly, I’m looking forward to being in a classroom again and have hefty goals to really fly through my MPA program as fast, but as effectively, as possible. Fall 2011. That’s my graduation goal. We shall SEE!

I also saw a movie last week I think deserves more than a “sidebar” mention; “500 Days of Summer.” Excellent film! Excellent soundtrack (already downloaded and being enjoyed thank you). This is one I highly recommend if you are tired of gimmicky blockbuster smash-em-ups and cliché romantic hoo-haw. Yes, hoo-haw. There are many things I liked about this film, and only one thing I didn’t.

First, what I liked: the girl and the boy. Both quirky and flawed in their own human ways. Both aren’t your drop dead gorgeous untouchables – but humanistic – realistic – you can put yourself in their shoes or at least – it’s plausible that you could date one of them given whatever sex you happen to be. There’s a chance! It’s funny and tragic. It’s unexpected but not ridiculously so. What do I mean by that? Well, you know how movies try to play the “unexpected” by killing the hero or making the quirky best friend the blood thirsty murderer? Ya know, the ones that just come off stupid and ridiculous rather than genius and was clearly intended for “shock value?” I personally think it’s VERY hard to “kill a hero” and do it well. You’ve got to have purpose in the death of the hero, or the boy and girl not ending up together, or the quirky best friend ripping everyone’s heart out (literally) or it just plain doesn’t work. I can’t say I’ve seen it done well very often. It’s a delicate procedure – a risk in movie-making – but this movie does it and does it realistically. Bravo!
I must also add – this movie hit very very close. Brilliantly and heart-wrenchingly close. Not only do you feel you could interact with either of these characters in a real world scenario – but there story is one of real-world proportions [warning: spoilers to follow…]. Example: one of my favorite moments in the movie is when they create a split screen of Tom (the boy) going to a party Summer (the girl) has invited him to; one side entitled “Reality” and one entitled “Expectation.” At this point in the movie they have loved, broken up, Tom has wasted away in heart-wrenching depression and bitterness, and then they reconnect several months later at a mutual friends wedding. They have a great time – and she invites him to come to this party. So Tom has expectations of how it will go – and in the split screen scenario his expectations are viewed slightly ahead of what reality gives him. And reality is always harsher. It all starts out close to his expectations… and then falters… and fails… and eventually he’s crushed into disappointment and despair again. Reality has killed expectation… again. The reality of the situation is thus: first, we all have had expectations that reality has brutally shattered. We’ve all had that hope that something will follow the plan we want it so badly to follow… and then doesn’t. But even more so, Tom wasn’t unfounded in his expectations. Tom wasn’t being overly zealous or ambitious or “reading into” anything. Tom’s expectations were plausible – like many of our expectations are – but the lesson is – it doesn’t keep them from still being crushed by reality.

Hits so very close…

Many girls I’ve talked to actually identified with Summer – not believing in love and maybe even bringing a few poor wretched souls along with them for the ride until they finally decide to cut them loose. Heart-breakers. Indecision. Immaturity. I, on the other hand, identified with Tom. And I think we could all place ourselves in either of their shoes – neither being the bad guy and neither being the hero – but it all happening just the same. You should go see this movie. Move it up to the top of the list, you know, ahead of GI Joe and The Time Traveler’s Wife. It will be a worthy switch I promise you! I’ve dedicated a POST to it haven’t I? Sheesh! It’s not like these posts are free! Except that they are… cough.

Oh, and what I didn’t like? That the chick at the end Tom asks out when he has finally healed and decides to believe in love again is supermodel gorgeous. Seriously! It didn’t fit with the movie at all. Summer was pretty – but in a quirky real kind of way. This girl snapped me back into “oh yeah this is still a movie” mode and lead me to believe that the casting director had to find a spot for the uppity producers brain dead hot niece who moved to Hollywood to be an aspiring act-ress. Eye roll. Or it was just poorly casted – but at least it was only the last 7 minuets of the movie. It’s good enough to let that one moment of complete Hollywood cliché slide… I suppose…

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Khaki Jeans: the dude version of the "cure-all white t-shirt under everything."

Almost a year ago, I had myself a little rant about the “cure all white t-shirt” epidemic infecting LDS women's clothing choices. You know the one I’m talking about; where women to “modest-ify” tube tops and other such clothing items designed to show more skin than the average LDS woman is meant to show, by putting the plain white t-shirt under it. Shudder. Now listen, before you get all sorts of ralled up, I did qualify this observation by noting that yes indeed, it CAN work sometimes but my question was why always the default white? Contrary to common belief, white does not “go” with everything. Mix up the colors once in awhile! If you have a black dress that may call for a little more coverage either 1. Don’t buy it or 2. Get a BLACK t-shirt to supplement the more revealing areas… not the WHITE! Anyway – enough rehashed about that. For full explanation of why LDS women shouldn’t think the white t-shirt cures all “immodestness” of articles of clothing maybe they should just come to terms with they just plain can’t wear, see previous post.

I’d like to talk about the man version of the cure all white T…

Khaki Jeans.

What are Khaki Jeans? Well let me tell YOU! They are in fact, pants made out of “levi” but are not blue jeans, dark washed jeans, or even black jeans, but are a light khaki color of jean. The texture would have you believe they are jeans, yet the color is so atrociously khaki it's basically a sin. A wolf in sheeps clothing. Is it khaki? Or is it a jean? Well, it’s blatantly painful for damn sure! I have seen these jeans, and excuse the bias but this is where I’ve seen the majority of them, on young mens in the Provo area attending the BYU’s. It’s true! And when I’ve seen them in SLC on young mens, they’ve just graduated from BYU and moved to SLC. No really! Finding more young mens who think that wearing khaki jeans is acceptable as business casual (not to mention acceptable to life period) and who did NOT attend and or live in BYU or one of its affiliates is nigh impossible. I promise you that’s where the majority of khaki jean offenders are found. One example: I attended my MPA orientation last week and found the first offenders of the “khaki jean” I’d seen since leaving Provo. 3 of them! 3 of these what would’ve been otherwise decent-looking dudes were wearing khaki jeans. Where had they transferred from? You guessed it! Good heavens. Next it will be socks and sandals! Though, there is many a SLC hippy guilty of that atrocity. Shudder. Anyway… clothing rant for another time.

I tried very hard to google a pair of these khaki disasters to give you a visual. But the irony is, all that came up were chinos, cargo pants, REI sport khaki’s, etc. All acceptable mens bottoms (for the right place and the right time of course), but no khaki jeans. Not even the WORLD will acknowledge their existence. And I, for one, feel that means something very significant.

SO! Now, that you know where they come from - let me tell you why they are offensive. First, they are ugly. Second, they are not business casual and I don’t know why dudes, just because they aren’t BLUE jeans, think they can get away with them being “office wear.” They’re not. Third, they are ugly, and fourth, they aren’t flattering at all. I once hung out with a boy who had one such an offensive pair of jeans. They were baggy, they were jeans, they were khaki, AND they had a hammer loop. Now, this boy was a tall broad boy. But I didn’t know the extent of his broadness because he was sucked up in baggy puffy khaki jeans. What I did with boy was this, batted my eyes, giggled my giggle, and showed him what a strait legged (or boot-cut) cotton chino did for him. Suddenly, boy seemed much broader, taller, and what the? even had a nice boy-butt that had also been done a disservice by that evil piece of faux-business casual wear. I made him destroy them. And I hope he’ll never look back. I believe he won’t.

So, listen guys, buy a pair of chinos. GAP has an array of cotton khaki pants that, praise the lord, are a natural fiber such as cotton or even linen, and reasonably priced. They look like this (and are found under the pants category... not the jeans category. You see? Categories for pants... and categories for jeans):

If you want fabulous khaki’s, try JCrew too. Suffice it to say, they will do amazing things for your overall body structure and your dating life. I promise. I know it may be hard for some of you to tear yourself away from that happy 1990’s pant-accessory – the hammer loop – or the elongated butt pockets – but guys – GUYS – please – I don’t know where you are finding and or purchasing these khaki jeans (or if you can even find them post 1997 – and you should be ashamed if you “proudly” spout “I’ve had these bad boys since High School – dur dur dur”), but end the madness. End it now. For your sake, the sake of your career, the sake of your embarrassed girlfriend, the sake of your dating life, ditch the khaki jeans and enter adult-hood. Chino-hood. Cotton khaki-hood. You won’t ever go back.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What do you do with a shy boy?

As my "dating" life goes - I tend to notice the slightly more outgoing type of mens. Not necessarily the "social butterfly" of the group or "Mr. 300 numbers in my phone" - but dudes that aren't scared to talk to... well... that's it... talk. And even those who are comfortable talking to la ladies. We not so bad is we? So cute and feminine (eye bat). Anyway... I guess what I'm saying is I've dated and/or gone out with dudes who are on the social comfort scale of average to outgoing. Now, this doesn't mean they're "cool." HA! NO! They're dorky - but they're outgoing and it just makes the whole "get to know you" process easier. I can roll with that as I'm fairly outgoing when I want to be. But I can also be quiet if I want to be too. I'd like to think this helps me empathize on some level with shy folks. As the general public is concerned, I'm comfortable and talkative. BUT... but... as 16 year old awkward fuzz-headed smart teenage girl as this is... around dudes that I (giggle) "like" I freeze up a bit. Dunno! It's a crazy mixing of family dynamics. My mom's side of the family is very reserved, very quiet, and soft spoken. This is my "have sighted cute boy" reaction. The other side of my family that I attribute my last name too - Cox's - tend to be - er - not so quiet. In fact, they're down right boisterous and social airplanes, zooming loudly and deliberately into social situations and grabbing anyone close to them to be new friends. There are no reservations, a lot of loud guffaws, mockery, and cherry-topped with a love of big gatherings and big fun. This is my personality in general too... maybe not so much the guffaws. Cough.

SO! Where am I going with this? WELL! I'm first hoping some of ya'll can empathize with the following: dating and not having it work... like ever... like... not functioning. After several attempts at trying to find a normal person without weird relationship issues (read: still following dating patterns of 16 year old boys) who (as sad as this is) is still is attracted to the opposite sex is... well... hard. It shouldn't be that hard - but some of you who are still hanging in the singles scene know exactly what I'm saying. Where are the normal ones??? Well, they are out there cause I've seen them... and the great majority are married. Ha! But I gets to thinking to myself, I believe there be some normal good natured stable mens out there in my preferred age bracket (23-29... very scientifically came to that average age... I'll tell you about it one day) and maybe, just maybe, I'M the one who's not seeing THEM. Yes! Maybe it's ME who needs to change my tactics a bit. Ya know? I mean it's logic Spock! If what you're doing isn't working, and there's a pattern over time that it isn't working, well snap girl! Change it up!

Mmmm... Spock. Glazed eyes... drool drip... longing sigh...

THUS, how am I changing it up? How am I going to create happier hunting grounds? WELL... among such items as spraying good smelling stuff on my body more frequently and learning more about man things like... eating and... burps. I am also changing what I'm hunting FOR. That's right. And it's not as hard as I thought it would be to be honest. Based on previous failures and lets face it, now fears of certain type-o-heartbreaking mens, I can SENSE them. And they all SENSE the same. I'm like Pavlov's dogs. After so many experiences with negative results, I'm learning to set up heart-walls against mens who look like heart-breakers... and a lot of the outgoing dudes now have that auto-yellow flag. My Pavlov reaction. Yup. So now we've come to how I'm changing my hunting style. Instead of hunting for the head lion, I'm looking for the secretary of state; the more reserved and even shy boy who is probably really cool and nice once you take the time and have the patience to get to know him. You feelin what I'm sayin? I think it's genius. Just because he's good-looking AND quiet doesn't mean he's a snobby snob as I would usually believe... but maybe he's just... quiet. That's all.

My only problem is this, I don't know what to DO with the quiet guy. I mean, I've got no experience on how the reserved guy rolls. That seems like a very challenging hunt. As a girl, I don't feel like I should be making any sort of "moves" at all. Oh sure I'll smile and bat and giggle at their jokes. And I'll be available if moves are to be made upon me, but alas, to maintain social norms and not freak the dude out, it's best to let the man do the ultimate hunting. But, again, how does a reserved boy hunt? What are his tactics? There's not a lot of communication bait right? So, how does he roll when he wants to hang with a girl? What are his signs? And what's a girl to do to assuage reserved boy's fears and doubts? Ya'll, I'm willing to broaden the horizons, but I'm stepping outside my territory a bit here. There may or may not be a "subject" for who I'd like to employ my new way of thinking, but am lost as to where to start or what to do. Advice required.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A "workation" in sunny St. Geezy!

This week, (okay by now it's "last week." Can I tell you I wrote up this post last Saturday and am just now finding the time to add the appropriate pics and spell-check run through? Yes, I'm one of those "like, I'm so busy people..." but just this week I'm sure. I promise to return to lameness soon), I spent 3 days on a mini-workation. For my job I travel around to different school districts in the area and give presentations in Junior Highs; specifically 8th graders. I tell them to take the right classes, so they can go to college, and eventually get a good job. That's some of what I do... in a nutshell. Washington District is one such place I have the opportunity to work with and that means, I get to go to St. George every now and again. Perk!... ish.

When I first started my job and took these St. George trips - it was in the winter. Boo! I mean, okay it's not as frigid as upstate and I GUESS you could count that as a perk. But honestly, having to look out at the lovely pool and hot tub area, in St. George, during winter months is almost cruel and unusual punishment. People come to St. George for the out of doors! The sun! The brilliant red rock! Plus, I usually go alone and that can get, well, pretty dull.

This time, however, not only did I get to go in the heat of July, but my roomie came with me. It made the drive more pleasant (I've taken to flying down there if I'm alone - oh merciful flying!) not to mention it wasn't as dull when I'd done with my work day and was ready to enjoy a little "stay-cation" in St. Geezy. Mmm hmmm. Nothing like a mid-week mixture of work and play, am I right? I can check my email from the pool in the blistering 106 degree sun just as easily from an air conditioned hotel room. I was finally able to take advantage of some of the privilege that comes with "work travel" even to such localities as St. George. But don't worry, being the upstanding moral person that I am (that's right! How dare you doubt...) I did most definitely do my work as well. I mean, that was the point of the trip in the first place. Psh.

Here is my work face for proof (aka, waiting for people to arrive face):
Here is my play face:
The difference? Natural lighting and general bad-assedness assumed by bug sunglasses and sassily cocked head. What what!

After my meetings, work, and emails were done, and after hours baking in the sun, we went on the shopping spree of shopping sprees to such places as Ross, TJ Max, and Target. What? Have you BEEN to the TJ Max in St. George? That's what I THOUGHT! It's fairly AWESOME. And huge. I've never seen a bigger or better TJ Max to compare. Though, I still maintain that Orem boasts the best Ross in the state. Just sayin. I got some office-wares, some house-wares, and some body-wares (known as 3 shirts and a purse). Also, I MUST tell you, the below is one of my house-wares and I'm very proud of it. Let me tell you the tale...
I had been house-sitting for one of my bosses last week and in his home he had these large beautiful pendulum clocks. There were two if I recall correctly and they just gave a look of modern class and sophistication. I liked 'em real good. So I'm perusing the Ross in St. Geezy and what do I stumble upon? WELL! A clock much of the same make and style as said larger clocks I had admired while house-sitting, but it was the smaller wall hanging version. Now look at the clock - it doesn't look cheap right? I mean it's a fine piece of house-ware! Pause. Get a figure in your head. What do you think something like that would regularly cost. No really... think. I bet like $40 minimum right? Well you are RIGHT! It DID cost that but what did I pay? $11.99. Gasp!

Deal of the month!


Needless to say - it doesn't hurt to "get away" once in awhile, even if it has to be with some work mixed in and even if it's just to find some sun and shopping in your own state. Though St. George is a great place to vaca... I don't I'd ever want to live there. It's SO hot! I think SLC weather is just fine and dandy... yes even the winters. I like moderate temperatures and come to find there's a HUGE difference between 95 and 105. Sheesh. Though, I could live in Cedar City quite easily. I've never been able to picture myself as living outside the SLC area too far if I am too be a Utah-lifer. But Cedar City I could definitely do. I almost went to school there and every time I drive through I remember how much I'd liked it even as a wet-nosed college hopeful. Thems were the days.

And look who missed her mommy. Awwww, poor ickle Lila. She jumped in my bag all by herself! I really think she was stressed I'd been go so much lately, what with the house-sitting and St. Geezy stay. She actually pooped right in front of the TV. Crapped her pants! Poor... evil red-eyed cat from hell. Er, what? OH! And as promised, here's my car. Ta da! She is called Stella and as you can see, Stella is a little dusty from the rain/not rain/wind that comes through SLC once in awhile - but she's been awesome and I lurve her and OH... I'm so happy to feel the gentle breeze of air-conditioning whisping through my hair as I go to the grocery store, make a stop at the bank, and run any other general errands where I'd otherwise sweat like a spring pig headed to the smoky slaughterhouse... in St. Geezy. Now, there's an image.