Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grammatical Vindication

Please see previous rant on Oxford Comma usage... or LACK thereof!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm just an innocent Mormon girl from rural Utah... truly

I'd like to tell you an embarrassing story. 

Saturday night I had a date. How embarrassing. Just kidding. That's not the embarrassing part. Saturday night I had a date and we went to the Bee's game. Now, as many of you Utahns know, this weekend is extra special. This weekend, we celebrate Pioneer Day; that most auspicious day when Mormon Pioneers first pulled their muddy worn handcarts, covered wagons, and tired feet into the Salt Lake Valley. "This is the place," announced then LDS President Brigham Young, "drive on." The Mormon Pioneers had arrived! They had found their Zion in the west! Their lovely Deseret! The freedom to practice their beliefs without persecution.

So naturally, upon such a momentous day, there's a lot of fireworks, picnics, bbq's, and general hullabaloo. How embarrassing! Oh wait... not yet. Thus, going to the Bee's game during this weekend has become a bit of a tradition for a good majority of Salt Lake City residents. Honestly, I've never seen a Bee's game so packed as it was during this weekend. Not even the 4th of July, America's holiday thus Baseball's holiday, is as packed as during Pioneer day weekend. Turns out, Utahns like Pioneers better than Revolutionaries. Makes sense.

SO! I'm at the Bee's game on a date with a guy I find pretty attractive and funny, there's a million people there and we're sitting ourselves down on the grass to enjoy some baseball. Mainly, to enjoy having conversations on the lawn eating hot dogs with baseball in the background. Lets me honest ;) I didn't watch too much of the game. How embarrassing! Oh wait... not yet.

So during this conversation, we begin talking about baby animals. Naturally this indicates the date is going well when you can openly discuss duckies and puppies. And of course no discussion of baby animals would be complete without a small commentary on kittens; which I happily obliged. I honestly don't know why we were talking about kitties, but then the conversation took a turn for the worse because I had the audacity to bring up cats. My friends, it was all down here from there.

Date, "So... there's kitties and cats... what are the inbetweens?"
Me: "Well... they're tweens... not kitties... not cats... they're... "

Now listen to me Internet... I'm a Mormon girl from rural Utah. Do you know what this means? Well, stereotypically it means I grew up contained within a little bubble of sunshine, rainbows, kittens, and asexuality. Thus, it means that sometimes, even though I'm now a 27 year old Mormon girl living in SLC who is finishing up a Master's degree and, I think it's fair to say, have a great multiplicity of friends from all types of backgrounds and belief systems, sometimes... SOMETIMES... my rural Utah Mormon-ness creeps in. I am also a self-proclaimed word-smithy. If you combine rural Mormon Utah girl tendencies with word-smithery... you get the following.

Lets pick up our conversation...

Me:"... so then if they're cat tweens then ... they're twa*s!" (do I need to spell that out? I'm afraid to spell it out because I don't want my blog tagged as R rated... I like to keep things family friendly. So if you did NOT get what I just alluded's a link... from Wikipedia!)

Date: Huge eyes "BWAhahahahahaha!!!"

Me: "What? It's combining tween and cat... it makes sense... they're twa*s"

And Internet.. I said it LOUD... among a crowd brimming with FAMILIES and probably a Bishop or two... and my date just keeps laughing and shaking his head. I thought he just thought I was extremely clever... which I AM extremely clever so it makes sense to me why he'd be laughing.  The laughter was no indication to me that I'd just referred to adolescent kittens as a vulgar form of a woman's neither regions. NO. IDEA.

So the date carries on, we eat a hot dog, watch some fireworks, and all is well in my world of rainbows, sunshine, and asexuality.

Then yesterday, my roomie Alex and I decide it's Red Box Sunday and wander on over to the 7-11 down the street to get us a movie. As a side, I'm convinced property values are directly correlated to location relative to a 7-11. I'm just sayin. We rent Easy A. Have you seen it? It's decent... funny... not bad. So we're watching this movie and the main girl (Emma Stone) calls a girl a twa* during class. The entire class gasps, her face goes ashen, and I get really confused. Of course MY pronunciation was more in line with that "a" in cat rather than... well you know... but I could still tell it was the same word I had used to describe adolescent kittens at the baseball game the night before. So while the character is apologizing to the principal for her vulgarity, I go ahead and use my phone to google said insidious word.

And I nearly choke on a Nib!

Suddenly, everything comes together in one messy trough of word vomit! Lord love a DUCK! Did I? I did. On the date? Oh man. I totally said... wow. I'm a fowl-mouthed deck swab! I base scaly-wag! A slippery tongued, filthy mouthed, tripe! Maybe not a tripe... just the mouth of one. Yes, I know that a tripe is thank you.

I immediately texted said date from the night before and asked him if he would believe me that I had NO IDEA what "the word that must not be mentioned" meant and that I was completely 100% mortified that such a word came out of my little saintly mouth. Snort. Alright, perhaps not saintly as I have a few choice swears nestled nicely into my everyday vocabulary, but THAT word... such vulgarity! My excuse, I tell him, is I'm just an innocent rural Utah girl who is still getting acquainted with the ways of the world. He said he figured it was either my complete naive innocence or I had a mouth of a sailor.Alas. Though my date now knows I'm just an innocent Mormon girl from rural Utah, I'm pretty sure every person who heard my filthy adolescent cat word at the Bee's game are still offended I would give such utterance on such an auspicious occasion. You'd never hear a Mormon Pioneer say such things! How embarrassing. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One day, school won't ruin my life...

But that is not THIS day. I have ONE Public Budgeting class and a 3 weekend Capstone class that has hijacked my summer ONCE again. I know. Didn't I just post a few pictures of me decked out in graduation like garb spouting about how education is worth it and I am a Master and bleh blah ble ble blah? WELL! Sucker you and sucker me. I DID walk in graduation in May, but I have not "legitimately" graduated yet. I had two little superfluous classes left to round out and let me tell you something, I'm at the end of my pitiful rope. I can't take it! Get me out of HERE!!

August 3rd. There will be great rejoicing throughout the land when August 3rd approaches and ends. THAT my friends, will be the day I've been looking forward to for the last 2 years... 6 semesters... 560 days... And THEN... THEN... I will truly be... a Master's graduate.

Until then, I can't get enough of this cartoon. It's killing me!

Oh and don't think I've forgotten about walking you through the rest of my Oregon/Washington trip. I haven't. I just barely have time to use the bathroom lately so ya'll will just have to wait! Oh the angst!

Here, this will help. Technically it's called a pygmy marmoset native to the Amazon. More commonly termed they are finger monkeys - which name I, naturally, prefer. I'd like two of them; "Have you met my finger monkeys, Mr. Babbles and Janice?" Eh? EH?!?! Eh.

See you in 1 week and 4 days. Oh mercy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mikey, this isn't the kind of place you wanna go to the bathroom...We begin in Oregon

I hope that most of you reading that title will think of one of the greatest cult classics that has ever graced the big screen. Yep! You guessed it... GOONIES!

I felt it appropriate to begin my report of my recent vacation to the Northwestern United States with a Goonies shout out. It makes sense in my mind.

A couple months ago... I thought to myself I thought SELF! You've been to some pretty decent international destinations: England, Scotland, France, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the land of endless guacamole and mariachi bands, Mexico. One should travel. Always travel. Not just to see this or consider that; but to change and grow and appreciate and eat, eat, eat. I think one of the greatest lessons I relearn every time I've gone out of the country is first, an appreciation for diverse cultures and customs, but second, how much I love my little Salt Lake City, Utah. It's true! Home is where the heart is - and my heart is in Salt Lake City.


After thinking of the international destinations that have been my great opportunity to visit, I thought how much I've not seen right here in the old US of A! How can I say I've seen the capitol of Vietnam, Thailand, France, Cambodia, and Scotland and NOT the capitol of my very own country? In fact, as far as travel within the US is concerned, I've mainly been limited to such destinations as Colorado, Vegas, Arizona, Wyoming, and California. Yep. I've not even stepped foot in Idaho! IDAHO! I mean SURE Idaho doesn't have such things as Stonehenge or the Eiffel Tower, but I'm sure it has... like... stuff! Stuff worth seeing!

Thus I made a goal this year to shelf the international aspirations for awhile and check out my own, very vast, very unique, proverbial backyard.

You all remember my trip to Charleston, South Carolina the first of May. This was as far "east" as I've ever been - and I developed a soft spot in my heart for all things fried and muggy. I also appreciate the Southern hospitality so natural to the good folks in those south easterly states. It's probably the only place where I don't feel 100 years old being referred to as "ma'am" or "miss."

Thus, I added to my US traveling repertoire this month by planning a 6 day venture to the Northwest; Oregon and Washington respectively. Why? WELL WHY NOT! EH!??! Psh. And also because I've only heard sincerely wonderful and happy things about the area... the whole area... from a multiple "types" of people: outdoor enthusiasts to city dwellers, from hard core rockers to granola popping hippies. It seems the Northwest has a little something for everyone.

And I discovered that was truly the case.

Portland. Lets talk about Portland. Commonly referred to as one of the best (if not the best planned city in America), Portland was in a word, delicious. Nay, beautifully delicious. The greatest thing I will remember about Portland is the food food FOOD! And to remember a place for its food is to write it upon your own SOUL. You know I speak the truth. Thus, lets talk about food

First, Meagan and I ate at the Food Carts. Yes. Portland has these well-known ghetto fabulous food carts parked at random areas across the downtown area supplying any manner of delectable deliciousness from Turkish wraps (which we had), to Tibetan jasmine rice and Korean Pho. And it may have been the fact we hadn't eaten since that morning before boarding our plane; but I will forever remember the Turkish Gyro Style Wrap and sauce I ate that first meal in Portland. If you go to Portland, dear friends, eat from a food cart. Eat from a couple of them.

Then naturally we had to find dessert via the nationally well-known Voodoo Doughnuts. Make note, they only take cash. Archaic maybe. But you'll take a look and then ceremoniously a taste of these quirky doughnuts and begin carrying cash in your wallet again. It's that worth it.

  Other honorable mentions must go to the Grilled Cheese Grill on Wheels. The unique atmosphere is as enjoyable as its grilled cheese sandwich options and juice boxes. Lunch on a bus! And why not? Find this and eat. We actually ran into their second location en route to the greatest sushi place I've ever eaten - except this lunch on a bus was double decker British style. Pip!

Finally, Bamboo Sushi. Perhaps being from a severely landlocked state has created lower expectations for good sushi. I like sushi places in Utah, but turns out when you visit a state that actually boasts an ocean front, the fish is a little bit (and by a little bit I mean A LOT) better. And surprise of surprises, when you eat at Bamboo Sushi in Portland (and you damn well better!) GET the bread pudding. I know I know, if you're feeling sushi then it's likely you're not feeling bread pudding. But get it anyway - and ask for an extra smackrel of the sauce on the side. I literally lapped it up with my finger. I like to keep it classy.

Food aside... but only just... We also wandered around the Japanese Gardens, the Rose Gardens, and Powell Books, aka, the City of Books. Let me tell you about my sensory overload in that store. 3 hours combing through travel, cooking, poetry, history, politics... and I had to literally exit the store in a happy delirious panic when I finally attempted to tackle Fiction. I couldn't do it I tell you! I wasn't mentally prepared for such a magnitude of the written word. So we quickly pulled ourselves together, bought some MORE books, and sensibly made a run for it before Fiction completely devoured us. We barely made it out with our lives I tell you!

Portland being a fantastic experience for two days - day 3 began with a drive to Canon Beach and Astoria.

Here is my advice

Spend the majority of the day in Canon Beach. Nay, spend the WHOLE day at Canon Beach and stop in Astoria for 2 hours on your way through to something, ANYTHING, else. Turns out, Astoria is a bit of a hole (no offense to you Astorians out there... ahem). Though quaint and boasting many a cinematic enjoyment, 2 hours is plenty of time to check out the Goondocks, the County Jail, and the elementary where Kindergarten Cop was filmed. There's some this and that about Free Willy - but who really remembers Free Willy anymore? Not when there are Goonie sites to see!! I don' t know why Meagan and I felt spending most of the day in Astoria was somehow going to be better and/or comparable to the picturesque loveliness of Canon Beach, but we did. And now, we can have a good laugh about it... with only minimal malice in our eyes.

Look at the pictures! Oh... and as an aside. I bought a $230 Cannon camera last year when I went to Thailand. It's excellent and takes really great pictures. Did I bring it on this trip? NO!?!? Why? Cause I thought I left it in my office and so the morning we were flying out, I stopped by my office to check. Was it there!?!? NO!!!  So... this pics were taken on my phone. Alas.

 And that was Oregon! Stay tuned Goonies fans, because we're on to Forks and Port Angeles next! Yes, we did. And you would too!