Monday, April 28, 2008

All is right in the 801

I'm sitting outside at a Panda Express, burning time until my sister's done with work and we make jam with my Gma Wms. The sun is shining in my face; I'm the only one conditioned to believe full force sunshine and 65 degrees is meant to be enjoyed. Kenny Chesney just started playing on my ipod and I'm about to open the fresh cinnamon bears I just purchased. I am LOVING this very Utah moment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marathon Monday

Boston sports teams went 5-0 for the weekend (Sox x3, Bruins, Celtics) and hosted the Boston Marathon.

The city shut down for the day; no work, gorgeous weather, a million marathon supporters.

There's our good buddy Lance Armstrong. Live strong Lance. Live strong.

Like I said, just another day in Boston.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday at Fenway

Spring has been a long time coming in Boston. It's late April, and the number of "nice" days could be counted on one hand. In the last week, the "Spring" flip was switched and Bostonians exchanged their wool coats for tank tops and shorts.

Deciding to take advantage of the nicest day of the year, and celebrating the wonderful Esther's birthday, a trip to America's most loved ball park was in store. Hello Fenway. 70 degrees, the Red Sox, good friends? Sounds like a fabulous way to kick off a three-day weekend. Sign me up.

Marci and Jo were loving enough to get in line early enough to procure us game day seats. (The cheapest way to get seats--Fenway has the 2nd longest consecutive sell-out streak in the MLB.) At face value too. In order to purchase a day-of game ticket, you have to enter Fenway at 5pm--2 hours before game time. I actually loved our time in the ballpark. We got to see both teams' batting practice, wander around Fenway, and sit in the sun for awhile. It's been a long winter people.

Marci, Jo and I never moved up to our ticketed seats; my luck is slowly returning... the season ticket holder's seats we were in never came--so our seats were pretty awesome. Exceptionally awesome for people watching. Oh the stories we could tell. (Especially about the boozehound gym-rats in front of us. Or the girlfriends to our left.)

The Sox played the Texas Rangers--funny, because I've only been to Fenway once before, and the Sox played the Rangers then too. Big Papi hit a grand slam homerun in the 3rd, and it was hands down my best moment at Fenway. Especially considering he's been 0 for 18 in Fenway this season. This game also boasts my favorite fan/player interaction in sports history. The Ranger playing right field? His name was Milton Bradley. That's right. Milton Bradley. Like Milton Bradley games. Some guy a few rows behind us really had a beef with Milton. Not sure if it was his game play, or the fact that his name just rolls off the tongue, but Milton Bradley took a lashing from this heckler, and eventually our entire section.

Guy with beef: "Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilton."
Rest of section: "Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadley."
Guy with beef: "Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilton."
Rest of section: "Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadley."

This continued for quite awhile. Security came up the tunnel to supervise but were powerless to do much. Milton Bradley eventually had to turn his back on our section and I had to cover my mouth because I was unable to close it I was laughing too hard.

Cure for winter blues? Friends, baseball, and good weather.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

(Un)Building a Mystery

I have a few things I'd like to tell you about tonight. We could call this a brain dump, but habitually I spill the anything and everything I can think of--these points are only a portion of my happenings, but they're hand-selected. I've got to have some mystery, right? BLACKBRIAR.

  • I'm participating in "Hard of Hearing/Visually Impaired" study next week. Every once in awhile I'll sign up for studies on craigslist--this one is $100 for an hour. I was worried I wouldn't be disabled enough to qualify but they seem to think I am. Think I'll get $200 for being both?
  • I have a Netflix account and it is all kinds of messed up. I'm supposed to get three discs at a time; I now have five. My first extra disc is a BIG mistake--a "coming-of-age" tale between two crew buddies. Definitely not something I put in my queue. It was quite the shock when I read the description on the disc sleeve.
  • The parking in front of my house is pretty nuts. We have four cars and various visitors and neighbors with cars, and it's kind of mayhem. The cool part however, is that no one (residents, pedestrians, cops, robbers, Indians, trash collectors, equestrians, or the disabled) cares which direction you park your car. I've grown so accustomed to parking the opposite way (directly facing oncoming traffic) that I can't remember which way is which at a snap.
  • SO I got a new job. It's very similar to what I did before Dunder-Mifflin, but. But but but. The company is based in Portland. I'll be trained in Portland and travel several times a year to events and status with the production teams. How sweet is that? Paid to travel home without a) paying for flights or b) taking off the time. I'll spend 10 days to 2 weeks in Portland later next month. I can't wait!
  • Dear UTah friends--I'm finally coming back! It's been more than a year, but I'll be in town Sunday April 27 to Tuesday May 5. Let's play. If you can't get ahold of me, check the dollar movies or Costa Vida.
  • I went to the gym tonight for the first time since the leg break. Funny, it's been three months to the day. 3.5 miles. "Not too bad," my brain thinks. "I respectfully disagree," my innards replied. "We're not used to jolting compact." Suffice it to say, once the tread came to a stop I had to make an immediate beeline for the bathroom.
  • My leg does surprisingly well, but it does stiffen up after a lot of movement. The ghetto walk is in full display after a lot of motion. I kind of like the street cred it gives me.
  • Can we all just agree that 30 Rock is a better show than The Office? I was watching it at the gym tonight and no doubt looked ridiculous snapping when something cracked me up. But really. Oh so funny. Remember. Tracy Jordan doesn't want you to vote.

Well, I'm supposed to be moving piles from one surface to another cleaning up my room right now. Instead, I went to the gym(!), made some cheese crisps, and am blogging! This is definitely a new hierarchy. The gym?! Before anything else?! A little part of me just died inside I think--proof that people can change.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Head's Up

I. Today I make my syndicated television debut.

Four months after we attended a taping of the Tyra Banks show in New York City; it's airing today. The topic of today's show is "Guess My Salary." This is good stuff people.

IF you have the chance to tune in, or record it, I suggest you do so. I'll have a play-by-play recap of our time in the studios tomorrow. (3PM in Boston, 1PM in Oregon, 12 Noon in SLC)

I had red hair back then, and should be standing right next to the Tyra during the show's opening. I was supposed to have a speaking part, but the Tyra messed it all up and ruined everything. I would have been a star.

We were encouraged to shout out our disbelief, encouragement, or disdain for the segments on the show, so listen closely for some out of place white-girl comments.

A good time should be had for all.

II. I'm wearing my nurse pants today.

III. In other Tyra Banks related news, and to celebrate the last time I tried to be on TV, let us revisit the ridiculousness that was me people scouting at an audition for "America's Next Top Model." It was a year ago just this week; and logged as the highest read day in the history of this blog. Thanks for making me a star for a day!

Part One: You Are Still in the Running
Part Two: Still in the Running - Part II
Part Three: Still in the Running - Part III
Part Four: No Longer in the Running
Part Five: STILL not in the Running
Part Six: The Day After

Remember when I used to be funny?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Half the way

My weekend isn't even 24-hours old yet, and I'm exhausted. Literally, I'm lying in bed at 4:33pm on Saturday; fighting to stay awake. Stake Conference tonight, and I feel it would be prudent for me to attend. Therefore, here I am. In a quasi-delirious state, but filling you in on the shenanigans nonetheless.

Listed on the 100 Facts about me is how much I enjoy throwing/hosting theme events. HOw much better when I can actually attend one! Oh how I love getting dressed up. In true fashion, I took it a little overboard; but that's pretty well par for the course. Nat: she who takes things too far.

Last night, our friends Mike and Brian hosted a swanky mocktail party at their new club "The Silver Pearl." There was mood lighting, live music, exotic drinks and the standard bevy of beauties.

We chatted, we dance-ished, we photoed. It was great fun.

For the record, I shall explain the headband. My hair turned out super curly. Too curly isn't too terrible of a thing, but it had so much height, that I worried it looked Texas Pageanty; so I made do with what I have. And when you're me, you have random props like sequined/feathered headbands at your ready disposal. Luckily, the Silver Pearl was 40's inspired, so I didn't look as ridiculous fit right in.

What I didn't fit right into? My dress. I bought it pre-Biggest Loser. Makeshift straps were safety pinned on as I didn't have the girth to hold up the strapless dress. There are worse things in life though, right?

Don't I have gorgeous friends?

On to major Event #2 of the weekend. With less than four hours of sleep after a late night of dessert, would-you-rather, and impromptu guitar sessions, I boosted my sagging enthusiasm for being awake with a pre-philanthropic bagel and DC--a real treat for someone who's not supposed to eat heavy bread products. But it was for a good cause!

Last week I raised money for a Multiple Sclerosis walk; this morning was the 5-miler. The weather forecast pouring rain and it looked slightly ominous when our band of merry supporters arrived in Cohassat. The walk started brisk but eventually the clouds lifted and the sun came out--enough so that I'm proudly sporting my first burn of the '08 season. Sunburn never felt so good.

Our little group of seven raised exactly $1500--I think we finished 7th in overall fundraising! Thanks again to everyone who donated money. It was a good way to officially kick off "Nat returns to exercising after the Leg Break '08." Go big or go home; that's what I never always say.

The course was five miles of gorgeous old homes and beautiful oceanic views. Our pace picked up once the course started intensifying; I'm pretty sure we broke a sweat a time or two. For the record, it's kind of awkward passing people in a charity walk. We decided the greatest take-home was the finisher's medal; an unexpected treat at the end of a kind of long walk. The lunch was a bonus too. Wow, we really had a good time.

Conversation between teammates along the route covered a variety of topics--none more prominent than chit-chat about The Biggest Loser (the real TV show). We're having a finale watching party on Tuesday. Now that I've found real-life friends to discuss the BL, I probably will won't be posting about it at greater length. Yall can breathe easier now.

The drive home was spent with the windows down, reliving the fantasticness of the day. Spring in Boston officially hit (at least for a few hours) and every one in the City seems affected by it. Thank goodness. Five of six cars had the windows down, runners and bikers were out in full force, and it was oh so glorious. Unable to go inside just yet, I bought a Big Gulp and went down to the banks of the Charles and read my Entertainment Weekly magazine while soaking in the sun. My version of the Celestial Kingdom will definitely include these things.

All in all, not too terrible of a way to spend the first half of your weekend, right?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Noisy Distance

No words and too many words. That's the dilemma I find myself in.

The rattling in my brain is so loud, I can hardly think over it; the noise is distracting and keeps my fingers from typing what my synapses are firing.

I have a lot going on in my life right now; surprise! But for as much as I (somewhat) regularly spew forth here, you'll find very little information or insight that's deeper than skin. The act is deliberate; I'm resistant to spill my innermost workings and wonderings.

Historically, I'm able to find a balance between my cyber-self and my flesh-and-blood self; the two are actually married. But for now; for the last while of now's, my urge to create and report on the cyber side of life has been suppressed as my brain is working overtime processing what's going on in my head.

The noise is too loud to put my hands to work.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Once upon a time, I made some cupcakes.

And by some, I mean in the low two-hundreds. I told you I tend to go overboard in planning and hosting.

The cooking was actually for a cause--to raise money for an MS walk I'm going to participate in later this week. Thanks to all those who attended and donated!

I used a variety of base flavors, frostings, and decorative elements. Don't worry, I posted a sign warning of the digestive problems that would result from eating the wooden shapes.

And of course there are pictures. Be prepared to discover what my hands were doing while my ears were listening to Conference...

Base flavors included chocolate peanut butter, chocolate coconut, black and white, lemon, cinnamon roll, white, Snickers, strawberry shortcake, and plain chocolate. Frostings included cream cheese, vanilla, mint, and chocolate ganache. My personal choice of the night was a toss-up between the strawberry cheesecake and lemon with cream-cheese frosting and coconut.
Last night I thought I'd be happy if I never ate a cupcake again. However, posting these at 4pm in the afternoon is doing wonders in changing my mind... good thing there are still a few at home.
Some of my favorites up close:

I think it's time for me to move on to another hobby. Ideas?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I feel a libel suit coming...

My junior year at the Y, I had to write for the newspaper to fulfill a requirement for graduation. Those who spent any time at BYU may scoff at "The Daily Universe," but with a circulation-size of 19,000 (more than the median circulation for all the country's papers!), it was kind of a big deal.

Last February, I posted my favorite article. Lately, I've been thinking about some of the other articles I wrote. None are as memorable as Barbie and Ken's breakup, but I did have an award-winning article and several front-pagers. I'll admit; there's something pretty cool about seeing your name in print, or having Letters to the Editor written about articles you constructed.

It was newspaper rule that each article (3 a week!) had to have three sources. That semester, my friends became campus celebrities and experts in a variety of things.

My first month at the paper, I was assigned to write a story on stereotyping at BYU. The paper must have been short on content the day the story was published, because it was run in its entirety. We're talking 1500 words here. And at least half those words were quotes by people I know well--half of them will read this post.

But here's the reason for this blog: the quotes are hilarious. The best part? I don't think they're meant to be. When I was writing this article, I wasn't noticing the absurdity of the comments, but removing myself four years from the situation? Hysterical. **Names have been removed to protect the innocent.

--"There are all sorts of stereotypes at BYU. We stereotype based on how people dress, the majors people are in and the clubs people are in. Like the Medieval club -- we typically think of them as people with long, unbrushed, uncut hair, wearing the costumes and stuff, but I'm sure they're so much more than that."

--"It just happens because people don't want to reach out and see what other people are like. It's like saying, 'I don't like you, and I don't want to have to think about you."

--"You see people who are dressed nicely-they have their hair bleached, they have their teeth bleached, and you think of them as being kind of ditsy and kind of air headed. On the flipside, you see girls who are kind of frumpy and you think they're probably nerdy, probably not very cool."

--"If people are dressed nice, I'm usually more inclined to be friendly to them. Not because I think they're better people, but I'll definitely be more amiable with someone who's dressed well as opposed to someone who's dressed extremely frumpily or really dirty. I'm more comfortable with that."

--"There's the stereotypical rich California kids who dress nicely and are dumb. Then there are the skaters who are kind of the 'outside' people. And the nerdy people who wear sick old clothes, like big dresses, blouses and stuff."

--"There's the stereotype against guys who wear socks with sandals -- that they're all nerds. And I'm not saying they're not, because they probably are."

--"As an African-American, we might be thought of as wearing baggy jeans and a football or basketball jersey. That's kind of a misconception. We wear suits, normal jeans, polo shirts, whatever."

--"Because I'm from Oregon, and I don't match my clothes -- a lot of times people think I'm all liberal, and a vegetarian and stuff. Some of it may be true, but not to the extent people think. I love meat!"

--"When my roommate Laura found out I was from California (before we moved in together), she was so sure I was going to be blonde, ditzy, have a computer, a TV, a VCR, a DVD and everything. But I didn't. And I'm also not blonde. [Also], she was really disappointed when I wasn't rich."

--"Because I'm from Provo, people think I'm going to have no idea what a gay person is, or what drugs are. But lots of my friends are those things, or use those things -- I stereotype them as that or doing that because they fit the mold really well.

--"A lot of times people think, 'Oh, you're from Provo, you're going to be an idiot.' Kind of like someone who was home-schooled."

--"Every time I meet someone and they find out I was home-schooled, they're like, 'Oh really?! You're the most normal home-schooler I've ever met.' It's kind of a backhanded compliment, like they're saying, 'You're normal for a weird person.' There's a definite stereotype that goes with being home schooled."

--"If you're from a certain part of the country, like the South, you're going to like country music. Or if you're from the city, you're going to like hip-hop. If you're from maybe a little town in Utah you listen to the MoTab."

Phew. Sorry that was so long! But it was worth a good chuckle, right? Taken in such a formal context, the quotes seem off-kilter and pretty backwoods. I distinctly remember each of the interviews though, and they were said with much laughter and normalness. I don't see this being a "BYU-thing," I can imagine having very similar conversations out here in Boston. The lesson here is that the difference between listening and reading comprehension is hysterical. (A good example would be reading a transcript of what Paula's telling contestants on Idol.) I wish I could have a transcript of my life; I'd convert it into a screenplay that'd win me a nomination to the Oscars (a la Diablo Cody), and then I'd get to walk the red carpet and tell the attenders to their face what I really think about their dresses; instead of just yelling it at my TV.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I shall...

...stop beginning sentences with "If you know me well..." or "Those who know me well...". No more qualifying my readers. I shall state fact as fact and let you get to know me. Or glory in the sameness you know me to be.

...not get overwhelmed by trying to force the pieces to fit. They'll come together in time.

....not forget the feeling of contentment when I manually steer my life back on a straighter course and pay a little more attention to the road signs.

...make others feel good about themselves in unexpected ways. about my health insurance tomorrow to see if they've wised up and decided to pay my broken leg claim. day entice my blog lurkers to comment. Slowly but surely, yall will come around; I can feel it.

...not apologize for the fact that I go overboard in planning and hosting.

...continue to hope.

...not eat half a bag of gummy bears right before bed ever again.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!