Monday, March 31, 2008

Scenery--la di da

The weather was beautiful the other day, so I went down to the beach and took some pictures. They turned out really nice, and the water was crystal clear. A friend of mine said the water looked so clear that he thought it would taste really nice to drink. Somehow, I doubt it was quite that clear, but I didn't really taste it to see.


Don't let these pictures fool you--the snow is still so deep it's over my head in several places. These pictures were taken during low tide, and there's no snow on the rocks where the water reaches during high tide. I love how the sun sparkles off the water in this next picture.


And have I mentioned recently just how beautiful it is here? I still can't get over this place.


The new camera is nice (especially now it's fixed, haha, thanks a kajillion, Dad!), but it makes me sad that it guzzles batteries so fast. Brand-new batteries last about twenty pictures before the camera dies. Normally, I would just turn off the screen and use the peephole in the camera to save batteries, but this camera doesn't have one. So I'm grateful for my rechargeable batteries. (Thanks again, Dad. :P)

Grease Monkey stopped by again after work yesterday. "Hey, did you know your back left tire is getting low? We should take your car over to the Grounds building and get that fixed."

"Okay!" I did know the tire was getting low, but I wasn't entirely sure how to go about fixing it. So anyway, Grease Monkey and I drove over to Grounds and checked the tires. Turns out the max weight for the tires was 44 psi. My back-left had 18, front-left had about 23, and the other two had about 26. Lame! So we pumped all the tires up and then popped the hood for Learning Time. Popping the hood of a car, I could identify the battery and the stick-thing people use to check the oil, and that's about it. Grease Monkey and Tracy showed me the brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, air filter, fuse box, spark plugs, alternator, belt, windshield washer fluid, and a bunch of other stuff I didn't even know existed, showed me how to check it up every month or so, used baking soda and water to get the corrosion off my battery, blew some of the dust out of my air filter, and filled up my coolant container. Cool cool!

I thanked Tracy and Grease Monkey and we hopped in the car to drive away... I started the car... and the engine stalled and the car turned off. "Hmmm..." Started it again. Same thing. "Well, that's fun."

So we got back out of the car and popped the hood again. Tracy and Grease Monkey started going back over everything they had touched, trying to figure out what they had managed to move wrong to mess up the car. I tried to help, but eventually decided to stand back and watch, let the experts figure it out.

We spent an anxious half-hour looking at the engine and eventually figured out that when we took out the air filter, we accidentally disconnected a vacuum hose. Grease Monkey popped that back into place and the car started up just fine. Yay!

As we were driving away, Tracy stopped us and said, "By the way, when's the last time you took your car out for a drive? Not around town, but down the highway?"

"Um... not since about October, I think. Why?"

"You should do that. Blow some of the carbon out."

"....Okay. How, Grease Monkey, want to go for a drive?" So we took off down the road--went nearly to Moose Pass, I think, before turning around. (That's about 30 miles down the road, I think.)

It was an amazing drive--I haven't been down there in ages, and this time, everything was coated in several feet of snow. I felt a bit like a tourist, but I couldn't help gawking at the scenery. We passed cliff faces where every crag that jutted out had a load of snow on top. We passed small frozen waterfalls that looked like the cave formations I used to show tour guides, only there were made of ice instead of stone. Lakes and rivers and creeks were frozen over, with feet of snow on top, so they looked like flat, frozen areas of nothing but shining snow. It was amazing! I almost wished I had my camera, but then I would have really felt like a tourist. Plus, I would have had to stop the car to take any pictures and there weren't any good places to stop.

So anyway, that's that. Now I'm running late for dinner with the Packs, so I'll write more at ya later. Toodles!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hark, thy fate sucketh?

I think I'm developing Keel-them-all-ded Syndrome... It's a mental disorder where you desperately want to keel people ded, even if only for your own stress relief and/or amusement.

Ya know, the day started out great... and then I came home from work. For most people, it's the other way around, but no. Work was great. In fact, for possibly the first time ever, I hardly got picked on, and when God and Spawn did pick on me and I pouted, they would give me a pat on the head. In fact, at one point, they even cheered, "Yay Lint Monkey!" Yeah, that made my day. Yay!

No, today's temptation to keel people ded started with the piano lessons after work. I will now proceed to gripe about my failure piano lessons. Feel free to skip down to the "*****" if you want.

Kwangsook, my 20-something-year-old Korean student, had the first lesson. She was the first person I agreed to give lessons to and doesn't understand the concept of "half-hour lesson" at all. Last week, for example, after almost an hour and a half, I left, giving her the excuse that I had to go to Kamryn's house for FHE.

"Oh, what time is your appointment?"

"Um... pretty soon... About 15 minutes..."

"Oh... Okay..." Well, then she proceeded to call up Kamryn's parents and today informed me that they had been sick Monday. Yes, I knew that. Cindy had called and canceled the appointment even before the lesson, but it was the only thing I could think of to say that would give me an excuse to leave without being utterly rude.

Well, today, I set my alarm, and when it beeped, I told her that was my cue that it was time to leave. She only kept me for another fifteen or twenty minutes after that, to her credit. As I was putting my shoes on and trying to leave, she said that she had another Korean friend who wanted lessons. Oh, and Minnie's husband, Scott, also wanted lessons. Oh, and she also had another friend who wants to sign her son up for lessons. Oh, and by the way, if it wasn't too trouble, could I give her (Kwangsook) two lessons a week instead of one? I told her flat-out no on the last one, saying that I need at least some time to get my schoolwork done. For the love of all that is unholy, if it were up to her, I would quit my job, cancel my classes, and spend all my time teaching every frikking person in this town how to play the piano!

So I was a bit frustrated. For one thing, Kwangsook doesn't seem to practice for the lessons I give her. For another, I can't understand a word she says. For another, I feel bad talking about cost of lessons because I'm well aware that she's not really doing well financially: she's fairly newly married, just had a baby, doesn't have a job, her husband works at the jail, and she and her husband live with her husband's parents. I think he just got out of school, too. So I know they don't really have money to throw around, but come on, I can't give two hour-long lessons a week to someone I can hardly communicate with!

And then I feel bad because I'm not charitable enough or something. It's not like I don't have time; it's that I spend my time badly.

Then there's the fact that I feel like a failure as a teacher. For Kwangsook, basically, her lesson is just supervised practicing. I'm beginning to doubt she practices during the week, so I sit behind her and watch while she goes through the book, one song at a time, and plays the song about a dozen times till she gets it decently or until I say, "Okay, that's enough, practice that one this week." What drives me crazy is when she repeats a measure over and over and over and over and I can't figure out why. She was playing a song to the tune of "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" today, and when she got to the measure where she played four quarter-note Fs in a row, she played the measure, stopped, shook her head, played it again, stopped, shook her head, played it again... and again... and again... and I wanted to cry, "FOR THE LOVE OF MAXXY, PLAY THE NEXT MEASURE ALREADY!!!" and then fall on the floor and cry and twitch convulsively. Except that would make the baby scream and the dog bark, heaven forbid.

Kwangsook's a sweet lady, and she's ripping through those books quickly... but her lessons make me want to stab myself in the throat with a fish hook.

Then after that was Madison's lesson. She's pretty bright, but she really likes to say "I can't do it, it's too hard." Then when I say, "What do you mean, you can't? Okay, then you can give me five push-ups and then do it!" she says, "No no no, I'll do it!" But her parents stay for her lesson and watch and do almost as much talking and teaching as I do, which makes me wonder why they're not teaching her themselves. I'm just reading straight out of the book, for crying out loud....

And for some reason, I act like a total idiot in front of kids' parents. Today, for example, I was teasing Madison, saying, "Before too long, you're going to be begging your parents for a grand piano!"

"No, not a grand piano!" objected Chip. "You've seen our house--we couldn't fit a grand in there!"

I dismissed that. "You could get rid of Madison's bed and she could sleep on top of it." I turned to Madison. "That would be great, because then you could also practice lying on top of it and pretending to be..." I was going to say, "pretending to be sexy like those sluts in old movies who lie on the pianos," but then I remembered I was talking to a six-year-old... in front of her parents, no less.... So instead, I said, "pretending to be pretty." And then I kicked myself and added, "I mean, not that you're not pretty. I mean, you are pretty. You're very pretty. But what I meant was... I mean you could pretend to be... um... I mean... actually, it's a word I probably shouldn't say... in front of... well... um... anyway, let's play this song now!" and I turned so red, I was surprised the fire department didn't come right over to investigate the glow. At least Madison's parents laughed instead of being mad that I accidentally implied their daughter isn't pretty. I mean, she is... really... for a six-year-old... I mean... not that her being six has anything to do with it... well... I mean....

Oy....

Have I ever mentioned that I also hate human interaction in general because I suck at it? I'm always saying or doing something so entirely stupid that I want to just dig a hole and never come out of it again ever. It's fine when I'm acting like an idiot on purpose and people think I'm being funny or cute... but when I'm supposed to be teaching or having a serious conversation with someone, it makes me want to kick myself in the kneecaps. And that doesn't work.

*****

Speaking of kicking myself in the kneecaps, when a doctor hits you in the knee with his little hammer thing, are you supposed to try to kick your feet, or is it supposed to happen whether you try or not? Because as near as I can tell, when doctors tap my knee with that little hammer, my big feet just kind of hang like normal. When I was little, I always kicked just because I thought I was supposed to, but now I'm wondering if I should have... well... not. Or at least kicked the doctor in the nose. That would have been epic!

PS - The complaining is over for now, but if you skipped it, you may want to read the last few paragraphs starting with "and for some reason" because that part is actually funny.

Hm... other than that... heh, I was talking to Rob Pack the other day and asked him about the drive from Alaska to Utah. He said, "Oh yeah! The drive is gorgeous! If you ever get the chance, definitely definitely drive it, and take a few extra days, if you can, to stop and see some of the sites on the way! Hey, get an atlas and I'll show you the best route and some of the places you'll want to stop."

"You mean you're not going to try and talk me out of driving it and tell me that it's a terrible drive and I'd be crazy to even consider trying it without at least one or two big strong guys I really trust coming with me?"

"Not at all. I mean, unless you normally have a problem falling asleep while driving... but it's such a pretty drive I doubt you'll have that problem. But if you really want someone to go with you, I really don't think you'll have a problem finding someone who will want to go. There's a lot of young people who work up here in the summer and then go back south for school."

Rob is officially my best friend.

Hm... what else? Oh, I would like to reiterate something I've said before, but not for a while: Macaroni and cheese is awesome with hot sauce. The realization that hot sauce can be added to just about anything really changed my world. (I was going to say "spiced up my world" but that's cheesy. Heh... heh... macaroni and cheesy.... Okay okay, lame, I know.)

And now that I'm down to talking about hot sauce again, I'm going to shut up. Anyway, it's about bedtime. Big conference this weekend. Yaaaaay! (Conference = biscuits and gravy for breakfast! :D)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Science Fiction

Why is it that the longer you sleep, the more tired you are when you wake up? Not to mention stiff and sore? You'd think it would be the other way around. Stupid laws of... uh... health science.... I think we should do away with it altogether and instead make laws that say things like: the reason people die is because of their addiction to breathing. So to live forever, we just have to break that addiction. (Thanks to Lary for that idea.) Of course, the problem with that is that then we'd have a real overpopulation problem. Maybe we should also make a law that people aren't tempted to have sex unless they're trying to make babies. But then what would people make dirty jokes about? "A white horse fell in a mud puddle. Heehee, I made a dirty joke!" ........BAHAHAHAHA........ Then we could make a law that the sun is good for you, the stronger the radiation the better, and then boot the excess people into outer space with a Game Boy or something, so they don't get bored. Oh yeah, we'd also have to cure their addiction to eating and drinking.... Or maybe we could say that if you get direct sunlight, not filtered through silly things like atmospheres, then you don't have to eat or drink because the sun gives you all the energy you need. Yeah, that'll work! And besides, it's not like you'll be using a whole lot of energy if you're just floating through space anyway, right?

That reminds me. Hey Dubby, you majored in chemistry, right? I have a question. Why is it that electrons never ever slow down or stop? I was thinking maybe it was because they're not acted on by an outside force because they don't have air resistance because they're smaller than the air molecules... but then I realized that gravity should still affect them. Right? So I was thinking "Well, maybe if you move fast enough, then you can go so fast that gravity doesn't affect you..." except even light is affected by gravity, and theoretically, it's impossible to go faster than light. So I guess that can't work either. And what's this quantum physics stuff that says that matter can pop into existence and then pop right back out again? What the heck? How and why did someone come up with that? And also, what's this about atoms being so connected that you can affect one thing in California and its twin atom in France will react to it? That's like ESP for atoms. If stuff like that actually works (which I don't think I'll actually believe unless I see it), why don't they use it in today's technology? You'd think companies like... I dunno, Radio Shack and Toys R Us... or whoever invents the stuff for them to sell... would be eating it up! Well, not eating it up... that'd be gross.... Actually, that would be funny! Eat one of the atoms and then spin the second one and feel your stomach start jerking around. Oooo, that'd be a fun way to poison someone! ...Not that I intend to poison anyone or anything. I'm really babbling now, aren't I? Okay. Anyway, if anyone knows anything about any of the junk I mentioned in this paragraph, let me know, wouldja? I'm curious.

Okay then. Well, now I've stopped rambling about that and am drawing a blank about what to ramble about next. Oh yeah! Girl-from-grounds (aka Grease Monkey) showed up yesterday! She's back from her mechanic training and stuff, and she's still alive! Yaaaaay! So after work, we went to go look for Easter eggs left over from the Easter egg hunt they had on Easter or actually maybe the day before Easter and I'm trying to see how many times I can fit the word Easter into this sentence about Easter or actually Easter eggs. Seven. Hey, that's lucky! Anyway, we went searching for Easter eggs and found 59 of them. Actually, it may have been 58. Or even 57. I didn't really count them in an organized fashion. I counted 59 and then went, "Oh wait... did I count that one twice?" and couldn't remember, but I didn't want to count all almost-60 again, so let's just say it was 59. But only five of them had candy in them. It wasn't even good candy. Smarties, caramel, and cheap nasty bubble gum. No chocolate. Not even jelly beans (which is fine because I don't like jelly beans anyway, but come on, it's still traditional Easter candy)! Oh well, life goes on. And it was fun hanging out with Grease Monkey.

Hey Sister! Answer my e-mail, even if the answer is "probably not." I won't hate you, honest! I won't even look for ways to poison you with quantum physics! Honest!

Hmmm, what else? Oh, heh heh. So I fell asleep reading a science book around seven o'clock last night and didn't wake up until morning. And for the first time ever, I actually had a dream about a science fiction story that could actually be written into a decent story. I wrote down the main ideas about it so I could remember, but unfortunately, I'm not in the mood to write an actual story just now. It was decent, though.

Apparently, a new planet had been discovered. I think it was between Earth and Mars, but I'm not sure. Anyway, said planet had only one moon, which was thought to be inhabitable by life. So Earth sent out a bunch of people to go check it out and they made a little colony out there. Well, they found the dominant species or whatnot on the other planet and were surprised to find that the aliens had adopted a few humans into their society generations and generations ago. So long ago, in fact, that no one knew exactly how or when the humans got there. (A couple of the people said, "Zomg, see, that's what Stonehenge was for: launching rockets into outer space!" Weirdos.)

Anyway, one of the Earth humans met one of the alien humans and brought her back to the Earth colony, which was called KT4O2SS, but I don't know why it was called that. The girl who found her kind of adopted her into her own family and taught her English and tried to teach her human cooking and sewing and stuff like that. Most of the men, particularly the ones responsible for the colony's government, weren't very nice to her, so she didn't like them much. Occasionally, she tried to run away, but she always came back. She's one of the main characters, but not actually the main plot of the story.

The main plot of the story was about the corruption of the government. Go figure. (Which is especially funny because personally, I hate politics. In fact, I never liked science fiction stories much, either, so I don't know why I was dreaming this.) I only remember details about it towards the end of the story, but the government made a new law that all transportation and everything would shut down before midnight and everyone was to stay inside, curtains drawn, between midnight and six in the morning, "for their own safety." One of the younger adults stood up at the meeting where they passed the law and claimed that the government was only making the law for their own corrupt reasons, so they could have six hours a night to do things without anyone poking their nose around and finding out what they were up to. He and government official got into a fight and the young man ended up getting shot in the face. Ow.

At the funeral, the government tried to pass off the man's death by saying he had a severe nasal congestion that went untreated, and at the meeting, the man's nose blew up. Nobody believed it for a second, especially the people who were there and saw the guy get shot, but they were afraid of their noses "blowing up" if they said anything about it.

Anyway, that's about where I woke up. If I can figure out just what the government was up to and how it involved the aliens, I think it could be a pretty decent story. I don't know if I would do a good job writing it, though, since my writing style leans more towards comedy.

Well, anyway, that's about all I can think of to write for now. Blame Tigris and Grease Monkey for my lack of updating for the last few days. Toodles!

PS - Dad, I'm having trouble uploading pictures just now, so I'll put up one or two next time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Child's Play

I have a habit of pacing. I pace when I read, I pace when I study, I pace when I'm thinking, I pace when I'm bored, I pace when I don't feel well, I pace when I'm angry, I pace when I'm on the phone.... Basically, if I'm not at work, on the computer, or playing the piano, I pace. I've very nearly taken it to an art form. There's a certain way to move your hips and feet so you don't lose your balance and so you're facing the right direction when you turn. There's a certain angle to hold a book so you can see where you're going and still read. There's only one thing that throws off my pacing....

Mirrors. I hate mirrors. I hate wiping them down at work, I hate looking in them, and I hate it when I'm pacing and I catch sight of movement out of the corner of my eye and freak out for a fraction of a second until I realize it's just my reflection. It's not so much that I have self-esteem issues. I don't think I'm ugly. I'm not gorgeous either. Most people describe me as "cute." That's beside the point, though.

There are two mirrors in my room, both of them relatively large. And both of them are enormously distracting. Maybe it's just because they're the only thing in the room that moves besides me. Yeah, I know, it's a reflection, it doesn't really move, it's just light reflecting and blah blah. That's not the point and you know it.

Not to mention, mirrors are just creepy. Maybe I read one too many fantasy stories when I was young, but every time I look in the mirror, I feel like someone's watching me through it. Occasionally, I have to reach out and touch a mirror just to make sure it's solid. Sometimes it seems like I could step through it, into wherever it is that people watch me from. Stupid mirrors! I know, logically and scientifically and common sensically it's just a strip of shiny silver or foil or something on the back of a flat piece of glass. I know, I get it, I know. But that doesn't stop my overactive imagination from feeling like something is watching me from the other side of it.... Come on... aren't there any adults out there who feel like that sometimes, just a little bit? Or are afraid of opening the closet in case a monster jumps out at you? Or checks under the bed for the boogeyman, at least? Did no one else leave notes for their fairy godmother or talk to their stuffed animals just in case they were really listening? Am I alone in this?

...In that case, I'll shut up before I seem too much of a fool.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy birthday, Spawn!!!

Today was a great day. Everyone was in a good mood, and we all skipped merrily from room to room singing sweet songs while the woodland creatures danced around us and birds flitted around. That whole last sentence was a lie except for the good mood part.

God managed to scare me so bad this morning that I definitely did not jump three feet backwards and scream like a little girl. If he says he did, he's lying. Make him prove it, because he CAN'T!

We found a baby doll box in a room. Tessie looked at it and said, "There's a ribbon!" but her accent is so thick that everyone thought she said, "Those are evil!"

We also found a die... a hot pink one... and it didn't have numbers.... Instead, it had... um... well... words. Body parts, in fact. Apparently, it's part of a set, and the other die in the set has verbs.... I laughed so hard I nearly cried.

We found all sorts of toys in rooms today, actually. We also found a box of condoms. God and Spawn picked on me because I was whimpering and pulling them out of the drawer with my fingers saying "Ew ew ew ew ew!" To be honest, I'm just glad they didn't leave the used one lying around.

At one point, in one of the townhouses, Spawn and I were upstairs making the beds and God offered to throw us a rag. He tossed it up (there's kind of a balcony in the townhouses). Spawn tossed it back down, saying it wasn't wet enough just as I started moping, "Awww, I wanted to catch it with my face!" God threw it back up and actually caught me right square in the face with it, even though I was standing far enough back from the banister-thing that he couldn't see me. "He shoots, he scooooores!"

I think I got the story slightly wrong, actually. Maybe Spawn will comment and tell you the accurate version of the story. But I did catch the rag with my face and it was funny. I guess it was funnier if you were there....

Anyway, I'll shut up for now. Toodles! Everybody leave a comment for Spawn saying happy birthday!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Snowday

Happy Easter and stuff!

Work was kind of funny today. Everyone was cheerful, and Spawn had on fuzzy bunny ears that were nice to pet (except I think she wanted to bite me whenever I fondled her ears). But after a few hours, I started aching all over from wrestling with the kids yesterday and then started freezing up. Silly Lint Monkey... I should've stretched out before exercising. Or working. Or both.

Oh well. God let us go home after we finished the cabins, so we have a few hotel rooms left to clean tomorrow, but meh, big deal. Well, kind of... Just think, if we'd managed to get it all done today, one or two of us might have gotten tomorrow off.... Le sigh. And dejavu. (Or however it's spelled. Stupid French words.)

Anyway, I went to the Drawdy's place almost right after work. (That's Madison's family.) I got to play with the cats and dogs again (turns out there's another cat too, slightly older, who seems to stay far away from Madison, so I only saw him for the first time tonight after Madison went to bed). Melissa, the 19-year-old daughter, set up an easter egg hunt for Madison, me, and the two missionaries. The rest of the night was haunted with the sound of Madison begging people to come outside and do the easter egg hunt again.

Towards evening, two moose walked into the yard, about twenty feet away from the window. I'm fairly sure they're the same two that were on the resort a few days ago: a yearling and a pregnant cow. Melissa, Madison, and Jason went outside to look. The moose were ignoring us, so I stood in the doorway to see them better, but I went inside really quick when Jason started throwing snowballs at the moose.

Dinner was fantastic! There were about twelve different dishes including fruit salad, macaroni salad, green beans fried with onion and bacon, ham, deviled eggs, some kind of mashed/creamed potato stuff with sour cream and cheese and onions... Oh man, I just about died, I was so happy. And then there was pumpkin mousse and apple pie for dessert!

Madison insisted I sit next to her at dinner, and after we ate, she challenged me to a drinking contest. I refilled my lemonade and her water and she said "Ready set go!" and started chugging. I emptied my cup before she was even halfway through hers, so she said, "Wait, fill your cup up and let's try it again!" (Of course, hers was still halfway down, but no big deal.) So I refilled my cup and she said "Ready go!" and started chugging. I got about half of my second glass down before I burst out laughing and sprayed a boatload of water out my nose all over my plate. The funniest part was that even then, I still won.

A little later, Elder Bell was playing with the shock collar. He dared me to let him shock me with it, "just on the lowest setting... it doesn't hurt!" So I eventually agreed. Then he said, "Want to try it on the next setting?"

"What do you think I am, stupid?"

"Hey, my record is setting five."

"Well, congratulations."

"You don't want to try to beat my record?"

"Are you challenging me?"

"It's okay. I can understand if you're too scared to do it. You are a girl, after all."

DANG it!!! So of course, then I HAD to do it, but not for I called him a "horrible horrible man" several times. Setting three sent a painful jolt all the way up to my elbow, setting four made my whole arm seize up for a second, and setting five made me jerk about three feet back. I take a goodly amount of pride in the fact that I didn't make a sound when I took setting five. Apparently, when Elder Bell took it at five, he screamed like a little girl.

Hmmm, what else? Oh yeah, one of the first things Madison did when I showed up was run up to me and punch me in the stomach and say, "Hey, did that hurt?"

"Not really," I told her. For goodness' sakes, I'm a french horn player! No six-year-old on Earth could hurt me by punching me in the stomach unless they caught me completely off-guard. (Yes, I am aware that a bravado statement almost exactly like that is what killed Harry Houdini.) That's because of my manly rock-hard abs. Rawr!

Well, Madison devoted a good part of the rest of the evening to punching me and kicking me in the stomach as hard as she could and asking me if it hurt. I'm convinced that she hurt her hands worse than she hurt me.

While we were outside looking for eggs, I discovered that the dog Abbey loves to chase snowballs. And by "chase" snowballs, I mean I would throw one up into the air and the dog would run up six-foot-tall snowpiles and do backflips to catch it. She was amazing!

It snowed about three or four inches in the few hours I was there. Easter Sunday and I didn't see the ground at all today. I love this place!

That's all for now. Toodles!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baptism

I went to the church for Chip's baptism today. I actually had fun! Zoh my gosh!

The program itself wasn't remarkably out of the ordinary. The only thing different about it, I guess, was the baptismal font was in a corner, so there wasn't enough room for everyone to get a good view. Also, no one could really tell if Chip went all the way under the water the first time, so they had to do it again and there was a surprising amount of joking and laughing about it. I guess church doesn't have to be stupidly solemn all the time. Yay!

The stake president was there too. I don't recall having met him, though I think I saw him once at a stake conference at the very beginning of last summer. Today, I wasn't terribly impressed with him. Is it wrong to disagree with something a stake president says in a talk? Because I disagreed with two of the things he said.... One was that the Word of Wisdom (no coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, or harmful drugs) has absolutely nothing to do with your health and that it's purely a spiritual commandment. The other was that it's impossible for anyone to get to heaven without the knowledge of the gospel. Is it really someone's fault if they haven't heard of this church? Or if they've prayed to find out whether it's true and haven't gotten an answer (or at least a recognizable one)? Or if... well, a million other scenarios. Actually, I also disagreed with him when he said that Satan was going to try harder than ever right around now to turn him away from the church. Personally, I think if Satan were smart, he would wait a few years for the novelty to wear off, because that's when people are more likely to fall away. By then, they're mostly just going through the motions. Of course, I guess it depends on the person.... But whatever, I'll spare you the religious debate for now.

I ended up playing not only the duet with Elder Darby, but also another song for the elders to sing along with (I Know That My Redeemer Lives) as well as another solo piece as an interlude while Chip and Brother Whatshisname put on dry clothes. Also, Elder Darby said he wasn't really comfortable playing the opening and closing songs, so I ended up playing them too.

And of course, after the program, practically everyone there at some point or other drifted my way to tell me just how wonderful I am at playing piano and how grateful they were that I could be there. One of my students said, "If I practice a lot, will I be able to play like that someday?" Brother Someone asked if I could beg my boss for just two Sundays off a month, at least from ten to eleven so I could come in and play piano for sacrament meeting. Sister DeLand asked me if I would be willing to take on yet another piano student because she wanted me to teach her daughter Cassidy. The stake president, Brother Ellis, I think was his name, actually put his arm around my shoulder and told me the ward was blessed to have me and not to worry, that God was preparing a husband for me very soon, but that said husband wasn't ready for me yet. Hahahahahaha, good to know. Phew. I was real worried about that. Man, I can sleep easy now.

The best part was after the adults finished fawning over me (nice as it is to have an ego boost, sometimes it makes me uncomfortable) and we went into the gym for refreshments. Believe it or not, it wasn't the food that was my favorite part (the food was mostly raw vegetables... and though I love cooked vegetables, I don't much like them raw, dip or not).

Madison (age 6) picked up a flat basketball and we started playing catch. Then Cassidy (about age 8) joined us. Then a little girl I don't know, probably two-ish years old, joined too. I would toss the ball gently to her, and she would catch it, giggle like made, and fling it in Cassidy's general direction. Cassidy would throw it to Madison, who would catch it and throw it towards me, but try and throw it as high as she could to make it hard for me to catch. I made the game more fun by getting on my knees so I couldn't move around or jump to get it.

As the adults trickled out, more kids joined us. After twenty minutes or so, there were seven kids and maybe four adults in the gym, and everyone wanted to play a different game. At one point, I was playing Monkey in the Middle with two of the older kids, catch with the littlest one, and kickball with Noah. I turned my head to say good-bye to Jason and caught a basketball with the side of my face. Blah, that's what I get for trying to play three games at once and still try to talk to people about my age at the same time. "About my age," what am I talking about? Jason's like thirty! I guess he seems younger because he's single.

Anyway, I made the mistake of picking up Cassidy by the arms and swinging her around a few times, and suddenly Kamryn and Sequoia and Noah were all surrounding me, holding up their arms and yelling, "Do it to me! My turn!" Kamryn and I started barking at each other and then we wrestled (everyone against Lint Monkey and I still won! Strut strut strut). Noah stole my flashlight when the oldest boy (probably about ten) started turning off the lights and chasing the girls in the dark.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I was one of the last people to leave, and by the time I did, I was tired and sweaty, but I had so much fun! And it was really nice that everyone played together and didn't fight. So I ended up being glad that I forgot to dress up for it.... I was still in my work shirt, hiking boots, and bleach-stained jeans, and the best I could do was take off my hat while I was in the chapel. But I was ridiculously glad that I wasn't wearing a skirt when I was playing with the kids. It all worked out.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I don't think I feel very good...

After work, I didn't feel well, so I decided to lie down for a while. Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to get to sleep. Anyway, I was supposed to give a piano lesson at four.

After a while, the door opened and Rye stood in the doorway. I didn't even bother sitting up or rolling over to face him (I was facing the wall) or anything, but I talked to him. He said he needed a ride to Anchorage on Tuesday. I don't even remember what for. So I agreed to drive him and he added that he needed to be there at five in the evening. I vaguely wondered what would happen if the weather turned bad and we couldn't get back to town for work on Wednesday but figured he was the boss--he could worry about it.

After he left, I started feeling sick, so I got up and started pacing. I was pretty sure I was going to throw up, and as time wore on, I felt sicker and sicker, and consequently, paced faster and faster, until it was finally time to go to the bathroom and "taste the rainbow," as some call it. "Worship the porcelain goddess." "Barf my guts out." Whatever your term for it is.

As I was depositing my previous who-knows-how-many meals into the toilet, I became vaguely aware that there were four cases of drinks scattered around the small bathroom: one of Mountain Dew, one of Coca-cola (I think), and at least two of Bud Lite. I thought that was weird, but wasn't really in the mindset to dwell on it.

As I finished ridding myself of that pesky stomach acid (not to mention partially digested food), Hillary came home. I left the bathroom to talk to her.

"By the way, did you see Rye?" I asked her. "I think he came by to ask for a ride to Anchorage on Tuesday, but I'm not sure. I might have been dreaming."

"Haven't seen him. Maybe you should call him and ask."

"Oh yeah, I can imagine that conversation now. 'Hey Rye? Have I been dreaming about you?' Yeah, no."

"You could just ask if he was the one you agreed to give a ride to on Tuesday or if you're thinking of someone else. That wouldn't seem too weird."

"Hm. Okay." So I picked up the phone and called Rye. Unfortunately, my brain turned to jelly about then. "Hey Rye? Did you need a ride to Anchorage on Tuesday, or was I dreaming?"

"Ha, yeah right. Go back to sleep."

"Okay." Click. "Well, that went well."

Then my alarm went off. I woke up. Hillary was, in fact, still in Utah. There were no cases of beer in my bathroom. I didn't feel very good. So I picked up the phone to call my student. Even though I knew the number, I still managed to dial wrong twice (the first time, I only dialed the last four digits of the phone number and couldn't understand why the call wasn't going through) before getting in touch with her. I postponed her lesson to Tuesday. I mean, Monday. Yeah, Monday. I'm pretty sure.

I don't think I feel very good.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas! Heh heh...

I read somewhere that when your ear is clogged, instead of trying to dig the wax and crap out, you should pour hydrogen peroxide in your ear (no stronger than 3% stuff) and wait till you don't hear it fizzing anymore, then take a shower and rinse your ear out really well. So I tried it, and I gotta say, hydrogen peroxide fizzing in your ear tickles like CRAZY!!!

It worked okay. Much better than plain water, at least. Not perfect, but hey, what is? Besides me, of course. (Kidding.)

Work today wasn't terribly exciting. About the most interesting part was early in the morning when I got ticked off at Tessie for going over my work and ignoring me when I told her I'd already done what she was cleaning. Don't know why I bothered getting annoyed--that's perfectly normal for her. Well, okay, I'll give you the whole story.

You know how sometimes you wake up thinking, "What a wonderful day this is going to be! Fresh air, beautiful sunrise, I feel great...! Yep, nothing can spoil this day!" and then you skip merrily to work humming a jaunty tune? (Slight exaggeration--we call this "artistic license.") Well, this morning, I woke up thinking, "Ugh, I don't even want to be awake. This day needs to just end already. Why can't time just stop for a while?" and then I dragged myself out of bed and went to work in a horribly pessimistic mood. (Again, slight exaggeration, but I think some of you may still be able to relate.)

Only one room to clean today, and they didn't check out for a long time. Not a whole lot to do, and it was only Tessie and me today. Tessie's a nice lady, really. But she doesn't speak English very well. I can only figure out what she's saying about half the time, if I'm lucky, and she seems to understand me less than a quarter of half the time. (That's less than an eighth, for the mathematically fractionally impaired. And yes, I know that last sentence was englishally impaired. Get over it. I'm the writer here, not you. Go start your own blog. Anyway, where was I? See, now you made me lose my train of thought, you punk!)

Sorry for spacing out. I was busy parenthesizing. Wow, spell-check didn't complain about that! Is parenthesizing really a word? I better look it up and make sure it means what I meant it to mean.... (See, this is why I never get anything done.) Hey cool, it does! Awesome! I made/learned a new word today! Heehee!

Anyway... let's see... Oh yes, so anyway, Tessie's nice, but she doesn't speak English, whether by choice or by default. Or ignorance. Or gremlin. Or something. Most of the time, when anyone speaks to her, she gives them a blank stare, then ignores them completely and goes back to whatever she was doing. This morning, we were cleaning the bathroom and she started sweeping right off the bat. Right away, that mildly annoyed me because a) I was in a semi-grouchy mood already, and b) any fool knows that when you're cleaning, the floor is the last thing you clean. So while she swept, I cleaned the mirrors, the sinks, the urinals, and started on the toilets. She started on the last toilet as I was finishing the next-to-last, so I said, "Tessie, is there anything else that needs to be done?"

She looked right at me and said, "No. It's good."

"Okay, then I'll go start cleaning the other bathroom while you finish up here. Is that okay?"

"No no no!" she cried. "Mop!"

"Mop?"

"Yes, needs mop. Floor is dirty!"

Ugh, I hate mopping. "It really needs a mop?"

"Yes yes, go get the mop!"

"Ugh, fine..." So I found the mop and the mop bucket, but the chemical we usually use to make the mopping water was gone. (I don't even know what the chemical is called, but it's usually right by the bucket and today it wasn't.) So I went back to Tessie.

"Hey, Tessie, do you know where the chemical is that we use to mop?"

She put her rag down, led me to the back office, picked up the mop and said, "It's right here. See?" and went back to clean her toilet.

Oy. Fine. So I used Simple Green. Whatever works, right?

So I got the mop bucket ready, went back to the bathroom, and Tessie was cleaning the urinals, which I had just cleaned.

"Hey, Tessie, don't worry, I already did those."

She didn't even give me her blank stare; she just kept scrubbing away at the already clean walls. Oy, fine, whatever.

I started mopping. When I got partway through, I turned around and she was cleaning the mirrors again. "Tessie, I already did that, it's fine." Again, no response. Not even a look in my direction. So I figured fine, let her do it again. Whatever makes her happy. When she finished redoing all my work, I asked her if she could go get the Wet Floor sign. She left the bathroom, and when I finished mopping, she was gone. Already started the next bathroom. Sigh. Whatever. It's not like it's a long trip to where we keep the signs. So I rinsed out the mop, got the sign, put it up, and headed over to the next bathroom. Tessie was just finishing--you guessed it--sweeping.

"Hey, Tessie. Have you cleaned the sinks yet?"

"No. Only sweep."

Shoot me.

Kamryn's piano lesson was similar, actually. She's finally starting to be able to tell the difference between a half note and a quarter note, and is starting to remember that half note gets two counts and quarter note gets one count. Unfortunately, she can't understand what a count is, and however I explain it, she doesn't understand. I tried to have her tap her foot and count to four and play half notes on C, but she couldn't get her hands and feet to do different rhythms like that. So I had her stand up and tap her foot and clap. Still couldn't do it. I had her pat her head and rub her tummy and she had no trouble at all with that, but she couldn't tap her foot while clapping or playing half notes to save her life. By the end of our hour-long lesson, the best she could do was clap, count to two, and stomp her feet madly.

Then again, an hour-long piano lesson for a five-year-old is a bit much. I've told all of my students and their parents that I shoot for a half hour lesson, but every single one of them still assumes it's an hour. I'm starting to get tired of people not understanding me.

With Kamryn, it's not too bad, though. Since the lesson is so long, I don't feel bad wasting a little bit of time by having her run around when she gets too wiggly. Today, she said the words "I can't," so I taught her how to do push-ups and made her do five every time she said either "I can't" or "It's too hard." Also, she kept trying to play every note with her thumb while the rest of her fingers were underneath the keyboard, so I tried making a ball out of paper, putting it in her hand and saying "Here, play again, and don't drop the ball." (That's what she said was too hard.)

At the end of the hour, she was bored and I was frustrated, so I picked her up, put her in my lap, and "helped" her play Fur Elise as her mom walked in.

Then I was supposed to meet with the missionaries so we could practice our piano duet again, this time on different pianos. (When we tried last time, Elder Darby and I kept bumping arms, so we decided it would be easier on different pianos.) As it turns out, he's decent at piano, but a) he tends to plunk a bit, and b) he's never played a duet before. He's never been in band. In fact, aside from singing hymns in church, he's never played music other than piano solos. (Come to think of it, though, I'd be surprised if he's never played an accompaniment for a singer. Unless he's from Utah, where everyone and their dog plays the piano.) So I taught him how to listen and lead and follow when you're playing with someone else. By the time he and Elder Bell had to leave, we'd gotten enough better that the song actually sounded pretty instead of painful. That's one plus, at least.

Of course, I'm not perfect either... My biggest problem, I think, is that I tend to play very gently. In a gentle solo piece, that's good. But in a duet, that's bad when I have the melody because I can't bring it out enough. Le sigh. I'll work on that. I wish Elder Darby could have been able to tell me what other things I should work on, because I know I'm not really a good musician. I'm a mathematician with hand/eye coordination. And ps, I never follow dynamic markings. Never even notice them.

Thus it is. I don't feel very good. I think I'm actually mildly homesick too, which sucks when you don't know where your "home" is, or if you even have a place you could/would call "home." Or maybe I'm just tired of being "here." I wonder if I'll ever find a place to live permanently or if I'll get bored of any place after a while. My guess is the second one. I'll have to remember not to accumulate too much junk, to make moving easier. Heck, maybe when I get a real place to live, I'll use a cot instead of a bed, just to make it easier when I decide to pack up and move.

Except if I'm constantly moving, I'll get bored of that too, I bet. What a horrible dilemma this is. The only logical solution is hot chocolate, which solves all problems except obesity. Actually, it could help with that too, I bet. If people drank hot chocolate instead of beer, they wouldn't get beer bellies. They'd get hot chocolate bellies. Like Santa Claus. Sure, they say Santa only eats and drinks cookies and milk, but come on, how can you live at the North Pole and not like hot chocolate? How else are you supposed to warm up your fingers after a long Christmas night spent flying around in all kinds of weather in an open sleigh? I bet even Rudolph likes hot chocolate, and he's probably allergic to it. Heh heh, I can just imagine it now... Rudolph drinks hot chocolate and goes into anaphylactic shock... so some kids are out late at night building a snow fort when suddenly, a dead reindeer with a glowing nose drops out of the sky and lands on the other team, killing them instantly and letting team one win by default. Ho ho ho, merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Zanelet

I talked to Katy and Tom today for the first time in ages. Actually, I don't think I've talked to them since last April, before I left Utah. It feels like I've been gone for forever! I can't believe Tommy's nine months old already... he'll probably be walking and talking by the time I get back. I look forward to spoiling him rotten and buying him loud toys to drive Katy and Tom up the wall. Maybe I'll bring him back an ulu. That's a good baby toy, right? Heh heh....

In general, I think babies are the ugliest critters ever to curse the planet. I saw a two-week-old monster--I mean, baby--a few days ago, and I was very nearly terrified. The thing's eyes were bugging out of its head, its mouth was a creepy shape, it had no teeth, its eyes didn't focus on anything, it drooled, it smelled bad, and when it started crying, I was alarmed for a moment because it sounded like it was being strangled. I've seen prettier lizards. I have to admit, though, that Katy and Tom's son, henceforth referred to as either 'Tommy' or 'Zanelet,' is one of the cutest babies I've ever had to see. But I'm still glad that I didn't have to be there while it was at its ugliest age. If I'd seen him when he was only a few days old, I probably wouldn't have been able to keep myself from calling him an 'it,' a 'monster,' or a 'lizard.'

Babies. Are. Ugly.

But I had a nice chat with Katy and Tom, and now I'm actually looking forward to going back to Utah this fall. Besides, apparently Ben is still there. I remember Ben. He's a geek like me, and I recall sitting in Katy and Tom's living room last year talking about World of Warcraft with him while Katy and Tom sat there staring at us like we were crazy. Hm... maybe I could come up with an excuse to ask him on a date sometime this next year.

Anyway... so I had a nice relaxing weekend. Learned that eating too many cookies is a bad idea. Brought God and Spawn donuts, but they didn't seem too excited about it. Oh well.

That's all. Toodles!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Every (male) Geek's Dream...

picture from thinkgeek.com

Red Yellow Green Red Blue Blue Blue Red Purple Green Yellow Orange Red Red

Dinner at Kamren's family's house last night was funny. Cindy (Mom) and I were trying to have a serious discussion, but every five words or so, the kids screamed or threw food, the dog barked, or the phone rang. I'm seriously impressed with her patience... I would probably throttle my kids by the time they're three if they're constantly screaming, making messes, and breaking things.

Cody, the dog, has apparently been getting in fights or something. She had cuts on her neck and back leg that were blooding pretty good. Didn't seem to slow her down much, though. She flinched while Cindy and I cleaned her up and put some medicine on, but afterwards, she pranced away, happy as could be, and brought me her tug-of-war toy to play with. Once we got tired of that, I started pushing her around a bit and we started wrestling. I had the advantage of being bigger than her, but to her credit, she's fast, and she got in a few good bites on my arms. She was gentle, though, and never broke the skin.

The elders came over to practice our duet today. Playing piano with two people on one keyboard is hard. Elder Darby and I kept banging elbows, and I hit a lot of wrong keys because I was trying to avoid his fingers. So we're practicing again on Thursday, but this time, we're practicing at the church, and we're going to play on different pianos.

While Elder Darby practiced the music, Elder Bell showed me some card tricks, renewing my interest in magic tricks. I have to say that Elder Bell is one of the most remarkably good-looking guys I've ever seen. He has gorgeous blue eyes with long eyelashes and a cute smile that's always there, even when he's not actually smiling. I'd bet anything that before he went on his mission, he had girls crawling all over him. No, I won't write to him until he gets off his mission, then go look him up and try to date him. I'm just pointing out a fact, like saying "Boy, the sunrise sure was pretty today." (In fact, I wouldn't know about the sunrise today, because I GOT TO SLEEP IN!!!)

What else? Hm... Well, I got my taxes off today, finally. I think there's a stamp-eating gremlin hiding in my room. My stamps from Utah disappeared, so when I was at work the other day, I asked Tyler if the front desk sold stamps or if I had to go to the post office. God said, "Oh, you need stamps? Here, have these," and gave me a few Forever stamps. Now I can't find them anywhere. I checked every drawer, every pocket of every pair of pants I own, my computer desk... heck, even the bathroom and the refrigerator!

Grrrrrr.

But I will find the stamp-eating gremlin. Oh yes. And when I do, he will wish that the spleen bats had never spawned him. I'll rip out his liver and implode his epidermis, yes I will. Then I'll tie him up with slightly-undercooked spaghetti noodles and tickle him with a wombat tail until he turns indigo with yellow polka-dots. By then, he may be remorseful enough to return the stamps he owes me. He better, anyway, or I'll feed him to the caged bunnies. (I store them there for when I get bored and need something to kick.)

Toodles!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Danger, doom, destruction... and stuff...

I actually get two days off!!! We all get two days off!!! EXCITING!!!

I drew a picture. Yay, I can pretend to be an artist! Sort of... :P

So I was finishing up one of the townhouses today when Spawn came back in and said, "Lint Monkey, when you finish, come outside really quietly and look at the moose." So I tip-toed outside and found God, face to face with a yearling moose, fighting for his life. He finally wrestled the thing to the ground, but it called for help and another moose--this one pregnant--came charging up. God turned and ran. We all tried to hide in the townhouse, but the moose were fairly smart and charged down the door. Everyone ran and hid in the bathroom and I fought off the two moose with my amazing ninja skills (not to mention my linty squirratypus monkey, Fefnik). It was strenuous, and at one point, the younger moose had me forced to my knees at knife point and I thought they had me, but Fefnik saved the day by chewing the moose's tail, which distracted it enough that I managed to knock the knife out of its hoof, then spin around and trip the big one behind me.

Eventually, Fefnik and I overpowered the moose, tied them up, and shipped them back to the woods. But it was a close call. And I didn't even get a "Thank you for saving our lives, Lint Monkey!" Then again, I did get an ice cream sandwich, so it's all good.

As we were dropping the trash off at the dumpster at the end of the day, I slipped on the ice as I lifted the big wooden bar to open the gate. So there I am, lying on the ice, dimly aware that a) my leg hurts, and b) my foot is stuck under the wheel of the van... and that's when the wooden bar fell down and crushed my fingers.

It all turned out okay, though. The bar hit the thick base of my fingers, so they got scraped and maybe a bit bruised, but they're functionable and will be better in a day or two. Also, God had the van in park, so the wheel didn't roll forward and crush my foot. My leg's a bit bruised, but that's all right. Kind of funny that I dueled two moose and didn't get scratched, but I can't open the gate to the dumpster without killing myself.

Oh oh oh, so I went to Whatsherbucket's house for dinner last night. Knocked on the door and these two big dogs (one was a yellow lab, the other was a chocolate lab... I think) came barking to the door. As soon as I walked in, they ran up, smelled me a few times, then started jumping all over me going "Love me love me love me!" So I went "Yay dogs!" and played with them for a bit until Debi invited me to come sit down in the living room. As soon as I did, this fluffy white head with big blue eyes popped up from Debi's lap and said, "Mew?" Then this tiny white kitten, no more than maybe two months old, stood up, walked over to me, plunked itself down in my lap, gnawed my finger a few times, then fell asleep, purring contentedly.

I think I melted....

Anyway, apparently I'm playing a piano duet with one of the elders at a baptism Saturday evening... Surprise! Wish we'd had a bit more notice.... I've never played a piano duet with someone before. Well, little ones from lesson books with my sister, but that hardly counts. Anyway, I printed off the music last night... the elder isn't going to see it till we practice it together tomorrow evening. I looked over the music, and for the first time, I actually hope he's better than I am. See, as a musician, usually I see other musicians more as competition than as kindred spirits or whatever.... But if this elder's not good, he's going to have trouble sightreading this music, because it's not easy. Not ridiculous, but not easy. (I've never heard the elder play before.) But if played well, the song sounds really really pretty.... I'll try and get a recording and find a way to put it up here, but I don't think my voice recorder will record piano very well.

That's all... Toodles!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Schroedinger's cat is (not) dead?

I don't know how such a small woman can take up so much space. Really, I don't. Tessie's a dinky tiny woman, at least a foot shorter than I am, and skinny as a rod. You would think that moving around her would be easy, but somehow, she takes up at least as much space than God and Spawn do.

I think it's because she doesn't really walk. She kind of floats. She never seems to move quickly, but somehow can find ways to place herself right where you're trying to go. Then, instead of standing still so you can move around her, she floats in the direction you're trying to go. She also has some magic power such that whenever you turn around, she's about six inches away and closing in.

All in all, working with or near her tends to severely aggravate my agoraphobia. After only about half an hour of bumping into her this morning while I was trying to stand still and fold towels, and then five or ten minutes of trying to move around her in the van while we were stocking it, I was ready to curl up into a ball, scream like a little girl, and then start sucking my thumb.

But other than that, it was a good day.

God and Spawn don't know the Chicken Dance. ("I don't wanna be a chicken, I don't wanna be a duck...") I never did sing the rest of it for them after God misinterpreted my duck dance movements as "groping." Dirty old man. He wishes.

I also got to demonstrate my annual spark of intelligence today. I managed to identify Freud, Pavlov and Schroedinger before the spark fizzled out. I am now entitled to utter stupidity for the rest of the year.

Also, if anyone ever pokes me in the back of the neck with a sunburned weasel, I will throttle them. That is all.

Friday, March 14, 2008

George

This morning, my phone rang at the same time my alarm went off.

Tyler: "Hey, are you awake? Can you give Tessie a ride?"
Me: "Sure. Can you tell God I'll be a few minutes late to work?" (It was ten till eight already--yes, I sleep till the last possible minute.)
Tyler: "Yep, no problem."

So I was out the door two minutes later to run pick Tessie up. We walked in the back door, and God looked up and saw us and said, "Geez, Lint Monkey, you're late! Spawn and Tessie and I have been waiting for you for half an hour already!"

There's two ways to respond to this in gaming terms: "x.x" and "/facepalm". In real life, you could roll your eyes or bury your face in your hands and groan. In writing, I can't think of a response. Go ahead and pretend.

God picks on me. He snapped me with a rubber band today, but I turned my head at just the wrong time and got a really painful snap in the face. I'm glad I hadn't turned my head an inch further, or it would've been my eye.

Spawn brought in donuts today. No, yesterday. They all run together.... Anyway, she's obviously better at picking which kinds to get, because even though she brought in more donuts than I usually do, they lasted about half as long.

I think my parents are starting to worry that they'll never get me married off. Well, good. They can sweat about that a bit. It amuses me when people worry more about other people's relationships than their own.

Yesterday, after Kamren's piano lesson, Kamren and Noah were playing outside and I marveled that even in this weather, kids ran around in t-shirts and capris, wearing only water shoes. Well, Kamren was in water shoes. Noah was in some kind of sneakers, but he wasn't wearing socks. They were about to run a race, but Mom said, "Noah, don't run, your shoes aren't tied! They'll fall off!" Well, he ran anyway, his shoes fell off, and he ended up shrieking because his feet were cold. (Ice and snow tend to do that.) So his mom put him in the car and called to Kamren that it was time to go. Kamren wanted to race me one more time, but I picked her up and carried her to the car. She clung to me and begged, "I want to go home with Lint Monkey! Mom, can I go home with Lint Monkey?" Her mom said no, but invited me over for dinner and FHE again Monday.

Today, after Kwang-sook's piano lesson (still no idea how to really spell her name), she invited me over on Wednesday for dinner. She also asked if I was willing to take on another student, because she knew a kid around five or six years old who wants to learn to play.

At Madison's piano lesson, Madison's parents invited me over for dinner on Sunday and also invited me to the church for Chip's baptism the following Saturday.

I don't think I'll have to buy many groceries next week. Haha.

I finally got around to putting gas in my car. I heard that the gas from Essential is crap. Watered down or something, and it kills your gas mileage. So I decided to check my mileage. Last time, I filled the tank at Essential. Eight gallons, 131 miles, that's about 16.4 miles per gallon. My car should be getting around 25, I think. At least. So this time, I filled it at Three Bears. Shell. Whatever it's called. We'll see if that makes a difference.

I heard that someone invented a way to make your car run on water, and some oil company or other bought the idea for sick amounts of money and hid it so no one else would know. If that's true, I have a very low opinion of the bastards who are responsible for that. Almost four freaking bucks a gallon for gas. If gas is over five dollars a gallon by August, I don't know if I'll be able to afford to drive my car back to Utah after all. That would make me cry, because I was really looking forward to the trip.

Maybe I should start learning about cars and chemistry and see if I can come up with an alternative to gasoline. Of course, by the time I figure it out, someone else will have figured it out already and I'll have wasted however many years I spent learning about stuff just to fix that. Not to mention however much money I spend on fixing my car after I ruin the gas tank repeatedly by trying to run it on things it's not meant to run on.

Well, life sucks, then you die, I guess.

Today I learned that the guy who discovered Uranus wanted to name the planet George. Seriously. After the British king. Personally, I think that would have been the funniest think in the universe. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, George, Neptune.... Men are from Mars, women are from George. As God would say, "Oh, the jokes that would fly...." George is a funny name to say. Say it. Go on. George George George George George. When I was young, a family friend had a cat named George. It beat up my older brother once. What an awesome cat!

Anyway, that's all for now. Toodles!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Crikey

I suddenly find myself too busy to get done all the things I would like to. In fact, for the last week (nearly), I've had hardly any time for anything but work, piano lessons, and DC. I've stayed up an hour or two later than I should have reading, but I have other books I'd like to read, piano songs I'd like to learn, video games I need to finish so I can give them to Spawn, and that's not even taking into account the schoolwork I need to start reviewing for when the weather warms up and I can go to Anchorage to take midterms. But it's still snowing regularly, so I guess I have a few more weeks for that.

They're still fiddling with the boilers, so my room is down to 45 degrees again, and I'm avoiding taking showers. But this time, I don't have another room that's warm, so I can't sleep well, and I go to work feeling tired and stinky. I hope they finish soon....

Also, after God spent all morning picking on me, he got grouchy in the afternoon and started growling at me instead. His glare isn't as menacing as some I've seen, but somehow that makes it even better at making me feel lower than dirt. What's especially depressing is the reason for the glare wasn't even my fault.... Why is it that when he's frustrated, he growls and reprimands me, but he doesn't seem to get annoyed with anyone else? I know I'm not perfect, and I'm not as observant at work as I could and maybe should be, and I can't read his mind and figure out exactly what he's asking me to do when he points or gives me one-word orders like "trash," but nobody else is perfect either. He can stop in the office and talk for twenty to thirty minutes, but if I hesitate on a porch before opening a door, he reprimands me for wasting time...

So I unfairly snapped at Spawn towards evening because I was annoyed that the rooms were horribly messy and hurt that God was getting mad at me unfairly (half the things he got mad at me for were things Tessie did, not me, but it's a waste of breath saying anything to her because she just gives a blank stare and then ignores whatever was said), and the new boy Tyler, who works in grounds, was chipping the four-inch-thick ice off the sidewalk outside of the room. As I walked past, he asked me what religion I was. I answered the question and he said, "Hm, never heard of it." Spawn called, "Lint Monkey, stop preaching!" She was joking, and I know she was joking, but I got a little defensive, especially when God growled at me to hurry up and get back to work. So Spawn, if you're reading this, I do apologize for getting defensive on you.

So I guess you could say I had a rough day. I haven't even gotten into how trashed the soldiers left the rooms. They lugged in a table from Seabolt Hall (apparently without permission) and used it to play poker. One of the rooms had probably about two or three cases of empty beer cans scattered about, and smelled horrible. They had smoked in two of the rooms. A few of the rooms had sunflower seeds, cereal, and I don't even know what other crap ground into the carpet. Everywhere. Even under both beds. It looked like someone had had diarrhea in one of the tubs. One or two of the rods on towel racks were bent, one badly enough that I went back to fix it (which really ticked off God). One of the microwaves had crap caked onto the tray, so God put it in the sink, left the water running, and went back to a previous room to let it soak. Well, the sink was clogged, and it overflowed, soaking the floor. I was amused. God definitely wasn't. Need I go on? So, yes, it was a rough day. I don't blame God for being stressed, except that I wish he had realized we were all feeling the same way, and getting snappish didn't help.

Jewel was stressed too. Of the few people who work at the front desk, one was on vacation and one was sick with a migraine. Jewel had a ton of junk she had to get done, but she had to man the front desk as well. I felt sorry for her, and felt bad there wasn't much of anything I could do to help except try to make her laugh.

So anyway, enough of my griping... happy things! Um, Spawn is bringing in donuts tomorrow morning! And... I'm nearly finished reading one of my books! And... one of my piano students fed me dinner tonight, and it was good, and then she gave me a loaf of cranberry chocolate chip banana bread to take home too. And... I really love this place. It snowed again. I love the snow. I don't like the ice so much, because I slip on it and I can't run everywhere, which I love doing... but I love the snow. And... I know God's not going to hold a grudge against me, that he was just stressed, so maybe he won't snap at me so much tomorrow. And... we found some Mountain Dew in a room. I like Mountain Dew! :D And I found my old band director's favorite music theory websites, so I can direct some of my students there to learn their notes. And my car still works. And my piano is awesome. And I have some fun songs to play, even though the Mario theme is harder than it seems. And Maxxy isn't totally dead yet. And I really like the new kid Tyler. He's a super nice guy. And... if I ever get another day off, I'll have more than enough stuff to do to keep me occupied, so I won't be bored. And... I had a talk with Randy the other night, so maybe he'll stop trying to get me to do stuff with just me and him now (crikey I hope so). And... now I get to try and go to sleep so I won't be dead tired at work tomorrow. Yaaaaaaay.

Toodles!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

the Yuy approach

Bleh, I've been feeling a bit under the weather for the last few days. I fell asleep at six and woke up forty-five minutes ago because they turned the heat off and my room was cold enough to wake me up. Woe.

The Packs had me over for dinner and FHE last night. It was really great, because I knocked on the door and heard Kamren yell my name, stepped in and suddenly was bombarded by both the kids and the dog begging for me to play with them.

Noah was being potty-trained, so he was wearing big boy underwear and his parents would plunk him down on the toilet every few hours to do his business. Well, at one point when everyone was distracted, Noah wet himself. So he ran up to me, pointed to his pants and said he'd had an accident. Then he stripped naked and ran around the room holding a box of baby wipes and squealing. His mom finally said, "Noah! Stop flashing everyone!" He ran right up in front of me, threw his arms and legs open wide, gave me a big grin, and proudly announced, "My weewee!" Then he pulled out a baby wipe and spent about two minutes carefully wiping himself off. I just about died trying to keep from laughing.

Dinner was amazing, of course. Halibut, yay! Cindy's an amazing cook!

Poor Rob (the dad) went to bed early with a headache. I felt really sorry for him, especially since the kids didn't quiet down while he was sleeping. I'm impressed with the patience Rob and Cindy have. I love Kamren and Noah to pieces, but if I had to put up with their chaos all day every day, in public and everything, I think I would have a very short temper.

I feel like Mary Beth. She's a friend of the family who used to come by when we were a lot younger. Now that I think of it, I don't know why she came by so often, or how she and Mom got to be the friends they were. But I always liked her.

Blegh, my throat is sore...

Rye and I have been learning (or in his case, relearning) how to play Dark Conspiracy, which is more or less a science fiction version of Dungeons and Dragons. He GMed the mustering out encounter today. It was terrible. Well, not terrible. He said he had trouble with the dice rolls... I had trouble figuring out my character's personality. He's a martial artist. Spent twelve years doing it, owns his own dojo and everything. I was going to base his personality off of Master Halterman, but I'm absolutely terrible at making feel like complete idiots. I ended up feeling like an idiot myself and started acting like Binki instead. (Binki was my last D&D character, a short, hyperactive halfling who bounced all over the place and liked shinies.) Then I realized I was acting about a third the actual intelligence of my character and definitely not like a 31-year-old black belt should act, so I tried to be more serious... but... it... didn't... work. I can't be serious if I try. So next time, maybe I'll just try a Heero Yuy approach. (stare, point, grunt)

And role-playing games like that are really no fun with only two people. I keep trying to talk Beth into playing, and I'm thinking about asking Tyler too, but Beth apparently doesn't want to and I don't know if Tyler would, and I'm a little nervous to ask him. Not sure why.

And I'm being stupid again. I was reading a science book, just for fun, and thought "Boy, I wish I were majoring in astronomy instead of English Language..." So now part of me is tempted to go back to school after I graduate and get another major in astronomy, but the other part of me thinks that's the dumbest idea ever. I'm nearly done; why start over again?

Anyway, that's all for now. Toodles!

Friday, March 7, 2008

New student

Thanks to my sister for writing a post I could comment on and be a total smart aleck and get away with it. I really do love mouthing off. I try not to often because it tends to make me unpopular, but it's so much fun.

I gave Madison her first piano lesson tonight. She doesn't yet have a piano book, so I had to try and teach her from nothing. When she first came, I was really worried she wouldn't let me teach her. I was expecting just her and her mom, but as it happened, no less than five people were standing on my doorstep when I answered the door. And they all sat and watched through the piano lesson. At first, she refused to look at me, she refused to sit down, she refused to touch the keyboard, and all she did was cry that she didn't want to. Finally, I got out my stuffed squirrel, Lord Bartholomew Throckmorton XXVII and told her that if she was really good and listened to me, I would ask the squirrel not to eat her.

She finally consented to learn when I had her dad take my seat beside her. I squatted next to them and taught them both how to play. She didn't want to play unless her dad, Chip, played with her, but he let her count and lead.

I don't know whether Madison is smarter than Kamren or whether there's just an enormous intellectual difference between five year olds and six year olds or whether I'm better at teaching without a book or whether I just learned from some of my mistakes from teaching Kamren, but Madison breezed through probably four lessons worth of material in forty minutes flat.

First I showed her how to find C. I gave her a red washable crayon and had her write a C on every C on the keyboard. Then I showed her how the notes went from A to G, repeating. I gave her a blue crayon to fill in the rest of the notes, and she had a ball, going all the way up the keyboard until Chip finally said "Okay, that's enough," and confiscated the crayon.

Then I got out pen and paper and drew a staff (just treble clef) and drew the note C. I showed her quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes and quizzed her on them until she learned the difference. I drew a few measures for her to play, taught her how to count them, and listened while she played three monotone "songs" that were solely rhythm counting.

Then I showed her how her fingers were numbered 1 through 5. I showed her the base position and called out finger numbers while she played them. After a few random numbers, I started calling out the finger numbers for her to play Mary Had a Little Lamb. She got really excited when she realized she had played a song she knew. She played it over and over.

By then, it had still only been fifteen minutes. So I taught her the notes D and E, showed her how they looked on the staff, drew all the notes on the staff so she could see that how high or low the notes were told her what note it was, then wrote out the first line to Mary Had a Little Lamb to show her what it looked like.

After that, I drew another staff, handed her the pen and paper, and had her draw some notes for me. "Draw me a quarter note C. Now draw a half note E. Now a whole note D. How many counts does that one get?" and so on.

I couldn't believe she had never had music lessons before. In forty minutes, she already nearly caught up to Kamren, who has had three weeks of lessons. Granted, I haven't even started teaching her left hand yet. Also, I guess I'm starting to learn how to teach a little better. I know I bounced around a lot and made a few things unnecessarily confusing. Maybe I'll do better next time.

I have to admit, teaching a new student for the first time with four spectators, all in a room the size of... well, the size of a hotel room... is really nerve-wracking.

Glad we survived. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go feed Lord Bartholomew Throckmorton XXVII.

People will believe anything

Yesterday, I gave Kamren her piano lesson at the church. Halfway through, some women came in and began setting up for the Enrichment meeting at seven that I had been unaware of. I walked out to my car after the piano lesson with every intention of going home, when I thought "Wait a minute... maybe the bishop's wife will be there, and if she sees me there, maybe she'll go home and tell her husband and they'll decide I'm not such a heathen after all and they'll be less likely to revoke my ecclesiastical endorsement."

So I went back in. The activity was to be making plaques. Basically, the lady in charge brought in some pieces of wood, paint, buttons, and ribbons, and had cut out some inspirational quotes and pictures from calendars. The idea was to paint the wood, glue the quote on the plaque, then decorate it with ribbons. Whoop-de-doo. Thrilling. That's definitely my idea of fun... (not!) I've never really enjoyed "crafts." I always thought they were a waste of time, but in almost every church meeting I've attended for women, young women, or even little girls, it seemed all we did was "crafts" like that, where they give you two hours to make something that's good for nothing but collecting dust. I usually finish in ten minutes and have to sit around and twiddle my thumbs and try not to cause trouble for the rest of the time. But what the hey, I haven't been to a meeting in ages, I could handle one night, I guess.

So I went into the room with my best friendly smile, acting as charming as I could. About half a dozen women showed up before the lady--Michelle, I think her name was--said it was time to get started. She asked for a volunteer for opening prayer. I raised my hand and said with a perfectly straight face (I was proud of myself for not laughing), "Praying is against my religion."

There was silence for about a second. Then everyone in the room burst out laughing and exclaiming things like "Oh, you're so cute!" "You're so funny!" "It's such a joy to have you here!"

A response like that is good. That's the response I usually get from older women. ("Older" meaning at least five years older than me, usually.) What it means is that I can be a total smart alec and say whatever the heck I want and get away with it, because anything I say is going to be considered "cute." (Fortunately, in recent years, I've started to learn when I'm reaching the line and need to start getting serious. That got me in no end of trouble as a teenager.)

So for most of the meeting, I threw out my witty comments, talked to my paint bottle, and said whatever stupid comments came to mind, then contradicted myself, then contradicted my contradiction, then told myself to shut up, then started arguing with myself. The ladies ate it up. They always do.

The best part, though, was when I was gluing the paper quote to my plaque. The piece of paper got some air bubbles under it and got all bubbly and wrinkly. Without thinking, I said, "Oh look, it's all wrinkly. Like old people." My mental hand smacked me in the forehead. Half the people in the room were wrinkly-old. Without hesitating, I grinned hugely and added, "So it's extra wonderful and everyone will love it!"

"Awwww, you're so sweet!" "You have such a wonderful spirit!" "I'm so glad you're here!"

Score!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Are you my roommate?

I heard a knock on my door at 12:30 this morning. Fortunately, I was still up, reading a book. With a weird look at the clock, I pulled open the door. A guy roughly around my age, maybe a little older, stood on the porch. "Hi," he said. "Are you my roommate?"

I gave him my best blank stare. I'm pretty good at those (except when God and Spawn are around... well, okay, sometimes even then). "Um... no... probably not."

He looked at the envelope his key card was in. "Room 416?"

I checked the sign on my door to make sure it hadn't been changed. You know, the sign about as big as my head that had a big bright green number painted on it that is definitely, indubitably, and unquestionably not the number 416. It was still the same number (which, again, was not 416). "No, 416 is over there," I said, pointing in the direction of his room.

"Oh," he said. "Well, can I come in anyway?"

"Um... no..."

"Oh. Well, hey, what you doin'?"

"I'm reading a book...."

"Well, hey, you could come hang out wit me an' some guys."

I pretended to consider it for a moment, then told him that I was right at the climax of my book and wanted to finish it.

"Oh," he said. "Well, hey, you should come hang out wit us later tonight, ya know? What you doin'?"

"I'm... reading... a book..." I repeated.

"Aw, okay. Ya sure I can't come in a minute?"

"Yeah, I need to finish it and get to sleep."

"Aw, kay then. Sorry to bother you," he said.

"No problem," I replied, and closed the door.

What a weird guy. "Are you my roommate." Heh.

I took God to the store after work today and bumped into Madison's mom while we were there. Starting tomorrow, I have a third piano student. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a book yet, so I get to ad lib tomorrow. Yaaaay!

I was going to write more, but suddenly, I don't feel very well, so I'm gonna scat. Toodles!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

There's a FLOOR!

I always laugh at people who double-click on links.

Just thought I'd mention it.

My sink actually drains now. So I did my dishes and discovered I actually have a counter! Not only that, but I threw away about two-thirds of the crap under my sink and realized I actually have a floor under there! It's amazing! I have no idea how that happened....

Actually, I could probably go through all my crap and throw away about half of it... and the room would be a lot cleaner for it.

I didn't sleep well last night. I spent all night about half asleep. I remember dreaming something, but it didn't make sense, and I've forgotten it already anyway. I also remember that after I woke up, I imagined going in to work and announcing, "I dreamed about dragons and bananas last night," and then, thirty seconds later, I realized that in fact I hadn't dreamed about dragons or bananas....

Spawn and I had a funny conversation today when God left to use the bathroom... but again, I can't remember what it was. I think working here has killed my brain cells and scared away my memory....

God brought in the soundtrack to Labyrinth and Legend today. And I misspelled the word labyrinth and had to look it up. I'm really brain dead today... Anyway, the soundtracks were on either side of an audio cassette tape. I haven't even seen one of those in years! And zoh my gosh that music was good!

And then I got to thinking: Why are pixies always musically represented with chimes? Just once, I'd like to see a pixie with theme music played by a tuba. I think that would be funny as all get-out. (What does "all get-out" mean anyway? What the heck?) Actually, if you remember reading my story about Fefnik the lint monkey, I bet the Lint Fairy would have tuba theme music.... Actually, I would think that even if you didn't remember reading the story. So there!

If I were a computer graphics engineer or something cool like that, I would totally make that story into a short movie... but alas, I'm just a housekeeper, with little computer experience and virtually no artistic talent. More's the pity.

Oh, now I remember what I was going to write about! Spawn brought in some new hand sanitizer today! She always has hand sanitizer, usually the smelly kind. Before, she had two smells: cucumber melon, and peach something-or-other. I really liked the cucumber melon, but Spawn and God both preferred the peachy one. Weirdos. I thought the peach one smelled too much like girl. Anyway, Spawn brought in... let's... Japanese cherry blossom... something amber... and um... I thought there was a third one, but I might be crazy. Anyway, the amber one smells like man. More specifically, it smells like my dad. That's creepy. What's even creepier is that I actually used it and then smelled like man for the rest of the day. It was really weird. I mean, if it were on a guy, that'd be one thing (specifically, that'd be hot! ...unless it were my dad, in which case, gross!), but it was on me, and that's just wrong!

Anyway, so Labyrinth... I only saw that movie once, about three years ago. Or two and a half. Or something. And I watched it with a boy, so obviously, I wasn't paying much attention to the movie. Except the contact juggling. That was really cool! But it's funny, because God and Spawn both know I've seen it, so they quote it, and I miss pretty much every quote... funny, or maybe sad. Something about voodoo, who do, you do. Yeah, definitely don't remember that part. Almost makes me wished I'd paid more attention to the movie... heh...

But Spawn brought me Dark Crystal, which is supposed to be really good! Oh hey, I should go watch that now. And then play FFIX so I can play FFVIII so I can get Spawn her Playstation.

Toodles!

PS - I did laundry... and my clothes are actually clean!!! And they're soft!!! And they don't stand up by themselves anymore!!! It's great!!! This is WAY too many exclamation marks!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

50 things I'd never do

List 50 things you'll never do:
  1. die in a car wreck
  2. smoke
  3. do drugs
  4. go bungee-jumping
  5. willingly get a shot
  6. become a doctor
  7. become president of the United States
  8. learn Hebrew
  9. tickle a firefly
  10. kiss an antelope
  11. eat a stinkbug
  12. make out with my brother
  13. skin someone alive
  14. lose a burping contest
  15. work at Wal-Mart
  16. enjoy wearing perfume, makeup, or a dress
  17. learn to cook
  18. have a pet tarantula
  19. grow celery
  20. invent a revolutionary kind of laundry soap
  21. willingly watch the Harry Potter movies
  22. juggle 12 things at once
  23. start a fire with nothing but an ice cube and a sewing needle
  24. learn to dance anything but Irish stepdance
  25. passionately kiss a woman
  26. strip for someone on a webcam
  27. own a poodle of any size
  28. compete in the Olympics
  29. ride an emu
  30. sing an aria just before keeling over dead
  31. put underwear on my head, go out in public, and breakdance
  32. eat mercury
  33. finish writing a list of 50 things I'll never do

Rodent teeth

Yeah, I know I just updated my blog about twenty minutes ago, but I was writing in my paper journal and flipped back to look at an old entry and came across one from last August that was too funny not to share....

When I opened this book, I had something to say. In the time it took me to find a working pen, I forgot it. Looks like I need to a) clean up, and b) get a new lucky pen. I sanctify lucky pens by sacrificing children by slitting their throats with rodent teeth.

...Ew.

Crikey, I'm weird sometimes.

Just for the sake of updating...

I was going to write a story, but it didn't work out. Silly people, constantly distracting me. Internet must burn... if it didn't exist, I bet I'd be a great writer. Nobody give me a solution to this problem... I'm just complaining to be complaining.

Today was one of those I-can't-concentrate-for-more-than twenty-minutes days. Terribly frustrating. Not that I have much to concentrate on, since I'm trying to slow down my schoolwork a bit because I don't want to go to Anchorage until it warms up enough for road conditions to be better.

I beat Final Fantasy X. Started on IX now.

And now I'm going to bed. Toodles!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Reversible

You're right, King Isepik. Thinking about infinity is not only scary, but it's also depressing. Honestly, last night I was almost to the point where if I were older and not anti-alcohol, I probably would have gone out and gotten drunk as a skunk just to forget about it. Almost.

As per Beth's orders, from now on, I will refer to Beth as Spawn and Rye as God.

God and I had a snowball fight that lasted almost all day today. I scored some really good points, but I think God won. At one point, even though on of my arms was full of sheets and the other held the bathroom bucket and a bag of rags, God smashed a snowball about twice the size of a basketball right on my head, bringing me to my knees and making me cringe helplessly, trying in vain to protect the sheets from a fate worse than death (sogginess) while he crammed as much snow down the back of my shirt as he could. After we went inside, I discovered that a goodly amount of snow had fallen into the bathroom bucket, so I chucked it at him. He retaliated by following me into the bathroom, holding the snowball while I cringed, ready and waiting to knock his hand away when he moved. Then he said, "Wait, is the toilet lid open?" I turned to look and the dirty rotten scumbag put me in a headlock and crammed the snow in my ear!

Never get in a snowball fight with an Alaskan.

Of course, the best part is, when he did that, he smacked in the mouth good and hard, so I got a fat lip. I can just imagine the conversation with Jewel now....

"Wow, Lint Monkey, what happened to your lip? Not another bike accident!"

"Nah, Rye just beats me. It happens all the time."

"WHAT?!?!"

Spawn is nice to me. She doesn't beat me... in the face. And rarely with snowballs. But sometimes with razor frisbees of doom. She does it because she loves me....

Spawn was reversible today. Then God became reversible. Then I became reversible. Then I threw away the sign that said "reversible." The end.

Cabin 13 doesn't like me. First the door smacked me in the face, then the shower door bit me in the hand. Then it conspired with the townhouse 10 vacuum, because that bit me too. But that's okay... I showed them all! Know how? I'M STILL ALIVE!!! (blink... AHHH, where'd the earth go? Welcome to infinity... ignore this... it's in parentheses, which means you're not supposed to read it anyway. What's wrong with you?)

Now I'm going to go beat Final Fantasy Ten and eat dinner and go to bed. I'm tired. Toodles!