Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blogging Milestones

#1- I've posted enough that I finally pushed the "Dear Prudence" post to the "older posts" page! When I posted that one, I accidentally didn't change the playlist to the manual play setting. Even though I love the song and the story, it has driven me nigh unto madness! That squealy tire sound then the ringing, the ringing, the ringing! I won't make THAT mistake again. Believe you me!

#2- I've broken through to Germany, Sweden, and Russia! Don't ask me how. Of my abundant 12 pageviews this week, 5 of them were from those three countries. Are you kidding me? I don't know what random, accidental link sent them to this blog. I can pretty much promise that they won't be back. Could they even read it? I wouldn't understand a blog in their respective languages. Then again, I'm American and only speak one language... I'm going to go ahead and guess it wasn't the pictures of my knees that brought them here. Who knows? A mystery for the ages.

#3- Tomorrow is my blog's and my 3 month anniversary. I feel so lucky to have it my life. It's always here for me, even when I neglect it and threaten to abandon it forever. We have our differences of course, like when I can't get the font and text size to match from paragraph to paragraph no matter what I do and I begin shaking with anger and frustration. See, it's those little quirks that keep us together and make us the perfect match, that make us special. I love you, Blog. I love you.

I look forward to many more blogging milestones to come!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Um... I Fell Down

Remember that whole post I wrote that once about my constantly making an idiot out of myself? About the seemingly dire need of the universe to humiliate me any time it possibly can? Allow me to relate another tale supporting my claim.

About a week ago I went with my brother, Dan, and sister-in-law, Lorraine, to the World Market to look for some sweet stuff for my new apartment. I checked out with my spoils of war: A couple of baskets, a cool carved wall hanging, a stunning vase. On our way out the door we spotted a display with a gorgeous mosaic-top side table. I had said maybe 5 minutes earlier to Dan, "I wish I could find a table with a beautiful mosaic top." It seemed that the Fates smiled down on me at that moment. Little did I know they were building me up only to knock me down.

I turned right back around and bought the table. I was so pleased with my find. Once I'd checked out the second time Dan carried out my first purchases and I walked into the parking lot with my beautiful new table. We all walked along toward my car, when suddenly it seemed the ground had disappeared from beneath my footstep. In an instant I realized that I'd taken a step into a sink hole. My ankle turned, and my whole weight was falling to the asphalt below. My only thought in that instant was, "SAVE THE TABLE!" With both hands I held it up as high as could to keep it from hitting the ground. It meant that I couldn't catch myself with my hands or attempt a quick balance check and throw my other foot forward for a save. I was going down. All the way. And I did. I fell straight down on both my knees with a thud.

The pain was instant, but was quickly surpassed by shock and profound embarrassment. I scrambled to my feet, shooting glances side to side to see who had witnessed the folly. Dan and Lorraine were a given. I can handle embarrassment in front of family members. They're pretty much used to me at this point. Since Lorraine is relatively new to the family, if she wasn't used to it then, she would be now. I thought I'd get her on the fast track to seeing my idiocy. But there was someone else. Two people in fact. Getting out of their car immediately in front of me. They stared at me awkwardly for a moment, then shuffled past me towards the store.

The shock continued as I robotically started towards my car again. Then Lorraine's voice registered behind me. "Wait, Lace, your shoe! Your shoe!" It was still in the sink hole. I went back again to put it on. I was probably halfway to my car before some of the haze began to clear from my mind and I realized how ridiculous that whole scene had looked. I burst out laughing. To Dan and Lorraine's credit they waited to laugh until I did and they were sure I was alright, although I could tell they desperately wanted to.

Once I was safely hiding behind my car I surveyed the damage. There was some definite scrapeage, but no blood and no holes in my pants. I didn't slide or roll, just a direct impact.

Then Dan asked, "Do you still want to go to dinner?" As though the embarrassment of my fall had rendered me incapable of further activity. Of course I did! And I enjoyed the rest of the evening, even though sudden sharp pains from my knees served as constant reminders and set me into periodic fits of laughter.

Oh! The good news in all of this is, the table is fine! It didn't even hit the ground. My purpose was served and my sacrifice worthwhile.

Now I give you pictorial evidence! Enjoy! Or don't scroll down if bruised knees make you queasy or uncomfortable in any way.

Pretty colors!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Secretary Files: My Nemesis

There is only one thing I truly hate about my job. It has nothing at all to do with the people I work with. It’s not the paperwork or the phones ringing off the hook. It’s a very simple and basic piece of equipment that shouldn’t have to be given a second thought. It is a staple puller. It is the worst staple puller in the history of the world. Lamentably, it is my staple puller.

Upon first glance it seems ordinary enough. Don’t let its unassuming appearance fool you. It deceives you. It’s manipulating you right now. Just try to pick it up and use it. It will leave you in ruins.

Figure A. This is how a normal staple puller is supposed to close. When you clamp the little claws underneath a staple needing to be removed, it will easily and cleanly pull the staple out, causing little to no damage to the document or the staple puller user.

Figure B. This is how The Worst Staple Puller in the World closes. The claws still clamp the staple, but they twist and maim the staple, jamming it between the claws, causing one to have to pull and pry them apart, all while tearing gaping holes in the document and pinching the daylights out of the user.

Figure C. This is an example of a poor unsuspecting piece of paper, ravaged by TWSPITW.

Figure D. This is a picture of a wound sustained by the primary user (me). It’s a blood blister received while attempting to free a staple from TWSPITW’s jaws. It’s been there for weeks with no signs of healing.

You may well ask, “Why don’t you get yourself a new staple puller?” How high-maintenance would it sound to ask the other secretary, who orders office supplies, to get me a new staple puller? “Um, hi. My staple puller’s performance is unsatisfactory. Would you please order me another one?” I can’t do that! Then you ask, “Well, why don’t you just use the functional staple puller pictured in Figure A?” That’s a communal staple puller that lives by the copy machine. It’s a different color than mine. If I tried to switch them, someone would notice and be mad when mine destroyed their papers. Then I’d be embarrassed.

And the truth is, TWSPITW doesn’t malfunction all the time. It’ll work just fine for a couple of days, lulling me into a false sense of security. Then, BAM! My successful-staple-removal walls come crashing down around me.

The Worst Staple Puller in the World leaves me churning in its devilish wake, a broken woman.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Get the Job Done!

Someone finally thought of a 100%, fool-proof method for getting rid of pests!


Pay no attention to the pile of rubble that was once your home.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Real Shot in the Arm

I just rented the cutest little two-bedroom apartment in the world to be my very own bachelorette pad. I’m really excited to have my own space. No more roommates with their ever-accompanying kleptomania, rogue drunken boyfriends, and late night Cinemax splurges. Oh yes, my friends, I’ve had some real doozies. I’ve had some great roommates too, but at this point in my life, the risk just isn’t worth it to me. And I really don’t mind being alone. I’m a solitary person. Isolation is my default state. Lonliness. It’s underrated.

There are some cons, though. I’ll miss my family excruciatingly, even though I’m only moving 25 minutes away from them. I just really like them a lot. And then, of course, there’s the whole safety issue. Being solo means being easier to pick off by a crazy man or a gang of thugs. We are just talking about the depths of Utah Valley here, but people have problems everywhere, so you never know. I asked the last tenants when I went to look at the place if they’d ever noticed any dangerous behaviors from the neighbors or groups of loitering hoodlums. They assured me it was a very safe place and the neighbors were great and thoroughly normal. Well, good! No worries then, right?

Wrong! My sense of security about the area was almost immediately tested. There I was with my brother. We were taking some of my fabulous new furniture (and by fabulous, I mean IKEA) to my apartment. As we drove down the quiet street, we noticed a haze of flashing, colored light glowing above the buildings ahead. As we drove past a side street a mere block away from my apartment, I counted 7 police cars surrounding an apartment complex. “Well, that’s slightly unsettling,” I said as we pulled into my building’s parking lot. From my parking spot I could see clear as day the surrounded building and police cars. We ran up to my apartment as quick as we could in case there was a shoot-out. About 45 minutes later, my brother went out to get something out of the car. When he returned he said that news vans and reporters now lined the whole street. Hmmmmm. I’m beginning to second-guess my decision.

By the time we left, the situation had mostly cleared up. There were a few bystanders here and there. There was no caution tape to be seen or white chalk outlines on the ground, which I took to be a good thing. As soon as I got home I got on ye olde intranets and started searching for the story. Another positive: it was only a 3-paragraph blurb. Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal. I read on. Some 17-year-old kid got in a fight with his friends. Apparently, one of them had a firearm. This dude shot his friend in the arm! Right through the shoulder! Fortunately it was an in and out kind of thing and the kid is fine. But, man! Who shoots their friends? What an awful idea!

I’m really hoping this was an isolated incident. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I think I’ll have bullet-proof glass, iron bars, and 3 more dead bolts installed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Consider Me Illuminated

If I ever happened to casually bump into Josh Groban, I would immediately begin calling him Joshy Woshy. Or Honey Bunny. Maybe Tweetums. I love him THAT much and I don't care who knows it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Secretary Files: Highlight of the Day

Take a good look at this picture. This is a picture of my desk at work. This particular section of my desk almost always looks just like this. I want to point out to you, though you’ve probably already noticed, the peculiar arrangement of my highlighters. Let me explain. I may or may not have some slightly obsessive tendencies. Fortunately, these tendencies only manifest themselves selectively, usually with trivial things like the highlighter phenomenon you see above. I use all of these highlighters on a daily basis to color code things. I have assigned each person in my office a different color. When someone is going to be out of the office for a few days, I mark those days on my calendar in his or her color. I also use them to code different types of materials that I inventory and manage. So I have to have them easily at my disposal. I need to be able to grab exactly the color I need exactly when I need it. At least that’s what my brain tells me. And how did I choose the order of the colors? Pretend the pink one is red. And pretend there’s an indigo-colored highlighter. Roy G. Biv. In this case, I guess it would read Poy G. Bv. Close enough. It satisfies my neurosis.

While we’re looking at this picture, take a moment to notice the bottom right corner. You’ll see I have two rolly white out thingys. That’s pretty much a metaphor for my life. Just one will never be enough.

Also, take a quick look at the staple puller. Oh, that staple puller! You’ll be hearing more about that. It deserves a post all it’s own! A hateful one. A dark and bitter post of despair.

Well, I guess that wraps up today’s tour of Lacey’s craziness. Thank you for joining me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Super Sonic

So I went to the Sonic for lunch today. I was craving a foot-long chili-cheese hot dog. Woohoo! I’m classy like that. Anyway, I said my favorite sentence of my life. “Can I have a small tots?” I laugh to myself every time I think it, say it, or in this case, type it. “A small tots”. There are so many things wrong with that phrase besides just sounding ridiculous. Of course, the gal at the window knew exactly what I was talking about. What a wonderful world! Say it with me now. A small tots. A small tots. Sigh. It’s the simple things! In other news: My wildest dream has come true.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Prudence

I like walking in cemeteries. They’re quiet. They’re pretty. They’re peaceful. What’s not to like?

This one time I went for a walk in a cemetery on my lunch break to prevent myself from becoming completely sedentary. I was moving from the old part of the cemetery towards the new, which was on the other side of a small hill. As I walked, a distant, echoing, rhythmic ringing broke the silence. It grew louder as I sauntered up the lonely path. I realized the ringing I heard was guitars now joined by a tambourine. Then there was a voice on the air. Was that… John Lennon I heard interrupting the quiet of this hallowed place? I looked all around me, searching for the source of the melancholy tune. I appeared to be alone. The music grew louder still as I approached the top of the hill, when the words “Dear Prudence, open up your eyes” sent a chill through me. Desperate to understand, I hurried to the crest of the hill and looked down. There stood an old gardener in coveralls working in a flowerbed. The door to his light blue, rusty old truck hung open and the music rang out over the whole place. I smiled to myself. It was simultaneously charming and eerie. Whatever it was, I liked it.

It instilled me with a new life dream. When I grow up, I’m going to be a cemetery caretaker and I’m going to listen to crazy cool music while I work and give a little thrill to inhabiting spirits and passers by. The End.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Secretary Files: Dedicated Employee

It was Friday, late in the afternoon. I was counting the minutes till the whistle would blow and the clock would strike five. In my office there is neither a whistle nor a clock that audibly rings on the hour. It’s all in my head. I had finished my tasks for the day, so the only thing left to do was to pretend to be busy. I began typing aimlessly on an inventory spread sheet in a row I created for an imaginary computer. This is what came out in the “Includes” column:

“keyboard, mouse, monitor, tower, wires, a fan, cords, electricity, science, probably something purple, michael jackson, software, I'm starting with the man in the mirror!”

Some of which could be true.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Fake Halloween Mystery

It was a dark and stormy All Hallows Eve Eve. Children were running about in their various costumes soliciting neighbors and strangers alike for treats of all kinds. Dry leaves crunched underfoot as I walked up an old friend’s walk towards his front door, a cold wind sending a chill up my spine. My eyes adjusted as I entered his brightly lit front room. I set my purse on the couch beside me as we made small talk for a couple of minutes. Just then I remembered that I had not checked my cell phone in the hour it had taken me to drive to my destination. I reached inside my deep purse and began feeling around when my fingers brushed something unfamiliar. It felt long, smooth and flat. I grasped it and drew it from the shadowy depths of my purse into the light.


Desperately, I reached in again to find the dismembered pair of sunglasses, and to my utter horror I pulled out the other one, also detached.

It was then that I found the lenses, rendered completely useless by this disturbing turn of events. How could this have happened? These $8.00 sunglasses had been fully functional only hours before! Now, suddenly and without ceremony, they were completely destroyed.

There’s only one explanation. It must have been the malicious ghouls of faux Halloween, stealthily entering my purse and wreaking havoc upon the effects therein.

With sadness, I bid farewell to my old friends, the sunglasses. We shared truly remarkable experiences together. I will never forget them.

My sunglasses and me in Moab.

My sunglasses and me in Hawaii. And my best bud, Annie.

I close with a warning! Beware the day before Halloween when the real Halloween lands on a Sunday in Utah! The ghosts will find you. Their mischief knows no bounds!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Abject Humiliation

I will now strip myself of all dignity and pride. My life has been a long series of humbling events. Try as I might to appear poised and confident, intelligent and capable, to look like someone people can take seriously, inevitably the truth comes out in the most humiliating ways. The truth is I’m clumsy, awkward and weird. Every time I take a misstep, someone is there to witness it.

Case in point: Last weekend I was helping my aunt by watching some of my younger cousins while she was out of town for a few days. Saturday morning I took the youngest to his primary program practice (an alliteration for your reading pleasure).

Before I go any further I need to discuss my relationship with weekend mornings. We’re not friends. If I’m up before 9:00am there’s something seriously wrong with the world. Before 8:00am- forget about it. I might as well be dead. I’ll be tired and grumpy for days because I didn’t get to catch up on my beauty sleep. I just know any mothers reading this right now are either a) pointing and laughing hysterically at me or b) rolling your eyes and saying swear words in your heads at me. I can’t help it. I’m a chronic sleepy head.

So these kids were up bright and early, bless their hearts, and I dragged myself out of bed to take my cousin to his practice. When I got back to the house I felt too lethargic to do anything with myself. I didn’t even eat breakfast. I was THAT tired. Before I knew what had happened, the time had come for me to go pick him up. I was still in my pajamas. Not a cute little sweat suit or fun scrubs or anything acceptable like that. Oh no. I’m talking about my men’s extra large sweats and a shapeless 500 year-old t-shirt. I basically looked like a blob. The only shoes I had were little black ballet flats. But it didn’t matter. I would just drive up to the door, he’d jump in the car, no one would have to be exposed to my grossness, and we’d be no worse for the wear. Well, I drove up to that door, and he didn’t come out. Waves of children were running out, but not him. By this time it was pouring rain, the dark clouds a perfect similitude of the fogginess in my brain. I thought, “He’s such a timid little guy, maybe he’s thrown off by the fact that his mom’s not here and he’s too nervous to come out.” I’d have to go in for him. The horror! “Get a grip!” I thought. “I’m never going to see any of these people again. They don’t know me. They’ll just notice the gross girl with stringy hair and puffy eyes, then forget me completely.” So, I did what anyone would do. I tucked the baggy bottoms of my sweats into my little black shoes so as not to get them wet. I was, after all, planning on wearing them for a few more hours at least. They turned from just being humungous sweats to being humungous Aladdin/MC Hammer sweats. I ran through the rain and up the church steps towards the glass doors. I raised my eyes, and to my horror stood one of my bosses from work! He looked up just in time to lock eyes with me! If I could have, I would have turned on a dime and run away, but it was too late. He’d spotted me. I don’t really remember what happened next. I think I said something stupid about not looking very professional, which is ridiculous. You don’t have to look professional on a Saturday morning, just not disgusting. Apparently he was in charge of the program. I ran up the hall and found my cousin eating a popsicle with his friends. I grabbed him and jetted out the door with a “See you on Monday!”

The most awkward thing of all: I’ve seen him every work day since the incident. I’ve spoken to him several times. But I haven’t addressed the encounter at all! I don’t know how to bring it up. There’s this weird tension between us. It’s the big pink “I saw you in your pajamas” elephant in the room. This is my plight. I accept your pity.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Meatloaf Challenge

I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something about meatloaf that makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s because it’s meat in a loafy shape or if it’s because the word “loaf” is kind of weird. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s because meatloaf is so moist and tender and fluffy and not really meat-like. It's more loaf-like but meat flavored. I don't know. I have to not think about it when I'm eating meatloaf or I start to think it's gross, even though my taste buds are telling me it's good. My neurosis manifests itself on only my second blog post. Nice. Anyway, I’ve decided to try to conquer my fear of meatloaf. It’s an American staple, after all. I’m going to test a few different meatloaf recipes and report my progress.

I tried my first one this weekend. It’s Pioneer Woman’s favorite meatloaf recipe. Find it here http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/09/my-favorite-meatloaf/.

Speaking of Pioneer Woman, I love her so much. I wish she were my best friend. Sometimes I sit on my own in my room and imagine our lives together. Okay, not really, but I sincerely enjoy her.

Tangent over. It is way good! I like the addition of the bacon on top. +1 point. The parsley and parmesan combo is positively divine. Be still my heart! +1 point. The sauce is to die for. It might be my favorite part. +1 point. But it was ultra light and fluffy, which set my craziness off on an all-time meatloaf-panic high. -1 point. Plus, I think I didn’t put enough salt in it, but that’s my fault, not hers. No deduction. Not like it matters. Points mean nothing here. I give it 3.757 out of 5 stars. Try it! Meatloaf is our friend.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Shouldn't Have a Blog

I love reading people’s blogs. I’m a blog stalker. If I’ve ever heard your name I’ve probably read your blog. I love them! They’re funny, interesting, sweet, or at the very least, fascinating in a “What the crap?! Why are you sharing that publicly and did you really just spell that word wrong?” sort of way. It had never, however, entered my consciousness to begin a blog of my own. The other day, my older brother, who maintains an excellent and very entertaining blog, suggested that I start one. What?! That’s ridiculous! Who in the world would ever be interested in a thing I had to say? I’d have a readership of like 3. How humiliating would it be to see 1 hit on my blog and find out it was my mom? Also, what would I write about? I don’t do awesome stuff all the time. I don’t have the super special kind of mind that can turn, I don’t know, tripping over a crack in the sidewalk into a hilarious 500 word composition. I’m not that clever, not terribly funny. I certainly wouldn’t have an angsty, existential blog. I’m not that deep. When I declined my interest, he turned into horrible, awful, pushy brother and bugged and harassed- basically coerced me into starting one. So here I am. I would like you to know up front, I have nothing of value to offer. This may very well be the first and last post. I’m terribly sorry if I’ve wasted your time. If at any point I post something that someone can smile about or relate to, I should consider myself a complete blogging success. Well, I guess that’s it! I’m excited and scared to be part of the blogging community!