Monday, December 14, 2009

Jump around, again.

There were some technical difficulties with YouTube when I first put this video up. Here is it again in case you didn't get to see if the first time.

My sister Mary and I did this on a cold winter's night.



The great debaters.

Tonight, I decided to go out to dinner with my parents, my youngest sister (Mary), my grandma, and my aunt. I love them all, but about halfway through the meal, Mary and I were reading the same expression on eachother's faces: GET ME OUT OF HERE.

Reminder to the family: I love you all. BUT, every time my dad and his sister get in a room together, it ends up looking like this:

Or maybe more like this:


Okay, okay, don't panic. It MAY not have been as intense as the kittie samurais. But still, it was messy enough to send the rest of us into a state of THIS:

Therefore, I hereby make a request for my dear father and his dear older sister to, from now on, refrain from "debating" (ahem...fighting) over these topics:
  • Politics
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Race
  • Wealth
  • Right vs. Wrong
  • Good vs. Evil
  • Ignorance vs. Genius
  • Vampires vs. Wolves (I just see this getting messy)
In the emergency situation where no conversation can be established, I offer these generally acceptable topic suggestions :
  • The weather.
  • The deliciousness of ice cream.
  • How Rhode Island is neither a road, nor an island.
  • How lucky they are to have me in their family.
  • The weather.
  • How great Irish people are.
  • The Hangover (they both like the movie)
  • Books (only those having nothing to do with politics, religion, health care, race, religion, right vs. wrong, ignorance vs. genius, or vampires vs. wolves)
  • The weather.

I'll see if anyone else in my family is willing to sign the petition. I'm sure I can at least get their five other siblings involved. What do you think? =)



Sunday, December 13, 2009


I don't know what it is about December, but I always go into hiding. My friends start wondering where I am. I stay at home and wrap myself in layers of blankets, screen my calls, drink a lot of cocoa, and avoid the outside world unless completely necessary. I like winter, but I guess I only like it if I stay inside.

This hibernation has also led me to neglecting my blog. I'm surprised that the number of subscribers hasn't reduced, considering I haven't posted for some time. You guys probably thought I was dead, or in a coma. Close, but not quite. I HAVE had a cold that has decided to last a full three weeks, but I just took the last antibiotic yesterday. If it doesn't do the trick, well... at least I will be here in less than a week:

Key Largo can probably cure any cold.

Yes, I am going to Key Largo, and I am COMPLETELY ready for it. Dyke has a cousin down there, so we were able to put some money towards a flight and a rental car rather than a hotel. I have never been this south in Florida. The Keys are actually closer to Cuba than they are to the United States. AND I'll actually be touching the Atlantic Ocean. Every other Florida trip I've taken I've technically only swam in the Gulf of Mexico. So this will be a new journey for me.

I'm going to go snorkeling. I'm trying to convince Dyke to join in with me, but he has a fear of the ocean and ocean creatures. I was the one who was stung by a jellyfish when she was ten, so why is it that HE is more scared than I am? I told him if he promises to snorkel with me, I promise to skydive with him when the time comes. Yes, when I think about skydiving I almost crap my pants... but I figure thinking about the ocean and all the animals in it probably does the same for him, so it's a fair trade off.

So away we go... I can't wait.

I could write more, but guys, it's December, and I'd much rather hibernate in my house with some cocoa and pack for a warmer place. I promise I will be back in full form after the holidays. But right now, I'm lazy.

And baby, it's cold outside.



Monday, December 7, 2009


Blog Find of the Year: That gem of a blog you can't believe you didn't know about until this year.

Well, I have to admit that I really didn't get into reading blogs continuously until early this year. I'd always heard my older sister mention some blog she liked about a witty, ex-Mormon mother and wife, so I finally decided to check it out.

Yes, folks, my Blog Find of the Year goes to:

I know it isn't a true "find" considering it is well known at this point, but it was a find for me because I didn't get into reading it until this year.

It really is a dream job. She's been able to chronicle her life in a way that is interesting to a mass audience, probably because she is so true and raw about everything: the highs, the lows, the ups, the downs, love, sorrow, humor, randomness... it's all there. It entertains people enough that she now can support her whole family with it, and how is that not fantastic?

You can go as far back into her blog as when she was a single gal working in a cubicle and for a horrid boss (who she talked about on the blog by the way, resulting in her termination), all the way up to her life now with her geeky adorable husband and her two equally adorable daughters. Her battles with depression, religion, family, and failure are experiences to which we can all relate.

And she takes good pictures. And I love that.

Check her out.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A little bit of knowledge.

ARTICLE: What's an article you read this year that blew you away?

"As everybody knows, all over the world, a little bit of knowledge can be a very entertaining thing." - Ira Glass

It wasn't an article that blew me away, it was a radio broadcast. And it didn't blow me away so much as it completely entertained me and got me thinking.

I'm an avid This American Life listener. If you've never listened to the radio show, or watched episodes of it on Showtime, you should definitely check it out. There is a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It has truth and beauty and sadness and humor at its core.

Episode #293 is a humorous one I particularly remember from this year. The theme: knowing too little. It focuses on childhood beliefs held onto well into adulthood, much longer than they should have been.

The show opens with a discussion of the term "modern jackass." All of us, at some point or another, try to impress people in conversation by acting like an expert on something when really, we only know the surface information. This is when we turn into the "modern jackass." For example: politics. Many people support a candidate for surface reasons and don't dig into the actual policies to which the candidate is associated. "He stands for freedom," is a common expression. What does that even mean?!

I admit it. Sometimes I'm a modern jackass. I'm sure you are, too.

The rest of the radio show focuses on invididuals who, for one reason or another, held onto childhood beliefs for way too long, only to come to embarrassing public realizations. I don't want to give the whole episode away, but I'll give you highlights of the first couple examples.

Have you heard of the Nielson Family concept? It was started by Arthur Nielson, who realized that by analyzing the television viewing habits of different households, networks could better satisfy the interests of a mass audience. One kid heard about this growing up and it stuck with him. However, he had a different perspective on what it meant. Here he is:
"Fast forward twenty years. I was talking with a friend of mine who was telling me about her friend, who was selected to be a Nielson family. And I said to her, 'Isn't it weird that they're all named Nielson?' My friend looked at me, for what seemed like a long time. Sometime during her very long pause--because of the very long pause in fact--I realized, of course they're not all named Neilson. That makes no sense at all."
Poor guy.

Another woman clearly had not divided a clear line between fantasy and reality. This is what happened to her at a party:
"It was a group of about five to seven people, kind of standing around the keg, just talking, and somehow a discussion of endangered species came up. I posed the question, 'Is the unicorn endangered or extinct?' And basically there was a big gap of silence. And then everybody laughed. And then that laughter was followed by more silence when they realized I wasn't laughing. And I was like, "Yeah, oh, god, unicorns aren't real?" Oh no."

I'm hoping that these are situations to which we can all relate (unless you are some sort of perfectly knowledgeable human being that never socializes with anyone, therefore never risking the chance of embarrassment). I know I've done it a few times, I'm sure.

When I was younger, but old enough to be past the whole sex education scene, my family was sitting around the table eating dinner. It was brought up that my younger sister Erin and a neighbor boy, Josh, were playing around that day, chasing each other in the yard, hitting each other playfully, etc. I laughed and jokingly spoke up, "Oh, it's just foreplay." My dad turned red and looked at his plate, and Caitlin (the eldest, it being her job to point out stupid mistakes) said, "Kelly, do you even know what that means?" At the time, I thought foreplay was just another word for flirting, not a word about getting hyped up and turned on for sex. There of course was an awkward silence, and I brushed it off and pushed some broccoli around on my plate. I think Caitlin filled me in later.

Luckily, I found that out before I was standing around a keg of people. Some of us are more fortunate than others.

This led to me to having a conversation with some of the students that hang out with me after school. I asked them if they had any weird ideas about life when they were younger, which they realized later were ridiculous. These were some of them:

  • That teachers lived at school and had no outside lives.
  • That a burn spot in the carpet at school meant the teachers had tried to build a fire at school to keep warm.
  • That they had "magic water" at home because when ice cubes were put in a glass, the water level would rise.
It was a pretty great conversation. I would love to hear you guys comment back on any weird ideas you had about the world when you were younger, or any too-late realizations you embarrassingly discovered.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009 challenge.

Since I didn't keep up with NaBloPoMo like I wanted to, I thought this month I would try the Best of 2009 Challenge.

It's a way of reflecting on my experiences in 2009 by responding to daily writing prompts. While there is a prompt assigned for each day, there is no requirement to do it every single day, which is nice! I'll be picking and choosing the ones I like.

I also want to throw a little twist into it. Rather than writing out my experiences, I thought I'd show some of my 2009 in pictures. I got a new camera and have captured many memories with it this year, so what better way to use them?

So here goes the first one. The prompt for December 1st:

TRIP: What was your best trip in 2009?

This one has to be a tie between my trip to Sanibel Island, Florida with my family, and the several camping trips I took with Dyke and his friends. So, without further ado, here are some memories I captured during those trips.

Sanibel Island, Florida

I love Florida for the flowers.

Pap-pa at the pool.

Beautiful wingspan.

I wanted to take him home with me.

My parents... still flying in their fifties.

Who's the palest of them all? That'd be me.

Mam-ma's always smiling.

A big guy we found in the water.


Camping with Dyke & Friends:

Almost Heaven... West Virginia...

These crazies survived the rapids.

Bring on the s'mores.

Dyke with a machete. Watch out!

Searching the great unkown.

Some green amongst the brown.

Papa Tree.

Sigh. I lost my cell phone somewhere on this hill.

I guess I've got a pretty good life.