Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Memory Monday: My First Date with Dave

I decided to finally write down one of the posts that has been formulating for a while- since last October, to be precise. I actually wrote this post yesterday (hence the "Memory Monday" title), but didn't finish it yesterday (that seems to be the story of my life right now...).

Back on October 15th of last year I was going to write a blog post commemorating the 10th anniversary of mine and Dave's first date. I remember that the date was because October 15th because it was also the application deadline for a research grant for which I was applying. That morning I emerged from my basement practice room in the fine arts building (for a change) and was about to head across campus to make copies of my application and turn it in when Dave "happened" to run into me. (I learned after the fact that this "chance meeting" was quite deliberate and premeditated.)

Dave and I had been friends during our freshman year, but we never dated. My apartment would hang out with his apartment a lot, but while I was interested in Dave, I never thought he was interested in me. It didn't help that I was kinda-sorta-not-really dating one of his roommates. He spent my sophomore and junior years in Siberia serving a mission for our church. My senior year he was back from his mission and ran into my roommate Brenda (who had also been my roommate during our freshman year). They arranged to get our old group together to go "tunnel singing"-- one of the many hanging-out activities we had shared as freshman. (I think "tunnel singing" is a BYU-ism. It's exactly like it sounds: you sing in a tunnel. There are nice acoustics. And it's a chance to flirt.). So we had hung out once or twice since he had gotten back but that was it.

After running into me, Dave made some small talk, including asking if I had any big plans for the weekend. "Nope. Not really." I told him, "My roommate Becki and I are planning on trying to finagle our way into the Utah Symphony for free at the fine arts center tonight. You could come if you want." I was still operating under the assumption that a) Dave wasn't interested in me and b) "hanging out" with Dave meant him and two of his roommates and about 10 other girls. But Dave was great fun, so in the course of the conversation I said, "Oh and you totally have to go disco skating with us. It is so much fun. My brother and I got some awesome outfits at the thrift store. Except we'll have to go next Saturday because tomorrow a bunch of us are going to the opera. You could come to that too, if you're into that kind of thing." Which I didn't think he was. But he surprised me and said "Yes, why not?" to all three. So basically Dave came to try to work up the courage to ask me out and I gave him 3 dates with me without even asking. I really am low-maintenance, don't you think? But back to my story.

So Dave said he would come to the symphony with Becki and I. I was glad he was coming and fully expected him to show up with his friend Chris and at least 5 other girls. So I was a little bit puzzled when Becki and I met up with Dave at the fine arts center and it was just him. We were able to finagle free tickets (Becki knew one of the ushers and someone had turned theirs in) so had a nice "date" with the three of us. After it was over we headed over to the Wilkinson Center to see if the A Cappella Jam was still going. It was just at intermission so they made us buy tickets. I was shocked again when Dave offered to buy the tickets. We saw the second half of the show and then went to check out a Latin Dance, also in the Wilk. We were too cheap to pay to get in, so we went up on the balcony and danced instead (we had run into one of Becki's friends by this point so we made a foursome). Finally we went back to my apartment and hung out some more. Dave played Becki's guitar for us, including his 'famous' original song "Blue Cheese" ("... it comes from blue cows..."). Then he handed me the guitar and asked me to play for him. Guitar is not one of my many musical talents, so I asked for a topic and proceeded to make up a two-note accompaniment to my poetic improvised text about going to Wal-Mart to shop for a wireless notebook.

And so it began....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Imaginary Blog

I compose blog posts several times a day. You wouldn't know it from looking at my blog. The problem is that while I compose lots of blog posts in my brain, only a fraction of them actually make it onto paper, er, cyberspace (or whatever writing a blog post counts as). I composed a really interesting post on what I enjoyed the most about reading "David Copperfield." There have been several about my husband Dave, marking the milestones in our relationship. There were some really biting satirical ones that I would have to save for a few days before I had the guts to post. There would be no end of posts detailing all of the cute things that Addy is doing these days, how smart Jackson is and the fun things that Jared and Camryn are doing. Alas, most of these blog posts have never been put into print.

I love the chance to sort out the frenetic racing of my brain by putting things on paper (or whatever you call the high-tech equivalent). I like the chance to send my thoughts out there to whoever feels like reading them or tuning in. But there are so many things pulling at me right now (figuratively and literally) that it's just hard to find the chance to do it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog...

I've been feeling conflicted about my blog lately. I think I'm trying to use it as a means for too many things: personal journal, photo scrapbook of the kids, venting ground, recipe notebook, self-publishing mechanism, soapbox, incredibly interesting documentation of my incredibly interesting life, and so forth. So what should it be? One of these? All of the above? Not all of the above uses easily dovetail with each other.

What about the question of privacy? If I'm using it as a photo scrapbook, personal journal or venting ground, there are some good reasons to go private. But if I'm using it as a self-publishing mechanism, soapbox, a certain kind of venting ground and fulfilling my personal vanity then I would want as many readers as possible. What to do?

What do all you other bloggers do and what is your reasoning? The floor is now yours.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Crisis Averted

OK. Jackson's King's Singers Blackbird" fixation is starting to become a menace. Every time I open my laptop he starts saying, "Bird! Bird! Bird!" until I give in and play it for him. "Blackbird" has officially surpassed "Big Bird" as the ornithological specimen most requested by toddlers in this house.

I turned off the "bird" youtube video to try to actually do something on my laptop this morning. This brought on the requisite tantrum and screams from Jackson. It was getting ridiculous, so I brought out the big guns: "Jackson, do you want to watch Barney?"

"No Barney!!" he screamed, "Bird! Bird!!" (OK, I can't say that I blame him for that particular musical preference.)

In a last desperate plea I asked, "What about Curious George?" His screams instantly stopped and his face lit up. "George!"

Phew. Crisis averted.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dumb Things to Say

Do you ever have days where your brain and your mouth aren't quite connected right? I like to think of myself as someone who usually thinks before she speaks, but that hasn't kept me from having an occasional doozy. At the risk of proving that this isn't only an occasional event, I'm going to indulge in a very random, not-so-logically laid out blog post. (Warning: Roundabout train of thought to come... choo choo...) I was online looking at a few restaurant websites to find a cool place to go for Valentine's Day. When one of the restaurant menus had Rack of Lamb, this reminded me of one of my brain-mouth-disconnection doozies.

Last spring when my two younger sisters graduated from BYU we had a family reunion in Utah so we could all go to their graduation. We celebrated afterward by going out to Bombay House for Indian food (I even bribed Jared and Camryn to eat it by promising them a slurpee-- Jared like the garlic naan). Meg and I decided to get two entrees and split. Most of them had the option of either chicken or lamb for meat. Megan suggested that we should get one chicken and one lamb dish. When I hesitated, she asked, "Don't you like lamb, Karen?" I told her that I wasn't sure-- I'd only had lamb twice. One time I'd liked it, the other time I thought it was gross. When she probed a little bit more I revealed that once I had had rack of lamb at a fancy restaurant and it was really yummy. The other time I had eaten lamb was when Brother Metler cooked it for our seminary class when we were studying Passover in the Old Testament. Megan looked at me and said, "Seriously? You don't know if you like lamb because you didn't like it when Brother Metler cooked it for seminary?" We got lamb. (I even liked it.)

My other doozy that comes to mind is when Dave's brother got married. I was standing in line at the reception trying not to be bored out of my mind as I greeted and made small talk with bunches of random people -most of whom I did not know or had met once at most. A friend of Dave's family who I will call "Janet Smith" came through the line and I chatted with her and we made the connection that she had family in California near where we lived at the time. I lit up and said, "Oh maybe you're related to this person in California we know... her name is Janet Jones!" The poor woman gave me one of those "Wow-- are you really that big of an airhead-- but I'm going to be nice and not show that I think that" smiles and said, "Nope, we're not related. Just the same first name."

Maybe you never quite outgrow being a blonde, no matter how dark your hair gets as an adult.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Book Club

After having a fantastic couple of weeks, this past week has been a little bit tough. Less sleep, more baby fussing, bad work hours for Dave, you know the drill. I haven't been wanting to post about it because I'm trying to keep from only using my blog as a venting place. I really do enjoy and appreciate my life... just sometimes more so than others.

Jared/Camryn spent the afternoon teasing/whining about being teased. They both didn't turn off the Wii when I asked and got Wii privileges taken away for the rest of the day. This prompted a 20-minute conversation with Camryn where she repeatedly tried to explain how it was not her fault, it was really JARED'S fault that the Wii didn't get turned off and how she really wanted to turn off the Wii and obey and I just wasn't getting her point. This resulted in getting Wii privileges getting taken away for Wednesday and Thursday too. After I pointed out to Camryn that if she really had wanted to obey she could have set down her Wii remote and walked away or maybe asked Jared to turn it off, Camryn finally admitted (through tragic tears), "The problem is that the Wii is just too fun. I couldn't make myself go in the middle of a level."

Jackson was a stinker during dinner time and Addy was fussy. By the time dinner was over I was more than ready for sleep and/or kid-less time. It was book club tonight, but frankly the thought of a warm comforter pulled over my head was sounding more appealing than driving out in the rain to someone's house. But I eventually decided to "just go for a little bit" so I could get out of the house. I was going to leave Addy, but Dave pointed out that it would be "easier for both of us" if I took Addy with me (since I can just "plug her in") so she went. And so I went to book club, rainy night, baby and all.

And you know what? I'm really glad I did. I had fun just chatting with other women, getting out of the house and choosing our books for the next year. Our conversation jumped from a book from last year's reading list to "24" to Bell's Palsy to favorite bakeries (all in the course of a few minutes). I stayed for "just a little bit"- until midnight. (And then decided to blog about it afterward.) So while I will probably wish I'd had a little more sleep when my feet hit the ground tomorrow, I feel refreshed and glad to be reminded that I have good friends who can say "I've been there" or "I'm there with you."

Monday, February 1, 2010


Jackson has been obsessed with birds for a long time. He is very good at pointing them out, no matter how far away. Last summer we put a bird feeder on our back porch so Jackson would have more opportunities to look at birds. His interest recently extended to Big Bird (Bird! Bird!)- although he likes Elmo ("Mullmo") as well.

Recently while I drive in my car I have been listening to a playlist of songs that Cantico (the choir that I direct) will be singing at our next concert. One of these songs is a King's Singers arrangement of The Beatles' "Blackbird." This is Jackson's new favorite song. One day I was listening to it and every time it finished he would say, "Gen! Gen!" ("Again!") Now it is to the point that every time we get in the car he says, "Songs! Bird! Bird!"- meaning that he wants to hear "Blackbird." I have to admit it is a pretty awesome song.

Today I was listening to it on my laptop and seriously Jackson listened to it about 10 times in a row. If I tried to ignore his pleas to listen "gen!" then he broke out with tears and tantrums. So here is Jackson's new favorite song: