Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mr. Peabody

It's always a good thing when I can write a column pretending to be a dog.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sweet, bittersweet, sweet

That's how I'd describe the week that just was.

The sweet part--or at least one of them--was the arrival of our grandson, who appeared with a full head of black hair on Monday, April 21.  I was delighted to meet him during his first hours, because there's something so . . . sacred, really, about those early moments.  I held him in my arms and sniffed his neck and listened to those little kitten noises and remembered the moments when nurses placed my own warm children against my skin.  There's nothing like it.

Oddly, the bittersweet part had to do with birth, too.  I'd just written that piece about losing those babies years and years ago, but somehow all of that came back.  Surprisingly so.  I didn't expect this at all, and I certainly didn't expect to feel old grief, as well as a new grief about the passing of my years, although I am so grateful to be at this stage of my life.

 I don't know.  It's just been a strange, emotional time for me.

And then sweet again.  Lisa B.'s daughter--aka Sophie, aka the Queen of the World--asked me to speak at her stake's standards night.  She was very insistent that it be an uplifting evening--not all DON'T DO THIS AND ESPECIALLY DON'T DO IT IN A SLEEVELESS DRESS.  Well, it was easy to be on board with that request, and so I gave the talk I would have wanted to hear when I was a teenager.

The sweetness came when I saw Lisa walk through the door of the gym so she could hear me speak, when I saw her with this fabulous creature that is her daughter, when I saw all the daughter had done to make the evening memorable and rewarding for all those girls.

And I just felt so grateful that I have lived long enough that my friend and I can see the adults our children have become.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A cautionary tale about why you might not want to wear low-slung jeans at the library

Okay.  First.  HUGE shoutout to the staff of Sprague branch library for the stuffed toy sleepover they pulled off this weekend.  Kids left their toys on Friday.  The staff photographed the toys at play during the night.  Kids returned today and watched a powerpoint featuring those toys.  It was GENIUS!

Anyway.  Lots of kids and parents were there today, including a mom with generous curves in low-slung jeans who knelt on the floor and leaned forward to get a better look at the powerpoint and HOLY COW.    It was just a full moon rising.  I mean we are NOT talking slight cleavage here.  We are talking about the kind of eyeful you get if you accidentally walk in on the Provo High School football team showering after a game.  Like I did once.   But that's another story.

Meanwhile here's the moral of this story:  it's hard to watch a) stuffed animals at play in the library when there's also a b) bare bum in the library.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Trib Book Club

Okay.  I promise I'll put on my blogging hat and start blogging more.  I miss it, actually.  Meanwhile, here's our discussion of Train by Tom Zoellner for the Trib Book Club today.  You'll notice that I am wearing awesome red lipstick.  The last time I did Trib Talk I didn't wear much makeup and thus looked like I'd swallowed my own lips.

I hate it when I accidentally look like that muppet named Beaker.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blog post metamorphoses

I think you've noticed by now that sometimes blog posts turn into columns.  Happened again this week.

Thanks for reading, you guys.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What the waitress told me today

See my new ring there?

Is it not the essence of bad-assery?

Lisa B. gave it to me for my birthday, and, people, I have not taken it off!  Even though TRQ is worried I will poke out my eye with it.

Anyway.  I know this ring is awesome because all the kids grab my hand when I'm at places like Sprouts and go WOW!  I LOVE YOUR RING!  And this makes me happy because it is a great ring and also it's kind of cool to be down with the kids these days.

Anyway again.  As I was eating sushi today with my friend Trish, the waitress grabbed my hand and went WOW!  I LOVE YOUR RING!  Which, of course, was gratifying.  It is always gratifying to be thought awesome in a sushi place where all your servers have tattoos and wear black.  But then she went on to say it reminded her of her ring at home which is an actual eyeball of a bobcat that a taxidermist had preserved.

And that comment gave me pause.  Is someone who wears actual eyeballs the best judge of what constitutes great jewelry?


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hearing Things

Yesterday when I went to the post office, I thought I heard birds inside the building.

Birds?  In the p. o.?  How was that possible?  I looked around but failed to detect immediate bird-age.  There were only people there.  And none of them was chirping.

But still.  I could hear it.  Or at least I thought I could.  So I turned to my fellow line-standers and said, "Hey!  Can you guys hear birds, too?"

They all looked up from their cellphones, said "no," backed away from me the way you do when you realize you're dealing with crazy people in the post office, and resumed messing around with their phones.

What was going on?  Was the whole world going mad?  WAS I ON CRAZY PILLS?

By the time I got to the counter, I was desperate.  I said to clerk, "DO YOU HEAR BIRDS, TOO?"  And he said yes.  He did.  Someone was mailing birds.

His answer caused me to have these three thoughts immediately.

1.  Thank the Lord I'm not just hearing things--specifically birds at the post office.
2.  If people got off their damn phones now and then, they could hear birds, too.
3.  And also, you can mail birds in America?

What a country!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I need you to entertain me!!!

Please send me your best guesses about what WBN stands for.  Then read my column.

Thank you.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Alcohol and Cats

Hopefully you found that title as intriguing as I did as I was going through that box of crap TRQ unloaded here a few weeks ago.  You know.  The one was my old diaries and stuff.

Well.  I found notes from Jr. High Health Class in one of the folders, including a piece of notebook paper labeled "Alcohol and Cats."  Here's what I wrote:

"A doctor experimented on 13 cats with the use of alcohol.  Cats forgot tricks they lad learned when under the influence of alcohol.  Cats forgot fear when under the influence of alcohol."

At the time I'm sure I wrote all of that down a) with a straight face and b) without asking any questions.  But now, of course, my face is not straight AND I have a lot of questions, which include--

1.  What kind of a doctor was this anyway?  What kind of doctor gets cats drunk?
2.  Where did the doctor find those thirteen cats?  Did he scribble "For a good time call Dr. Feel Good" on the doors of cat bathroom stalls?
3.  What kind of tricks did those cats forget?
4.  And, as my sentence indicates, did those cats learn those tricks while under the influence of alcohol in the first place?
5.  Also, what kind of alcohol were those cats consuming?  Did they consume that alcohol all nibbly-bibbly out of a saucer?
6.  When cats forget their fear how do they act?  Do they put Ever Ready batteries on their cat shoulders and dare dogs to knock them off?

If you know the answers to these questions, please contact me.  Meanwhile, here's a picture of my cat in the garden this morning.  He hasn't been drinking.  As far as I know.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Losses long ago

A pregnant friend recently lost a baby at the 6-month mark.  It's been devastating for her and for her husband both, and her experience has caused me to revisit the loss of our two sons--one at five months, the other at six.

I was glad to see that there's currently more of an effort on the hospital's part to treat this kind of a loss as a birth and a death, because when you're pregnant--especially when you're that pregnant--you want more than anything for people to acknowledge that this was a child.  This was your child.  This was your child who you made room for in your life.  And when that child is gone before others have had a chance to see him and call him by name and say that he looks like your husband's side of the family, you feel that loss in a special kind of way.  Because to others that baby wasn't particularly real.  Not yet anyway.

But to you he was as real as the heat of sun on your face.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More on the dingle dangle front

Bonnie, Joe Joe's are Trader Joe's version of the Oreo cookie.  And they are tasty.

Meanwhile, I kinda wish TRQ had walked into Trader Joe's yesterday and asked a clerk where his dingle dangles were because that would have been awesome.

Also meanwhile here is today's column.  It's always a good day when you can use the term "Devil Worshipper-Mobile" in the newspaper.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dingle Dangles

There are many, many things I love about TRQ.  Here are two of them.

1.  She is legendary for her malaprops.
2.  When questioned about what she actually meant, she will always laugh harder at herself than you would.

Today after the two of us had lunch at a new Indian restaurant here in the Aves (Saffron Valley--I recommend WITH ENTHUSIASM!) she suggested we go to Trader Joe's for some "Dingle Dangles."

What?  You don't go to Trader Joe's for your Dingle Dangles?  WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?

Anyway, because I speak TRQ, I realized she probably meant "Joes Joe's."

"Do you mean Joe Joe's?" I asked.

"Yes," she said.  "Duh."

Later, when she was driving back to Provo, she called me and said, "I think Dingle Dangles is a better name.  Let's use it from now on."

All in favor, please raise your hand.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

That time when I forgot TRQ's birthday

I was thinking a lot about TRQ this morning because of this column and also--you know--because she's TRQ.

I was remembering this one time when I forgot her birthday.  She called me about 10:00 that night and we chit-chatted for awhile about this and that and this some more until finally she said, "Well, I just called to wish myself a happy birthday."


There was no recovery from that.  Like I said, it was late.  I couldn't order flowers.  I couldn't rush down to Provo.  I couldn't do anything to cover my own sorry rear.  So the next day I called about 30 people, including a guy who worked at a grocery store, and told them to call TRQ to wish her a happy birthday and also to tell her that her daughter is a perfect little shit.

And they did.

And she was happy.

And I was forgiven.

I love her.