Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Queen of Excuses

I am extremely gifted in the art of justifying pretty much anything. Usually, I try to only use my powers for good, but sometimes….I just can’t stop myself from allowing my talent to get me out of things I really don’t want to do (maybe because I’m lazy and like to avoid doing things that make me the least bit uncomfortable).

I have decided not to compete in the spring triathlon in May that I registered for (and stupidly told the world I was going to participate in). But, I have 10 really good reasons why I shouldn’t do it….they are:

  1. Family is the most important thing. (You see, I can spend an extra day at home the weekend after Stephanie gets back from Australia, if I work the day of the triathlon…who can put a value on an extra day with the family?)
  2. Being a good leader requires setting a good example. (I have a staff meeting that day. Staff meetings are very important and in my attempt to be a good leader, I need to be a good example….like showing up for staff meetings.)
  3. I only have 2 hips and one lower back and I need them all. (My hip has been hurting and my back also, seriously!! I can barely walk after a good hard run and I need to walk!).
  4. Proper training is vital. (May is really early for a triathlon…especially considering that the weather just barely got good enough to allow a person to train outside..on an actual bike (mine currently has 2 flat tires…which poses another problem.).)
  5. Proper equipment is needed. (I have a mountain bike instead of a road bike…it’s so heavy and everyone else will have slick fast road bikes and I’ll just feel bad about myself and get all depressed and then slip into a permanent funk and never really recover.)
  6. Proper training is vital…again. (I haven’t been doing my swimming training….the pool is super gross and going swimming regularly is exhausting….it’s just a lot of work to get to the pool and get cleaned up later and then you and your hair smell like chlorine for days.) 
  7. Sweat is unattractive. (As related in a previous post, I sweat a lot and my face gets super red when I exert myself to the extent that a triathlon would require. What if my future husband sees me there and is immediately turned off (and any normal person would have to be….when I say I sweat a lot…I mean I sweat like a pig in the Sahara!!) and then I never get married.)
  8. Manners are important…and you should never ask a lady her age. (They always write your age on the back of your calf and I’m not sure I can handle that…especially if spectators have created an age guessing game (Jenni!)…what if they think I’m in my 40’s or something).
  9. There is another opportunity this summer. (I have the opportunity to be in a less formal triathlon in August….I can still make my goal….just a little later.)
  10. Mother Nature is unpredictable and should be respected. (What if it rains?? That could be dangerous and I’m really not prepared to deal with that if it happens ☺.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

You're in Luck, I'm the Best

A friend of mine came to me a couple weeks ago asking me to take part in a study for her master’s thesis. I don’t really understand what it was really about…but it has something to do with sweat. She said she had “heard” (from an anonymous source) that I sweat quite a bit and that she needed sweaters for her study.

I replied that really, anyone I’ve ever hiked with could have told her I sweat quite a bit….so it could be many people…but that I would be happy to help her out. I also told her that if she felt like being grateful she could say a little prayer and thank my Grandmother Zollinger for the sweaty pig gene…because, heaven knows, I haven’t thanked her a whole lot.

Anyway, I went in Saturday for the study. She ran a bunch of little tests, had me fill out some paperwork and then asked me to enter a room where the temperature was kept at over 90 degrees. I was then asked to sit on a stationary bicycle and peddle away. She needed me to bike for 30 minutes after I came to a full sweat.

So, I got busy and about 5 minutes later she came in very impressed that I had almost reach a full sweat…one minute later, she said I was the fastest sweater, girl or guy, that had done the study so far. I smiled proudly and began the actual 30 minute ride.

At about 20 minutes she came in and complimented me on my “bubble sweat” which beaded up along my arms…she said only one other subject had had bubble sweat, she was very impressed again and I was just glad to be appreciated for my inborn skills.

When I was finally done, she started taking tests and gathering data. She had taped little pads to my arms and mentioned that not many people had been able to fill the pads with sweat….me?? Well, when she lifted the pad…a little river of sweat escaped….because the pad couldn’t hold all of it. She then confirmed I was officially the sweatiest person she had ever met….how great is that?

I’m very proud of my verified exceptionalism. I’ve decided to embrace my healthy sweat glands. After years of just thinking I sweat more than everyone else….I now know and knowing feels good…. It’s always good to be the best…but right now…aren’t you happy…in this case…to hand the title right over to me?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fancy Tea Party 2009

So, I decided to throw a little tea party for my 12 nephews and nieces.  My mother and sisters all helped a lot.  We decided to have it during the Priesthood Session of conference this weekend.

We played games, had a craft, and then a little picnic with fancy food (I made flower shaped jam cute!)  Anyway, it was a lot of fun and here are some pictures to prove it.  The little matching dresses for the girls were made by Mother with some leftover material she had from my cousin's wedding. 

Rachel, Brooke & Katie enjoying their goldfish snacks.
We attempted to take a picture of everyone...I don't know why we are always trying, it never works and we didn't ever manage to get the youngest in the picture at all.

This was Mathew acting completely too cool for whole experience.  He's such a guy!!

Katie looked adorable in her little crown...she really is a perfect little princess!

After snapping multiple shots I finally captured this perfect Emmy moment....she is such a little doll.  It's no wonder she has her daddy's heart wrapped around her little finger.  You should see her run...melts your heart.

At Halloween I posted a picture of Sarah scowling at me...over the past four months she has decided she loves me and this picture just begins to capture her adorable little personality.  It's always worth the 2 hour drive to Tremonton just to hear her yell "Carla!!" and then skip across the room.  It KILLS me every time!!

And here are all the girls in their adorable matching dresses.  They really loved being able to dress up and play.

Well there you have it, Fancy Tea Party 2009.  Thanks to everyone that helped out!! (And Garrett that includes you!!  Those wands and swords were super cute!!  (and by cute I mean awesome...because swords are NEVER cute!!))

Monday, April 6, 2009

Omnivore's Dilemma

OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA: A NATURAL HISTORY OF FOUR MEALS: Penguin Press, 2006: Nonfiction: 450 pgs.

As omnivores, we humans can eat a wide range of food. As members of our modern society, our choices seem more extensive than ever. One trip to the grocery store and you are faced with isles of options. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan attempts to follow four meals from the farms where they are planted or raised to the table where they are consumed. Each meal is the product of a different type of agricultural process from highly manufactured fast food, to organic foods, to a meal he hunted and gathered on his own.

I enjoyed the premise of this book along with the parts which were essentially science writing describing farming theory and practice. However, the rest of the book seemed to me rambling justifications from a city boy that likes meat too much to be a vegetarian, but can not seem to handle the thought that his food once had a face. Maybe I should blame my childhood spent on a cattle feed lot, but I thought he came off as a bit of a sissy.

Dead until Dark

DEAD UNTIL DARK: Charlaine Harris: Ace Books, 2001: Mystery: 260 pgs.

This is the first of the Sookie Stackhouse vampire mysteries which inspired the HBO series “True Blood”. Sookie is a telepathic waitress doing her best survive despite her supernatural “handicap”. Then enters Sookie’s new neighbor, vampire Bill, followed promptly by a number of local murders. Each victim has several troubling similarities to Sookie and she quickly begins to fear that her life is in grave danger.

If you are looking for a quick, fun mystery, with or without supernatural aspects, you may really enjoy Harris’s series. She provides a good mystery, an entertaining story, and leaves you looking forward to the next volume. Definitely not a clean read, the offensive language was minimal, but the sex and violence could be objectionable to some.

Test of Wills

TEST OF WILLS: Charles Todd: St. Martin’s Press, 1996: Mystery: 282 pgs.

Inspector Ian Rutludge returned from the Great War a shell of the man he once was. Haunted by the voice of a dead man, Ian is determined to return to the real world and his position with Scotland Yard. His first case takes him into the English countryside to solve the brutal murder of a local land owner and war hero.

This is a very thoughtful and intriguing mystery taking place during an era of rapid change when the world was healing from wounds caused by a new kind of warfare. But beyond the larger historical context, this is a terrific murder mystery filled with intriguing suspects whose deceptions and motives provide plot twists and surprises up to the very last page.