Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Scaring people

My brother and I liked to play this game in high school. It was called Wait Quietly Outside the Bathroom Door So When Your Sibling Comes Out You Can Yell "RAAARRRR" To Scare Them When They're Least Expecting It.

I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. Usually we would also make a scary face and Attack Hands to go along with the "RAAARRRR." As you can imagine, it was a riot. Good times were had by all.

One day we took the scares to the next level. David and I made a man out of newspaper, and when we were done admiring him, we stuck him in the shower:




We succeeded in scaring the pants off not only our little brother Matt, but also ourselves. We constantly forgot he was there.

These are the good kinds of scares.

The bad kind is when you agree to meet your visiting teacher, who is in her 50's, outside her apartment late at night so she can let you borrow her key to the community hot tub because you lost your own, but then you get there early and hover outside the door, which is cracked open, and you can hear her rustling in the coat closet for her coat, and then you timidly tap on the door just as she is opening it and she throws her hands up in the air and screams at the top of her lungs. And she is wearing her nightgown.

No good.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hamburger Helper

Last night I made Hamburger Helper for dinner. (Don't worry, we also had broccoli.)

Here is an answer I would like to demand of my mom: Why did we never have Hamburger Helper for dinner when I was a child?


It is delicious. It is a close-to-perfect combination of fat, non-complex carbs, and preservatives.

I guess we were too busy eating things like salad and vegetables and casserole and other non-boxed foods.

Another thing I missed out on as a child: sugar cereal, except when we were camping.

Well, Mother? What do you have to say for yourself?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Seth's Do Re Mi's

Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Dah!

As you can see, he grew up with more of a Chris Farley influence than a Sound of Music influence.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The rest of my life

Here's the plan. I just finalized it today:

Write a bestselling novel (preferably by mid-2010). Earn $5 million or more on it. This should be enough (including interest earnings) to afford Seth and the children and me a comfortable lifestyle for the next 70 years. Retire the second that 5 millionth dollar lands in my hands. Make Seth retire also. Sleep in every day. Stay up late at night. Have lots of friends. Go to the beach sometimes. Bake things.


Sounds great, right?

The only problem is I don't actually know what my novel would be about. But never fear, I've been brainstorming. Seth helped:

-vampires
-wizards
-crying in the shower
-Christmas (with some sort of touching element, like perhaps a crotchety old man who gives up his airplane ticket so a young soldier can fly home to see his family, possibly for his last Christmas ever)
-slave ship
-death

Okay, it's not a very good list. Please help.

Friday, December 4, 2009

wow

I just realized that four out of my last five posts were me making fun of myself for doing something embarrassing or stupid. You may think I hate myself. I don't.

And sometimes I do have cool or graceful moments. For example, last week at my parents' house for Thanksgiving, I told a joke that made everyone laugh. (Shut up, Cinderblock! anyone?) And there was this one time in college that me and my roommates and our Family Home Evening brothers did a lip synch to Neil Diamond's Coming to America and won the lip synch contest by a landslide (it may have had something to do with Mike Jensen ripping off his warm-up pants to reveal American flag pajama pants underneath as the grand finale. Also, we had this dance move where we pulsed). And there was this other time when someone told me I was the best.

So. You know. I'm cool.

Hunting with Hemingway

Yesterday I talked with a rich lady, probably in her 80s, who told me she used to go hunting with Ernest Hemingway.



And what did brilliant Dani ask?

"Did you catch anything?"

CATCH anything? You don't CATCH things when you go hunting. You SHOOT them. You KILL them. That is not the same thing as catching. Catching is what you do when you go fishing.

I think.

Anyway, her answer was yes.

Also, after I asked her what her favorite restaurant in Sun Valley was, she asked me what my favorite restaurant in Boise was. I told her there were a couple Indian food places that I like.

Her response: "Oh. Well I wouldn't like that."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

what an idiot.

(Me.)

There was this one summer during college that I was in a writing group. Everyone wrote stories and then we all told each other what we thought of them. It was spectacular, or, as they say in Italy, spettacolare.

One week, when it was my turn to contribute the writing sample, I emailed out two VERY short stories. I didn't want my group members to read them thinking they were part of a larger piece of fiction, so I made it very clear. I said:

Though you may not think so instinctively, they are complete in themselves. i repeat: there is NO further story to either of these documents. so read them with that in mind.

So crystal clear, right?

Right.

So I show up at Taylor's apartment the next night, and we settle in to discuss the second story. Everyone kind of hesitates to speak. Then someone says,

"I thought it was.... interesting... that you chose to end this story in the middle of a sentence."

Um.

Huh?

I ask to see the copy of the story that someone had printed out. I look at the bottom of the page.

The last sentence says:

"She felt life pouring in through her skin, and she opened her eyes to see"

The end. All modern-like.

It wasn't even halfway through the story that I'd written. The "end" came before anything had actually happened.

And nobody had dared question where the rest of the story was because stinkin Dani had made a big fuss about how there WAS no rest of the story.

STUPID STUPID STUPID.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fashion alert

My pants are sticking to my wool socks and I LOOK TOTALLY STUPID.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What I did while I waited for the bus this morning

I made up a song (more like a rap) whose lyrics were:

2-11-50. 0 0 647. 1. 5. 1. 8.

I'll rap it for you sometime, if you ask. And I'll also rap it in my head, while tapping my foot, the next time the public library's website asks me for my library card number. Cuz that's what it is.

Friday, November 6, 2009

There was this one time...

...when my neighbor and I planned to put on a show centered around Mariah Carey's Daydream album.



The plan was: we'd play the CD. One of us would pretend to hold a microphone and sing along. The other would dance her little heart out, using the stairs liberally as a prop.

We'd do this for each of the 12 songs on the album.

Our parents would watch each number with delight. The best-spent hour of their lives.

But then I realized that there were some flaws in our plan:

1. Our dancing wasn't that good.
2. Neither was our singing.
3. Nobody would be interested in our ill-rehearsed show.

So I called it off.

My neighbor's name was Michelle Farmer, but we secretly called her Michelle Fahma because her parents were from England and that was how they said their last name. After my dad met Mr. Farmer, he reported this conversation to us:

Mr. Farmer: "I'm ____ Fahma." [I don't remember his first name. I was 9ish.]
My dad: "Fahma?"
Mr. Farmer: "No, FAHMA."
My dad: "Fahma?"

Monday, November 2, 2009

I wish there were a punctuation mark between "!" and "."

Maybe it would look a little something like this:









.

Then when someone sends me an email that says "I'll see what I can do" in response to a no-big-deal request, I could reply without seeming overly excited or overly ungrateful.

I could be like, "Thank you " instead of "Thank you!" or "Thank you."

You see how much better that is?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tea

I'm drinking tea with Splenda.

I'm not sure why. It's not very good (tea in general, not just tea with Splenda).

I think I was hoping for some insta-happiness, like this lady is obviously experiencing:



It did not happen. I feel about the same as I did before, but this time with tea in my belly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SHOCKING INFORMATION

I LEARNED TODAY THAT TV REPORTERS MAKE EVEN LESS THAN PRINT REPORTERS STARTING OUT! HERE IN IDAHO, STARTING SALARY FOR A LOCAL TV REPORTER IS $17,000! $17,000!!! THIS IS PER YEAR! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

I THOUGHT THIS ENTRY WAS WORTH ALL CAPS. I HOPE YOU AGREE.

Monday, October 19, 2009

so much for last-minute cramming

Yesterday I spent an hour listening to this song in preparation for a high-stakes game of Trivial Pursuit. Then I also listened to this one for good measure. (In case you don't want to click on the links, the first is a BYU professor singing all the U.S. presidents' last names to the tune of Yankee Doodle a capella, and the second is a professional choir and orchestra commissioned by the White House singing about each president and one noteworthy fact about each.)


Here are the questions I was prepared to answer:

-who was the largest U.S. president?
-how were the two Roosevelts related?
-who came after Lincoln?
-who are the 10 most recent U.S. presidents, in order?
-who served two terms separated by another president?
-who is Dani's favorite president?
-whose grandfather also served as president?

and a multitude of other questions.

Guess how many times this new knowledge came in handy.

The correct answer is NONE. NOT EVEN ONCE.

If only one of these songs had contained the ever-so-important information that Monica Lewinsky once called Domino's from the White House to complain that her meat lovers pizza wasn't meaty enough. THEN I would have been SET.

For next time: Is there a song to memorize that covers everything that ever happened in sports?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Might as well be No. 1

Seth made a goal this week to never get angry.

But tonight, we were playing Yahtzee, and I made fun of the PASSIONATE way he shook the dice and he acted like he didn't love me. MEAN.

I also have a goal this week, and today I met that goal. So I did something extremely hilarious: I went to the whiteboard and wrote Dani: 1, Seth: -62 (on account of the Yahtzee anger incident).

SO FUNNY, right?

I know.

I suspected I might be the funniest wife in the world, so I asked Seth if that was true. He said.... No.

BUT, here's the good news. Seth declared me.... MAYBE IN THE TOP 25,000!!

That is SUCH a good score. There are so many wives around! Waaaaaaayy more than 25,000. I'm going to sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Names have been changed to protect The Guilty (but The Guilty is still a valuable person)

This is a story about a person I've known for a long time. Let's call her... Tatu.

Several years ago, we were visiting our local Target. We spent an hour or two exploring the many wonders that Target has to offer, then made our purchases and left.

In the parking lot, Tatu abruptly stopped walking. She stared down at her feet.

"Oh my gosh!" she said.

I followed her gaze. Her flip flops were on the wrong feet.


Note: These are not Tatu's actual feet. This is just an illustration.

She'd just spent an hour or two walking around in public without noticing the extreme awkwardness inherent in oppositely placed footwear.

Another note: Tatu is a grown up.

After we got over a moment of paralysis, we laughed uproariously.

Fast forward to present day.

This weekend, Tatu came to visit me. She drove in on Wednesday after a five-hour car trip from a place we'll call Dend, Poregon. She arrived wearing a jogging/traveling suit that had black pants and a navy jacket.

On Saturday evening, as she was preparing to take off for Dend again, she put on the same jogging/traveling suit.

In the parking lot, Tatu abruptly stopped walking. She stared down at her jogging/traveling suit.

"Oh my gosh!" she said.

I followed her gaze.

I didn't notice anything unusual.

"What?" I said.

"My pants and jacket are different colors!"

"Yes, they are. So?"

"Did I accidentally steal your jacket?"

"No, it's yours. It's the same one you came in, I think."

"What??? I thought I was matching!"

We laugh.

"Dani, can you believe that I was wearing this all that time and I didn't notice that my pants and jacket were two different colors?"

I think back to the flip flops and many other instances of similar behavior.

Yes, Tatu. Yes, I can.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

stay away

In case you were thinking of becoming a fan of ABC's new show The Forgotten, I have some advice: Don't.

I watched it last night. And in addition to being completely ridiculous throughout (I could go on and on about the ridiculous elements but I won't), here is how it ended:

The team of volunteers who discovered the Jane Doe's identity (by thinking, HEY, maybe that strange tattoo she has is a pitchfork from a BLUE DEVIL, which could be her high school mascot! because people get tattoos of their high school mascots all the time. especially goth girls.) walk solemnly, in flying V formation, out of the cemetery after being tearfully thanked by Jane's mother.

Voice over from the dead girl:

"My name is Tracy Braxley, and these are the people who gave it back to me."

Pan out. Surge of inspirational music.

I see you're convinced. Excellent.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh, that giant bruise on my leg?

That's just from the time last week I was playing racquetball and I went to hit the ball but instead smashed myself in the shin with my racket.

Friday, September 18, 2009

finding closure

I just wanted you all to know that I just finished writing a profile for some nurses, and the last word in the story is "closure."

I think people will get to that last word at the very end and say, "Wow. Thank you, Dani. I feel closed after reading this story."

That's my goal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This is what I want the most:

A really big night shirt. Maybe with a picture of a wolf on it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

an awkward conversation (not mine, for once!)

Coworker 1: Do you happen to have contact info for [some guy]?
Coworker 2: No, I haven't talked to him. Why?
Coworker 1: What's that?
Coworker 2: What's that?
Coworker 1: Ummm.... so you don't have it?
Coworker 2: No.

An experiment that blew up in my face

Animals often have adjectives (like Snowy) for names, and sometimes nouns (like Spot), BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ADVERBS? and also the verbs. but adverbs are a little bit more fun.

This is something that's been bothering me for a little while, so when I got two new fish yesterday, I was ready to take the plunge and go for an adverb. (But only for one of them.)



(The pink one will be named Caitlyn T., after the legendary little girl my brother Matt had a crush on in kindergarten. That was the last time he ever mentioned girls. Quick learner.)




So at bedtime last night Seth and I were lying there, suggesting adverbs (Absolutely! Financially! Imaginatively! Pretentiously! Enthusiastically! Desperately!). After 5 or so minutes of this, Seth said, "How-bout-you-be-quiet-so-I-can-fall-asleep-ly!"

I decided to teach him the "Here's how awful and boring it is when your wife isn't entertaining you with stimulating conversation before bed" lesson. I shut my mouth, vowing to keep it closed until Seth realized what a big mistake he had made and came crawling back, begging me to talk.

I waited.

And waited.

He didn't even notice! He just fell asleep!

WHAT ON EARTH?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Watch out. This is deep.

When I was little, I read a few books from a series about a group of gymnasts. Kind of like Babysitters Club, minus babysitting, plus gymnastics.

There was this one part, when they were all just starting out in gymnastics, when everyone put chalk on their hands and jumped as high as they could and put a hand print on the wall. there was this one girl, the central character for that book, who couldn't jump as high as everyone else. She was, understandably, bummed about this.

BUT THEN, her coach pointed out that even though her handprint was not as high as everyone else's, it was the darkest one! because she hit the wall with the most power!

Then she felt good on the inside.

Short people, take note.

(But whatever. I can jump higher than you can. If you're short.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Introducing The New Sustainable Dani

I put my sandwiches and grapes in tupperware instead of plastic baggies, and I tell Seth we will not be buying an SUV anytime soon.

So? What do you think?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Her name was Brabera

I can't stop watching this video. Over. and over. and over again.

How awkward can you get?

I look across the waiting room at the temple, and who should I spot leaving the room but my old friend Fashionable Jim.

It's been forever since I last saw him.

I say, "Jim. Jim!" in a loud whisper (he always had exceptional hearing).

He looks over and gives me this look that says "OH MY GOSH. YOU?? HERE?? WHAT A DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE!" (we're in a state where neither of us was living the last time we saw each other.)

I start to walk toward him, with Seth whispering, "who is that??" behind me.

I proceed one and a half steps before I realize that there is a guy in front of me, also walking briskly toward Fashionable Jim. I freeze.

They greet each other with a warm embrace, clearly having the same conversation I would have been having with Fashionable Jim had I been the dear old friend he'd spotted in an unexpected setting.

I hang my head in shame and fall back into my place beside the window. Then I don't say hi to Fashionable Jim after all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Overheard loud and clear through a wall at the thrift store

Child, practically crying: "Mommmm, when you tell me that if I don't wear sunscreen I'm going to get skin cancer and die, don't you think that's a little harsh?? That scares me!"

Mother: "Well, it doesn't seem like it scares you, because you never wear it."


Did I buy anything at the thrift store, you ask? Yes, I did. Trivial Pursuit, 20th anniversary edition. I have yet to discover if it has all the pieces and if I know the answers to any of the questions.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A quiz

What does this say?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dear David and Liberty,

I regret ruining your wedding reception.

Love always,
Dani

Okay, fine.

You want to know how my brother's wedding reception went?

I will tell you.

Here is how the crowd looked BEFORE I sent the gigantic decorative swing set behind the reception line toppling to the ground with an earth-shattering crash:



And here is how the crowd looked AFTER I sent the gigantic decorative swing set behind the reception line toppling to the ground with an earth-shattering crash:



Apparently it was not made for swinging on.

Do I need to describe my feelings on the incident? I think not. But just in case, here's a picture:



Thank goodness it fell backward and didn't squish any old ladies or babies.

And thank goodness it was made of durable materials and didn't shatter.

It took at least an hour before I was willing to get up from my hiding spot and slink over to the refreshment table. But all the good miniature pastries were gone by then.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Parting is such sweet sorrow

The other day, a fly died in my arms.

Okay, a fly died ON my arm.

After I smacked it, President-Obama-style.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm not famous.

When you search for "Paltrow," you get pages and pages of Gwyneth.

When you search for "Bieter," you get at least a few entries up top about Dave (Boise's mayor).

When you search for "Claus," it's all about Santa.

When you search for "Grigg," Dani is nowhere to be found.



Well. Maybe someday.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sorry, Bidda

There's this nickname I have for Seth, and he hates it worse than death. Every time he asks me politely to stop calling him that, I consider it. And then I say, "Maybe."

And then sometimes I say, "It was an accident."

But I don't think he believes me. I think he thinks I call him that name just to torment him.

He tries to draw analogies, like "You calling me Bidda is like scraping your fingernails on a chalkboard." Or "You calling me Bidda is like me tickling you" (which I hate worse than death).

But it just pops out! It comes naturally! It may have been his name in heaven before he came to earth.

Something happened the other night that I feel lent authenticity to the nickname. Or at least proof that I don't do it on purpose to annoy him. The only reason I know this happened is because Seth told me.

I was asleep. But then I sat up. And I was mumbling about finding a photo to put on the fridge. And then Seth apparently tried to accuse me of not making sense or not being awake, and I said, "Stop bothering me, Bidda."

And then I rolled back over and slept like a rock the rest of the night.

So.... right? You're thinking the same thing I'm thinking?

If I call him Bidda in my sleep, it shows how much the nickname has become a part of my soul. Right?

But I think he sincerely hates it. So I may stop. Just like I gave up my regular routine of tapping him on the top of the head while he's praying because he asked me to do so with just the right look of pleading in his eye.

But it will be tough. Because I call him Bidda even in my sleep.

I want to go down in history as the best wife in the world. Obviously, I'm well on my way.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coworker on A Tale of Two Cities

"Come on, Dickens, wrap it up already! I was done 100 pages ago! I use the book to jack up my car when I need extra space!"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

a secret

I always feel pleased with myself when I read short fiction.

Like, ANYONE can read a novel. But it takes a certain special someone to appreciate a short story. Right?

So I was reading a book of short stories (this one), loving it AND nodding approvingly at myself in my head, until I flipped to the back cover to read the author bio.

"His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper's, The New Yorker, Playboy and Story."

WHAT? One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong.

Or is being published in Playboy really a literary accomplishment? Or is that a joke?

So now I've gone from nodding approvingly to shaking my head disappointedly at the authors I choose to support.

Shame, shame.



p.s. the reason I didn't update this blog for 2 weeks was because I liked seeing that the blog had 111 entries when I looked at my dashboard. it's not because I'm an uninteresting person with a boring life. really.

but really. I'm lying. I'm a boring sack of boredom.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Keeping up with the Bournes

We have these friends named the Bournes. They look like this:


(I mean it. That is exactly what they look like.)

They have these green canvas bags that they use when they shop at the grocery store. They look like this:



We also have some green canvas bags. They look like this:


That is because we crumple them up and stuff them in the trunk when they don't have food in them. But I always feel sad when I see mine and remember how beautiful our friends' bags look.

I had to throw one of mine away because I accidentally left it in the hot car for 3 days while it was holding a bunch of spinach. It got all smelly and slimy.

Trust me, it was a disgusting nightmare.

Anyways, after I threw it away, I only had 3 green bags left, which is not enough. So we bought a new one.

And now, a month later, it looks like..............





THIS!!:

All bright and shiny from my careful folding efforts.

It's all part of our ultimate goal to keep up with the Bournes.

Someday, I will be as good at gymnastics as Saramarie is, and Seth will build a cooler model airplane than Andy can. And someday, our TV will be as big as theirs is. Until then, at least our grocery bag is keeping us in the game.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

News Alert: Dani Saves the Fish

I put my fish in a 1-gallon ice cream bucket so I could move them safely to my new apartment.

Matt and Josh shown with Tervetuloa/Pulla (the orange one), who is now dead, in happier times.


I left them unattended, believing I could trust them, while I went about some business. (NOT eating donuts.)

Then I walked back over, happened to glance down at the carpet, and WHO should I find, but MATT*, writhing on the floor.

Not really Matt. Just a lookalike from the internet.


I screamed. Then I picked him up. Then I dropped him in the bucket. Then I sealed it tight. Then I kept screaming (on the inside).

I transported him and Josh and Frank the Creepy Shrimp to the new place and put them back in the tank.

And today, four days later, he's still kicking. (But not literally -- he doesn't have legs.)

I know. I saved the day.

But that night I had nightmares about hundreds of little Matts and Joshes dying on the floor.

still shot from my dream. too gross for a family-friendly blog?
---
*It actually could have easily been Josh (they're the same kind of fish). I didn't look close enough to tell. But I'm going with Matt for narrative purposes.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What a nice old-fashioned term

Guy I'm interviewing: I know we'll weather the storm, but we'll probably come out on the other end substantially less robust, if you will. It'll take some of the spank out of us."

Me: Heh, heh. It'll take some of the "spank" out of you?

Guy: No, it'll take some of the STRENGTH out of us.

Me: Oh. Whoops.



Good thing I checked that one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sometimes your carrot looks just like your finger.


Sometimes you decide you've had QUITE ENOUGH carrots for the day, thank you.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just so you know

I've switched to nonfat milk.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Thing From Florence (Oregon)

Sith (the husband formerly known as Seth) and I went to this amazing little Italian restaurant. Everything on the menu looked really good. I decided, however, that none of the menu items was good enough for my highly refined sense of taste, so when the waitress took our order, I said, "I'll have the Chicken Something (a pasta dish), minus the chicken, but add peas and pine nuts."

REALLY, Dani?

The beautiful waitress looked at me with a look that said, "you are surprisingly ridiculous," but she said okay.

I spent the next 15 minutes longing to just start over. Longing to rewind for a moment and just say, "I'll have the Veal Marsala." The veal marsala would probably have been excellent.

AGONY. I was SO EMBARRASSED.

Sith was flabbergasted. He brought up the time we were playing Family Feud online with my little brothers, and the clue was "name something you put on a burrito," and Josh put his game face on and said "lettuce." and then the clue was, "name a song with a city name in the title," and Josh confidently said, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" and then couldn't figure out why I was cracking up.

Anyway. My pasta was good.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dear Guy Patterson,

I love you. Even when you play a bad guy on Law and Order.



Sincerely,
Dani

A Conundrum

I have this slice of cheese. Cheddar. Thin. Machine-cut.

I brought it to work so I could eat it with some crackers. But I only ate half of it. (But it was good.)

It's in a ziplock baggie.

I want to save it for tomorrow, but I feel weird about putting a half slice of cheddar cheese in the communal refrigerator. In a baggie with my name on it. I will be judged.

I suppose the only solution is to stealthily tape it to the underside of a refrigerator drawer for the night and stealthily retrieve it in the morning.

Good thing I'm a stealthy kind of person.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dani the Poet

There was this one time, in 2000, when I wrote a poem.

It was a sonnet. I waxed rhapsodic about how I wanted to live in the days of "yore," when people wore pretty dresses and rode around in carriages and didn't have to go to stupid high school and write stupid poems.



It was not the most well researched poem ever written.

But sometimes, at the oddest moments, the closing couplet pops into my head:

"But those times have passed, as all times must pass,
with only the good things recalled at last."

SO GOOD and SO WISE, right? Every time I think of those lines, I give myself a little pat on the bat and smirk at the rest of the world, full of people who are not as good at poetry as I am.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Seth's secrets decoded

The other day we were biking, and Seth did this with his hand:


I asked him to please stop waving at his girlfriend while I was around. He made a face that clearly said, "I am guilty." Then he told me the truth, which is: That wasn't just any old wave. It was a signal. It meant "meet me in the bike shed at 4 o'clock."

Shocking.

And then he did this:


I narrowed my eyes as I asked him what that one meant.

The answer: "Don't meet me in the bike shed; my wife is around."

Now that I know, I am keeping a close eye on that bike shed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

shopping where the liberals shop

Despite my misgivings that I wasn't quite anti-war and pro-fair-trade enough to shop there, today I put on a brave face and ventured into the Boise Co-op.

Here is something that a small co-op child truly said to his co-op mother while I was in the dairy aisle (in an ecstatic voice): "CAN I HAVE A LOT OF PLAIN YOGURT??"

I guess I could relate to the kid's unusual perception of a special treat because once when I was in elementary school I got in big trouble for eating a graham cracker without permission.

I wandered through the aisles of organic stuffed olives and expensive, exotic spices until I found what I was looking for: a mecca of Indian sauces, unavailable at the grocery stores that stock their shelves with the kind of peanut butter that has a decade-long shelf life.

Then I got to the checkout counter, and the lady brightly asked me if it was my first time at the co-op. I said yes, ashamed at being so easy to spot. But then she said "we LOVE first-timers" and gave me a temporary card that let me buy my Indian sauce at the member price while I contemplated becoming a member myself.

As I left, I said to the co-op, "I'll be back, co-op. You can't defeat me."

I came out a stronger, better person.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

living in The Capital

I love living in the capital city. It makes me feel important.

When I was living in California, I thought all those people living in Sacramento must be slightly more important than me. I can only assume that that's how those people in the other, non-capital cities in Idaho must feel about me now.

It's only fair.


There are some perks to living in the capital. For example, when I walk down the street and I see a guy with glasses and the remnants of white hair, I think, hey! cool! It's Larry Craig, Idaho's most famous resident! And I get ready to give him a pleasant smile. But I'm pretty sure every instance of this has been a false alarm.

And when I'm trying to pay my taxes last minute, I can just skip on over to visit my friends at the state tax office, no problem.

Also, once I was at a The Cheesecake Factory, and I saw Dee Sarton, local news anchor. And then I did my excited face. You'd better believe that you won't be running into Dee Sarton in the outskirts of the capital!

As you can see, the enticements to live in the state capital are endless. ENDLESS. I recommend it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sorry, children

Last night, Seth woke up at about midnight to an earth-shattering noise.

He assumed someone was breaking into our apartment by way of bulldozer, so he looked around for a baseball bat, which we do not own.

So he grabbed his cell phone, which would have been good for poking eyes out if it had been a little sharper.

He went downstairs and found nothing, so he looked out the window to discover a car where it did not belong--in the living room of the apartment across the street.

Then came the crowds and the ambulances and the entire Boise City police force.

Later he woke me up to tell me what had happened. I am sure I said something really intelligent before dropping back into my previous rock-like sleep condition.

The moral of the story is: Future Children, I am sorry that you will have a mother who will have NO IDEA that you are screaming your heads off if she has passed into the world of the asleep.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

The "First Vision" Hustle

Tonight we stopped by an LDS dance festival--which means thousands of Mormon 12-to-18-year-olds were decked out in sparkly costumes doing the cha cha, salsa, cotton-eyed joe, etc., for a crowd of pleased parents and bored siblings. And me and Seth and two of Seth's little brothers. We all filled up the Boise State University basketball arena. Impressive.

It was all pretty straightforward until they announced a group to perform The Hustle, which the announcer explained was a form of dance popularized in the film Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta.


So I sat back ready for some disco amazingness.

Then over the loudspeakers came the voice of a young man, saying:

"I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, on the twenty-third day of December, in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, State of Vermont."

I thought that was weird, but I was ready to accept that soon it would break into a groovy dance mix. The kids began filing onto the basketball court/stage.

Then the young man in the recording said something that sounded familiar.

"There was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion."

I wasn't quite prepared to place it. I glanced at Seth, startled.

The young man said a few more things, my mind reeling. Then, as music came on beneath the words, the voice said:

"While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

There was no denying it at that point. They were going to dance the Hustle to a song about The First Vision. (If you're not LDS and don't know what that is, click here.)

Oh. No.

And then they did.

Kay, it wasn't as bad as I imagined. They didn't do the John Travolta hustle, or the one my mom taught me from her cheerleader days. It was a slow, smooth hustle with partners. And the song was fine.

But still. THEY DID THE "FIRST VISION" HUSTLE.

It took my breath away. I tried not to offend any parents with my laughter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

those leg things that you wear when you bike.

I am probably the best biker you know. Do you know how I know this? It is because I wear those leg strap things when I bike.

You know, the straps you velcro around your lower calf/ankle to stop your pants from getting into the bike gears?

Yes. Those.

I wear them. Usually just one, actually, because the gears are only on one side. But I have a pair of pants that is extra wide-legged. They look a little something like this:



With a normal pair of pants I just strap up the right leg, but with these pants the left leg tends to swing places it shouldn't swing, also. So both legs get belted down when I wear these.

And then we have a problem because they're nice and billowy for most of the leg, until you get to the lower calf, where they become fitted. Like this:



Or, on the days when I dye my pants gold, like this:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

an advertising inspiration

Here is a really good idea for those of you who own car companies or pizza companies or hair salons or whatever.

In your next commercial, describe your next sale as a "bailout" or a "stimulus package."

Your clients will think this is a very innovative idea. Fresh and original.

They'll think, "YEAH, since Wall Street is getting a bailout, I deserve some cheap stuff! THANK YOU, pizza company, for 'bailing me out' with your cheap pizza!" and they'll wink when they use the term "bailout," because it's SO DARN CLEVER.

SO clever.

Just be sure to put "copyright Dani" at the end of the commercial so they know you got the idea from me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A style guide, according to me

Here is how you spell some words, in my world.

-Yeah

and

-Yay

If you deviate even slightly from these standards of excellence, please consider yourself judged. Even though there is absolutely no authority other than my own that dictates these rules.

Friday, April 3, 2009

In a perfect world

I would press "print," and the printer would obey.

love is in the air

As I was opening my front door to head back to work after lunch, I said "I love you" to Seth. As the words flew out of my mouth, I locked eyes with our mailman, who was on the front step.

He handed me a letter and walked away.

Just like that. Without an "I love you too."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

here's me, mingling

I look at the crowded room warily.

I consider my options. There are only two: go mingle or be a failure.

I walk in.

I talk to this one guy who I know and act inappropriately shocked to find out he has children. Like, YOU? YOU have KIDS?

Then I get some food. Strawberries, pineapple chunks.

I consider re-approaching the guy with kids, who's kind of my friend, who is talking to a girl who is also kind of my friend (each has given me a side hug at one point or another), but then I notice another guy I know.

I turn, and he's happy to see me, and I'm happy to see him (in a "we're all mingling here" kind of way), and I happen to vaguely know the guy he's talking to, so we all talk for a bit.

successful interaction, right there.

Then it's time to mingle with someone else, so I go talk to this girl, and we run out of things to say, so I'm like, "it was SO nice to meet you."

Then I'm done. I walk out of the room and get set up for the panel. and the mingling was fine. ish.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yearning

I yearn to blog, but about the only thing I can think of to say is that my office seems to have switched to a cheaper brand of toilet paper.

And that's probably too much information.

And is that even worth a post?

Maybe my lack of creative thoughts stems from a secret devastation at the loss of my algae-eating fish, Poopy (RIP). Except sometimes we called him Pooper. But now I feel a slight unease every time I look at the tank. Who's next? Matt? Josh? PULLA?? Frank, the invisible shrimp?

Or maybe it's because I've been watching too much TV lately. or for the last 24 years. Maybe if I got out and went fly fishing this weekend I would come back refreshed and inspired.

Maybe what I need is a rousing game of Skirt Kickball, where you play kickball in a skirt. but maybe that's only appropriate when you're 19. or maybe that's never appropriate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Snakes

Yesterday I told Seth that a character in a book I'm reading was killed by snakes.



"What kind of snakes were they?" he asked.

"Um," I said.

"Cuz there are only 4 kinds of poisonous snakes in North America, and only two of those can be found out West," he said. Then blah, blah, blah, snakes this, snakes that, etc.

I asked him how he knew all this, and he told me he learned it in Boy Scouts.

Here's what I learned in Girl Scouts:

Circle round, that has no end:
that's how long I want to be your friend.

I also learned that my Uncle Just could eat 10 boxes of Girl Scout cookies by himself. And that gum doesn't decompose in dirt, even if you leave it in a container filled with dirt buried in dirt for months. And that they ride gondolas in Italy. Always.

Seth told me about how boa constrictors could eat people whole.

Then I told him about how this one time, I was walking through the forest, and I saw this guy named Seth, and I ate him whole.

He then shared a story that involved snakes. I don't remember what it was. I'm not sure I was totally listening.

In any case, my story was the better one.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

wii fit

Working out becomes a little bit more enticing when I know I can go home and do step aerobics with Carolyn Holly and President Obama.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Meet Millard Fillmore


Born: I don't know
Died: I don't know
Hometown: the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Job: President
Major accomplishments: ?
Favorite adjective: paisley
Legacy: there's a street named after him in Port Orchard, Washington.

special thanks to Colette for emailing me this coloring page.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

oh no

Bad news. On Friday, my office is having a combined birthday party for three people.

THREE PEOPLE.

You know what this means, right? THREE BIRTHDAY CARDS. Three opportunities for me to say something hilarious. Three guaranteed failures.

Usually, I go with something like "happy birthday." or "hope it's a good one." or "you are fun to work with." You know. something STUPID.

I don't think I've ever written something funny on a birthday card. It is a total personality flaw. I can't do it. Can't step up to the plate and convey humorous birthday wishes.

Everyone else in my office seems to have a special talent for the job. Just like they all have a special talent for bowling. What a strange, strange place this is. Full of bowlers and birthday card humorists.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!

I have this expression I do, and it means: I'M SO EXCITED!!!!! Yes. five exclamation points. and all caps.

It goes like this: my shoulders go way up. so do my eyebrows. my neck scrunches so my chin is near my shoulders and my head tilts back a little. my eyes roll back and half close. I smile, my mouth open about an inch and a half. and then here is the crucial part: my hands come up in front of my mouth, palms to the face, and I wiggle my fingers. I let out a silent shriek. sometimes an almost silent shriek.

It sometimes varies a bit.

Here are some situations where I might employ that expression:

-I find out I'm going to get the chance to meet a local television news celebrity or politician
-my coworker mentions he is going to get a new dryer this weekend

I just realized that there aren't that many situations where I would use that expression. I may need to trade it out for a more versatile one.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

an embarrassing moment, only now healing

In third grade, my teacher was into theater. He taught us things about it, like once he taught us this song that I still remember that went a little something like this:

hey, look me over, lend me an ear
fresh out of clover, mortgaged up to here...

It also had hand motions.

But the point is, there was this one time when he was quizzing us on theater vocabulary. He said things like "script" and "director," all of which were defined by eager third graders without a hitch. Then he got to "sets."

For a second I thought he said "sex," though being an ABNORMALLY smart third grader (right, mom?) I quickly deduced, based on the vocabulary category, that he must have said "sets."

But my thoughts were already moving in the wrong direction.

I had recently learned that "sex" didn't ALWAYS mean the thing that unworldly children snickered and whispered about on the playground. Sometimes it was a synonym for "gender."

I thought most of my less-sophisticated classmates were probably unaware of this alternate meaning, so I decided to blow my teacher away with my maturity and volunteer this information.

I guess it temporarily slipped my mind that he hadn't really asked for a definition of "sex."

After a long pause where nobody could come up with a definition for "sets," I raised my hand and smartly offered the definition for "sex:" "It's whether you're a boy or a girl," I bragged.

Mr. Baptista paused, realized what I must have been thinking, then exploded with laughter. "SETS, not SEX!" he said, wiping his eyes. The rest of the class giggled with him, eyes wide.

Later at recess a boy in my class came up to me and knowingly commiserated, "you thought he said 'sex,' huh?"

I just blushed, knowing that embarrassment could have EASILY been avoided. Kicking myself and my smart pants.

I don't think I've told that story before. I bet Mr. Baptista has, though.

Now that it's out in the open, maybe I can begin to forget.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Training

I try to mix things up a little bit at bed time. I periodically switch sides.

Seth used to forcibly resist such change, claiming it was physically impossible for him to sleep on a different side of the bed, but he's gotten to the point where he just incredulously questions what I'm doing and then accepts it.

The last few nights: right, left, right.

See, someone's got to prepare him. What if one day he gets called into the army and he is forced to sleep on a different side of a bed every night?

He'll be ready.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is how Seth plays with babies

Kay. he lies down on the floor, closes his eyes, and starts to snore. Loudly.

The baby looks at him, startled.

The baby looks at me for an explanation.

I play along, saying, "Look! he's sleeping!"

The baby looks back at Seth. Wide eyes. It walks toward him to investigate.

It approaches his head.

Seth: (opens his eyes and bares his teeth.) "RAAARRRRRR!!! RAARRRRR!!! RAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!!!!!"

Baby: cries for half an hour.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Things that make me cry:

1. Special Olympics
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Toast














Okay, not toast.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Drama in Sacrament Meeting

Here's what happened yesterday:

Guy at the podium: We'd like to extend a release to Danny Grigg as second counselor in the Primary presidency.

Mass hysteria ensues. Children begin to wail. Parents gape at each other in disbelief. Primary teachers contemplate resigning in protest. Walls shake. Lights flash.

Congregation offers a vote of thanks.


Guy at the podium: The following individual has been called to a new position: Danny Grigg, as first counselor in the primary presidency.

Congregation: Oh.

I think most of this was in my head.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The AP Stylebook is Fantastic

"Literally means in an exact sense; do not use it figuratively. Wrong: He literally bled them white. (Unless the blood was drained from their bodies.)"

Yes!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Something from Seattle

A boy got on the bus wearing at least two pairs of pants (Colette and Erik say it was three or four) and an outrageously hairy sweater/pelt with two fat raccoon tails hanging off the back. Two.

I thought about asking him why he had two raccoon tails, but then I thought better of it. If you have one raccoon tail, why the heck shouldn't you have two?

Right?

THESE ARE NOT MY FISH!

But I do have three fish of my own. Their names are Matt, Josh and Poopy. I take pretty good care of them. Seth helps.

Josh is a girl. A mean girl. If I had known he was a mean girl, I would have named her Jerk Face. Or Jerk Face The Girl. Too late.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Good afternoon

Wow, 12:01 p.m. and my coworker has seamlessly made the transition from answering the phone with a "Good morning" to answering the phone with a "Good afternoon!"

This is impressive.

Also: I see no reason whatsoever that a.m. should switch to p.m. at 12:00 rather than 1:00. It would make so much more sense if it went from 11:59 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. The whole clock just needs to be shifted so one is at the top, where it belongs. Okay?

Another solution: go from 11:59 a.m. to 0:00 p.m. This also works.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Here is a blog post about a fart.

Yesterday, when I was out for a "beer" with my coworkers, I felt the bench--which hosted the rear end of a dignified coworker and of me--vibrate. I thought, perhaps that was a phone, but perhaps it was a fart.

The vibration stopped and then started again.

By the third vibration I was pretty sure it was a phone, which reasoning was confirmed when my dignified coworker pulled out his iphone.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Speaking of grocery store checkers

There's this one at WinCo who always says "thank YOU!"

Like, even if I don't say the first thank you.

My Purchases

I wonder if the checkout lady at Albertsons was judging me as she scanned my Chex Mix, beef jerky, Milk Duds and Cadbury Egg today.

Maybe she thought I was going on a road trip. Such purchases are appropriate for road trips.

I wasn't, but it's not like I was going to eat them all at once! And the Cadbury Egg wasn't even for me! I don't even like Cadbury Eggs!










Okay. You're right. If she was judging me, she was justified. Those were awful purchases. Awful.

If I can hope the grocery store checker is judging me on the good days, as she scans in all my produce and dairy and fresh meat and oats or whatever and as I present my canvas bags for her approval, then I should accept the judging on the beef jerky days.

Fine.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

complicated relationship

I have some second cousins that I became close to while living in Provo. Here is a discussion reported to me by their mother around the time I got married:

8-year-old second cousin: Mom, if Dani has a baby, will that make me an uncle?

His mom: (some sort of response, essentially conveying the message of "no.")

5-year-old second cousin: MOM, IF DANI HAS A BABY, WILL THAT MAKE ME A FATHER??

Hopefully, at that point, his mom gave him a basic explanation of how family relationships work. Maybe not to the level of "second cousins once removed," but you know. Some level.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Just to be clear

It was not my fault that the soft serve ice cream cone collapsed on my shirt at the hockey game. It was far too soft. it was gone after the gentlest touch of my mouth.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What I Thought as I Stuck My Key into the Wrong 2001 Silver Honda Accord with a Green Parking Permit Hanging from the Rearview Mirror

"Whoops!"

I'd vote for him*

Representative Woods: Hi, this is Representative Woods. How are you?
Me: I'm great, how are you?
Representative Woods: I'm doing well. How are you?
Me: Wonderful.

*But really. He's great.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Summary of my 24th Birthday

The waiter kept calling me "Miss." It made me think, why don't we call people Ms.? Like, "here's your bread, mzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."

I bought a fish-shaped ornament for my new fish tank. bubbles come out of its mouth. I wonder if it will remind the fish of their own mortality and eventual fossilization.











I beat Seth twice at Blokus. Take that, SORRY Champion of the World.

I went back to work after 12 days off and remembered why my ideal career would be Independently Wealthy.