Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memoirs of a Pack Rat

So, yesterday Chad and I went to my parent's house in Bountiful. They recently bought a new home (YEA!!!) and are getting ready to move. That, in combination with the fact that Chad and I are also moving in a couple of weeks, has forced me to get all of my belongings out of their garage. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. I am the epitome of sentimentality when it comes to accumulating junk. I never throw anything away. Notes passed to me in junior high school? Oh yes, some of those were there. Every card ever sent to me when I was Junior Miss? Oh yes, they were there. Some things were more than painful for me to toss away. I had to sit on my hands to keep from digging through the trash can to salvage what remained of the memories I was tossing away. I am a sick person. After going through boxes of belongings that have been packed away for the last five years, here are some of the worst of the worst. Things I am still asking, "Why in the heck did I keep this?" Prepare yourselves. It's not going to be pretty. The top ten:

1. WSU alcohol flask

This was gifted to me as a joke from my good friend Lena. We were attending universities with identical mascots: the cougar. My university, however, wasn't as keen on the alcohol consumption. I found this hysterical and it sat on a shelf in my dorm room, and later in my Glenwood apartment. I'm actually shocked I didn't get reported to the honor code office, come to think of it. Even with all of its charm, I'm not sure what I intended to do with it permanently.

2. Pink Fuzzy Dice

I feel a Cake song coming on . . . These used to hang proudly from the rear-view mirror of my 1984 Ford Bronco, Eddie. Oh, bless my heart. I know these were a gift from someone in high school as well.

3. Keys to my first car, a 1982 Honda Prelude

Her name was Truvy and she had a very short-lived life. For those of you who don't know, it is because of this vehicle that I now drive like a paranoid, 85-year-old woman. When I was 16, I flipped this car on my way home from school. Later that night I performed in the opening night of our high school's musical Our Miss Brooks, staring my good friend Emily.

4. Pet Rock from David

This rock from my friend David became a traditional gift. I think several of us were given these stones from his yard for various occasions. Was I hoping to use this to help pave my driveway someday? I know not. But saved it I did.

5. French Class Valentine

His name was Sam. He was a senior. I was a freshman. And was he ever cute. *Sigh. For those of you who can't read French, this says "I think that you are hot." Whatever possessed me to keep this for so many years I cannot say, because I'm pretty sure he might have been gay, but whatever.

6. Japan Airlines Barf Bag

This one takes the cake, folks. In sixth grade, JAL took all the sixth graders on a flight. This was the barf bag included in our flight package. Why did I keep this? Was I thinking that someday I might have the flu and be in need of a comforting reminder from my past that could still be used functionally? I have no idea.

7. IHOP name tag

As if the memories of two summers worth of feeding white-trash pancake eaters wasn't enough, apparently I felt the need to immortalize the experience by forever housing my name tag in a cardboard box. Was I holding on to this just in case the whole college degree thing didn't work out?

8. My Jesus shirt

This shirt became a bit of a trademark during high school. It was when I was going through my whole "Goodwill T-shirts, jeans, and no make-up phase." I think I have photos wearing this at play practice for each of the shows I was in. When I bought it on a Goodwill run, I had no idea that Jesus was on it. It wasn't until my friend Ryan proclaimed that "Jesus is on your shirt!" that I realized what I thought had said "sunrise balloon festival" actually said "Sonrise balloon festival."

9. Good Luck Poster

This is just one example of the countless similar items of memorabilia I had stashed away. This one was a poster my freshman ward friends made for me before I left to give up my title to the new Washington's Junior Miss. I guess I thought this definitely would look great framed in my house someday. I also had a poster my friend Jared used to ask me to Homecoming our senior year of high school. In addition, I had saved the Barbie birthday card my friend Elliott gave me when I turned 16. There was also a monstrous collection of cards from family and friends I felt the need to salvage.

10. Girls Camp Accessories

Every year at Girl's Camp we were all frantically trying to earn the special beads for our necklaces. I saved them all. Of course, one year it was pins for our tweety-bird hats, and I saved those, too. I think I look quite stylish, so I'm surprised I was able to part with these gems.

So, there you go. Hopefully, you don't think less of me after finding out about my horrifically bad habit. I do, however, feel I deserve some credit because each of these things is either in our garage sale pile, or on its way to the dump.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Screw You, Mr. George Bush Man!

In college, one of my favorite roommates of all time, a fiery red-head named Brianna, would scream "Screw you, Mr. Accounting Man!" at the computer screen as she did her accounting homework. It was her way of voicing her contempt for the ridiculous man she had to listen to who made no sense. I am borrowing her line, to express my similar feelings about our stimulus payment that came in the mail today.

I thought we were getting $1, 200. We are poor. We are married. It would make sense.

We only got $600.


OK, so $600 is still $600. It's money we wouldn't have otherwise, and I realize we should be grateful.

But it's only half of $1,200. So I'm disappointed. And disgruntled.

Sure, the $1,200 was just going to sit in our bank account. But it would have been quite comfy and cozy there. I had a place all prepared for it. Visions of our account balance rising by over a thousand dollars were dancing in my head. Those dreams are dead. Thanks to the federal government.

In other updates, still no news on the job front. Another reason the additional $600 was supposed to come in handy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


On Friday, after I got off work, Chad, Meredith, and I went to test drive cars. Specifically, we went to try one of these little babies:

We know that in the next year we will be buying a second car, and the Mazda 3 has definitely caught our attention. First of all, it's just a super cute car. Secondly, it gets great gas mileage (a MUST, because despite our undying love for Mr. Four Runner, we're sick of paying over $50 to fill up our gas tank, and watching that money quickly disappear). Thirdly, it's fairly affordable. Lastly, it has GREAT reviews. They hold their value unbelievably well, and the reviews we've read have had a hard time coming up with anything bad to say about the car. We're also considering a few other cars, but this one is kind of topping our list right now.

So, we headed into the Mazda dealership on Friday evening and the vultures were waiting to greet us. Four vultures. They didn't look like this:

And they didn't quite look like this:

But, frankly, they were just as frightening as the images depicted above. First of all, we were very upfront about the fact that we were NOT looking to buy a car that day. AT ALL. Nor were we even looking to buy in the next month or two. It's something in the not-so-distant future, but it's still in the future. We don't even know where we are going to be EMPLOYED at the end of the summer, so we certainly aren't going to be dumb enough to aquire a car payment.

Well, the vultures did not take the hint. They trusted that their handy-dandy-trusted-salesman-vulture tricks would get the job done. What I don't understand, is why they had to be SO pushy. Seriously. One, nice salesman would have been enough. In fact, it wouldn't even have annoyed me, because I would have realized that the gentleman was just doing his job. I would have felt guilty for not giving him a sale, but I would have enjoyed learning about the car from him, and having his Mazda expertise. Having FOUR different individuals approach us, and having to repeat FOUR different times what we were looking for, was a little bit over the top. Which my husband not so discreetly vocalized . . .

We took a cute little Mazda 3 out for a spin, and we really like it. Much to the sales staff's utter chagrin, we did not buy one. Nor did my husband give the pushy man our phone number. Nor did we "sit down" to talk over the "specials" going on. We made it out still breathing, with all of our vital organs still intact.

Had I been in there on my own, they would have eaten me alive.

Thank goodness my husband has a little bit more of a backbone than I do when it comes to this kind of stuff.

It makes me dread going to test drive the other cars on our list to try, not to mention the actual buying part!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rants and Ramblings

I escorted a girl to the principal's office today.

I actually had a student tell me today, "Mrs. Reese, this is hard, and not even cool, or fun" to which I responded, "You're looking at me like I should care that you think this is not cool or fun...turn around and do your assignment."

I really wanted to give both of these kids a good, hard slap across the face, but I didn't.

A lot of the time, I love my job.

Today, not really one of those days, I'm not going to lie.

I am so sick of hearing kids whine, and complain about situations they have created for themselves after slacking off the entire year. "I'm not going to graduate!" Really? I find that shocking since you stopped coming to my class half way through third term.

Today was one of those days where I think, "Do I really want to do this again next year?"

It's a good thing summer vacation is almost here, because I am reaching the edge of my sanity.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gettin' Friendly with Blockbuster Employees

So, my sister-in-law and I have been a bit movie happy lately. She has an account with Blockbuster where you get to rent two movies and then trade them in as many times as you want. Well, this handy-dandy account ends on Monday, so we have been trying to cram in as many movies as possible. So far we have rented:

The Kite Runner (watched while Adam was still here)
August Rush
High School Musical
P.S. I Love You
27 Dresses
The Golden Compass
Martian Child

We are actually watching Martian Child now. As soon as it ends, we'll be returning to the video store for two new estrogen-driven flicks. We're hoping to get through two before Blockbuster closes so that we can switch for two new movies for Sunday.

Chad is beside himself. During P.S. I Love You, he endured not one set of tears (the normal amount), but three sets (Meredith is pregnant...with a girl...and she's crying for two). At one point, he said, "There's too much estrogen in this room...can we watch ESPN for a few minutes?" Today, he offered to switch places with my mother-in-law, who is currently surrounded by too much testosterone (she's the only girl with 4 boys in the house right now). He's been a really good sport about it, though. I did go to see Ironman with him last night, so we've had one action flick thrown in with all the other films we've been continually watching.

I'll let you know what the final film selections end up being!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Rats with Wings and Despicable Neighbors

Seriously, I am disgusted. The people who live across the parking lot from us are clearly not ashamed to bask in their white trash tendencies, despite how appalling it might be to other people. When you look out our living room window, THIS is what you see:

Notice the strategic labeling my husband added into the photo for effect. No, you are not imagining things. That REALLY is a twin mattress. And yes, those REALLY are pigeons NESTING on top of it. Clearly the little birdies have chosen to really make it their home, or at least their toilet. No, we do not live in the back country of Arkansas, we live in Orem, UT.

I have no idea what the couple looks like who lives there, but I'm envisioning something that involves mullets, wife beaters, and driving a late '80's Mustang 5.0.

The thing is, it's not just how nasty this looks. It's how completely and utterly UNSANITARY it is. Are they PLANNING on sleeping on this mattress in the future? I would certainly hope not. And yet, if they aren't going to sleep on it any time soon, than why is it being stored right outside their living room window?


Friday, May 02, 2008

I'm a Believer

While everyone was here for Chad's graduation, my mother-in-law bought herself, Meredith, and me Ped-Eggs. We were all devastated when we didn't win the competition on Wendi's blog (see here for further explanation).

I will admit, despite Wendi's stellar review, I was a bit skeptical.

Well, tonight, I officially got my Ped Egg out of its plastic wrapping.

I assembled it carefully.

Grated my dead skin away.

Used the included free emery board to further polish my footsies.

And, after doing everything described above, a quick rub with peppermint foot lotion, and applying a coat of Ulta "burnt sugar" nail polish (my signature color) my feet look and feel amazing.

WOW. That's all I have to say.

Thanks, Mom Reese, for the fabulous foot gear =-)

I was going to take a picture of the three of us with our Ped Eggs before Joy flew home, but never did. But here is a picture of us hanging out (while the boys were all violently playing Halo):

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Get Ready, Neil!

Well, as most of you may or may not know, my hubby has just graduated from college. HALLELUJAH!!! We are both done with school! Now. The job search begins.

Here's the deal. My worry-wort personality is not exactly cool with leaving this frozen waste land (it SNOWED again today...ON MAY 1ST!!!) without actual jobs. My husband, bless his heart, is perfectly fine with loading our belongings into a U-Haul and moving across country to where we want to live, and just trusting that everything will work out. I think his exact words were, coming from behind his cute, little-boy grin, "I think it would be fun! What an adventure!"

I have been rather teary-eyed about this whole situation lately. The thing is, I'm not really sure why. I can't really put what I am feeling into words. It's not because I don't think my husband will find a job, because I know he will. He is adorable, brilliant, and fantastic. Who wouldn't hire him?!?! In fact, I really do think that we would be fine if we packed up and moved having no clue what we were going to do once we got there. We've been financially smart, so we have money saved. I have a pay check coming through the end of the summer, and we'd be bound to find SOME kind of employment before that source of income runs out. But I don't LIKE that idea. I like the idea of knowing exactly what we're going to be doing BEFORE moving. Security. That is my idea of adventure. A more organized version.

I just feel so scared about a lot of things. I feel like so much is changing. Even though I'm beyond thrilled to be done with school, it is kind of crazy to think about us as not being poor students anymore. I'm excited to be starting our grown up life, with things like buying a place of our own, actually having two incomes, and starting a family in the near future, but I'm also sad about living thousands of miles away from my family and scared about starting a new job in an all new place. I know I'm a good teacher here, but what if I move and I'm the crappiest teacher in the department, the kids hate me, and I just don't fit in? I've been really spoiled having my family so close by the entire time I've been in college. I think they were cursed to move here so that I could still have them around =-)

Anyway, last night, while watching American Idol, my sister and I came up with the perfect solution. She and I are going to become Neil Diamond's back-up dancers. That's right. It's a job opportunity. I think that our dancing moves and singing skills will most definitely put those three ladies who were singing behind Neil last night to shame. My brother-in-law is going to take full responsibility for his unborn child, so that we can go on this singing spree. We're pretty excited about the whole thing. The only problem is we really only have two songs by Neil in our repertoire: "Sweet Caroline" and "We're Comin' to America." I figure we will dazzle everyone so much with our sweet dance moves, they won't notice if we're a little behind on the lyrics.

So there you go. Since Neil is such a supposedly-up-and-coming-hot-ticket, watch for Meredith and I on his tour. You might want to call Adam and Chad periodically, to see how they're holding up without us.
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