Proof Positive

Rice google talked me yesterday to tell me that even though I have a boyfriend, that's no excuse to not be blogging. I told her I wasn't blogging because my grandma died. She told me that I already used that excuse.

The trouble is that, well, I feel kindof schmoopy about Murray and in general, I disagree totally with being a schmoopy person. (Nemesis went so far as to call me smug, which I guess I've become without realizing it.) So I don't want to blog schmoop. But I will give you proof positive why Murray and I are MFEO.

Last night, we decided to go to the dinosaur movie at the Imax (I asked him if I could ask the ticket salesperson if the dinosaur movie had actual, live footage). On our way, I said, "If you discovered a dinosaur and could name it, what would you name it?" I wanted him to think of something and then when he told me, I'd say, "Oh yeah? Well I would name mine the Murraysaurus. That's how much I like you." And then he would feel bad.

However, he responded immediately and said, "That's easy. I'd call it the Cicadasaurus."

He stole my freaking joke.

After the movie, we went to Macaroni Grill and I realized that I was going to a restaurant with paper and crayons with an actual artist. I told him that he could draw me a Cicadasaurus. Then he said, "Oh! You're one step ahead of me! I was going to go home and draw you a Cicadasaurus."

So after we were seated, we immediately started drawing our dinosaurs. His Cicadasaurus was wearing white pants and a tuxedo shirt. My Murraysaurus was wearing a blazer and retro glasses.

So yeah. Need I say more?

Since I don't have a digital copy of either of our dinosaurs, I'll let you see a copy of his self portrait, wearing a shirt like El Senor received recently.

White Pants Dance

You should all know that I bought my white pants and blue tuxedo shirt this weekend. I bought the outfit at J Crew before meeting Murray's siblings. Of course, once again, a new outfit didn't really matter. But at least it kept me from playing duck-duck-goose with the nieces and nephews.

Here is my first movie ever, called White Pants Dance.

Fact vs. Fiction

Tonight at Nat's house, she introduced me to all her friends as, "This is Cicada. She met her boyfriend on the internet." I think that maybe she's trying to get me used to the fact that now that Murray and I are dating-dating, people are going to ask us how we met, and I'm going to have to admit that we met online. Actually, everyone I met tonight really thought it was cool that Murray and I met through my blog. And my grandpa up in Canada, who thinks that computers are of the devil, said, "You know, people don't like to admit that they met on the internet because there's some sort of stigma attached to it. But it's really not much different than my day when we went to dances to meet friends of friends. That's how we met new people to date."

If Grandpa doesn't think it's so bad, why should I?

If Murray doesn't think it's so bad, why should I? (He made this horrible fake-crying face when I told him that the way we met embarrasses me, and it almost broke my heart.)

In fact, I have several successfully-married friends who met online (whoa---not that we're talking about marriage here---we're just talking about the fact that Murray and I are dating, okay?). Should I out you all? Off the top of my head, there's Daltongirl and Daltonboy, Squirrel Boy and Brinestone, and Ambrosia and Bawb. I don't know if three couples counts as "several" but you get what I'm saying.

Still, I'm embarrassed to say, "Murray and I met on the internet." That sounds like internet dating sites (not that there's anything wrong with that...). I'm even embarrassed to say, "Murray and I met through my blog" because that generally leads to "What is your blog address" and maybe I don't want to give my blog address to everyone I talk to about Murray.

I'm going to have to come up with some alternate explanations of how we met. Some can be half truths. Some may be lies. Let me know which is your favorite, and feel free to suggest alternatives.

1. We met through a friend of a friend. (True: He linked to my blog from the blog of a friend of a friend.)

2. Well, we were dating for a while, then we broke up, but we got back together again. (This is El Senor's solution. He said we just have to break up at some point and get back together again. This answer is "deflection" where I wouldn't actually be answering the question, but people wouldn't notice that I wasn't actually answering the question.)

3. We happened to go to the same restaurant one night and started talking while we waited to be seated, and decided to sit together. (True: Although, we arranged online to meet at that restaurant... I'd just omit that detail.)

4. We met in the Mac store and our love of Macs brought us together. (False. But we both love Macs.)

5. I saw him on the street and recognized him as a boy from a James Christensen painting who I had always dreamed of meeting. (False. But he's in a James Christensen painting.)

6. I saw him on the street and recognized him as a guy in Saints and Soldiers. (False, but he was an extra in Saints and Soldiers.)

7. We were both abducted by aliens at the same time and met on the mother ship. When we returned to earth, we found each other and our shared horrifying experience really brought us closer together. (True, but claiming to have met on the internet is much less embarrassing.)

More on Biking (Moron Biking)

Three choice biking experiences from my trip home yesterday:

1. On the trails, I saw Rachel ahead of me, walking her two chihuahuas. She was walking the same direction I was biking, so she didn't see me. I decided to ring my bell and thought she's for sure realize it was me because we go biking together and she knows I take those trails. Instead of turning around, she moved slightly over to let me pass. You have to understand that there was already more than enough room for me to pass her without her having to move at all. So I started ringing my bell non-stop as I bore down on her. Finally, when I got up almost next to her, she and her dogs were so far off the trail, they were almost wading in the stream. She never once turned around to look at me, so I yelled, "Move it or lose it!" Then I stopped the bike beside her and she realized it was me. Then she told me she thought I was a real b!tch. It really was a tender moment.

2. Ten seconds after Rachel and I parted ways, I heard a barking sort of bird in the bushes. I didn't know what kind of bird it was but I had to know. So I walked my bike down the very steep, precarious sand embankment and wandered off into the bushes. I didn't find the bird. But when I brought my bike back to the very steep, precarious sand embankment, I wondered how I was possibly going to get back up with my platform sandals, heavy bike, and business casual attire. Although the embankment was only about five feet, it took me forever to inch my way up. What finally motivated me to move the last couple of feet was my pride---an approaching man heard my feeble dinging bell (and probably wondered what kind of bird it was) and offered help, but I was too embarrassed to accept. I made it back up before he finally reached me.

3. Nat called. Expecting it to be an emergency (i.e. she was in a store about to make a purchase and needed to approve it through me), I answered. It wasn't an emergency (she was at home and was calling so that I could approve purchases she already made). And I biked a good mile while talking to her on the phone. If talking on the phone while driving is dangerous, how dangerous is talking on the phone while biking? Nat said it was probably less dangerous: The chance of you getting into an accident is greater, but the severity of the accident is likely to be much less than a car accident because your vehicle is lighter and you're going much slower. For added safety, every so often I would said, "Nat! I need both hands, just a second!" and I would use both hands on the handlebars to navigate the more tricky parts.

Those three events kindof prove to me that I may just be a Moron biker.

Take That, Big Gas

"When I see an adult on a
bicycle, I do not despair for

the future of the human race."
- H. G. Wells

Today, I really think the gas companies are going to feel it. Why? Because I rode my bike to work. Again.

When I rode my bike home from work yesterday, I decided to keep going a few blocks farther to go to the grocery store. On the way to the grocery store, I decided to stop by a friend's house. She wasn't there, but her roommate told me that she could give me a ride anywhere I needed to go.

Me: That's okay. I am on my bike and I was on my way to the grocery store anyway, so I'll just head there.

Roommate: But I can drive you anywhere you need to go.

Me: No, really, it's okay. I like riding my bike.

Roommate: But I could drive you to the grocery store and back if you needed.

The grocery store was literally half a block away from where we were. Half a block away. I had to very strongly assert to this girl that I really loved riding my bike and was riding my bike to the grocery store by choice.

So today, when people try to stick it to gas companies by not buying gas (Nemesis rightly points out that not buying gas for one day won't do anything, because the demand is the same and people will just buy their gas on another day), I say, stick it to the gas companies by riding a bike or walking where you can not just today but as a permanent lifestyle choice.

Benefits to riding:

Exercise. I'll be honest and tell you that I'm a sweaty person. But the moderate bike riding that I do doesn't actually make me sweat. I get to work a little flushed, but not sweaty. I just found out this weekend that the trip to work and back uses up 500 calories. How can I possibly justify driving to work? Besides which, yesterday I was chased by a pack of rabid dogs, which I think probably burned an extra 100 calories.

Nature. Even though much of my commute is on a busy street, I'm able to get onto some bike trails for the last 15 minutes. This morning, in addition to the normal birds I see every day (black chickens, starlings, robins, house sparrows, house finches, mallards, geese, red-winged blackbirds, mourning doves), I saw a meadow lark and a ring-necked pheasant.

Environment. I get to feel smug that I am in my tiniest way helping the environment by not using my car. In my tiniest way, I'm doing my part to bring down the gas prices. If everyone else were to do the same, maybe we'd make a little progress.

Here are some biking statistics that I came across last week (from this site). I don't know how accurate they are but they at least give you something to think about.

According to recent edition of "Bicycling", some 54% of Americans live less than 5 miles from their jobs.

1.67% is the percentage of Americans who commute by bicycle.

15% is the percentage of Japanese who commute by bicycle.

Approximately 12 bicycles can be parked in the space required for one automobile.

$24.3 billion is the estimated annual cost of traffic jams to commuters in 29 major U.S. cities.

There are approximately 139 million automobiles in the United States.

100 bicycles can be produced for the same energy and resources it takes to build one medium-sized automobile.

The average cost of a new bicycle bought in the United States is $385.00.

The average cost of a new car in the United States is $13,531.98.

The average number of barrels of oil consumed daily in the United States is 17 million.

43% of these barrels of oil are consumed by driving.

Industrial world cities typically use at least one third of their land for roads and parking lots for vehicles.

Commuting by bicycle is pollution-free.

Missing Redras, Part II

Are you still not convinced why I loved living with Redras so much? She's hysterical. Today, I'd like you to read an excerpt from an email she wrote. If she's this funny by email, just imagine how funny she is to have as a roommate.

First you have to know that she asked me about Murray, so I emailed her and joked about the fact that he still could be an internet predator---after going out with him and realizing that he's best described as "sweet," I watched an episode of Law and Order where everyone described the serial killer at "sweet." That doesn't help me to sleep at night.

(Daltongirl met Daltonboy with help from the internet and she reports: "Daltonboy so far has not turned out to be a rapist, serial killer, or predator. Although he did come home half an hour late from work today so I should probably be concerned. His true colors are coming out, and I only had to wait seven years. But those seven years were pretty darn good, so I can't complain.")

Here is Redras's email:

Murray sounds really sweet and funny. Does he live in Provo? How did he find your blog? I just googled "hot mormon chick salt lake" and your blog was not on the first page of search results. So if he IS an internet predator, he is either more creative or more persistent than me. Instead of thinking of him as a "predator", you could think of him as a "pre-dator", or one who "pre-dates", meaning he takes a test drive with someone's blog personality before taking their real personality on a date. Considering how dangerous and chock full of crazies the world is, pre-dating is actually pretty smart. You can add "intelligent" and "cautious" to his list of good qualities.

(I must admit that I am fully aware that now that I've posted "hot mormon chick salt lake" on my blog, my chances of being found by an internet predator have increased.)

Labor Day

So here's the story I've been dying to tell.

This past Saturday I had planned to have lunch with two ex-companions. The three of us had a tight bond on the mission. We all served with each other at one time or another, and we also had the privilege of spending two p-days together in Rome, which doesn't often happen when you're not all companions at the same time and you're not serving in the same area. We were lucky that way. And one day, at the top of the Spanish Steps, we bought each other friendship bracelets and then tied them onto each other, announcing, "three knots for three friends at the top of the Spanish Steps." (The bracelets didn't last long---when our mission President saw them, he said that they were juvenile and had to go. So we replaced them with mature leather bracelets.) We always swore we'd go back to Italy together.

But fate intervened. Sidsel, the first of us to go home, started dating her zone leader. She married him soon after Clat got home from her mission. And then money and school prevented us from going too. And then Clat got married. So our plans of going to Italy pretty much fell through. But you get the point---we were close.

And Clat was close to her baby's due date last week, so we decided to all get together for lunch on Saturday before she popped. At noon, however, I got a phone call from Clat. I answered and asked, "So are you calling to cancel lunch because you're going into labor?" She said, "Well... kindof. I started having contractions, so I don't really feel like going out for lunch. I think I'll probably go into labor tonight." I asked if she'd like us to bring lunch to her, and she thought that was a great idea.

When Sidsel and I got there, the contractions were ten minutes apart. It wasn't long, though, before they were consistently three minutes apart. We kept questioning whether or not she should be going to the hospital (I even mentioned that I liked my shirt too much to ruin it by delivering her baby), but she said that her doctor said that if she could talk through the contractions, not to go in to the hospital. She didn't want to go just to be sent back home. So we talked a little more, or rather, I talked a little more, and realized that I'd been talking for a while. I asked Clat if she could talk, and she said, "I... don't.......... know." We suggested again that maybe she should go to the hospital, and she thought that was a good idea.

But we didn't leave before getting a picture all together. On our mission, we were all called to train at the same time, so we took the traditional "pregnant" picture. Now, we had a picture all together only moments before Clat left for the hospital.

We left Clat's house at 2:30. At 6:00, Clat called. I assumed she was calling to say that they sent her home. Instead, she announced, "Well. I had the kid." She went into the hospital at 3:00 and had the baby at 5:00. Two pushes and he was out.

I just have to say that I felt privileged to be with Clat in her last moments of pregnancy. Sidsel and I wanted her to name the baby Alma Julien, but apparently Clat didn't go for that. Well, she was always kindof a selfish witch anyway.

(Also, she has us to thank for looking so good in her picture because she did her hair and makeup before she realized that she wasn't feeling well enough to go out for lunch.)

Practical Ass

Why would I ever continue to go out with a man who called me a practical ass? I guess I can't really help myself.

On Saturday, after a funny event that I have yet to blog about (just waiting on pictures), Murray and I got together for a fun-filled afternoon. First I went to his house and upon inspection, deemed it very clean for a surprise visit.

We were in the predicament of having to find something to do that didn't involve food because I'd just eaten lunch with some ex-companions. Fortunately, I remembered how fond I always was of the Bean Museum, so we took a trip there to look at the liger, the dik diks, and the terrifying lion who was sawn in half mid-jump. This was only our second outing together, but we found lots to talk about. Like clothing choices. I told him that I buy most of my clothes at Target and Old Navy lately. He called me a practical lass. But that sounds like practical ass. I'm just saying.

We had so much to talk about in fact that the Bean Museum simply wasn't enough. We had to find something else to do, so we went to the BYU art museum to see an exhibit that a friend recommended. One of the coolest parts of going to the museum with Murray was the history he was able to give me on the artists. It was like having my own personal tour guide. The last piece we saw was the piece I wanted most to see: The Nativity, by Brian Kershisnik. I really can't say enough about how much I loved it. Which is funny because when I realized that I recognize other paintings he's done, I realized that I've always hated all his other work. But he's sold me on this one. I'd like to buy the original, but I'll settle for a print when one becomes available.

Even after two museums, we weren't really done talking, so Murray suggested we go to Art City Trolley for sodas and an appetizer. There, more talking ensued. A funny thing about spending time with him was realizing that he actually knew a lot about me because he's read a lot of my blog. Like when he mentioned Dirty Jobs (a show on Discovery Channel), I mentioned that he should watch Hazard Pay, because I know the host, Curt Dousett. When I explained that I know him because I dated a guy last year who was in Comedy Sportz, Murray actually already knew. And then he apologized for knowing. Which was endearing.

So even though he called me a practical ass, I decided I wanted to get together with him again. So he came up tonight. I had made him magnets to comemmorate our Saturday together (a liger, a trolley, and a blazer because we were both wearing blazers--like the one pictured to the right). A few days ago, I had sent him some PDFs of designs I did and meant to print out for wall art but hadn't gotten around to doing so. Tonight, he showed up with color printouts of all three of my designs. And then he apologized for not having the time to frame them. Those printouts were so incredibly sweet and thoughtful. So then I gave him his comemmorative magnets, and he seemed to think that what I did was cooler than what he did. I think we might be pretty evenly matched.

Internetiquette: The Chat

There's a post that I really need to write, but I'm waiting for a critical picture before I wrote the post. And unfortunately, that critical picture is currently trapped on my friend's non-working digital camera.

So instead, I'll post about something that is immediately pressing, which is Internetiquette. The Internet has introduced a whole slew of problems involving etiquette, and I'd like to address just one today:

To Chat or Not to Chat

A while ago, a casual friend invited me to be a Google chat contact. Not thinking it through all the way, I accepted. Then for the next several months, I'd see her come online again and again and again, even though we never actually chatted. When we needed to correspond, we simply did it by email.

Recently she got married and created a new Gmail account for her married name. She sent out an email to announce the change and then I noticed that I had received a chat invitation.

I really didn't want to be rude, but at the same time, I didn't want to clutter my google talk contacts with someone I wouldn't necessarily chat with often, or ever. So after speculation with Nat about what happens when you reject someone's chat invitation (do they receive notification of rejection, or do they receive no indication that you've rejected them?), I finally decided to take the risk and reject her invitation.

Today, I got this email:

Hey missy,
I got a new email address and invited you to chat but it says you haven't responded yet. Don't you want to accept? :)

I suppose I could have lied and made something up about how I haven't been around my computer lately or something, but instead I decided to be honest. I replied:

Oh man, you caught me. I just decided to shrink down my chatting pool by only having google chat contacts that I actually chat with on a regular basis. It's nothing personal at all, but when I got the invite, I wondered if we ever really would have a need to chat. Normally when you and I correspond, we just do it by email, which works fine. This way, when I'm working, I don't have unnecessary pop-up notifications of who's online and who's not. I hope that's not socially offensive. It's just practical.

I still haven't received a response from her (if only I had accepted her chat invite, I would have the benefit of immediate feedback, but if I had accepted her chat invite, I wouldn't be in this situation anyway). I really do like her as a person, but I just don't feel that we're close enough to be Google Talk contacts.

Anyway, I hope that Internetiquette doesn't require you to accept all and reject none. If that's the case, then I am an uptight b!tch.

Thousands Take the Shikeida Charenji

On May 1, 2007, I posted my morning routine for all to scrutenize. In totalling my minimum estimated times spent on various activities, I realized I was saying that I could get ready (hair, makeup, clothing, shower, etc.) in 18 minutes. I announced that on May 3, I would challenge myself to actually fully get ready in that minimum time.

Daltongirl, because of her competetive nature, saw this as a challenge to her as well. So she got ready to go out in 17 minutes.

Now, I don't know that thousands have actually taken the Cicada Challenge, but I think that they should. I think that everyone should time themselves in the morning to discover how much time they spend on each morning activity. It's enlightening! Take this morning for example:

7:07 -- I woke up.
7:07-7:08 -- I made my bed, grabbed my housecoat, and headed to the bathroom.
7:08-7:13 -- I showered. This included washing my hair with a 2-in-1, washing my body with soap, shaving my legs and armpits, and washing my face.
7:13-7:15 -- I towelled myself dry and applied self tanner to my white, white legs.
7:15 still -- I moisturized my face.
7:16 -- I took off yesterday's makeup because I'm lazy like that.
7:17 -- I brushed my teeth.
7:18-7:19 -- I applied new makeup (three shades of eye shadow and mascara)
7:19 -- I cleaned my ears with Q-tips. I don't care if you're not supposed to. I have to do it every morning or I go insane.
7:20 -- I put gel in my hair.
7:20-7:24 -- I got dressed (underwear, bra, slip, skirt, undershirt [removed undershirt and put on a different one], button-up shirt).
7:24-7:25:30 -- Blew hair dry.
7:25:30-7:28 -- Flat ironed hair, applied two more hair products, washed my hands.
7:29 -- Accessorized.

It doesn't beat Daltongirl's 17 minutes, but 22 minutes is still pretty good for a full routine.

There were two things in particular that really surprised me. First was the teeth brushing. I estimated that I usually take about one minute. So I limited myself to one minute this time and realized that I usually take at least two minutes. One minute wasn't really long enough.

Second was the dressing. I laid out my skirt, blouse, and shoes the night before. Really I figured that dressing was just a matter of putting clothes on---60 seconds tops. Surprisingly, dressing took me almost as long as showering. I still don't know how all that time passed while I was just putting clothes on. I am going to need to study this black hole more carefully.

Anyway, I think I can do it all in less time. I'm taking the Cicada Challenge again tomorrow (but I'm also not planning on shaving OR self-tanning). I'll see how I fare.

In the meantime, I think that everyone should take the Cicada Challenge to see how long it takes them to get ready. You may find it enlightening, too.

Blog Boyfriend vs. Blog Boyfriend

Tonight was the date. You'll likely want to know what I ended up wearing. Well, right before I left work, I decided to go shopping at Gap again. I ended up buying a tuxedo shirt and a pair of jeans. Which is funny because I had planned on wearing a tuxedo shirt and pair of jeans that I already owned. So basically, I just went out and bought a new, different version of what I'd already been planning to wear. I tried to take a picture, but my camera battery ran out as soon as I pushed the button, so I'm afraid you won't see what I looked like on my date. No matter.

Anyway, so let me give you the background story. See, this guy I went on a date with---we'll call him Murray---emailed me a little while ago to say that he'd been reading my blog. We emailed back and forth a little and then decided that we should get together and meet. Of course, I ran the risk of him being a psycho killer (qu'est-ce que c'est?) (fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa) from whom I'd have to run run run run run run run away (oh oh oh oh... ai ai ai ai ai). So we arranged a meeting in a public place (Bombay House) and I brought back-ups---Nat and OldEnough. Of course, that was three-on-one for poor Murray, who would have been in real danger had we turned out to be the psycho killers (qu'est-ce que c'est?). But Nat and OldEnough were the obvious choice. You see, they recently met through their blogs, too. So it was like a blog-boyfriend-double-date. (Note: The use of the word "boyfriend" here does not mean a committed relationship, rather it means "person who has dating potential.")

Murray and I met in the waiting area and Nat and OldEnough showed up soon after. When we got to our table, OldEnough pulled out the chair for Nat to sit in, and Murray then said that he had to pull out my chair now, too, because he couldn't not do it after OldEnough did it. Nat mentioned that OldEnough earned points by pulling out the chair. We weren't sure if Murray earned points because he just did it out of peer pressure. But I announced that Murray earned points when he told me I looked nice (of course, he had read all about the date shopping experience). And this led to a points discussion where Nat and I were able to discuss our dates' point statuses in front of them. Murray pitched in that he might lose points for "packing a few extra pounds" but he might gain points for "ability to lose weight" which I didn't acknowledge as funny at the time, but I've got to admit, I'm still laughing about it. In fact, I must mention here that one of the best parts about this double-date was the body matching that went on. Nat and OldEnough were the skinny couple. Murry and I were the ability-to-lose-weight couple. Such a good match.

By the end of the evening, we all knew each other a little better. In fact, OldEnough and Murray even exchanged emails. This could be a really good thing. Or, of course, it could be a really bad thing when Murray and OldEnough decide to run off together and leave Nat and me alone and destitute. After the date, Nat called me to tell me that both she and OldEnough approve of Murray. Approval is very important. OldEnough thought it was cool that Murray prefaced half his sentences with apologies for possibly sounding creepy, or internet-stalkery, or really apologizing for anything. Nat thought it was cool that Murray pointed out that he did actually consider giving me references who I could call to make sure he wasn't a psycho killer. (I think, actually, Nat and OldEnough and I were all at least slightly disappointed to find out that Murray was normal and cool... but like I've said, it's not like the feather-weights would have been much help in defending me anyway.)

Anyway, I'm sure that you're all dying to know Murray's point status by the end of the night. Here it is:

Being on time: 1
Dressing nicely (great jeans and a nice, striped button-up shirt): 1
Commenting on my appearance: 1
Not forcing an awkward hug on me: 5
Being easy to talk to and fitting in well: 2
Making a racist comment: -2 (that's actually an inside joke---we have those already; he didn't make any racist comments---I just had to put in a negative)
Knowing how to use PhotoShop: 10 (because the program is cryptic to me, anyone who knows how to use it is a genius)
Having two G5s with two 23-inch monitors at work: 10 (dead sexy)
Knowing what to do at Utah Lake if you're a man who wants to have sex with a man: -10
Not offering to take me bowling after dinner: 20
Deferring to my food judgment and ordering the same thing as me: 1
Allowing me to order the Peshwari Nan: 2
Not forcing another awkward hug on me at the end of the evening: 5

There are plenty of other things that earned him points, but Nat keeps Google Talking me to ask if I've finished the post. Okay, really, my creativity has run out. Suffice it to say that he ended with positive points. I don't know how OldEnough fared in the end, but I wish him the same success. Of course, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that Murray and OldEnough don't take a trip together to Utah Lake.

Morning Routine

I'm not blogging about what I really want to blog about. What I really want to blog about is my opinion on healthcare. But right now I'm strung out on Benadryl and I don't think that I have the brain capacity to make any good arguments.

So instead, I'll blog about my morning routine. Recently, I was talking with Squirrel Boy about morning routines. See, I try to make it to work for about 8:30. Then I work through my lunch and leave at 4:30. Squirrel Boy generally makes it to work by about 9:00, takes a half hour for lunch, and leaves at 5:30. Sometimes that last half hour can be pretty lonesome for him because everyone seems to vacate the office by 5:00.

I don't know how we got on the subject of when we wake up, but we found out that we have very different morning schedules. Like he spends a half hour in the shower. I spend anywhere from 7 to 14 minutes. He sits down for breakfast. And get this. He sits down with a book and he reads sometimes before going to work. This concept is so absolutely foreign to me. I do mornings like I do phone conversations: Business only.

Since talking with Squirrel Boy, I've paid more attention to my morning schedule. Take this morning for example. I spent an unusually long time in the shower because I shaved my legs and pummiced my feet. When I was done, I guessed that I'd probably been in there for half an hour. In reality, I was in there for fourteen minutes.

So this is how it usually goes. I generally arrive at work fully clothed with hair and makeup done between 45 and 60 minutes after I've woken up. These are the steps I take:

1) Wake up (15-60 minutes). This is the most challenging part because I am not a morning person. Ideally, I like to get up at 7:00 so that I can be at work for 8:00 (that's my favorite time to be at work). This rarely happens. More commonly, I hit snooze until about 7:45.

2) Shower (7-14 minutes). Squirrel Boy mentioned that he takes long showers because it helps him wake up. I don't know what magically happens to me between the time I step out of bed and into the shower, but once I'm in the shower, I am wide awake and no longer thinking about bed. I have a 2-in-1 shampoo because with short hair, I don't really see the need for two whole steps. I do all the other showerly things and I never---never---just stand under the water and do nothing. That's just beyond my comprehension.

[The next three steps don't always occur in the same order.]

3) Do my hair (5-7 minutes). This consists of putting volumizer in, blowing it dry, flat ironing it, and putting two more hair products in it. Also, I love my short hair.

4) Do my makeup (3-4 minutes). I don't usually use a foundation or powder. Just eye liner, eye shadow, and mascara. Once I told a guy I was dating that sometimes people told me I wore too much blush. He said, "Well, you do go a little heavy on the blush sometimes." I never, ever wear blush. My rosy cheeks are all natural baby. All natural.

5) Get dressed (1-15 minutes). If I choose an outfit the night before, getting dressed is merely a matter of putting on the clothes I've laid out. I'll even go so far sometimes as to lay the clothes and the shoes and the accessories all out the night before. These are always my best outfits because I think more clearly at night than I do in the morning.

6) Brush my teeth (1-2 minutes).

7) Grab a breakfast shake and possibly a lunch and head out the door (1-5 minutes). I used to not be a breakfast person. I can't eat in the mornings, and the idea of actually sitting down to a morning meal is ridiculous to me. But I came to realize that it's better to have something in the morning. So I just keep my fridge stocked with breakfast shakes so I can grab one on my way out. I drink this in my car on the way to work, of if I'm biking, I drink it once I'm at the office.

So counting up my minutes, I've noticed that the most time is 43 minutes and the least time is 18 minutes (my calculations may be off---I counted and then El Senor came into my room and I was talking with him and I'm too lazy to recount). I can promise that I never am ready with all my makeup and hair, etc. in 18 minutes, but now I kindof want to challenge myself. I think that Thursday will be my test day. I'll prepare my outfit Wednesday night and do everything as fast as possible and see if I could do it all in 18 minutes. If I can, this may even revolutionize my mornings. It means I can sleep in an extra 12 minutes.