Let's be honest.

A conversation with my mother:

Mom: hmm.
it looks kind of goth to me.
is it darker in the photo?
me: You're so mean.
My other friends say it looks fantastic.
Mom: it almost looks like it's done in chunks
me: You're the MEANEST!
Mom: like there's some light brown AND dark brown
me: I think that's the way the light is hitting it.
Mom: I'm NOT being mean - I'm saying it looks kind of highlighty
did you do highlights?
take another picture
me: I didn't do highlights.
Mom: have you sent the photo to yourself?
it looks black on my monitor
not brown
so maybe its my monitor or the photo?
9:58 AM me: I think it's maybe part of the fact that I'm taking indoor pictures.
And I think it'll fade a little more.
9:59 AM Mom: have you looked at it?
the photo?
me: yes
Mom: does it look black to you?
me: yes
Mom: so I'm not mean at all....
just honest
and you are a beautiful girl, and it looks beautiful

Mom: just goth
me: haha
Did you get the new pictures?
Mom: no
me: check
10:01 AM Mom: well, obviously the first one belongs at least on your blog
and without being able to see it in person I'm not wild about it
10:02 AM me: okay
Mom: doesn't mean that it's not attractive
but the pictures make it look uneven and BLACK
and they still do
the hair cut, is perfectly cute


Murray made this for me:

Hey-la hey-la, my boyfriend's back!

My lack of blogging isn't due to my boyfriend being back, necessarily. It's mostly due to laziness. Although it's true that I've spent most of the last several days with Murray. I do have several things to blog about, but I'm a little tired right now, so nothing is coming to mind. I'll just treat you to this snapshot of Murray, taken at a restaurant in Paris. He says he was likely caught in the act of thinking about me and missing me.

And I'll also treat you to two more reasons I think Murray is perfect. First of all, he painted me a picture in Florence. He's so cute and I love anything he makes. Second, he got me a ring---not that kind of ring, people. But a ring from Paris. Which is almost as cool as that kind of ring. (Again, the picture was taken with my iSight, so I really am wearing it on the right finger.)

Sometimes you need a little pap talk.

My mom said I had no shame because I posted all those ugly crying pictures of myself. What's she going to think of me now...?

I just got an automated phone call from my health care provider. While I was at work. And when I determined what the phone call was about, I immediately shut my door and thanked the heavens that I have my own private office. The conversation went something like this:

Automated female recorded voice with cheery inflections: This call is to check to see if you are taking advantage of the health care benefits you are provided with. Within the past year, have you had a pap test?

Me: No.

Recorded voice: You may not be aware, but a pap test is offered in your current health care coverage. It is suggested that you have a pap test every one to three years. Will you schedule an appointment to have a pap test in the next three months?

Me: Yes. [What else am I going to say? If the recorded voice tells me I gotta do it, then I gotta do it.]

RV: Good. It is very important to your health to do this. Yadda yadda yadda cervix yadda yadda. Have you had a physical in the last twelve months?

Me: No.

RV: Your health care coverage provides for a yearly physical. A physical is important to maintaining your health, yadda yadda yadda. For more information, yadda yadda yadda. Have you seen your doctor for any health-related issue in the last three months?

Me: Yes.

RV: That is great! Did your doctor talk to you about the importance of having a pap test?

Me: No.

RV: Even though your doctor did not talk to you about a pap test, it is very important that you have one. After the tone, please explain your reason for not having a pap test. BOOOOOP!

Me: [Uncontrollable laughter, not sure what to say since I didn't expect to justify my choice to not have a pap test yet... considered saying, "Because I'm a virgin?" but then the recorded voice came back.]

RV: Thank you. We encourage you to schedule a pap test. Please call this number for more information on how to do that. Now, these next questions may not seem like they have anything to do with your health, but they do. In the past two weeks, have you felt sad?

Me: [That Murray is on another continent? Yes.] No.

RV: In the past two weeks, have you lost the desire to do things you normally like to do?

Me: No.

RV: That is very good. Again, we encourage you to have a pap test. Thank you for blah blah blah.

So yeah. Were it not for that little pap talk, I may have procrastinated The Day a little bit longer.


I've been wanting to work on a few projects to keep myself busy. This is one of the things I accomplished this weekend. It's an Amy Butler pattern with Amy Butler fabric. I love her stuff. Jenny said that she was making an apron out of Amy Butler fabric, and I think that I'll have to do the same for my next sewing project.

Je manque a Murray

Want proof that Murray misses me, too? He's in Paris, he has the opportunity to draw cool European pictures. And what does he choose to draw?

Just to explain why he's in Europe right now, he works for a stock photography company. He's not a photographer, but he's an expert on composing shots artistically. At the office, he does all the PhotoShop work---touching up colors, cleaning up the pictures, etc.

Also, he is an artist (now you can tell). He has illustrated a few children's books, including one about the life of Senator Orrin Hatch. (I told him I always wanted to date someone who's illustrated the life of Senator Orrin Hatch.)

Here's a paragraph from a recent email. The trouble he's having with the AZERTY keyboard cracks me up:

You will hqte me but I cqnt write much there just isn t time:::::::they qre qctuqlly zqiting for me now::::::::::I hqve so much I wqnt to qsk you qnd tell you qbout::::::::::two asain men got in a fist fight fright in front of me while i reqd one of your messqges:::the bloodied eqch other it was crqzy:::::::i am neqr q hippopotumus resturqnt and the cinemqs:::::sound fqmiliqr

Anyway, he's the best. And he'll be back in six days.

Missing Murray

For the first time since he's been in Europe, Murray didn't email me today. I was worried, of course.

At about 2:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. Paris time, Murray sent me a text message saying that he will be unable to get to an internet cafe today, and that he was still filming at the base of Sacre Coeur.

So I went online to look at a nighttime picture of Sacre Coeur so that I could really imagine where he was and what he was doing.

Here is a series of pictures of me missing him. If you're really lucky, I might put them together in another musical animation this weekend...

(NB: These pictures are mirror images. You're looking at my right hand, not my left.)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Another Threadless sale has come and gone. And I received my order in record time. I think I'm in love with Threadless.

Dating a Patriot

While Murray's away in Europe for the next two weeks, maybe I won't have so much schmoop fodder. This story involves Murray but it involves very little schmoop.

For the Memorial Day weekend, I went down to Springville (where Murray lives) and spent my days with him and my nights with Patience in Spanish Fork. Murray and I are pretty much fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants sort of people (he pretty much melted when he saw that every single day on my planner is completely blank and unscheduled... beyond dentist appointments, what do I have to schedule?), so we were flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants.

On Saturday, his friend (who we'll call Danger) called to invite us to go floating/rafting down the Provo river (last year, Redras and I wanted to float down the Provo river, but we were never able to execute that plan). Murray, without consulting me, politely declined. When he got off the phone, he apologized for answering for me, and explained in a somewhat non-excited voice that Danger had invited us floating/river rafting. My eyes lit up and I said, "That sounds like so much fun." Murray was surprised, and I sensed a little hesitation on his part, but to be honest, I wasn't sure if he was hesitating because he didn't want to do it or if he was hesitating because he didn't really believe that I would honestly want to go floating down the Provo river.

But Murray will do anything to make me happy (it's one of his finest qualities). So he called Danger back and said we were coming.

On our way to Provo river, Murray asked me how excited I was to be doing this. I said a 9. He was a little dumbstruck. If only I knew what he knew. (That's a little foreshadowing.)

We met up with the group (about 10 people in all). We deposited half our vehicles at Vivian Park and piled into the other half to go a little farther up the river. Then, our group members began to inflate our craft. It was then that I realized that Murray, Danger, Some Other Guy, and I were all expected to squeeze into a tiny, cheap, inflatable raft. Still, I didn't think it could be that bad.

Until I got into the water and began to have an inkling. For some reason, I thought that that mountain snow-melt-run-off wouldn't be so very freezing cold. I was wrong. I really knew how wrong I was when, after four adults got into the dinghy, our craft filled most of the way with the frigid water. Oh, and by the way, the four of us were basically spooning to even be in that raft. I've never felt closer to Murray. He was literally sitting in my lap.

And then we were off. No one was comfortable. Everyone was cold. We were moving slowly. And when we got to water that was moving a little more quickly, we bottomed out, hitting the submerged rocks and tree trunks with out knees and feet. It was painful. And our boat was only getting fuller and fuller of water.

Luckily, we came to a complete stop at one point, and Murray and I decided to jump ship and just walk the rest of the way on the nice trail beside the river. That decision possibly saved our lives, and the life of Becker. (That's a little more foreshadowing for you.)

Murray and I were strolling hand-in-hand down the nice little riverside path, Danger and co. gladly out of sight and earshot so that we could start complaining about our experience. At this point, I described the experience as a 2. And things weren't getting much better. True, we were out of the water, but Murray had no shirt and no sunscreen and was burning. And our trail ended, leaving us only train tracks to walk on the rest of the way. I just kept telling myself that the Heber Creeper creeps and surely we'd have time to jump into the bushes were it to creep up on us.

Despite this, Murray and I were still blissfully enjoying one another's company---so much so in fact that we even started singing some hymns. Lame, I know, but I think it's important that my parents at least know that Murray is the kind of guy who, when walking on train tracks without his shirt on, will choose to sing "The Lord Is My Light" rather than drag me into the bushes and ravage me. These things are good to know.

But it wasn't just the two of us for very long, because Fate intervened and introduced us to Becker. Becker was sitting on the bank of the river in his inner tube. He was wearing a life jacket. He was about our age and looked like a normal sort of fellow. But when we passed by, he asked if it was okay if he followed us for a bit---he was "unfamiliar with the terrain." Something about his slurred speech, inability to walk in a straight line, and ignorance of the fact that simply following the river was as much "familiarity with the terrain" he needed, tipped me off to the fact that something was wrong. I really wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was not 100% mentally. Or worse, maybe he had hypothermia (from the water) or heat stroke (from the sun) or both (is it possible?), and his behavior was just a symptom.

Whatever it was, Murray and I invited Becker to walk with us, even though it required us to slow down our pace considerably. Once, when I got close to Becker, I smelled the alcohol on him. So then I knew for sure that he was just drunk. Really, really drunk.

We walked and visited with Becker for a really long time. Unfortunately, Becker didn't have shoes. Between the railway ties was gravel. So either he was walking on burning-hot wood (from the sun) or sharp gravel. It was hard enough for him to walk straight (or to stay on his feet) and the pain wasn't making things any better. Finally, I offered him my flip flops (I have leather, calloused feet). Becker refused. But I kept on insisting, and unfortunately, this caused Murray to give Becker his flip flops (there's no way Murray's feet are as leathery as mine). Becker accepted them (his feet were getting cut up) and as we helped him put them on (he was too drunk to do it himself) he said, "That is the most patriotic thing you can do is give another man your shoes."

Keep that in mind people. Really, it bears repeating:

The most patriotic thing you can do is give another man your shoes.

Eventually, when Becker could no longer walk at all (maybe after 45 minutes of walking together), we decided to put him back in the water. He had a life jacket after all. Unfortunately, when he was in the water, he was too drunk to actually get back onto the tube. So he just hung off the side and began to freeze to death. Murray and I concernedly ran along beside him as he floated down the river. Finally a group of people appeared on the other side of the river while Murray was on that same side, trying again (fruitlessly) to get back onto his tube. They asked if there was a man in a life jacket. We called to Becker and told him his friends were there to get him. He waved at us. We told him his friends were there to get him. He waved at us. His friends called to him and told him they were there to get him. He waved at them.

And we considered that the end of our moral obligation to Becker. Of course, you should know that Becker was appreciative of our help. He even told us where he lived so that in case we ever needed anything, we can come to him for help. Actually, I'll just extend his offer of help to Daltongirl, because apparently they're pretty much neighbors. I'm sure that Daltongirl will need Becker's help gathering eggs from her chickens in August. Becker will be there to help. And he might even offer her his shoes, if he's feeling particularly patriotic.

After getting rid of Becker (but helping him long enough to earn blessings), we made our way back to Vivian Park where we reunited with Danger and co.

Now during a dating period, you need to be learning as much as possible about your potential future spouse. (Is it weird that I just said that? I'm just stating a fact.) What did I learn about Murray?

1) Trust his hesitation. When he declines to go river rafting, trust that instinct.
2) His delicate, fair skin burns easily. Poor, poor Murray.
3) He is a patriot.
4) He is willing to help drunks.
5) He maintains a positive attitude in a not-so-great situation.


Today I blew our cover.

Nat and I met up for lunch and for a visit to Home Again, my favorite store. She had just come from the gym. I had just thrown on shorts, a tshirt, and a bandana. We weren't looking our finest, but it was great for a Saturday afternoon.

She had called me to get my opinion on a coffee table that could potentially match the armoir I had her buy at Home Again last month. I approved it and she asked me what I thought Home Again's policy on haggling might be. I told her to give it a try.

She got to the counter with her ticket (the table cost $125) and I lurked elsewhere in the store, listening to Nat's negotiation skills. It went something like this:

Nat: What's your policy on negotiating price?

Worker: Well, it depends on the piece. If it's been in the store for a while and hasn't sold, then we're willing to negotiate down.

Nat: What about this table?

Worker: That came in yesterday. We're not going to negotiate down.

Nat: SOLD!

That's when I started laughing, which probably looked crazy to those around me who didn't know that I was secretly listening to that conversation.

Because I can't leave that store without buying a home accessory, I went to the counter to purchase a $20 bird cage that matches the $14 bird cage I bought last month. When I got to the counter, I asked the ladies, "What's your policy on negotiation?" Then we all had a chuckle because we all knew I was joking, but honestly, I think they'd throw in a free bird cage every now and then if they realize that I keep luring Nat into the store and encouraging her to spend lots and lots of money (about $1000 in the past month).

As they were ringing me up, Nat asked, "Why is it that every time we come here, I spend so much money and you spend so little?" I replied, "Because I'm not a lawyer."

Again, we all enjoyed a good chuckle until the ladies behind the counter looked at us in disbelief and asked Nat, "Wait... are you really a lawyer?" She replied that she was. They told her that knowing that, they surely will never negotiate with her again because she obviously had the necessary money to buy their furniture.

Then they asked me what I do. I said that I'm an editor. And for some reason, that sounds glamorous to people. Well, and for my own pride's sake, I threw in the fact that I also design leather fashion---like handbags. So they decided that since I'm a working professional, too, then I will never have a chance of a bargain price with them.

Anyway. In the end, I've decided my negotiation skills might be worse than Nat's.