I Love Equality.

When I called El Senor to tell him that Murray had surprised me with something this weekend, El Senor guessed that it might be an iPod nano.

It was not, in fact, an iPod nano.

It was an iPhone.

And when I revealed that to El Senor, he said, "You. Are. A. Tit." And then the phone hung up. He might claim that AT&T dropped our call, but aren't they the network with the fewest dropped calls? Yeah. I thought so. He hung up on me then.

As soon as the iPhones went down in price, Murray rushed out to buy one. He is a Mac addict and I support his habit because I benefit from his purchases. I had never wanted or needed an iPhone until I started using Murray's. It took me about one day to start referring to it as "my phone."

This is what made me lust after the iPhone, in order:

1) Constant Access to Google Maps. This doesn't just mean getting extra help in where we're going (Murray and I are notoriously directionally challenged). It means typing in a business name, seeing all the push pins appear to mark the business locations, and having instant access to each business's phone number and web site. And being able to immediately access the business's web site.

Take last night for example. We were in the mood for Mexican food. So I typed in the words "Mexican Restaurant" and got these push pins all over Salt Lake City. And then I swooned.

2) Weather Watch---I am able to just pick up my phone and get the forecast. That is especially crucial to me right now as I get to choose which sweater best matches the predicted weather patterns.

3) Constant Internet Access. Who ever knew I needed it? But I do! Oh, I do! Plus, I can check everyone's blogs while I'm out! Hooray!

This is what makes me an addict now that I have one, and wonder how I lived a functional life before it:

1) Visual Voice Mail. If you know me, you know that I hate receiving voice mail. That is no longer true. Please feel free to leave me any voice mail any time. I just hated having to always go through a menu. "Press seven to delete," etc. Now, I see who left a message. I tap the message and it plays. And then I can tap "delete" to delete it. No menu. At all. It's revolutionary.

2) Conversation Text Messaging. Text messages are organized by contact. You open up ALL text messages from that person, and you can see both your outgoing messages and your contact's incoming messages, in different colored speech bubbles. So, so pretty.

3) Email on the Go. My phone collects my email. So last night, when Switchback emailed to say that she's going to be in town next weekend and needs to stay with me, I was able to be excited immediately, and not postpone my excitement for the next morning when I would have checked my email.

4) Notes. Of course, I could have always written notes in my planner... but it's a lot cooler to write them in my iPhone. I currently have a list of ideas for blog posts so that I don't forget the stuff I've been thinking about blogging.

5) Calendar. Of course, I could have always used my planner, but it's a lot cooler to write my appointments in my iPhone. Especially during church. It really makes me look like I am a high-tech organized person, as opposed to a low-tech organized person, and I really really care about what everyone at church thinks of me.

6) Camera. My last two phones had cameras, but it's not like they took good pictures or anything. This phone takes photos that don't look all pixelly. So now I always have a camera with me.

You may have noticed that I haven't even talked about the iPod features. That's because I haven't even loaded anything onto it yet. But when I do, I'll have videos, movies, tv shows, and music all at my fingertips. It's so beautiful. It's so wonderful. I'm so addicted already.

What was Murray's excuse for giving me an iPhone? Well, he decided that as a couple, we are supposed to be equal. So we both need iPhones. Of course, when I showed him my old phone and how many dings it has from being dropped, his face clouded over and he said, "You need to change your perception of what it is you're carrying here." Later he added, "Until we have children, These. Are. Our. Children."

Silver Platter

So the other day, I posted about it being sweater weather (in which I failed to mention that I'm wearing a sweater that I saw Abbie Rufener wearing last year and which I bought because of how great it was). Also, there was an opportunity at work for me to get a sample bag that I had helped develop (I did the lining for it). I thought it would make a nice surprise for Murray's mom, who's the greatest.

Later that night, when I saw Murray's mom, she told us that Tuesdays were "Ross" day (she loves shopping) and she had bought me a sweater in honor of sweater weather. So I gave her the bag I got her from work. And then we basked in the joy that was our own mini-Christmas.

It reminded me of my third date with Murray whereat we both showed up with gifts. It's so nice when fate works out that way---that you both choose the same day to give a spontaneous gift. What if I had waited one more date to give Murray the commemorative magnets I gave him? He would have thought that I was giving them out of obligation. Same with the sweater and bag---had I waited another day, Murray's mom might have thought that I was giving her a bag because I felt I needed to. Sometimes, things just work out perfectly.

When I told El Senor about the sweater, he said: "You suck. Life is handed to you on a silver platter."

If "life is handed to you on a silver platter" means "you're getting really good in-laws" he's right. It's not surprising that Murray is so sweet considering the family he comes from. We spend a lot of time with his parents and his brother and brother's girlfriend. When I am down for the weekends or on weeknights, I sleep at their house instead of driving home late at night. This gives opportunities for pajama parties. Who doesn't like a good pajama party? And on Sundays, we all have Sunday dinner together. This cracks me up: Not too long ago, the two unmarried sons would come home every week for Sunday dinner. (Murray's three sisters have all been married for years.) And as I understand it, conversation would often turn to dating and marriage, etc. Now, the sons are both attached and Sunday dinners have suddenly become a party. I can't imagine what would ever make parents happier.

There's some discussion of what everyone's blog name will be (the brother, Steve, is settled), and some day I may have to tackle the job of making everyone into a cartoon. We'll figure that all out as we go along.

The thesaurus says I'm Satan.

I love thesauri. I just love seeing all the different word options. I love language (hence the double major in English and French and the minor in editing, and count the Italian as a bonus). And I really, really love language humor. That's probably one of the greatest things about working with other editors. At my current job, the editors aren't as nerdy as they were at my college job, and I kindof miss that nerdiness, to tell the truth. We assembled quote books of particularly noteworthy quotes. We made fun of others' English usage, underscoring our own superiority.

Thank heavens Squirrel Boy (a relic of that former group) came to work here, too. It allows me to enjoy language humor once more.

Yesterday I needed to write some romance copy and I was stuck with a few wording options. I checked www.thesaurus.com for a little bit of help. And I enjoyed my findings so much that I sent the different options to Squirrel Boy.

Sometimes the thesaurus really cracks me up. Right now, I'm looking for an alternative for "devotee." [Note: the original word I chose was "reader" but I wanted something that carried a "devotee" sense, but not the word "devotee."]

I found "adherent" in the list so I clicked it to see its synonyms. Can you find the synonyms in this sentence?

For over 15 years, [this book] has helped card-carrying members achieve balance and maximize effectiveness.

For over 15 years, [this book] has helped hangers-on achieve balance and maximize effectiveness.

For over 15 years, [this book] has helped fiends achieve balance and maximize effectiveness.

For over 15 years, [this book] has helped lovers achieve balance and maximize effectiveness.

For over 15 years, [this book] has helped religious persons achieve balance and maximize effectiveness. (Note: the listed antonym for "religious person" is "god.")

Now let's take a moment to think about that last point. According to the thesaurus, the antonym of "religious person" (which describes me) is "god." The antonym of "god" is "Satan." Let's work this out mathematically:

Cicada = Religious Person

Antonym of Religious Person = God

Antonym of God = Satan

Religious Person = Satan

Satan = Cicada

Oh dear. The thesaurus can't be wrong.

(As an added bonus, here is the first paragraph of this entry, thesaurized.)

I find thesauri irresistible. I very soon am fond of bearing in mind all the poles apart utterance selections. I adore verbal communication (therefore the binary chief in English and French and the petty in expurgation, and reckon the Italian as a windfall). And I in actual fact, if truth be told worship tongue funniness. That's in all probability one of the supreme effects about functioning with supplementary editors. At my existing employment, the editors aren't as milk-and-water as they were at my university profession, and I kindof let pass that milk-and-wateriness, to put in the picture the precision. We agglomerated citation compendia of for the most part worth mentioning speech marks. We made sport of others' English management, italicizing our particular pre-eminence.

A Call for Help

Okay, people. I really need you to help me out here. My mom came to town to help out with wedding stuff this past week. For the week, I had three main priorities:

1) Find a dress.
2) Find a caterer.
3) Finalize flowers.

We accomplished one out of three. (dress)

The catering thing is proving more difficult than we'd thought. We'd like to provide a light buffet meal (the reception will be from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) for a reasonable cost.

Last night, we had two appointments for caterers. The first was at 6:30. We very punctually arrived at the business location... in a very industrial (read: sketchy) area of Provo. The business itself looked rough and had about four car seats leaning up against the building, and barbecues and cooking tools strewn about the parking lot. Also? No one was there. For our 6:30 appointment. We called and left a message.

Then we headed to Jason's Deli, which caters. We had dinner and looked over their catering menu and didn't take long to realize that they weren't for us, either. Too lunchy. And we'd have to serve everything ourselves; they'd only drop off the food.

Our next appointment was for 8:00. As we arrived to the caterer's home, she was pulling out of her driveway. She stopped her car and asked if she could help us. We explained that we had an appointment with her. For 8:00. Which we'd confirmed the night before. Unfortunately, there was an error in their communication lines, so she never quite got the message. She had us come into her home and called her business partner and we met with them.

The trouble there was that the company is a wedding planning company that has only recently branched out to include catering. So although I thought we were there to discuss food, we started the meeting looking at pictures of flowers on styrofoam columns. When we got talking about food, the women were very eager to please and willing to consider anything we had in mind. Their menu was small, but anything we suggested, they were willing to tackle. But some things that they said didn't necessarily inspire trust. Like when I suggested a spinach salad with pears, walnuts, gorgonzola, etc., she said that I must be reading the same magazines that she's reading because she came across that idea, too. I just thought it was a pretty... well-known sort of winning combination. Not a recipe that one comes across in a magazine. Also, when we mentioned a pasta salad, she asked if we'd like that to be mayo-based or olive-oil-based (need one ask?). We said olive oil and my mom suggested that it be made with nice olives. She said, "Oh yes, with calamari olives" which made me wonder if they had tentacles. (She meant "Kalamata olives.")

We really liked the women who were willing to work with us, but we'd also be interested in exploring some caterers who may be a little more experienced.

Suggestions, people? Please? We've already chosen (and paid for) a venue that doesn't provide catering, so we need someone who will just cater.

It's the Hap-Happiest Season of ALL

I may be jumping the gun on this, but it's sweater season. Allow me to demonstrate.

And yes, I'm happy to sign any modeling contract that comes my way. Seriously, though. Is there any happier season than fall?


I've always said that it would be hard for me to register. What do I need that I haven't already bought myself? As a non-19-year-old, non-student, I've pretty much needed to provide for myself over the past several years.

Well, Monday night and Tuesday night, Murray and I spent some good quality time registering. I was surprised by how many things I needed! We registered from 7:00-9:00 on Monday and from 7:00-8:30 last night. We registered at Williams Sonoma and at Bed Bath and Beyond.

At Bed Bath and Beyond, they asked us how many people we'd be inviting. I don't actually know, but I've been making an uneducated guess of 400. It seems pretty accurate. Of course, a lot of those people are out of towners anyway. But still. That's roughly how many invites we'll send out. They said that we should register for about 800 items, then, giving our guests a good amount of choice in gift buying.

I was ready for the challenge.

I registered like I would shop. For example, when I found a $40 spring form pan at Williams Sonoma, I said, "Why would I ever need a $40 spring form pan?? There'll be something cheaper at Bed Bath & Beyond." Sure enough there was. We found a 3-pack for $9.99. That's the one we registered for. Just because people will be buying us gifts doesn't mean that they should waste their money on overpriced items. (El Senor pointed out that he owns the $40 Williams Sonoma spring form pan and claims that only things he makes in it turn out well.

And really, after an investment of three and a half hours, I really felt that we had accomplished our mission. We were successfully registered. We didn't register for nose hair clippers (though I threatened Murray that I'd add it to the registry) and we did register for lots of hangers. This made Murray exclaim, "For the poor people! This way, poor people who want to get us something can buy something they can afford!" I prefer to call them "students."

Today, I decided to go online to review our handiwork and see how close we came to 800 items. Here's the tally:

Williams Sonoma = 19 items (7 of which are cookbooks)
Bed Bath and Beyond = 34 items

Maybe if we'd brought along Murray's brother Steve, the Price is Right king, we would have done a lot better.

Does Apple have a registry?

Seriously, though, any registry advice you could send us, we'd appreciate. Clearly we're not doing it right.

About Goats

What I Learned about Goats at the Utah State Fair

1) Goats are adorable. The ones that love me, anyway. That's most of them, according to Miss Nemesis, who called me the Goat Whisperer. I want a goat.

2) Clean goats feel like velvet.

3) Goats sometimes have lop-ears. Sometimes they have no ears.

4) Goats are affectionate. And sweet.

5) Some goats have tassels on their necks. These are soft and could be harvested as lucky rabbit's feet.

6) Goats blow their noses on Murray when he tries to pet them.

What I Learned about Goats on My Mission in Italy

1) Goats don't taste good.

2) Goat cheese tastes good.

What I've Concluded

1) I should get a pet goat, make cheese, and not eat the goat.

And now, the lyrics to a song Grandpa would sing when we were growing up.

Oh Patty McGinty, an Irishman of note,
Came into a fortune and bought himself a goat.
"A goat's milk! A goat's milk! I'm sure to have me fill!"
But when he brought his nanny home, he found it was a bill.

Why I Love Work

Remember a while ago how I said that I am designing bags and fabric? Well, I try not to post too many pictures because I feel it's company property, but I can't resist sharing this with you.

Part of the great thing about my job now is finding all the samples of my work coming in. Sometimes they just appear on my desk while I'm out of my office. Sometimes, like the other night when Murray was at the office with me, I start looking around at all the bags and purses in the area and realize, "Oh, hey, I designed that fabric," or "Oh, hey, I designed that zipper pull."

Today, I got back from the gym and found this in my office---a sample fabric that I did. I'd make a couple tweaks, but generally I like it. Oh, and since I can't resist an opportunity to brag about Murray, I'll say that these flowers came from a trip that Murray and I took to Red Butte Gardens, where we sketched flowers for an evening so that I could use the shapes in my work. Murray, you are the wind beneath my wings.

Three Church Observations

I don't blog very often about church because I've been in fairly normal wards that don't give me much blog fodder, but this week, I have three things to share from my ward.

1) For the opening hymn, the pianist started playing the wrong music. It didn't help that the hymn she was playing was also a two-liner and almost the same meter. So some people tried to make the words fit with the wrong tune, but found that difficult when they got to the end of the first line. I couldn't tell what to do because the chorister was not singing. At all. She was completely tight lipped. At half-way through the second verse, the pianist recognized her error and just stopped in the middle of the song, flipped the page, and started playing the right song. It was a good way to get everyone's attention.

2) We had a very male-dominated fast and testimony meeting. And suddenly, another aspect of this ward made much more sense. This is the first ward I have ever been in where the Relief Society lets out on time every week and the Elder's Quorum goes into overtime. Every week. Obviously, in Art City, the men are more sensitive and long-winded.

I'd like to just address a point that I just made, though. Did you really get what I just said? The Relief Society lets out on time. This is absolutely unprecedented. I am a big proponent of the fact that the Spirit leaves the room as soon as the meeting should be over. During overages, people are just sitting there staring at the clock, wondering how much longer the meeting will go. No one is feeling the Spirit. This ward is revolutionary. The sisters end their lessons about five to ten minutes before the scheduled end of class, leaving time for any closing remarks, the hymn and the prayer. I simply have never experienced this before. Ever. I think that maybe my Relief Society presidency should speak at the RS Broadcast in October so that all the Relief Societies in the world can learn from their example.

3. I have had my records transferred to Murray's ward in Springville. So before RS started yesterday, I was sitting in my seat. Two girls sitting near me started talking:

Girl 1: Hey. I just got my visiting teaching assignment. You're my companion.

Girl 2: Oh, that's great!

Girl 1: Yeah, well, you'll have a hard time working with my schedule. I am REALLY difficult to accommodate.

Girl 2: I just normally schedule appointments for Sunday morning before church because that usually works best for everyone.

Girl 1: Yeah, that works well for me, actually. Okay, so what is with this lady who lives in Salt Lake?? Did you see that?

Girl 2: [Pulls out her assignment.] Oh, yeah. I guess she does live in Salt Lake. Weird.

Girl 1: Like, why would she drive down to Springville every week to go to church??

Me, turning around to face them: Uh... actually, I think that's probably me.

Girl 1: Oh, good. I'm glad you are sitting there. So... what's the deal?

I told them "the deal," but after calling me "that lady" I expected at least some embarrassment. There was none however. We simply set up an appointment for Sunday morning.