Two Ears and a Heart

I've started commuting by myself, which means that I've been listening to a lot of This American Life. Of course, if anyone has any books on CD to lend me, I'd love to listen to a book.

The episode I listened to yesterday was about break-ups, and the first act was the story of a girl who developed a love of Phil Collins while she and her boyfriend were dating. First it started as a joke and then developed into a real admiration. And when they broke up, she even borrowed Phil Collins's lyrics without thinking about it and said, "How can you just let me walk away, I'm the only one who ever knew you at all."

Well, the girl decides she needs to write a break-up song, and she ends up actually calling and talking to Phil Collins himself for advice. Hard to believe, really, but super funny. She said that during her relationship, she and her boyfriend would talk about Phil Collins, and now, she and Phil Collins were talking about her boyfriend. Anyway, the conversations were recorded, and it really made me like Phil Collins a lot more. (You can listen to the episode here.)

It made me think of the line from 30 Rock. When Jack is asked if he likes Phil Collins, he responds, "I have two ears and a heart, don't I?" Best line ever.

And that brings me to my next point. The Office? Whoa. Did anyone even watch that last week? My brother-in-law and mother-in-law both told me not to bother, but how can you skip an episode and keep watching the series? Murray and I got through it, but seriously. It only had a couple good moments.

Contrast that with 30 Rock, which Murray and I watched right after (we'd recorded them both). By the end of the episode, I was laughing non-stop, harder and harder and harder. Plus, I have a major girl-crush on Liz Lemon. And sometimes Will Arnett is in it, in case you miss Gob like I do, and when he's in it, I laugh even harder.

Seriously. You need to give it a try. At least until The Office gets back on track. If it ever does.

(Sorry I can be skeptical. I still maintain that the British way of doing things is best. They're not afraid to create a show, write it beginning to end, and actually air the story beginning to end. The American way is to create a show that can keep on going until it sucks so bad that its ratings plummet and then they end the show when no one is watching it or liking it anyway. Imagine if the creators of Lost had decided to tell a story from beginning to end! It would have been a compelling, amazing, gripping, cool show from beginning to end, instead of the current suck-fest that it is, making up "plot" as they go along.)

My Murray

A little over a year ago, Murray emailed me for the first time. Isn't that great? In his email, he sent me a few things to give me an idea of who he was, including a video of some of his illustration work. In the video I saw and fell in love with an old man.

I didn't know who this Murray fellow was, but I knew for sure that I wanted a print of that old man. I debated and debated requesting a print of it, and finally worded it in a way that I felt was not very offensive (because, really, it is difficult to ask someone to give you some of their art for free).

And then I never got a print. I mean, sure, I'm happy I married the guy and all, but what about the print that I requested??

Well, a year to the day that I requested the print, I woke up in the morning and Murray announced that he had something for me. He went and got me the old man. As I gazed lovingly into his googley eyes, I mused where I might put it. And Murray was quick to tell me that I had initially mentioned putting it in my office, and really, it was more of an office thing, not a house thing.

So now this googley eyed old man is my new coworker. And he's already gotten a few very curious comments from people around the office.

I should know better.

So a word of advice to you all. When your coworker comes into your office and gradually your office is filled with a very strong, distinctive, non-food smell, don't scrunch up your nose and say, "What is that smell?"

To my credit, my brain process went something like this:

Someone just put something in the microwave outside my office.
I smell an odor. It's getting stronger.
It doesn't smell like food.
Is it coming from the microwave?
It doesn't smell like food.
Is someone cooking something that's not food in the microwave?
Does someone's food smell like not-food?
Is it coming from outside??

At that point, I asked, "What is that smell?"

She said, "I think it's meeeee! Does it smell eucalyptus-y?"

Turns out it was a cream that she'd just put on her legs. And luckily enough, we are friends, and so we just ended up laughing and laughing and laughing at my faux-pas.

Also, as an aside, I own the shirt that Pam was wearing in last night's episode of The Office. Of course, she didn't wear it with something underneath, because she wasn't going to a Christmas party in the movie, like I was here. But I'd like to think that she probably would have worn this pictured winning combo, too. (The shirt is from Banana Republic, unlike most of my wardrobe, which is from Target [like the shirt that I'm wearing underneath the pink sweater], which makes me know that she really was wearing the same shirt. Also, I have a shirt from J Crew that Cameron wore in House. So when I spend more money on clothes, you know for sure that I'm buying really cool items. Oh, and I look just like Pam and Cameron when I wear those shirts. Just so you know.)

A Sign You Have Been in Utah Too Long

You see the name Leroy and you pronounce it LeRoy.

Crafting Wednesday

Today I got together with some people from my book club and their kids to paint wooden dolls, which we all decided to do after seeing Design Mom last week.

This is me and Murray.

This is a Relief Society presidency.

This has nothing to do with painting wooden dolls, but it is the lion that Murray and I couldn't resist buying last night even though we don't have any announcements to make. (Murray's actually the one who said, "We can buy this, right? I mean, we should buy this. For the kids.")

I cannot hold my peace.

For a long time, I have wanted to blog about something I feel strongly about, but I have restrained myself for fear of offending the majority of my readership. But now, after having watched The Office last night, I feel that it is time to let my opinion be heard.

On the Office, we saw that Jan has started a candle company. And I was so pleased to see that the set people chose to use Papyrus as Jan's candle font.

They understand.

What do they understand? They understand that everyone in the world uses Papyrus and that it's everyone's go-to font if they want to design something "cool." I have seen so much Papyrus in the last several years that it triggers an eye twitch every time I see it.

I can forgive non-designers who choose to use the font. I may make fun of all the ward bulletins, programs, Relief Society announcements, work posters, and baby shower announcements that display Papyrus, but I won't strike these people off my friends list (which is good, because I'd be left with no friends at all).

Papyrus is everywhere. This is what made Jan's candle branding so believable, and so I award extra points to the astuteness of The Office's set people.

What I cannot forgive is people who do actually brand their company by using this font. On a stroll up Main Street in Park City, I once counted seven separate businesses who used Papyrus as their business font. I've seen restaurant menu's use the font. I've even seen motion pictures use the font, which is extremely unacceptable. (You hire someone to make a font that's entirely unique to the movie, you fools! You don't use a font that comes loaded onto every computer in the world!)

Papyrus is not unique, and that's probably the biggest problem. If you want to design something that will pop, you don't choose the font that all of your neighbors and associates and general acquaintance has also chosen a billion times.

I promise that if you currently use Papyrus or have used Papyrus in the past, our friendship will survive it. Don't feel that you need to apologize to me, because probably 90 percent of the women reading this have used Papyrus before. I admit that when I first started to learn about design, I used it to create a poster that I was really proud of. But if you want my excellent, professional, valuable advice, I wouldn't use it again. Ever. I would delete it from your computer.

And then, one day, you might be like me and refuse to go back to restaurants who have Papyrus on the menu or shop at stores who use it in their branding. I can only hope that our united efforts will serve to abolish Papyrus completely from this earth.

I'm a barterer.

Today has been a very productive day, and I feel like I am a bartering queen.

First thing this morning, I had a doctor's appointment. Bad news. Doubly bad news. But not bad enough to ruin my day, because it's not at all unexpected.

Then I went to Ed's cool office in historic downtown Provo to pick up some stuff that I bartered services for. A while back, I did some design work for Ed. In exchange, I asked that he take photographs of four of Murray's cool cameras for Murray's birthday. Things didn't work out to get them on the birthday in time, but that's okay because Murray had plenty of other birthday presents. But seriously. Look how cool this is:

Photographs like that make the news of needing a double bunionectomy seem like a trifling annoyance. Also? I have to admit that there's a small feeling of guilt accompanying this because I feel like I got so much more in return for my design service.

After getting the photographs, I went on another bartering errand, although I didn't know it would end up being a barter. I just figured I'd be a paying customer. I took a pair of pants that Murray bought me for my birthday (three months ago) to Jordan, goddess of sewing, to hem, because I tried and failed. And then I got to watch her surge and put in an invisible seam using machines. It was incredible. And I told her I'd be happy to do her baby announcement for free when the time comes. And that's how I bartered for a pant hemming. I am on a roll.

And then I got home and the oven repair man who was not Gordon Jump told me that we're going to have to spend $300 if we ever want to use our oven again. But really, that couldn't get my spirits down, because just think about all the money I saved by trading services earlier in the day!

Now, if only I can find a podiatrist who'll trade some design work for a double bunionectomy...