About Me

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I'm a Great Northwesterner that is now loving life in the Midwest. I am a world class napper. I'm very bossy. I clearly love a good glass of Scotch. I wear aprons every chance I get.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Grandma Awesomeness...

I'm really starting to enjoy my grandma status/tendencies. I need very little entertainment from other people - in that we can just sit and visit...no need for elaborate plans or activities.

I pulled the Grandma Card (AARP) on Tuesday evening. Some friends from camp had gotten married in New Zealand and were finally having a wedding party to celebrate. So it was a great camp friend reunion. There was pretty nice hosted bar and the catered food was SO GOOD! Lebanese Lamb Tartlet? YES, PLEASE! Everyone else was enjoying the bar - Grandma enjoyed the buffet. And after the party was winding down, the camp crowd headed to a bar - Grandma came home and played a few rounds of Mahjongg before going to bed. There was a time when I would have been depressed by these choices.

But yesterday I met with 3 of the drunk camp friends for lunch. They had, of course, had a sleep over - all trying to share a full sized bed. When we all met up one of my friends actually said "Oh, you look so fresh...we haven't even brushed our teeth!" The Grandma inside me was so happy and proud. For REAL.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Getting caught up...

Christmas came and went...and pretty much just like usual. Despite all of our recent antics and ailments this Christmas was just like most all the others. Words do no justice to how relieved I am. I am still quite tired but can slowly get the house cleaned and start on the mountain of laundry that has been forming in the laundry room.

I've spent a lot of the past two days on the phone - getting caught up with friends and family. I am so grateful for all of my dear friends who make me laugh. And make me a better person.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Almost there...just a little further...

The Taylor House of Super Maladies is very festive and has almost reached the finish line. If we can hang in and make a few miracles happen by 10am Sunday morning...I don't know what I'll do - but it'll be big.

I'm on the mend - and the Queen of DeNile is almost coming to grips with how she's actually doing.

I hope Christmas Spirit is filling everyone's hearts and homes. No, seriously. I do.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's raining, it's pouring...

And I have an ear infection. I was joining my mom on her follow up doctor appointment - and thank heaven for FAMILY PRACTICE. After giving her the okay (WHEW) he checked me to find an infection. But the good news was that he had a coupon for a free dose of antibiotics. So free visit, free meds.

I'm working at home, thanks to my laptop and awesome boss. I'm also napping in the super quiet house. I like that best of all.

Much thanks to all those who sent concern and well wishes for my mom. She is still easily fatigued...but other than that is doing super great. But for me it's like having a new baby - each noise is an alarm...so I guess I'll go back to bed.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Where's my paddle?

Friends, I'm exhausted. The past 48 have worn me out. Wednesday evening my mom came home with a severe dizzy episode. She's had these before, and if she sleeps for 12-18 hours, she's usually back on her feet the next day. Thursday morning she came in to my room before she was going to leave for work. She wanted me to look at her face, as the left side was puffy and kind of droopy. My mother had had a mild stroke at some point between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

At first she really fought me wanting to take her to the doctor, but I can be very...persuasive...and we went, and then were sent to the emergency room and then she was admitted to the hospital. Much transpired between then and now, and details are available upon request. But she is now home, has eaten a full dinner and is resting on the couch. She is still pretty slow and wobbly on her feet but can walk on her own. Her face has no signs of paralysis.. No slurred speech. Given the opportunity I think all us Taylors would sleep for 3 days straight.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What a party...

Yet another success for the holiday home evening. The Taylor famiily transformed the relief society room into a very home-y performance space...and we were blown away by the talent tonight! We kicked it off as the Chipmunks performing Christmas Don't Be Late...but then we had the Temptations and Ertha Kitt and even Elvis tonight. I haven't laughed this hard in a few days. It really was fun and was all got to sit and visit and have a great time.

Oh, and yes, Geoff is warming his buns by the fire on the TV that we took over to the church. He found a DVD of a fire burning and hatched the scheme to take the TV over and have a fire in the church. And did we ever! The fire was the biggest hit of the evening - and that's really saying something.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Uh...are you kidding...?

This morning...I'm watching the Today show as I get ready...as I am wont to do...and creepy Fiona Apple is singing this creepy song about being a machine from her new CD...and I can honestly say that I'm not a Fiona Apple fan. Creepy.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

6.60, or even 8.80

I'm getting more into the season...tonight I'm writing Christmas cards. Tomorrow night is our family's holiday party. We've invited several families to join us - each needs to perform a lip sync to their favorite holiday song. Below is the Taylor family from last year's party.

A special holiday treat goes to anyone (not in The Oregon Taylor family) who can place the quote that is the title for this blog post.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Not a grinch...more Switzerland

So I guess I'm having a hard time feeling Christmasy. I have decorated the house...but I don't feel any more in the Spirit of things. I'm listening to the music and stuff. I've watched White Christmas, which I love. But I'm still very neutral about the whole thing.

Little else is in the news lately which is why the blogs are so sparse. I can't even think of a single thought worth sharing. But finals are now over. My acting final had me playing a trampy waitress who brings a guy home, sleeps with him and then gets stabbed to death. But we had to cut the stabbing, as the scene was too long. Sad. But the teacher liked my work, so there you go. Today I took the final in Development of Dramatic Art. Almost none of the students brought paper to write on as we thought the professor would write the test with room for the answers. Boy, were we wrong! So I stepped down the hall to the sociology department office and stole a ream of paper. I saved the day. And wrote a pretty good essay...BY HAND! Dude, I type everything now, so when I was done writing today - my hand was shaking and very sore.

I'm working in the CampFire office now, part time...but they still gave me a desk and a box and a key to the building and all kinds of stuff. Right now I'm just coordinating the applicants for the new positions and updating all the paperwork. Nerdy thinks that I enjoy doing. Plus they pay me...so I enjoy that, too.

My health has almost fully recovered - I can laugh without going into a coughing fit and when I wake up my throat doesn't feel as on fire or closed. I am very grateful for the blessing I received and the recovery...being sick is so awful. But having car trouble is worse, so I'm glad I got sick and am not dealing with car issues.

But yeah. My heart seems to say..."Holiday, Schmoliday."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Behind the times

TOMORROW is the first day of December. The official beginning to the Christmas season. I don't care what the stores or newspaper ads or stupid radio stations say. Christmas is celebrated in the month of December and not a day earlier. I'm awful excited to get the decorations out, though. And start making lists...I do love lists. What to buy, what to send, for whom, to whom...etc.

In totally unrelated news...what's up with Chris Clark's new blog format that doesn't have a comments option?

Friday, November 25, 2005

The morning after...

The feast was huge and lovely - even better are the leftovers. It was an unusual Thanksgiving day - as Geoff had to work. So we ate much later in the day - adding more lazy to the day. Eric D. came and joined us for our dinner. I've also caught Geoff's cold. So, hooray for the Day After Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Almost vacation...

It's been a pretty full past 18 hours. Geoff came home from work sick yesterday. He was quite miserable. So Nurse Nellie sprang into action. After scouring the house only to discover our house was cold relief free, I raced to the store and got a wide variety of medicines, soups, juices and a new tooth brush (shout out to Karen!). After feeding and drugging the boy, I put him to bed. He actually ended up sleeping in my bed, so that someone else could hear him cough and drown in the night.

Since I was sleeping in the basement, I asked for a wake-up call for 8:30 a.m. But I ended up with a 7:30 a.m. wake up - as my Dad had discovered that in the night our Thanksgiving groceries had been pilfered from the trunk he left open last night. I can't even imagine of prowling through parking lots hoping for open doors or trunks. They did leave a bag of potatoes and package of paper towels.

But fear not, dear reader, Dad went out this morning to replace the stolen goods. So Thanksgiving hasn't been ruined, yet.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Just when you think you've got a handle on current posting...the time slips away and it's been a week and a half since I was lounging at the Malleys. Life on campus has gotten pretty slow with Thanksgiving on the doorstep. I sure do love Thanksgiving. This year will be pretty quiet as Geoff has to work, and our only guest is my friend Eric. A great deal of lounging will be done, along with catching up on TV, craft projects, and writing the final paper for my special writing intensive class.

This past weekend I drove up to Chehalis, Washington to meet my friend and old roomate Kathy for lunch. Chehalis is the midway point between us, as she lives just south of Seattle. Chehalis is also where our family lived for the first 11 years of my life. The town is the setting for a lot of my dreams, even 15 years after we moved away. The lunch was great - I haven't seen Kathy in several years, so it was wonderful to get caught up. Also, the market across the street had produce at amazing prices. I got some of the biggest potatoes I've ever seen for 35 cents each!! On Sunday we peeled two of them and had enough mashed potatoes for all of us.

But the best find at this special little market was finding CHERRY CHIP CAKE mix!!! You can't find it anywhere on the west coast...cuz I've looked. I was so deligthed I bought 4 boxes. I'm probably going to drive up next weekend to see if they have anymore. When we're told to have a years supply - I'm sure they mean cake.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The best Saturday...

Right now I'm lounging on the Malley's couch, watching football and sipping home-made carmel apple cider by the fire. It really can't get more relaxing than this. Today is the day of relaxing and enjoying the smell of cooking sausage. Bennett Malley is about to be sliced up and fried for me to eat - he's amazingly cute. It's just about time for a morning nap just in time to shower and have lunch. Such a great day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005


Somehow the holidays are getting pushed together more and more each year. And the ONLY benefit of this is that Eggnog is available earlier and more often. YeeHaw to nogged eggs.

And yeehaw to Veterans Day...not only honoring veterans, but also giving me a three day weekend. I'm pretty excited about it.

Tonight my mom and brother were throwing foam balls at each other, hard. There is a no roughousing rule in our house, strictly enforced by my mother...but I guess if you gots to throw some balls the rules just don't apply.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Serving can be fun!

It's been a full weekend and start to the week. Saturday and Sunday were spent out at Camp for a work weekend, helping to shut down the camp for the winter. I also took along my folks, mainly in an attempt to woo them away from the Boy Scouts. On Saturday my mother and I were in charge of the burn pile. If you don't know what a burn pile is...I'm sure you can figure it out by the name. We burned stuff all day long...in the pouring rain. We were never cold, just soaked to the skin. I was amazed by my mom's excitement and thrilled that it was genuine. That evening, Dad joined us for dinner and we were all so tired that we went up to our cabin after dinner and were in bed by 8:30 p.m. On Sunday we had breakfast and then Dad joined the boys in the shop, repairing and rebuilding benches from the dining hall. Mom and I lit another fire, but this time we stayed dry, thank goodness!!

We got home yesterday afternoon to find that Geoff had cleaned, vacuumed, and was set to make a dinner of grilled cheese and tomato soup. So, he's either trying to cover for something awful he did, or he really is that great. So far we haven't heard anything or found a stray beer bottle, so we're going with the latter.

This morning I got up to drive BACK out to camp. Katie, my summer boss had shoulder surgery last week and needed a ride to a follow up appointment with the doctor. So off I went to pick her up, take her to the appointment and Target and then to lunch before dropping her off for a nap. I wish I was taking a nap. I stopped and shopped for a few items for my trip this weekend and now I'm home getting ready for my 3 days of school this week.

But I must say that it felt very good to be of service these past few days. So I guess service can be fun...huh.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Today I am grateful for...

Blustery days
Lunch with a dear friend
A job that is flexible and comfortable
Kind words from teachers
Music that speaks to my heart
A family with a sense of humor
Tools to stay in touch with the people I care about
Relaxing vacations
Finishing homework
Getting special treats in the mail
Chocolate Cream Pie

Monday, October 31, 2005

Pirates of Penzance

It's Halloween. And I couldn't care less. Not that I don't enjoy the holiday, but I guess I'm more indifferent. Also - I like to play dress up all the time - so it's not THAT exciting to get dressed up. I mean I could be dressed up because it's Tuesday, you know?

Not much interesting happened last week. This weekend I spent Friday night and Saturday out at Camp Namanu helping with an overnight for the school based program of CampFire. There are three factions in the CampFire world: the clubs (like troops in Boy Scouts), the campers, and the after-school program peeps. I first started working for CFUSA running one of their afterschool programs out in Hillsboro. It was so rewarding and so draining...but it ended in May. Then I started work out at camp. And I loved it. I really found my place in CampFire. But my old boss tries to remind me of my "roots" and I try to remind him that...I just don't care. Sadly, though I'm up for a job back with the after school program as a staff coach/manager. I guess that means I'm a dualie, with alliances in both factions. But I'm not a clubber...that's not how I roll.

I got one of the best recordings of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance last week. I wish I could love a show more, but I just don't think it's possible.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Out of sorts...

I'm not sure what's up...but I'm seriously out of sorts today. My spirit is all stirred up and I'm really on edge. I wish I could pinpoint what's up...but so far, no luck.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Out with 2500 of my closest friends...

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in the Great Northwest. In fact - it was almost too warm, but I'll take what I can get. Earlier in the week my camp friends invited me to join them for breakfast and time at the pumpkin patch. I do enjoy me some pumpkin patch. Except when it's like being at a very busy July day at Disneyland. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

We all met at a friend's house - but accommodating the group we had a 15 passenger van from camp to get about town in. Oh, yes, we were stylin'! Our first stop was The Original Hotcake House. This breakfast was good - no skimping on the bacon. I got the French Toast as the Hotcakes are the size a frizbees. We had a really great time - and should have stopped there.

But we managed to get back into the van and head out to Sauvie's Island. This is where there are a lot of great pumpkin patches in the greater Portland area. We rolled along, merrily gossiping about everyone we could think of...and then we came to back end of a very long line of cars. Yes, everyone in Portland wanted to get back to nature. We had to wait in lines to get on the hayride out to the pumpkin patch, to get food for lunch, to shop in the little "country" market. But the worst had to be waiting in line to use a sani-can in desperate need of pumping.

My friend Skippy and I were sitting on a bench waiting for everyone to be done in the market and she summed it up beautifully: "Well, that was hellish, wasn't it?" It also helps that she's Australian so no matter what she says, it's cool and funny. But yeah. Every step of the way was a challenge. But know this, dear reader: I will not stop going to the pumpkin patch - just that specific one. There are many other, less commercial patches that I will honor and enjoy. But this crappy one had this thing called the cow train - and you had to pay extra money to ride it. WHAT?!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Canned air...

Is there anything better in the world than canned air? It's so much fun to play with - sneaking up behind your mom and blasting her, for example. That never gets old. EVER.

It also helps keeps my keyboard clean on my new false idol...I mean laptop. I wonder if the ancient Jews had the same problems of cleanliness with their graven images. But the point is...I love canned air.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A weekend holiday

On Friday I drove down to Arcata, California to visit some friends from camp. It's about a 7 hour drive from here to there, but one of the most lovely drives I've ever taken. With Fall in full swing all the leaves that can change are, and the scenery was amazing. The drive also goes through the Redwood National Forest. Holy cow! I mean, I love nature as much as the next person - but these trees are amazing! If you have the means, I highly recommend a look-see.

Visiting my friends involved joining one of them at work, as he supervised kids roller skating. While I didn't skate, I did attempt the limbo contest...and yes, I totally fell flat on my back. It was a very funny scene, and I won a free skating admission for my effort.

The other excitement was going to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. My friends ordered drinks from the bar, and I ordered a Sprite. Our special hippie waitress brought our drinks and apologized for the smaller glass size of my Sprite. She let me know she'd bring me refills often. And friends, of course it wasn't Sprite. It was sake. A big old glass of ass water. But I'd taken a drink as if it WAS Sprite, and then realized that the awful taste in my mouth was alcohol. Of course I spit it all over the table and nearly threw up, too. The good news is that...oh wait, no. No good news. The waitress said she was sorry and that was it. Not much of a tip for Miss Hippie Waitress. Even now thinking of that taste makes me want to hork.

Everything else about the weekend was so fun and wonderful. I so enjoyed sitting and watching movies and playing games. I was very sad that the weekend was so short and that I had to drive home today. Can't wait until teleportation is an everyday thing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Making friends...

Moving back to Oregon was wonderful - except for the fact that I had a very small social circle. My dearest friend Kourtney is here and we've been the best people we know for 12 years. And just recently Eric D. Snider moved here so that makes two whole people that are my friends locally. Sad. I know.

But this summer I took the job at the summer camp and I made a whole new group of friends...most of whom live in the area! I've been to the beach, and a bar, and today I got pedicures with two of them. And these pedicures are the best Portland has to offer - which is saying a lot! Of course there was the usual soaking and exfoliating - but there was also a hydrating mask and all kinds of oils and herbal treatments, not to mention the massaging. The pedicure lasted an hour and fifteen minutes. HEAVEN. But I do feel bad for the one lady that was there by herself...because if she was wanting serenity - she was sure out of luck today. We laughed and gossiped and it was so much fun. It did make me miss all my LD ladies but it was such a nice way to end the day. Not that I'd had a rough day. Today I went to the zoo for my acting class. We all took a field trip to study animal movements and characteristics. So, yeah - I went to the zoo and got a pedicure...and went out to dinner for almost 3 hours. I'm really enjoying grad school.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Making things up...

So apparently I look like I know what I'm doing - because today I went out to Camp Namanu to run some Arts & Crafts for a bunch of CampFire clubs...in Boy Scouts they're patrols, in Girl Scouts they're called troops. Anyway - people asked me questions all day - and I just made stuff up, as I wasn't in charge and didn't know anything about the weekend, except that I was helping with some crafts.

But seriously - I do this all the time and it makes me laugh and it makes me worry. Should I know more about what's going on so that I don't just make it up? Or should I just say "I don't know" and walk away? Why do I have to "look" like I am in charge - this is actually a fairly sick thing. I guess it just comes back to me being super bossy. And that I'm okay with. I'm also okay with being wrong. I've really become okay with the fact that if I say something and it turns out to be wrong...that's cool. I made a mistake and that's it. A big deal isn't made and I don't have to justify why I said the wrong thing...it was wrong - let's move on. I am actually boggled by people who can't be wrong or have to make it clear that they weren't exactly WRONG just misinformed...or whatever. Jerks.

It was really great to be out at camp again. Now that it's Fall, it's a whole new kind of beautiful. There were about 45 kids there today and we sang songs, played a few games, and had some activity rotations for the afternoon. We made symbolgrams (each kid got to design their own symbol to tell people about who they are) and then commemorative banners as a souvenir of the weekend. They were going to decorate t-shirts, but all we had were adult extra larges, so we cut up some different colored cotton fabric and let the kids go wild. We had fabric markers in the rainbow of colors as well as glitter and glow in the dark puff paint. My hands still have glitter on them! After dinner and council fire we held a dance and I helped teach the Virginia Reel. Did you know that I know how to do that? Well, I do. We had such fun and wore the kids out. But the best part of the day was getting caught up on all the camp gossip...oh yeah...I love gossip

To recap: I make things up, don't like people who can't be wrong, and I love gossip

Friday, October 7, 2005

An afternoon nosh...

Since I just have one class on Friday, I was headed home today around 11:30 and realized that we needed a few things from the store. I stopped at Haggen (the store where Geoff works [he's off today]) and started getting a few things - then realized that we needed more than just a few items for dinner. So I called my mom to see if she had specific needs and while I was talking to her, Geoff called on the other line. Rarely does Geoff call me, so I new I should answer. Turned out he was in the store, picking up his paycheck. He finally found me and I scored my own personal shopping guide/grocery carrier.
Once done at the market, I headed home and Geoff went to the bank. Then he got home and we had a lovely lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup. And we sat at the table and actually talked - instead of sitting at the coffee table watching the dopes on EPSN yell at each other. Often it's not until way after a special happening that you realize how special it is. I'm so grateful to have had a normal, grown-up lunch with Geoff. Even if now he's wearing boxers on his head and demonstrating his funny walks.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Scientific testing...

As I've been working at Columbia Weather Systems in the afternoons, I've gotten to see some pretty awesome things - but nothing better than the highly scientific testing of weather stations prior to their shipment. Specifically testing the wind sensors. Obviously, in order to test wind speed and direction, you have to create wind. So, yeah. My boss, Nader grabs a piece of cardboard and starts fanning. And then he switches to the other side of the sensor to ensure the direction is being appropriately sensed. And we check to make sure that everything is working. Huzzah! All systems go! I don't know why I found this whole scene so funny - but I sure did. I almost fell off my chair because I was laughing so hard. Thousands of dollars for a weather station and it's tested with a piece of cardboard.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Are you new here?

So I'm taking this Institute class on the Doctrine and Covenants. I really like it - even if I took both D&C classes at the BYU. My teacher's name is Brother Weed - and I really hope that his first name is Richard or Dillon...think about it...Anyway he's a great teacher - very knowledgeable and funny. While he's not irreverent, he's also not taking things too seriously either.

Like I said - I really like my class...except for this one guy in our class. His name is A.J. (strike one) and his indoor voice is 15 decibels louder than mine (strike two). But the biggest issue is that he's a "repeater." Kind of like Ken Craig's co-worker only not as funny. But he'll just reshape the last sentence said by Brother Weed and then restate what's already been said. Sure people have different learning styles, but dude, SHUT UP!!! We all just heard the man say that leaning on the arm of flesh will not get us the strength we can gain from the arm of God. Seriously.

But the best part of today was as we were discussing Martin Harris losing the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon. As we discussed, Sister Harris wanted some proof that her husband wasn't just bankrolling some quack. But A.J. just didn't get that, and in all seriousness stated, LOUDLY, that he would have just thrown her out of his house because truth is truth and she just didn't get that. Clearly. That's it. Way to go A.J. Thanks for sharing that with the class...and everyone else in a 4 block radius. No one quite knew what to say or how to react, so Brother Weed just says "...and in verse 10..." and we all just looked more intently at our scriptures.

Sunday, October 2, 2005


In the last two days I've posted two new blog entries. One about my week and one about my evening out shopping with my mom. And somehow - they've disappeared. Which makes me sad - and scared as the blog Nazi's will fill my mail box with hate mail. I promise I posted, I promise.

To recap for the missing 116 pages of my blog...I'm really liking my classes. I'm done by noon everyday, although I don't know how I feel about my "Development of Dramatic Art" class. Oh yes, I do. I'm not too impressed and am so tired of going back and studying the Greeks, AGAIN. BLEH is what I say to that. I am excite about my acting class, which has only 14 people in it. The best part is that only 2 of the 14 are "theatre people" - the ones that have to be "wacky" and "crazy" and wear a forged link chain and padlock as a necklace. I'm sure over that, let me tell you! I also enjoy my yoga class, which is huge and only 50 minutes long. I'm certainly NEW to yoga and have some very sore, normally dormant muscles.

Outside of PSU I'm working in the afternoons at my mom's office, Columbia Weather Systems. I get to assemble hardware kits, laminate things, and put labels on files. It's quite a nice deal because it's very casual, only 6 hours a week, and I get to listen to my iPod. I sure do love my cute, pink, personalized iPod mini. And my wise friend was right - it has changed my life. I now schedule tasks into my day just so that I can listen to my iPod.

I don't have the strenth to rant about hating Meier and Frank again. But let me just say that EVERYONE knows that the only place to buy shoes is Nordstrom. The only place. That's it. That's all she wrote.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back to school, back to school...

It is with great relief that I compose this post. Yesterday and today have been the first days of classes of grad school at Portland State University. I have spent the last month worried and reconsidering my decision to go through a grad program. After sitting through my first classes - I OWN this program. I'm really going to have a lot of fun and most likely NOT kill myself in the process. I'm taking a fairly light load of classes to start with: Development of Dramatic Art, Acting, and a yoga class. I'm also taking an Institute class, not only for the free parking but for the amazing contrast of the PSU campus to the feeling in the Institute building.

I was never one to dream about going to BYU, but once there I had a great time, I learned a lot, and made amazing friends whilst skipping Devotional. And I had gone to Portland Community College and the University of Portland prior to transferring to BYU...but I really miss the common standards at the Lord's university. There were plenty of pious, but overall it was nice to know that there was a standard of personal excellence expected - and at PSU...they're just glad you paid your bill.

That said, the department is intimate, without lacking classes or opportunities. I must say that I feel much more confident this time around. People often say "I wish I could do that again, knowing what I know now" and I actually get to do this again! YEE-HAW.

PS - Yoga...no good for the dislocated shoulder...but pain killers are!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Blog jar...

Since mostly this blog is for me, I'm using this jar that has questions in it to prompt my entry questions. Today's question is: What games did you play in your house or neighborhood?

When I was younger I spent a lot of time playing with toys or dress up by myself as there weren't many kids my age on our street. One of my "games" was "Setting the Rocks Free." This involved me collecting pieces of gravel and putting them in a pile by our back door. When they were "ready" I would take them across the back alley and throw them at the gas station down the hill. I would also yell while throwing them. No specific words, just primal yelling. I was four.

For one of my birthdays we had a big party and had a huge water fight (this was prior to my moral objection to water fights). Everyone was running around the yard and in the house. Today my mom would have blown a gasket, but she was all about the water fight that day. That is until my dad waited at my bedroom window (2nd floor) until my mother was under the window and dumped a whole bucket of water on her. That has to be one of the best things I've ever seen. Ever.

The late 80's brought Nintendo and Tetris into our house. One summer, an unearthly hot summer, my folks and I would stay up into the wee, cooler hours of the morning playing Tetris. We made up all kinds of rules about how long you could play, factoring in each "death" verses wins. For example, "Ok, you can play 6 rounds, and if you win on the last one you get 4 more, but if you die you only get 2 more..."

One of the most creative "games" has to be my mother's invention of "Domestic Executive." This is like the Olympics as there are different, timed events such as taking out the trash and dusting the living room. And I was such a sucker! I loved to play. Now I'm a little sad that I was taken in by getting faster times than the previous session. Sick. And sad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sass mouth

Growing up with a sass mouth was very hard. Like any disability or super power, it's very hard to control when you're young. As a child the sass just comes out whenever you open your mouth. You don't yet understand how to save the sass for the perfect moment, to maximize the comedic timing. Or do you?

When I was three years old, I was still an only child. This meant, among other things, that I had minimal concept of sharing or of someone else's needs taking priority over my own. At this time we lived in Chehalis, Washington and our local grocer was Fuller's Market Basket. One day my mother and headed to Fuller's. Now, I'm not going to say that I was an "obedient" child and I'm not going to say that I liked being told "what to do," so taking me to the market was it's own special kind of hell.

Getting out of the car, my mother began her pre-shopping instructions, including "stick to me like glue" and that she wanted me to maintain the holding of her hand which was already (3 seconds in) cramping my style. I let her finish the instructions and then said, "every time we come here you make me so damned mad." WOW. Whatever we needed at the store was not important enough for her to put up with that kind of sass. Shopping has been cancelled.

I'm sure my mother remembers shopping with me as a painful experience. I on the other hand remember having lots of fun and being out "running errands" with my mom...very important. Some of my favorite stops have to have been The Smoke Shop, where I had a running tab; Brunswick's shoes, where I started my love affair with MaryJane style shoes; YardBirds, which is so hard to explain so if you're ever in Chehalis...stop by and see for yourself.

As I got older and wiser with the sass, school shopping was the most fun shopping experience all year. We would drive up to Olympia or Tacoma to shop at a big mall and buy a whole new wardrobe, practically. My favorite items have to have been the fashion sweatsuits that were part of very season of shopping. There was only one each year, but they were great! School supply shopping was much more stressful because everything HAD to be just right. The right pencil box, PeeChee's, Crayolas ONLY...everything had to be the perfect thing or the whole thing was ruined. My educational career depended on the pencils with good erasers and Mr. Sketch markers. Through the miracle of my parents, I do not remember any time where my supplies were substandard. And now I'm starting Grad School....so you see?! YOU SEE!??!!

The sass has been tamed or at least now I'm in a place where I don't care much about when and where I'm sassy. I guess that came with graduating from high school. The public education system has no room for sass...but in college, you're paying them to take your sass and take it they will!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Another day in paradise

Today has been a long day. It started late, as I have nothing waking me (which is nice) and I reorganized my closet to accommodate my new school clothes. It was fun to school shop - especially trying to imagine what a graduate student would look like.

After cleaning my room, organizing my closet and unpacking all my theatre books, I got dressed (which is not to say that I did the other things naked...geez, I'm not my MOM!) and went shopping for a new USB cable, a photo album, and to pick up prescriptions. Apparently all I seem to do is run errands...I do wish I could keep it that way.

Once home, my Dad and I went to pick up his car from the body shop. We had also loaded up all the old computers and equipment to get rid of at a store called "Stuff." First of all, what a great name for a store. Secondly it's a very nice and clean pawn shop. Sadly they didn't want any of our goods - they were all TOO old. Funny. So we then were going to take our stuff to Free Geek, which takes old computers and refurbished them for those unable to afford a new computer. Except they were closed. But it turns out that these folks want a donation for every piece they take off your hands. So guess what? They're all going in the dumpster. No kidding.

Geoff works evenings, so the three of us had dinner. It was taco night. At camp taco night was Thursdays and then Friday morning we had breakfast burritos (NO MEGUSTA THAT!). After dinner, FHE was us watching Caddyshack. It's so nice to have these unity building experiences. However, the highlight of the day was the Arrested Development season premier. SO FUNNY! I can't believe they can pack that much funny into 30 minutes. Too many great lines tonight. Please submit your favorite line in a comment.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Grandma's Day Out

Today I had lunch at Chang's Mongolian Grill with Eric D. Snider. Now that I'm actually living in Beaverton we get to hang out and make plans and do stuff together. It's quite nice. And despite talking several times in the week - it's always nice to know that new gossip and news will still come up during lunch.

After lunch Grandma had to go to the post office to get stamps. But I can't stand those crappy American flag stamps that they sell at the grocery store or in the automated things in the P.O. lobby. So of course that means that I have to stand in line with all the jokers who don't' know how to fill out labels or customs slips correctly. The line was seriously 15 people deep and for the first 8 minutes the line didn't move. Some people are so dumb. Like the two people who monopolized the postal workers - WITH SMALL TALK!!! Get out of the post office...if you want to chat go to a coffee house or the produce section. No one is in a hurry at those places. But finally I got to the window, bought some deep sea fish stamps and flower stamps and was on my way. Oddly enough I didn't get frustrated while I was AT the post office, only now that I'm typing it here does it frustrate me. Huh.

After my trip to the P.O. I had to return some cups and forks to Target...so I did. And then I got to use my super awesome American Express gift card to buy a mirror/weekly planner thing and some stationary. Such a delight. After that Grandma had to get home to clean up stuff and get out Autumn decorations, as Fall has officially arrived in the Great Northwest.

This evening was spent looking for a book that I sold on Amazon.com that I can't find. Looks like I'm going to have to refund that 3.00. Sad.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Heaven Help Us All...

So with the purchase of the new iBook, I also got the AirPort extreme base to allow wireless connectivity. Butcept, yeah. When we plugged it in to our old crappy router the AirPort gobbled up the IP address, leaving our Windows based system without Internet. WELL...you would have thought that the previously promised liver transplant was now going to a guy with a shload of money instead of us. D-R-A-M-A. This actually happened twice, with the AirPort bogarting the IP address and then the Taylor matriarch spending insane amounts of time with the idiots at Verizon. What was hilarious to me is that they told us to unplug the modem for an hour to allow it to reset. "No, no, no. That is unacceptable - we need connectivity now." Eventually (after unplugging for an hour) the IP address was connected to our Windows system - and the AirPort base was put away until a new router could be purchased. And then, the cavalry arrived.

Geoffrey has created this character named 'Steven' that has a hilarious voice and mannerisms. Steven went to Office Depot this morning and bought a new router that will support Windows, Apple, and his PS2. He installed it and we're now using all devices at the same time, just because we can. HOORAY FOR STEVEN! (And Geoffrey for facilitating Steven)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Graduation Day

So, yeah...as I'm trying to figure out this picture posting thing...here's a picture of my brother Geoffrey and his proud Grandma

Faust was no dope!

About over a year ago I decided to move from Monrovia, CA (Los Angeles) back home to Beaverton, OR. Many factors contributed to me wanting to move: missing my family, missing out on all the things my family was doing, the full service gas stations, lack of sales tax, the cooler weather. But mostly: my mother made a deal with me that if I assisted my brother, Geoffrey, in graduating from high school and in earning his Eagle rank in Boy Scouts - she would then buy me a new iBook. Very simple and straightforward.

All winter long I assisted Geoff in reading for his 3 English classes and left him alone while he did his math (if you know me, you know why). I also facilitated his final merit badge and the service project required to become an Eagle scout. While I am a very bossy person, Geoff really did a great deal of the work and did a wonderful job. I was just the hot poker in his butt that kept him moving forward until completion.

On Saturday, June 5th, 2005 Geoffrey graduated from Beaverton High School. Many relieved tears were shed and our whole family was so proud of our tall and handsome graduate. Then a week later Geoff met his final Board of Review to become an Eagle Scout, which he passed! And last Friday, September 9, 2005 was Geoffrey's Eagle Court of Honor to make it official.

And earlier in the day, my beautiful new iBook G4 arrived from the good people at Apple. It has only been in the last two days that I've been able to sit down with Trusty Rusty (my new computer) and load all my music and surf the Internet all damn day. I've done nothing else for the last two days. (Except go to breakfast with Brett Merritt and lunch with Katie Johnson)

Words cannot express how proud I am of my brother. All growing up the poor boy has had two mothers, his actual mom and me. He is such a wonderful young man and it has truly been my honor to be part of the last year with him. And getting a new computer system ain't too bad either!

Monday, September 12, 2005

A drivin' fool

The past two weeks have been pretty crazy and jam packed with stuff goin' on. After leaving camp (which was very hard to do) I spent ONE day doing laundry and getting my hair cut before setting off on a 2400 mile road trip to Las Vegas. The Craigs of Wind Warrior Drive have a daughter who turned 8 in August and was baptized on September 3. So I thought I'd drive down, making stops to visit with friends that live between Portland, Oregon and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Let's just say right up front that I did require muscle relaxants by the time I made it home. But I left for Boise and stayed with my Aunt Connie and Uncle Don. They were very gracious with great food and lots of fun. They were also very flexible as I had negelected to invite myself to their house until the Friday before (only 4 days notice) my arrival.

The next day I drove the 4 hours to Layton, Utah to stay with the my BFF Reyna and her husband Seth Malley. I have to say that when I finally left their house on Friday morning...it was SO hard to leave. It was so fun and relaxing and pampering. AND THEIR BABY!!! I may have to post a whole 'nother blog about Bennett Malley. He's smiley and fun and isn't afraid of my loudness. I hope the Malleys will one day actually let me eat him with blackberry jam, he's just that yummy! Reyna invited the Binghams up for dinner on Thursday - and did we eat like royalty! It was so nice to sit and visit and hear all the goings on live and in person.

From Layton I drove to Provo to have lunch with Charlotte and Joe Brown and to see Charlotte just prior to delivery...she had Amelia V. Brown last Thursday morning. (Better her than me!) After lunch I hit the I-15 going south and arrived at the Craigs just in time for a lovely dinner. Their new house is so big, which was good as they had a house full of people for Abbie's baptism. I got to sleep in Abbie's room...and she even put a mint on my pillow! On Saturday we all worked together to put cupboard doors back up in the kitchen and to prepare food for the Baptism After Party. It was a very special day and I was so honored to have been so welcomed and a part of the whole thing.

Sunterday rolled around and I was back on the road headed to Provo to have a very chic meal with the Clarks. I cannot believe how much their kids have grown and that Hugh acutally exists! It was very hard to leave such good friends and great conversation, but I had to get back up to the Malley's before it was too dark and I was too tired to drive.

Once back with Reyna and Seth I recapped my trip and then Seth taught us how to play Halo 2. And folks....I cannot tell you how B-A-D I am at Halo 2. I enjoy video games...but the coordination required for this game is beyond my capacity. So I got killed A LOT. But it sure was fun! After a great night's sleep we all had breakfast on the patio and waited for the Malley's new sofa to arrive. And did it ever! Go to the Malley's and sit on their couch, that's all I can say.

After a lovely lunch at the Red Robin, I was on the road again, back to Boise. It was at this point that my back really started to get sore and spazm...but it was a short trip to I survived and got some good rest at my Aunt's house. Sadly, by the time I got to Pendleton (4 hours from home) my back was quite painful and I called my mom to see if we had any muscle relaxants at home. She made sure that we did and that's how I spent the rest of the evening. I did arrive home safely and my car worked great the whole time. WHEW.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Being a grown up...

The people who read this blog (Josh, mainly) know how I feel about being a grown-up. I LOVE IT! And I expect that those people of "grown-up" age should damn well act like one. But mainly I love all the perks of being a grown up, especially here at camp. Bed times and the "no candy" rule don't apply if you're a grown up. Nor does the rule about sliding down the rocks in a very fast creek continue to apply if the Camp Director and CEO of CampFire are the ones doing it.

This afternoon I journeyed down to the beach by the Sandy River with the camp caretaker, camp director, and CampFire CEO to plan our summer closing campfire. And as we approached, we realized that there were people on our beach. People with dogs on our beach. NAKED people with dogs on our beach. And we also realized that we had 25 campers behind us on the trail coming to the beach to build sand castles for the afternoon. YIKES. So the big wigs walked down to notify the grizzled nudists that they were trespassers and invite them to leave whilst I stood on the trail and made up a story about getting the sand all ready for sand castles for the 25 campers. But seriously...today I saw ALL of Grizzly Adams...and he was naked on the beach. And please know that when he "put his clothes on," he was putting on a black Speedo. I wish I was making this up. But I'm not.

After the trespassers gathered their clothes and 3 big dogs, they got back in their inner tubes and floated down the river. And we then let the kids come and build sand castles in the freshly de-nudified sand. After that all the grown ups went up the trail to Walker Creek, which is a very fast and lovely creek. We all took our socks and shoes off and sat on rocks and logs for about an hour. The CEO then stripped to his shorts and slid down the rocks/rapids while we all laughed hysterically at him. And that's why I love being a grown up...because the sliding in the rocks has been forbidden to all campers. Suckers.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Is summer almost over?

I guess I didn't realize that when I took a summer job it meant that when the job was over...so was the summer. Dang. Here I sit, with one more week of camp, and starting to freak out about my plans for the fall. I'm accepted to the Portland State grad program for theatre, but I'm starting to freak out about doing that. I'm starting to feel that I need a full time job with benefits or my brain might explode.

In other news: my brother turned 18 today. Now he can buy lottery tickets, cigarettes and porn and sign up for the draft. All I can really say is that I love my brother pretty much more than anyone. Yeah...that's all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Just another day...

So, today I got to assist in the escorting of a camper out of camp tonight. YIKES. This kid had been talking loudly crudely in his cabin late into the night the past two nights (we've only had two nights at camp this week) and so, since he's been unable to modify this behavior...his mom was called to come pick him up. And can I just say that if MY MOM had been called to come pick up MY misbehaving derriere...I would have just hoped that the Earth would open and swallow me whole before she arrived. Seriously. It was really the same way with this kid...except that with two staff members watching she couldn't be as yell-y as she had wanted. I'm pretty sure that this kid's week is about to start sucking.

I am reminded of so many discipline moments that my parents had to deal with...like my inability to hang up wet towels after showers. So after many reminders it was determined that I wasn't grown up enough to use a bath towel and was allowed to use a hand towel until I could hang it up successfully for 2 weeks...yeah. To this day towels must be hung up...even if they're not mine...it kind of makes me feel sick when I see wet towels laying on the floor or bed.

As a young teen I also had a problem of slamming doors whenever I left in a huff...which happens often when you're 13...and me. So again after being fairly warned that if I kept slamming doors I would lose my door. Which I did. FOR TWO MONTHS. So, now...even now if door shuts a little hard...or the wind catches the door to slam it, I have to make sure that anyone who heard the door slam knows that it was an accident and not slammed in anger.

That's it...I'm a mess. But at least I didn't get kicked out of camp tonight...cuz my mom would put some serious hurt on me.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

It's my birthday...

It's been over a month since my last post...but since Josh is the only one who's read this blog...I guess it's okay.

Today is my 26th birthday. It's pretty awesome because I get to go back up to camp this afternoon and force 150 people to celebrate my birthday all...week...long!!! And I think the forcing will be pretty easy today, as I have a CROWN to wear. That's right, it's official. I have an exact replica of the Miss America crown. And I will wear it 24 hours, even in the showers! I cannot imagine a reason to take it off. It's so sparkly and shiney...I can't even stand myself. I hope that those who see me today (or forever!) don't lay down and die of jealousy the moment they lay eyes on it.

Camp has been a pretty fun experience. Especially since I don't have to do any hard work. I made it clear in the beginning that I don't hike (obviously) and so that's kept me out of most of the hazard duties. Although this past week I was in charge of the Miss Namanu pageant (good thing I didn't have the crown then or there might have been fisticuffs) and the Namanu Olympics. The Namanu Olympics turned out fine...but had a horrific beginning. As with ANY Olyimpics sceario, a torch must be involved...and since we're at camp...we decied on a real, live torch. To spare the gorey details...the torch bearer now has second degree burns on the first two fingers of her right hand (she's left handed fortunately) as the lighter fluid that we used dripped down the torch handle and onto her hand. And then we lit the damn thing. Son of a B was that THE dumbest idea EVER? Yes, I think it was. The three people on the planning committee were myself (Lefty) Firefly, and Decanter. Decanter is the one who is now burned and has a semi-permenant hand puppet....to which I glued googly eyes...Lemons and lemonade is what I say! We didn't lose our jobs and we didn't get reprimanded...but you would have thought we had as we spent the 24 after the inciedent pretty much in tears.

But now I go back to camp...with my crown and clean laundry...and we start another week of found nature mobiles and face paint and bugs made of pom-poms and painting and sock puppets.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Salute your shorts!

So, I'm off to summer camp today. I'll be working at Camp Namanu (nuh-MAH-new) in Sandy, Oregon. I will be the "Creative Arts Director" which will have me doing arts and crafts as well as helping the various groups of kids with their skits. For the record: I hate skits. But I felt that if anyone should be in charge of the skit night it should be someone who doesn't enjoy them. That way they will be short and to the point (if there ever was one...).
I leave today for a week of training and then get a few days off to celebrate the 4th of July...which I will do at a beach house. After that, it's 8 weeks of sand candles and boondoggle key chains...

Monday, June 13, 2005


So apparently anyone can be a blogger these days. This makes me laugh as I can't imagine anyone wanting to read this. But if you do - know that I'll do my best to be worth reading...or something.