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.

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.