Monday, August 30, 2010

Mom and Daughter Moment

I know this is probably an old video for some of you, but I enjoyed watching this after a long day of work.

I don't know what I enjoyed more, listening to my mom giggle on the phone as we listened to this together, or the fact that she was driving to a church activity. If you haven't met Barb - you haven't fully lived.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Two Cards You Need

For the past year and an half I've had some pretty cool interactions with celebrities. I was able to explain the game of lacrosse to Michael Keaton, I saw Kate Hudson just a few days before her breast augmentation, I asked Queen Latifah if the three meals she was ordering were for her or for her friends (they were for her, if you were wondering) and I was able to tell Anne Hathaway I was a big fan of hers. (Which I was sort of awkwardly forced into because my other co-workers were telling her she was great and I had to be like, "Yeah, Princess Diaries...wowww.")

However, as exciting as these experiences were, they unfortunately, did not prepare me on how to deal with when a celebrity becomes your real friend. For example, about a year ago I became friends, through her daily appearances at the restaurant, with a particular celebrity.* This particular celebrity then scored a starring role on a new show, shot the show and then invited me to watch the first episode with the cast. Everything was going swimmingly up to this point. And then, I saw the first episode, and the second and then the third. Now, I'm not sure how to proceed. If this person was a normal friend I would say, "Yo, saw your crap on TV last night. Are your writers escapees from the crazy farm, because I'm not buying a single minute of this."**

But, with a celebrity friend it's much different. I mean, one, I have a friend on TV right now - you don't mess with that. You keep that card tucked right behind the "I lived in Mongolia for a year and a 1/2" - those two cards ALONE will destroy any "one upping" conversation you might find yourself in. Two, she might move beyond this disaster and then become truly famous - which again, will be an even cooler card to play. So, this is the dilemma I'm in. Be honest or keep the celebrity as a friend? Hmm....If winning "one up" games were just not so much fun...

*The name will not be revealed because she might be in the habit of googling herself and then how do I explain, over a warm latte, that I cyberally took her down.

**That's actually a lie. Let's be honest, anyone who knows me knows there's no way I could be that forthright. Instead, I would just tilt my head and say, "Look at you. Heyyy..."

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Some of you might not know, but outside of coaching lacrosse, changing young girls' lives and working at a restaurant, I also dabble in the video editing world. Before I decided to run off to LA, I was working for an incredibly demanding man* editing family biographies and any other fun project that got dropped into our laps. When I first starting working for this demanding man I started a biography for a particular family. For many reasons, the project never got finished and now, almost six years later, I'm finally attempting to whittle down there "exciting life" into a 2 hour video. However, I'm having a bit of a hard time.

One, I'm trying to remember what I actually shot and edited four years ago, and, how do I say this, these aren't the most interesting people on earth. For example, their favorite word to describe everything from the birth of their daughter to the creation of their company is "neat," and when they really want to throw an exclamation point at the end of an idea they'll say, "And that was really fun." For those of you who have never edited something it goes like this: you listen to a clip about ten times, drop it in your timeline, listen to it some more, edit some pregnant pauses, listen to it again and finally listen to it as a whole. In total, you probably listen to a clip 100 times. So, let me be perfectly clear, if I hear the word "neat" one more time I might stab myself in the ear with a pen.

To ward off my own suicide, I've started a new game with the subjects of my biography. The game goes like this: After hearing a lame story for the 30th time, I'll say out loud, in my most sarcastic drawl, "Neat story Sue."** Or when they say "And that was a lot of fun," I'll respond, again in grand sarcasm, "Sure was Steve."** Sure it doesn't stop them from being incredibly boring, but at least it helps me keep my sanity. (because talking to one dimensional people seems completely sane.)

*There's your shout out.

**(name has been changed to protect the privacy of my clients)

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Dangerous Job

The caption of this picture should be "Would you like a bigger chance of death with your burger?"

According to The Week (my source of a week late) the "Health Scare of the Week" is: A recent study found that 40 percent of cash-register receipts from major retail outlets carry significant traces of bisphenol A, or BPA, an industrial chemical that lately has come under close scrutiny for its possible impact on health. Even low level exposure has been linked to heart ailments, cancer and behavioral and reproductive problems.

Um, so being a cashier might be a slight problem? Great not only are years being taken off my life due to stupid people, but the receipts I hand to these stupid people might also be killing me. I think I'm stealing a cookie tomorrow. That place owes me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Camp Observations

Well, it's official: I survived Girls Camp. Now, before I make a few sarcastic observations about the experience, let me just say that I actually had a pretty good time and only said out loud once, "Give me strength." (I won't, however, repeat some of the things I thought.)

Anyway, first observation: I understood that as a leader at Girls Camp I needed to set a good example and show a good attitude. However, as hard as I tried, there were just some things I couldn't condone nor participate in with my fellow leaders. For example, one night we met with another camp from Pasadena and had a "Sing Off." Now, I'll admit I'm not really a "singer," but that isn't where the game broke down for me. Instead, my biggest problem was the songs we were expected to know and sing with all our hearts. What songs you ask? Well, first - Disney Songs and the second - musicals. Now, I've seen some Disney movies and I've seen my fair share of musicals, but I wouldn't say I could actually sing a verse from any of these genres. But, you know who could? THE ENTIRE CAMP AND STAFF. So, there I sat, watching in disbelief, at the crowd of grown women singing at the top of their lungs, not just a short chorus, but almost an entire song from Hairspray.*

After 30 minutes of music torture, I stupidly shouted out, "How about some current songs?" and was responded with, "Um, hello, Wicked came out a few years ago." Right you are Momma Jean wearing woman.

Second observation: Kids today are fat. On the second day, we scheduled a hike, and absolute hysteria swept through the camp. I've never seen such fear of exercise in anyone's face. You would think we were asking them to hike 100 miles, with only one water bottle and a flip flop. The hike ended up taking 40 minutes, and that was after two rest stops. Fortunately, at the end of our hike brownies, cheese, crackers and fruit were provided. Because after walking a mile you really need to replenish those 100 calories you burned.

Last observation for the night: Some kids are cool and some are not. As hard as I tried, I could not, how do you say, enjoy one particular child. She was exhaustingly helpless, constantly miserable and thought hanging on me was a way to my heart. I tried each day to befriend her, but by breakfast, I always found myself sticking an imaginary gun in my mouth and pulling the trigger. I just don't understand how some kids can be so endearing and others you just want to find their parents and ask, "Really?"

More stories to come.

*How did I know it was from Hairspray? Because I turned to my neighbor and said, "Um, what in the world is everyone singing?" And she replied, with an incredulous look, "Hello, Hairspray!" And, then I had to throw my hands up in the air and say, "Oh yeah, I always used to listen to that soundtrack when I read Twilight." To which she said, "Me TOO!" And then, I thought, "I was trying to be funny and now I feel like a moron."

Monday, August 16, 2010

The "Break Room"

A few weeks ago my place of work instituted the "break room." Now, instead of enjoying a meal in our hip dining room, we have to take our break in an empty room next door. At first, I thought this sounded like a great addition to my workday. I figured I would take my bowl of cereal, sit up to a quiet table, pull out my book and enjoy some peace and quiet. Little did I know that this room was going to be anything but peaceful. First of all, this room is quiet, which means any sound made echoes through its walls. Therefore, and I hope SOMEONE is reading this from work, if an individual orders, say...NACHOS, at nine in the morning, you are going to hear every freaking chip break in their mouth and every swallow of the coke to wash it down.

Second of all, before we instituted this mandatory Chinese torture, we really should have had an etiquette class on the following: chewing with your mouth open, breathing while you are chewing, using your hands as utensils, answering your phone while you have a mouth full of food and snoring after your meal. I really think had we gone over these things this room could have actually been a "break" room. Now, it's become the room from hell.

You think I'm exaggerating? Okay tough guy, next time you sit up to a meal picture this: A guy walks in with a plate full of eggs, chips, cheese and whatever else he got his buddy to throw on his plate. As you quietly eat your meal he proceeds to shovel (yes, this would be the appropriate verb, since he really isn't chewing and his hands are forming a cup) food into his mouth, and just when you think it can't get any worse you notice he actually has sour cream all over his cheeks and chin. Desperately, you look around for a napkin, but all you see is a pile of newspapers. From the newspapers you check back to your dining companion and realize he has used the back of his hand, and oh wait for it, yep, that was a good sounding burp. Are you getting an apology for this ghastly dining faux pas? Absolutely not.

When you can picture that and not get slightly nauseous, well then, you just might be ready for the "break room."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Little Overboard

Does this strike anyone else as a "little" extreme?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer in California?

The husband has always called me "Abnormally Cold Woman." (There's even a song to it.) Put me in any restaurant around the world and I'll ask, when we sit down, "Do you feel cold?" I layer in movie theaters, I truly believe there's a conspiracy in my church against women because I'm always close to hypothermia, I always bring a sweatshirt to the beach and don't even get my started on airplanes. You would think growing up in Pennsylvania, serving a mission in Mongolia and living in Utah would make me less sensitive to the cold, but unfortunately, that's not the case.

So three and a half years ago, I got married and moved to sunny southern California. I figured my days of goose bumps and layering were over. Silly me. Since I moved here I can recall three weeks where I have been legitimately warm due to the weather outside. Three weeks. The rest of the days? Well, I know there are those of you who will scoff at what I'm about to say, but it's cold here. Today, I went for a run with the husband, and it was 64 degrees. No, we weren't running at the crack of dawn or in the middle of the night. Just mid-evening when the temperature dropped two degrees from what it was today. Yeah, our high for today? I staggering 66 degrees. Folks, it's August. I need heat. I need laying in bed wishing some small boy was waving a giant leaf over me. I need a desire to wear shorts and t-shirts. I need a little perspiration to form from walking outside. I need a freaking summer. I know, there are those of you in Arizona who hate me right now, but honestly, I'm sick of being cold. Alright, I got it out. Time to put the down comforter over my head and go to bed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

License To Illl

Here's a video of the song done by a horrible high school. I thought it was so bad, it was actually awesome.

Today, Mike D of the Beastie Boys came into the restaurant. I'll admit my powers did not sense his presence, and even after seeing him, I wasn't sure if that was actually him. Come on, I bet even Superman couldn't see through EVERY wall. Anyway, this sighting, though it wasn't offically mine, was actually pretty cool because the very first tape I ever bought was the Beastie Boy's album "License To Ill." Why my mother ever allowed me to listen and to purchase this tape I'll never understand. Anyway, I remember one day we were cruising in our purple Oldsmobile station wagon (which was actually a tank developed by the federal government during the Cold War) and I decided to play my new tape. For some reason songs like "Brass Monkey" and "Fight For Your Right" had no effect on my sweet mother. It wasn't until I sang the lyrics of "Girls" did my mom finally snap out of her taxi driver mode and exclaim, "Kate what is this?" The lyrics you ask. Well, picture a fifth grader singing this in the back seat:

Girls - to do the dishes
Girls - to clean up my room
Girls - to do the laundry
Girls - and in the bathroom
Girls - that's all I really want is girls
Two at a time - I want girls

I thought they were talking about hanging out with their friends. I really should have told Mike D today that his music is really chauvinistic. (Because that would wipe away the memory of horror on my mother's face.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reality Check

Okay last story from camp, but there was so much material. At the end of camp, I announced, "If anyone would like some personal feedback, please come up to one of the coaches and we would be happy to discuss some things you can work on." Within 30 seconds, I had about ten kids lined up in front of me. Now, I'll admit, when I made the initial announcement I assumed that only the "good" kids would come over. I neglected to factor in that the "bad" kids were also going to come looking for some feedback. So, this is how it went down:

Good Kid Feedback From Me:
"You had a great camp. I would work on developing your defense and keep building your confidence."

Bad Kid Feedback From Me:
"Have you ever thought about swimming? There's no contact, you don't have to have a group of girls depending on you to play your part, you get to be under water so people can't really hear you, it can be cheaper than lacrosse and what a life skill? Who doesn't wish they could swim better? Alright, have a great summer."

Honestly, parents please make my job easier. Sit your uncoordinated children down and have a heart to heart. Apologize for the lackluster gene pool, inform them that they were sent to camp because you needed some time alone and remind them not to put an unsuspecting coach on the spot with a ridiculous question of: "So, what do I need to work on?"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Unnecessary Beatings

So, last week during lacrosse camp, we experienced some fantastic lightning storms. During one particular storm we decided to usher all the campers into a metal pavilion, and while waiting for the skies to clear, tell stories of our "Favorite Lacrosse Moments." For the first five minutes, my fellow coaches told wonderful and heart warming stories of last minute victories and epic teams. When it came to me the only story I could think of was the following:

The setting was downtown Philadelphia, the opponent was Temple University and I was a timid freshman. The scouting report on Temple was anything but positive. They were brutal girls, who were known for punching you in the ribs when the ref wasn't looking, and cussing you out when the ref was looking. The night before the game our coach implored us to not retaliate. If they hit us, we were to walk away. If they said something about our mothers, we were to nod and smile.

When we began the second half, the score board read 11-2. (Not in our favor.) After a few minutes, I came to the conclusion that we were most likely going to lose this game, and therefore, I might as well start the "unnecessary beatings." For those of you who haven't played sports, or usually act like grown-ups, "unnecessary beatings" typically means you take cheap shots at your opponent because you can't beat them in a regular way. I know it sounds childish, but for me, it's always helped to alleviate the pain of a loss. It's sort of like if I can't play tomorrow either will you.

Anyway, my "unnecessary beating" came in the form of a "slight" shove while we both were running out for a clear. Unfortunately, my opponent didn't appreciate the game I was playing, and in a split second, she lowered her shoulder and lifted me into the air. As I fell back, I looked over at the stands and saw my mom covering her face, Temple fans pointing and laughing and my dad screaming, "Go get herrrr!!!" As I pulled myself up, I had one objective: find that chick and kill her. Across the field I found her and started running in her direction. As she saw me coming, she stopped running away and started running towards me. So, there we were running at each other at full speed. When we met, I held out my arm and clotheslined her just like I had seen my heroes do every Saturday morning on WWF. Instantly, the ref blew her whistle, pulled out two cards and we were set to our sidelines. As I sheepishly approached my coach, she grabbed my jersey and said, "Nice hit. You are going in in two minutes." Once I got back into the game I was on fire. I went to goal with absolute no fear, and dared any chick to get in my way. My team responded to my aggression and we ended up losing the game by three goals.

Now, I'll admit this is truly my favorite lacrosse moment, but probably not something I should have shared at camp. Because there I sat, in the little hole I had dug, trying to tell a sea of terrified faces that violence is not a good idea and should not be resorted to during any circumstance.

What can I say? As a youth speaker I failed. Miserably.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The "S" Word

My mom never liked when I said the "s" word, (no, not shit). Instead, she hated when I said, "I suck at..." or "that really sucks..." I don't know why that word fell under the category of "Bad Things To Say That Really Aren't Bad,"* but sweet, sweet B-ba never approved. Well, Mom, cover your ears because I'm about to get all sorts a crazy in this entry about things I...yep, here it comes...suck at.

What caused this entry? Well, for the past three and an half hours I've been ironing Philip Drinker's (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) shirts. And well, I suck at it. I don't think if I worked at a dry cleaners for the rest of my life, (insert comment about being Korean), (insert apology for racial stereotype), or if practiced all day could I iron ONE forsaken shirt in less than 30 minutes. I don't know if I'm missing a "wife gene," or if I'm really bad with pressing hot objects down on cotton, but I suck at ironing. And, by the way, who decided we needed to look all pressed and neat? Whoever you are - I'm not a fan.

And since I've already offended my sweet mother, let me just continue on a few more things I suck at. 1. Listening to my messages. I currently have something like 40 unheard messages in my inbox. I don't know why I'm so bad at this, but just know, when I call back I have absolutely no idea why you called. 2. Hiding my thoughts when I look at someone. You will, by the look of my face, know if the girl, who just passed me, is wearing proper sized shorts or not. 3. According to Mr. Drinker (I just asked for his opinion) the English language. It's not that my vocabulary is bad, I just don't know how to properly pronounce things. (It sucks being smart and not being able to show off.)

Okay, I think that's enough for now. You suck for wanting more...

* The taboo list also included: guts, piss (in all forms) and ass. Okay, the last one is a lie. Who can really get mad at a kid who says something with ass in it?

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Different Stages of Camp

Today, was the first day of my lacrosse camp here in good ol' Sandy, Utah. For me, first day of camp always involves stages of emotions. For example, no matter how hard I try, I always find myself being way too sarcastic during the first morning. I really need someone to remind me that singling out a girl during the first hour, and declaring she is most likely going to be the "most improved"* is not something I should say. Secondly, once I stop being overly sarcastic, I move to the next stage, which is overly excited. Of course, this stage happens, when I realize I've insulted at least six girls, and I now need to act like I love lacrosse and camp, so they don't draft a lawsuit for the following day. Once my excitement starts to wane, and my voice is almost gone, I go to the next stage of, "Why did I agree to coach this camp in the first place?" This emotion causes me to berate girls, who are talking in line, by saying, "Oh, I get it. You actually know all of this. I guess I'll just take your pinny and you can have my whistle. Please continue with coaching us at this camp." (I agree, this stage seems awfully close to my initial stage of sarcasm. They are, however, quite different. The morning sarcasm is supposed to be funny, where as, afternoon sarcasm, is truly mean and sort of like a tired toddler lashing out.)

Once I've struck fear in every campers' heart, I move to the final stage of gratitude. Now, don't misunderstand me, this is not when I grab all the campers, and with a tear in my eye, thank them personally for coming out to camp. No, the only gratitude I feel is looking down at my watch and realizing I'll be in my car in 20 minutes. Now, that's something to be grateful for.

So, I know, you are wondering why do I do this? Well, for a few reasons. One, I get paid. Two, I feel incredibly coordinated when I leave. And three, well, okay, I sort like coaching....I know, totally lame ending to this entry.

*Of course, when I say "Most Improved" I'm actually implying, in an incredibly sarcastic way, "This girl looks desperately unathletic, and anything she learns will be not only a miracle, but a vast improvement."