Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Lazy Obsequious Latrine?" ...huh?

There is a first time for everyone:

That first defining moment when you hear it for the first time—that phrase that will alter your life forever. And yet, because it is the first time, you have no idea what in the nine-levels-of-hell it means.

Now, I suppose that for each person, it could be a different phrase. For me, it wasn't a phrase, it was an initialism, and it wasn't spoken, it was written. Well, okay, typed.

Here is the story:

I was at work (this was years ago when I still did that sort of thing) and my boss (one of five) was instant messaging me (and that right there is the topic for awholenother post: Why IM? You're just down the hall. Is it that hard to walk down to my office? And how many bosses does one girl need, anyway?), and it popped right up on the screen:

LOL!

What the hell?* Is this some kind of code? Was I supposed to understand what he meant? What did these letters have to do with documentation, the subject we were discussing? I decided I needed to investigate.

Me: What is "LOL"?
Him: serious? LOL!

This is frustrating.

Me: No, really. I have no idea. Am I supposed to know what it means? 'Cause I don't.
Him: what do you think it means
Me: It's code, obviously. Perhaps..."lots of luck?"
Him: almost
Me: I got it. "Lick old lollipops." Or "lay off lasagna," "lance obese lepers," "lizard on lunchbreak"?

The manager was cruel. He let me go on. And on.

Me: "left-over laundry," "lion off'd [the] lamb," "leap of lethargy?"
Me: "lots of lace," "lactation-obsessed lady," "light of leprosy?"
Me: "lounge on, lizard," "llama oil lacquer," "loony, occult lima-bean?"

Oh, the possibilities are endless. Then he typed it a few more times, to torture me, or to relieve his feelings. "LOL." Hmph. I decided that I should be able to make up my own, and I thought at him, but did not type at him, "RIHMB.**" Instead, I typed:

Me: "launch overt labradors?" C'mon. I'm all out. What is it?

He finally told me. Since that time, I have learned that all over the world, people are laughing loudly while staring at their computer screens. Computers are hilarious, aren't they? (I mean, look at the silly boxy things! LOL!)

And since that time, I'm learning something new every day. "SAHM" and "MIL" are two recent acquirements. (They mean, respectively, "sleeping against hot milk" and "militant immigrant leviathan.") Most initialisms, I admit, I have no idea what they mean. That's okay, because I found this.

But beware—I also found this***. (You'll never look at punctuation the same way again.)

*I have a problem, I admit, of not really believing this is a true-and-living swear word. Many people have tried to convince me otherwise, but please. It is a state of being, not a swear. I guess what I should really say is other people have a problem with me not believing this is a swear word. Very sorry if you are one of these people. (Perhaps you will be the one to get me to see the light and repent of my evil ways?)
**Rot In Hell, Miserable Bastage. (See? No problem with "hell," but I do shy away from "bast**d." What sort of messed-up hypocrite am I?)
***I have to apologize for my uncontrolled swearing on the blog today. And if it offended you, I seriously suggest you not look up this link. But let me apologize all around—
sorry, sorry, sorry—just in case you were offended by anything at all. Especially the "llama oil lacquer." I know I overstepped my bounds on that one.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Have Mercy

Some of you have been overgenerous with your praise of this humble, humble blog (see comments for nearly every post since I started this thing).

I think that most of you are just trying to be nice. This may be because every person who has left a comment is female, and I guess we feel that part of being nice is just something that goes along with menstruation and mammary gland support: be kind to your sister! Support and encourage her, even when she is exposing herself as the hugest moron ever! Hooray! It's great to be a girl!

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the fact that people are actually reading this stuff, and I like it that you leave comments, too. However, I think you should realize the danger excess encouragement can cause. If you continue to tell me how great my writing is, how much you enjoy it, to please write more, yada yada yada, you will, of course, be giving me a big head.

And though I cannot say I despise the feeling, it is sure to cause me certain problems:

  • I will be top-heavy, which means I will be falling down even more than I typically do (the average right now is three times a day).
  • I will only be able to wear button-up shirts.
  • Walking through doorways may become a bit of a problem. Heck, walking may become a bit of a problem.
  • I will not be able to sit down at the movies without hearing a chorus of groans from everyone seated behind me.
  • My neck is gonna get really tired.
  • People may stare/call me names/throw rocks at me.
  • My ears may possibly end up being in different zip codes (which is not technically a problem, since my ears don't receive any mail--but long-distance telephone charges may apply if I switch ears while talking on the phone).
  • Hats will be out of the question.
  • And, of course, the biggest problem of all:

I promise you, if that last scenario happens (and it will if you continue), you will be the one responsible, so you will have to clean up the mess.

And now that I've warned you to the dangers of head inflation--praise on!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What in the Weird--?

I was reading a marvelously good thread about weirdos in Sacrament meeting (and other places, but mostly Sacrament meeting), and it caused me to reminisce about my childhood ward.

Every LDS ward has at least one weirdo in it—you know who I mean: The girl who, every Sacrament meeting without fail, picks her nose with a Kleenex when she thinks no one is looking (even when she's sitting in the front of the room) and then tucks the used Kleenex down the front of her dress for safekeeping; the gentleman who thinks "bearing testimony" means to get up and tell you his life story, including why he left his wife, why you should vote for him as the next mayor of Provo, and how many angels visited him last night (and the bishop invariably has to get up and add a word about how none of it was appropriate, nor true); or the "fun young mom" who keeps whisking away the ward's missionaries for outings at the beach. Yeah.

The ward I grew up in had an overabundance of wack-jobs from the sweet little primary chorister who believed in the healing properties of crystals—and talked about it frequently—to good ol' Brother C who shouted everything he said, especially while the sacrament was being passed. But the strangest of them all, the one who caused everyone to tremble in anticipation just before fast and testimony meeting began, the one the teachers tried (vainly) to avoid eye contact with while teaching a lesson, the one who will go down in ward history as the freakiest of the freaks: my mother. I was the daughter of the strangest woman in the ward, and I'm proud of it. (Sort of. Now that I live many, many miles away.) Would you like to hear more? Okay.

My mom loves opera. She took some classes in college, and learned a lot about projection and vibrato (unfortunately, not much about dynamic levels below forte). When it is time to sing a hymn, she gives it everything she's got, and it's quite considerable. I have witnessed small children in the pews several rows ahead of us cover their ears and turn around to see where all the noise is coming from. I have watched my brothers try to find some other place to sit—as if that would hide their parentage or something. Me, I used to try to have private singing contests with her (that I never won, of course; I couldn't even hear myself over the din). But the older members of the ward love her. "Ah, Sister Scott, you have the loveliest voice!" Because, after all, they could actually hear her.

She has also learned to play the organ in the past decade or so—entirely self-taught—and is always completely willing to play anywhere and everywhere that anyone has need of her. She has been known to go to three sacrament meetings in a day so that she can play the organ. She has keys to the chapel, of course, so she can practice, but Dad had to ask her not to go after certain hours in the evening after a story got back to him about the chapel being completely lit up at 2 am and organ music flowing out from it into the crisp morning air...

She regularly gets up in Fast and Testimony meeting and bears her testimony of what everyone in the ward is doing incorrectly and how they should repent.

In Relief Society (which she told me repeatedly while I was growing up was "just a bunch of dumb women gossipping") she will testify of the truths found in things such as the Book of Enoch, the Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls—but the Book of Mormon, you know, is pretty pedestrian and she has nothing more to learn from it. (Could this be why the general authorities counsel us to avoid religious hobbies? Hmm... But there's more! Just wait!)

She has frequently had visions—mostly of things burning—and sometimes she will paint pictures of them. Hanging in her home are...let's see...a picture of Enoch in his chariot of fire, a montage of prophets as translated beings (that looks to me like the souls of the damned), three pictures of Jerusalem burning at different points in history (my favorite having Arafat in one corner and Ariel Sharon in the other), and one portrait of the most pissed-off-looking Christ you will ever behold. All originals.

In the backyard, she had a custom playhouse built for the grandkids that is really quite amazing—fully furnished, rigged with electricity and even a TV and VCR—nothing too strange about that (but it does remind me of the witch in Hansel and Gretel on some level). But in an upstairs corner, which can be closed off from the rest of the room by drawing a curtain, there is a small antique table, candle, and a replica of the golden plates so the kids can pretend to be Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery anytime they like. There are also costumes nearby that they can wear as well. (Not that any of them do—they'd rather play at being pirates.) I haven't yet caught her pretending to translate the plates, but I have my suspicions.

Ah, my writing cannot do her justice! I think the only way you could truly appreciate her would be to take a roadtrip with her. There's nothing like being trapped in a car with a talkative woman for hours on end to reveal the...uniqueness...of her thinking. If only, if only, you could all meet her!

************
Possible FAQs about this post:

Q: Have you ever seen a therapist? Sorry if that's a bit personal, but we can't help wondering.
A: Yes.

Q: Do you think you can post some of your mother's original artwork?
A: Sorry, no. I wish I could, but it's a four-hours' drive, you know? And I'm sure she'd be suspicious if she caught me taking them off the wall and trying to scan them.

Q: Wynne, what do the pictures in this post have to do with anything?
A: Nothing. Nothing at all.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Car That Time Forgot

Well, someone forgot about it, at any rate.

The husband and I recently took a trip to western Washington, and while we were looking around I saw this thing by the roadside, and much to Jeff's chagrin, I made him stop the car so I could jump in the bushes and take pictures of it. Isn't it a beaut? (And Marie—he warned me about getting shot for trespassing. Aren't you glad I didn't listen? Look—no bullet holes anywhere on me. Yet.)

I love how the moss just won't take no for an answer. I love how there is leaf mold all over the hood and the trunk (could be if I came back in just a few more weeks, there would be flowers sprouting on it. And if there aren't any, I'll be sure to plant some). I love this car so much, I think I'll name it Floyd.

One thing I can't figure—what with all the rain and everything, how is it that the chrome bumper is still shiny? Is Washington so perfect that it rains all the time, but nothing rusts? What a fairy tale. I can't wait to actually live there!



Another thing: Why is the driver's side door open? Did a person just drive it off the side of the road, open the door and walk off, not even taking the time to close the door behind him? Was the person drunk at the time, or simply confused?

My theory: the car was hotwired by squirrels who took it for a joyride, trying to hit themselves a hawk, or maybe a deer.

Squirrel 1: Okay, Bob, jump on the gas, and Myrtle, come off of the clutch slowly...no, no—that's the brake—
(car jerks to a stop)
Squirrel 1: Great. We stalled.
Squirrel Bob: That's because Myrtle had the gas pedal, not me, and—
Squirrel Myrtle: You moron! You did have the gas pedal!
Squirrel Bob: Ow, ow, ow, OW! No biting you rabid—
Squirrel 1: Enough! Let's try it again. Sparky, you got those wires ready?
Squirrel Sparky: Yup.
Squirrel 1: Okay, then. On the count of three...

Eventually they do get the car running, sort of keep it on the road for five minutes, manage to hit nothing but three trees, eighteen pinecones, one chicken, and absolutely no hawks; stall it in a ditch on the side of the road where Myrtle tackles Bob again in a fit of frustration, and Hopper (who was assigned to help with steering and was there the whole time, even if he wasn't mentioned in the above dialogue) is flung off the wheel and into the door handle, which opens the door; Sparky spies some acorns through the open door and announces it loudly; all the squirrels take off out of the open door, giggling, in pursuit of nutty goodness. Good Ms. Pinkerton who lives up the hill wakes up in the morning and can't figure out where in tarnation her car has gotten off to today. She puts up "Missing Car" posters all over town, but no one seems to take her seriously, especially not her insurance agent. She ends up buying a Honda Civic three months later. (The squirrels don't steal this one, they simply store some acorns in the wheel wells which drive Ms. Pinkerton and the local mechanic crazy trying to figure out where the noise is coming from.)

Good night sweet Floyd. See you soon.

(By the way—can anyone tell what kind of car this is? Jake wants to know.)

Balderdash, anyone?

I love, love, love playing with words, and I love the game Balderdash. If you are a fan, too, come to my friend Marie's blog where we are having a game of online Balderdash!

Friday, April 20, 2007

My Friend Tyler, the Doctrinal Demon

Since my last post where I complained about my son's lack of enthusiasm for All Things Church, I decided I could have it a lot worse. After all, my kid could be Tyler.

This is my friend Tyler. He is 3 3/4. He's incredibly precocious, has quite the flair for the dramatic, and is constantly trying to entice my son to the "dark slide" (the enclosed tube slide at the park). Don't worry, though. Jake steadfastly refuses.

Tyler also has a knack for posing difficult doctrinal questions, hence this post.

His mother was trying to explain to him why they couldn't stop to get ice cream on the way to church—because it's the Sabbath, which means it is a day of rest. Tyler thinks about this for a minute, and then: "So, when we go to church, Jesus is asleep." (This solution resolved another burning question he had: why doesn't he ever see Heavenly Father or Jesus at church? Now he knows.)

Once while Jake and I were out and about with Tyler and his mom, the boys had the good fortune to get their hands on some lollipops. When Tyler begged his mom for a second lollipop, and after she told him no, he quietly went off by himself, folded his arms, and began to pray: "Heavenly Father, can you please help my mommy to be nice? I want another sucker. Amen."

His mom told me that this was a common occurrence, and she has also heard the following variations:
"Heavenly Father, can you please come to this Earth and make my mom be nice. Amen."
And when his pleas seemed to go unheard...
"Heavenly Father, you need to try hard, hard, hard, harder to make my mommy be nice and to make her listen to me."

His Sunbeam teachers gave everyone in the class two goldfish to take home. One of Tyler's died almost immediately (of course) and he was very upset by it. He was even more upset when his mom wanted to flush it down the toilet. Because, as he tried to explain to his mom, he needed "to keep it so that Heavenly Father could resurrect it" and repeatedly prayed for Heavenly Father to resurrect the fish right now.

He also thinks that Santa Claus and Heavenly Father live together, even though his mother denies it (even though it sort of makes sense).

Jake isn't so tough to deal with, after all. Amen.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Jesus Don't Want ME for a Sunbeam

This is a picture of Jake's little cousin. Aww, isn't she sweet? Yes. Yes, she is. She tells her mother on a regular basis, "I love Jesus! I wanna give him a hug."

Nearly every time I open the Ensign, there is yet another happy little warm ‘n’ fuzzy story about tiny children being in love with Jesus, the budding of their sweet little testimonies, and how close they are to their Father in Heaven. Same thing in testimony meeting, talking with other moms about their kids, and it's even all over the blogosphere.

So if this phenomenon of children loving their Father in Heaven is so common, why can't I have a little of it? I mean, after all, my own child says these types of things on a regular basis:

“No, no, NO church!”

“No go to church today. It Saturday today.”

“I want to hit Jesus.”

He has also decided that "It's Sunday" = NO. So I get these comments as well: "No bath, Mom! It Sunday." "No breakfasttime. It Sunday."

He found that if he covers up the letter d in God it spells go, so I frequently get to hear this bit of blasphemy: "Go, God, go!"

Last Sunday, while walking into church: "I not a good boy. I a baaad boy." (Of course overheard by everyone around us. And, of course, I have never called him a "bad boy" ever. Where does he get this stuff?)

Jeff and I have thoroughly searched our little boy for his 666-shaped birthmark. Just because we haven’t found it yet doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Note: This picture is actually quite innocent. He was
singing "Where Is Thumbkin" and was on the Tall Man
verse. Mom is the sicko here for posting the pic.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Enrich THIS

My current church calling is Enrichment Leader. This is one of life's many proofs that, indeed, Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. Enrichment is one of those things I'd never bother going to above once a yearif that'cause honest to heaven, I'd much rather stay at home and read a book. So how did I end up here?

I can just hear the Angels Responsible for Matching Individuals to Incompatible Callings plotting the whole thing:

Angel 1: "So, who should we get to do Enrichment in this ward?"
Angel 2: "How 'bout that wynne-thing?"
(look at each other and burst into laughter)
Angel 1: (gasping for breath) No, no seriously. Who?
Angel 2: The wynne-thing. Honestly.
(another outbreak of laughter so severe it shakes some snow out of the clouds onto the Sahara de
sert)
Angel 1: Oh, oh! (holding sides) Oh, that's good. (Wipes away a tear) Sure, why not?
Angel 2: Yeah. It'll be fun to watch.

It's just not...my thing. But I do it because I was asked. Why isn't it my thing? If I could simply have a class or a dinner, it would be fine. But instead, it must be an Event. It must have a Theme, a Clever Title, a Program, a Color Scheme, and Coordinated Refreshments. Way over my head.

Luckily, the other women seem to recognize my ineptness at All Things Cute and take matters into their own capable hands. I just get swept along in the tide of creativity, perfectionism, and over-the-topishness, and end up in some pretty strange situations some nights, wonderingnow, how did I get here? Where did all these people come from? Why am I draped in loose fabric, holding a baby doll, with a spotlight shining in my eyes*? What the crap is going on?

Our last Enrichment Night back in March was "Misson Possible: Technology Today!" (where, and I kid you not, we taught the ladies of the ward how to use some of the expensive technology that they insist on buying without having the slightest idea of how to use it.) That particular night, I found myself in a trenchcoat and sunglasses dancing** in a strobe light with Gladys Knight to the theme song from "Mission Impossible." (Though it wasn’t just Gladys—it was most of the Enrichment Committee. Gladys just happens to be one of the committee members.)

Hmm.

Thank goodness there are only four Enrichment nights a year.

*That's what they made me do for Christmas. They made me sing, too.

**Can’t really consider what I was doing “dancing.” The strobe light was very disorienting, and I’m not exactly a dancer, so I have no idea what really happened that night. The good news is: 1) I didn't injure myself; 2) I didn't injure anyone else, either—that I know of; 3) I think the lighting disoriented the audience as much as it did the performers, and so I am safe from judgment.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happy Easter! Here's an Easter Egg for You

Every year since Jake was born, I have done a DVD of family pictures for Jeff's side of the family. This ridiculous little movie I put in as an Easter egg for the 2006 DVD. It's starring my own stinky cat, Jasper. Enjoy.

(And if you have dial-up, I'm really really sorry, but I don't think this is worth waiting an hour to see. It's pretty crappy.)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Umm...NO.

There are lots of ways that you can waste time on the Internet. So, so many. And usually, when I am supposed to be using my rare Jake down-time to accomplish something, I find myself drifting around on a site like this one:

http://www.myheritage.com/

There is a feature on this site that is supposed to tell you what celebrity you look like. So, I uploaded a picture of myself and awaited the results. What a bunch of bunk. I do not look like Michelle Pfeiffer, Cameron Diaz, Calista Flockhart, nor Heidi Clum (thanks for the flattery, myheritage.com, but no). And none of these women look anything like each other, either.

To further prove my point that this thing doesn't work at all, I uploaded a picture of Jake. His Number 1 match? Oprah Winfrey. Hmm.


And honestly, this could have been soooo easy. I think I could do a better job of matching me to a celebrity. Look:


Or even:



See? Apparently, they should make me a feature on that site.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

New and Improved Formula

Costco changed their cat food. On the bag it reads "new and improved formula," but I want to know how they figure it's "improved." After all, our quality of life has been diminished by the stuff. Our experience:

We bought a huge bag and stored it in the garage while the cat finished off the last of the current bag. The problem is the cat got into the garage one day and found the new bag of cat food. Mmmm. Guess it smelled really, really good because he ripped a hole in it and scattered cat food all over the place. I discovered him and his secret snack, restored everything to its proper order (cat in the house, cat food back in the newly duct-taped bag) and everything was supposed to be fine. No. He liked the new cat food so much he went on a hunger strike and wouldn't eat the old stuff. He would spend a large portion of each day at the bottom of the stairs meowing piteously to be allowed back in the garage to eat the Other cat food.

Eventually he finished the old stuff, and we fed him the new stuff. He loved it so much he ate a ton of it until he was so full he barfed on the carpet. But the worse part is it gives him bad—really bad—gas and the bathroom with his litterbox in it smells unbelievable. At least the weather has been nice (in the 70s! Makes me scared for what August will be... please let us not still be here!) so I can open the windows and air the place out. Phew! And the dingleberry problem has increased exponentially with this new formula as well. (I'll be polite and not go into details about that one, but I really wish a product like this was available.)

At least the cat is happy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Vacation in Vegas

I hear plenty of LDS people talking about Las Vegas as a fun place to be and a great vacation spot. This confuses me. What is there in this place that is so appealing to LDS folk? After all, we can't enjoy the abundance of gambling, adult entertainment, and booze—and as for the shows and shopping—c'mon! LDS folk are just too cheap to spend their money. $200 for a show? I don't think so.

But here comes the part that mystifies me the most about why people choose to vacation here.

Here are some pictures I've taken from different places (not Las Vegas):


The above was taken out the car window while driving through California. The next few were taken in Washington while I was waiting for Jeff to finish the Bar:






There. Some beautiful places in this country of ours, aren't there?

But I have saved the most picturesque for last: Las Vegas, the Mecca of LDS vacation spots. The shot you are about to see was taken by myself just across the street from our home (Jake and I sometimes go wandering there, and I took this next picture in one of those delightful rambles). Are you ready?


(drumroll....)




(etc)












(still drumming...)






Behold, the glory of a Las Vegan* landscape!



Utterly breathtaking, isn't it? And best of all, (if there are any LDS readers out there) it's FREE! There is absolutely no cost to enjoy this lovely wilderness!

*Technically, we live in Henderson, but heavens, we live a mere twenty-minute drive from The Strip. I can see it from my house. And it's not like the Henderson landscape is any different from a Las Vegas landscape.