Thursday, February 26, 2009

Devotional Lesson

When I was in my second year at BYU, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke at a Tuesday morning devotional. In anticipation of hearing the prophet speak, I made plans with my roommates and friends to go early and save a few seats for my roommate, who was having a birthday, and a few other people that had class right up until 10:50, making it difficult to get to the Marriott Center in time for any 11am devotional, more especially one of this magnitude.

My cute chubby face back then.

Once we got into the Marriott Center and found the best available seats, which were about half way up to the top and towards the left of the podium (hardly coveted seats), I set my backpack down on the one seat I was charged with saving for my dear birthday-having roommate. And as I saved this seat, I blatantly ignored the guilt trip that came over the PA in the form of “Saving seats is unfair and not allowed. Do not save seats. You are dishonest if you save seats because we decided that this was a rule and you are not following it. DO NOT SAVE SEATS.”

After the announcement had come over the PA several times, one young man, I’ll call him Judge Judy, came up to me, asked me if I was saving the seat next to me. I said that I was, returned to my reading, realized he had not left, and he asked me to move my backpack. I said that I wouldn't. He insisted, I insisted, then he threatened to get a dreaded security guard.

Back then, I was a coward, and wanted to do everything I could to avoid getting in “trouble” at all costs. These days I would have told him to go ahead, and if he actually DID get a security guard, and the guard actually DID ask me to move my backpack, I would have complied. But back then I was a big old pansy who was desperately afraid of incurring the wrath of the "man."

So I got scared. And I moved my backpack. And Judge Judy moved right into the seat next to me. But it didn't end there. No it did not folks. Mr. Judge became my own personal judge, my Jiminy Cricket, my conscience.

As he sat in the seat he had taken from my birthday-roommate, he criticized me for saving a seat, saying that he didn't understand how anyone could purport to want to hear the words of the prophet and actually refuse to comply with simple rules. He said he found it ironic that I was so concerned with saving a seat for my friend, but not concerned about following the rules that the almighty, super righteous security team had come up with. How could I claim to be a disciple of Christ and a true BYU student while so purposely breaking such an important rule?

This continued for several minutes. People sitting around me had tried to intervene on my behalf, but Judy maintained that he was talking only to me. Once I could contain my frustration no more and had been reduced to tears, the only thing I could muster the courage to say was, “Where do you get off being so self-righteous?”

And this was his response—the response that I will never forget, and I laugh at today, but only half-heartedly because this poor, delusional soul actually meant what he said—which was

“Is it self-righteous? Or just righteous?”

And out of fear, stupidity, and sheer desire to hear the words of the prophet, I sat next to him for the duration of the devotional. And I have no idea what it was that President Hinckley said that day because I was too busy crying and contemplating the meaning of life and arbitrary rules. So instead of being instructed by the Lord's anointed, I was instructed by a guy I "fondly" refer to as Judge Judy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I had an encounter...

...with heavy cream. A few weeks back I made a strawberry shortcake for a gathering with TC's beautiful sisters and father (and adorable nephews and brother-in-law). Why strawberry shortcake? Because I have been obsessed with all things strawberry since I was a small child with my SS dresses, lunchbox, and other paraphernalia. And because I have fallen in love with making desserts that fall into the traditional category, like pineapple upside down cake (which got rave reviews from my critics) and now strawberry shortcake.

Here I am with the cake. Photo courtesy of TC's lovely sister Rosalia.

So begins my love affair with heavy cream. Sure I've had whipped cream before, but usually out of a can, or a tub, or fat free, or some other nonsensical form of whipped cream. But this recipe called for heavy cream, so I bought it, whipped it, and haven't been the same since. It had the perfect proportion of sugar to cream to vanilla extract. What's more is that I've been looking for excuses to whip up another bowl full. Lucky for my bum and other various easily expanded body parts, I haven't found any valid excuses.

I've been clean from whipped cream for over two weeks now. I am a whipped cream-aholic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Walmart Part II

I just wanted to say thank you for the responses to my Walmart post. I had no idea it would resonate with so many people. I was very self-centered in my perspective, assuming that I'm the only one who instantly develops behavioral issues once I step foot on Walmart property. Thank you for the reassurance, love and support. And for the funny comments. My goodness, for the funny comments! Dalene's ALL CAPS DECLARATION that she is capable of refraining from yelling at her husband. Shannon's assertion that the air is a concoction of noxious gas and McDonalds fumes. Heidi's admission that she needs a shower after Walmart. Jenni's nickname: Hellmart. Wow I have clever friends! And for the rest of you would offered a word of support and agreement, thank you.

Ya'lls the best.

Friday, February 20, 2009


It's amazing just how uncultured and uneducated I feel when shopping at Walmart. It's as though my true self emerges, you know the one which I constantly work to hide by stuffing in a minuscule box that's locked with a padlock for which I've purposely and gladly lost the key. I find myself doing strange things like talking loudly at TC, fighting with him in the store, getting impatient at other shoppers, using poor English failing to match verb and nouns in agreement, grimacing at tender children, kicking merchandise out of the walkway rather than putting it back where it belongs, looking through bins of movies because it's marked "Hot DVDs: $5." Who is this monster of a Gordita that emerges at the hellhole called Walmart?

And if you have ever shopped at the Walmart we shop at, you'll understand my less than loving feelings for that particular locale. It represents the seedy underbelly of SLC. As our dear friends put it, it's where people bring their children to yell at them. But for me it's so much more than that. It's where the rules of decorum do not apply: where women can wear slips as dresses, and bras outside of their clothes, and pants that haven't fit them since 1985. It's where it's okay to stink so badly of tobacco, body odor and alcohol that people standing several yards away can smell you. It's where it's okay to dress like woman even though you have a full beard and unshaven legs. It's where it's okay to wheel your children around the store as they shout and cry and are very obviously unhappy while you blissfully talk on your phone interrupting your conversation only occasionally to yell at your children for infractions other than the shouting.

So what do I do? I continue to shop there because they have low prices. And I continue to shop at that locale because it's the closest. And I find myself grimacing and kicking and arguing. And reading tabloids.

Because we waited in line for 15 minutes, I know that Jessica Simpson has gained some weight and has taken a lot of heat for it. And that at first she fought back saying that she was still healthy despite her weight, and then caved and hired a personal trainer. I had two choices: read the tabloids or stare at the seductive miniature versions of every day products sold for only 99 cents that are just opposite the tabloids. I wasn't sure I could handle that temptation. And staring at the backs of other shoppers' heads wasn't appealing. And talking to TC was out of the question because I would either say something snide and unbecoming, or I would begin an argument. So in silence I read the tabloids.

And by the time I got to the front of the line, my desire to exchange pleasantries with the checker had vanished. Instead of responding to the kind greeting the checker gave me despite his insane work conditions, I think I may have grunted. And I may be generous in my description of my greeting for him. And when the card reader machine asked if my store was clean, I clicked no out of spite rather than out of a fair evaluation of the store.

So TC and I left in silence. Unloaded our purchases in the trunk, started the car and blaring on the stereo was Bon Jovi, Livin' on a Prayer. And as TC and I are enveloped in the warmth and aloofness of our eurotrash car, and we change CDs to a more appropriate euro techno trash genre sung in Swedish or whatever language, we feel more like ourselves: trashy, but imported*.

*Gordita is not actually imported, but enjoys denial.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where have I been?

In the off chance that anybody has been wondering, I wanted to answer the title question with a resounding: right here! It's so sad to be so close to a computer all day and yet too far to post on my dear blog for my dear blog readers. Three words to describe the past few weeks: busy, busy and more busy. (That was actually five words, but I think you get the point.) Work has been insane. Home has been insane. I have been insane. And right now, I'm busy (and insane), but I have my priorities on straight for the time: blogging comes first.

So thank you dear, faithful readers for continuing to check my blog although it has been decidedly unupdated. You are appreciated and loved, even you who do not comment, but somehow I know you've been here. You leave your mark in spirit.*

* The insanity has not worn off. I realize this and yet I am still going to post this nonsense.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ute Rally

This is several weeks late, but I thought I would share with the world my deep and personal love for Utah football. There's something about the red, and the winning and undefeatedness that tugs at my heartstrings.

When the Utes had a parade and rally naturally TC and I wanted to be a party to such a grand event. Here are some fun photos of the rally.

Utes mascot on a motorcycle. He's so cool!

Red wigs.

Smoking season indeed.

The band.

TC wearing red and enjoying a game (Sept 08).

If I were sappy.

If I were sappy I would write on my blog about how much I love and adore TC. But I'm not, so I won't say how my heart still skips a beat when I see him from afar. And I won't say that when he hugs me it makes my insides feel ticklish and happy. I won't mention how he makes me laugh so hard I snort, and he doesn't even judge me for it.

If I were more of a syrupy sweet type of gal I would tell everybody about how handsome I think he is, and how much I love seeing him dressed in his Sunday best, with French cuffs and handkerchief and all, so much so that I've tried to invent opportunities to dress up. I would also mention how well he takes care of me, laughs at my stupid jokes and doesn't think I'm a bad person when I thrash around violently, sometimes inflicting minor injuries when I'm being tickled.

But since I'm not that kind of girl I won't tell you all that he is my dream come true, that he meets all the criteria on the list I wrote as a 16 year old of qualities my future husband MUST have. I also won't mention how on that list is the following "He will think I'm the best thing since peanut better," and how when we were dating, TC randomly said to me that he thinks I'm the best thing since peanut butter, and how my insides felt so warm and fuzzy.

And I suppose I won't say anything about how when I look at him I can see the man he is and the man is meant to be, and I'm always humbled at all the wonderful things he has done and will do in his life. I won't say how amazed I am that someone as wonderful as he is loves me as much as he does.

So I guess I won't say any of that. I'll just keep it all to myself, since I'm not sappy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tea time

Isn't this tea set adorable? TC's father (or Elsuegro) brought this gift for me from Lasuegra (you guessed it: my mother-in-law). Lasuegra knows how much I enjoy drinking mate cocido and herbal tea, especially during winter, so she thought of me when she saw this. Am I lucky or what?

Naturally, the first opportunity I had I used the set and took photos to document it. Unfortunately, this was the only photo that turned out (because I was in all of the others, and shockingly I don't look all that great first thing in the morning).

Thank you Lasuegra! And thank you Elsuegro. Y'alls the best.