Friday, April 30, 2010

This is kinda like a birthday

So. My 50th entry. Originally I had this thing planned out where I would have fifty random facts about myself. Things like the fact that I have freakishly long monkey toes or that my face is not symmetrical, that I love nerdy things like Star Trek and Lord of the Rings but also enjoy action movies. However, less than ten facts in, I was quite bored. Not that I'm a boring person. I just have a short attention span.

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah. So instead, I decided to discuss the top reasons why I know I watch too many movies. Yeah. So. Here I go.

- Almost anything anyone says reminds me of a scene in a movie. Which I quote.

- There is a constant soundtrack going in my head. Especially on road trips, I imagine the different angles my car could be filmed from, and what music might best fit the mood of the trip.

- Sometimes when my memory is triggered by a word or a sound or a smell, I sit and stare off into space for indeterminable amounts of time. In my head, I am flashing back, explaing my sudden reaction, which may range from a sudden loud laugh to a tiny, glistening tear rolling down my cheek.

- Sometimes things become more dramatic than they need to be. And I see them in slow motion.

- I categorize my days into movie genres. "Oh yeah, that day was total comedy."

- I forget that characters on the screen are not real, and feel a sense of betrayal when my favorites show up in another movie.

- I believe that love stories really do happen like that, which has ruined me for any relationship that doesn't resemble Cinderella.

- I often break into song or dance randomly and am confused when those around me do not join in in full harmony and choreography.

- I am shocked when I walk into a high school and don't see teenagers resembling fully grown adults. Who are those little people???

- I get frustrated when all my problems are not solved within two hours. Apparently my life is an epic miniseries. Is that an oxymoron?

And that's about all I have right now. I love movies. Movies are great. My life is a movie. For reals.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

But wait! There's more!

I admit it. I'm an infomercial junkie. I will watch some infomercials over and over until I can practically quote them. Whether it's Billy Mays yelling at me or a perfectly coiffed woman crooning to me about how much easier my life will be, as soon as I flip to an infomercial, I am sucked in. This is usually how my thought process goes:
Hmmm...this looks interesting...
Haha, what kind of people buy this stuff?
Seriously, could they be any more overdramatic? that's a good point. I could use it for that.
Wow, I didn't know it could do that!
Still though...I'm not sure I need to spend the money.
*But wait! There's more!*
More? What more could there be?
How have I lived without this in my life up until now? card...
*6-8 weeks later*
What is this crap????

Because of the amazing hypnotic quality of infomercials, I have decided to forego finishing my novel and trying to get it published, and instead I am going create a video of my favorite infomercials...and do an infomercial to sell it!

Just think about it. It's genius! We all love infomercials, even if we refuse to admit it. My favorite part of infomercials is where they show life without their product. Arm cramps for those of us without a hair dryer stand. Complete catastrophe for people whose blankets don't have arms. And smushed food for people whose knives are just not sharp enough. It's a quality of life issue, really. And my video will bring to life all these issues at once! I bet I could get all those infomercials to sponser me. Plus, I'm super dynamic. People would totally buy from me. I would be RICH. And we all know that's all that's required for happiness.

Alright, I think I'm going to go ruminate on my idea in my Snuggie, and dry my hair while I cut some bread with my sharp knives and cook a s'more in my microwave. Maybe work on my stains with some Oxyclean and wash my face with this new amazing pore reducer before styling my hair with a Bumpit. Whoops, I just knocked over my can of pop. Good thing I had that snap on bottle top, otherwise my pop may have shorted out my computer and started a fire in my lap. Infomercials really do save lives.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

That thing called love

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. We can learn so much from kids. I had the privilege of hanging out with my five year old niece tonight. My other niece, Allie, fell asleep, so Maddy chattered all night, as usual.

It's so interesting to me to hear about the world from a child's perspective. For some reason, the topic of the night was love, being married, boyfriends, etc. Maddy is hilarious. She has decided that it's time for her to have a boyfriend, so she went through all the possible suspects. First there was her friend Jayden, but he already has a girlfriend named Carrie Anderson (Underwood). Then she thought maybe Lyle, but I gently explained that that really wasn't possible since they're cousins. Next, she thought maybe she could have a girlfriend instead and go with her friend Josie (Jayden's little sister). I told her she could certainly have Josie as a friend who is a girl. Her response? "Yeah, but I'll call her my girlfriend." Later on, she decided that she would maybe just marry Ace, the baby my sister is going to start watching tomorrow (and son of my dear friend Meagan!), when they are old enough.

What really got me about all of her talk was how simple it all seemed to her. You like someone, maybe you should marry them. You enjoy spending time with them? Well, it would be a blast to live with them and get to play all the time! Sure, you might fight sometimes, but in true kid style, you get over it by sharing a popsicle. Easy peasy.

Maddy also found time tonight to lecture me on my love life. She thinks I need to have a baby so she has more cousins, but I need to find a husband first. She said I would find him soon, May 23, actually. First she thought I would have to take the day off work to go look for him, but since it's a Sunday, I can just look after church. She's hilarious. It was even funnier coming off a weekend when I visited Southern Hills and was told that I needed to get married because I was so old, and also attended a bachelorette party, where I heard all sorts of advice for marriage.

My favorite advice was from a child. Just do it. Be with the one who makes you happy. And if you fight, share a popsicle ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

A public service announcement

There is an epidemic going on in this world that I feel obligated to address. It's spreading like wildfire, helped along by the Internet and social networking sites. We need to do something about it before it gets any worse. What is this phenomenon?

Over sharing.

Really, people, give it a rest. Guess what. While I don't mind knowing that you were sick today, I don't need to know how many times you puked, as well as the color and consistency. I don't need to know all the sordid details about your hookup or breakup. The relationship status will do, thankyouverymuch. While I love you, my friends, and care about what's important to you, and I am ecstatic when my friends have babies...I don't need to see pictures of the bloody lil one. How about the cute ones after he's at least wiped down. And no nudey pix of your kiddos. That's just wrong.

This also leads to a subgroup of people who are constantly putting up statuses involving how sad and depressed they are all the time...I worry about those people. I want to help my friends who are feeling down, but is Facebook really the best medium to discuss your depression?? Half the time I feel like they are just attention-seekers. I know when I have put things up it's usually to get a reaction or at least get people to know something's going on. But let's face it, all my statuses are to get a reaction ;)

Now it seems that what started online has begun to leak into every day lives. Now I'm talking about those people who like to share every minute detail of their lives with anyone who will listen, and even those who don't want to. They are trapped by propriety and the desire to avoid coming across as rude. So they stand and smile as they are bombarded with details about anything from how exactly to cook that special dish to a detailed report of finances. Then they are pulled unwittingly (and unwillingly) into a competition about who has more or less of any given possession or time or love or...well...anything!

What happened to the days of keeping personal things to ourselves? When did it become okay to share everything with everyone? Even I have caught myself doing this exact thing. It's contagious, I swear.

On a more serious note, one thing that I think is really scary about over sharing is the fact that we've forgotten how to listen. We are so intent on getting our own information out there for others to enjoy (scrutinize) that we forget to listen to other people. We have become so wrapped up in ourselves that we miss the important things that are going on in the lives of those we love. The following is an excerpt from an email devotional I received today, and then posted on Facebook ;)

“The first service that we can perform for anyone is to listen,” says Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Most of us don’t listen well. “I know just how you feel,” we say, and then we launch into a personal story to prove it. What have we just done? We’ve moved to center stage and made the other person listen to us! When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas or experiences are more important than theirs.

Interesting thoughts. Something we would all do well to think about.

This has been a public service announcement, brought to you by my brain.

Thank you and goodnight.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In the eye of the beholder

Sometimes I wish everyone were blind. Of course, that would present a number of difficulties, not the least of which would be the constant need for ice from bumping into walls and each other. (Not that blind people bump into things a lot, I'm just thinking with the number of times I bump into things when I can see, the prospect of me without sight is a bit frightening.)

Anyway, I have had several conversations recently about how much physical appearance matters. Mostly this has been in the context of relationships. Now, I will admit that there has to be some degree of physical attraction to someone you are dating, or would like to date. But should that be the most important factor? For me (and granted, I am a self-proclaimed Odd Duck), personality means so much more than physical appearance, mostly because I see someone's personality reflected in their appearance. Someone who is really good-looking but super shallow and jerky really isn't attractive to me. Depending on the level of rot in their personality, I am sometimes actually repulsed by them. Now, there haven't been that many people who repulse me in my life. I am usually able to see at least some positives. But on the other side, and I think more importantly, someone who is not considered "attractive" by the silly standards of most people, but who has a great personality, can be the most attractive person in the world to me. Would I date a guy who was shorter than me? That was the question posed to me today. If we clicked, if his personality, values, and humor meshed well with mine? Absolutely.

How many people are really able to look beyond outward appearance though? Not many. As I said before, I have had this conversation a lot lately, and most people seem to place a tremendous amount of importance on outward appearance. Even looking beyond relationships, attractive people are treated better a lot of times than unattractive people. We go around judging people by what they look like, how fat or thin, tall or short, young or old they are. It's interesting going out with my hot friends. Very different experience from going out alone. In fact, when I go out alone, I try not to make eye contact...and other people do the same. It works. I did a research paper in my undergraduate social psychology class and learned they have done long term studies regarding outward appearance. Even as children, those considered more visually appealing are treated more deferentially. While a "cute" child being naughty is played off as being precocious, a less attractive child is seen as inherently naughty, and punished accordingly. This happens with teachers, other students, even parents and other adults. Appalling.

Bottom line is, I am super disheartened by the role physical appearance plays in how people are treated, in and out of relationships. I am seriously an optimist by nature, but if my friends can say they would turn down a guy for his height, how can I hold on to hope that any guy could look past my outward appearance and see how amazingly fantastic I am? It's not often you hear someone say, "Hey, check out the personality on that one!" It just makes me sad.

I'll try to bring some funny later in the week. No promises.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A New Idea in Vacationing! Brought to you by Phyllis.

So Rena has been on my case for some time now asking me to write a guest blog. So I, Phyllis, have finally caved into the relentless peer pressure on the part of Ms. Rena Olsen and come to you with my own random thoughts. I will do my best to maintain the level of randomness and humor you have all come to expect from this blog. So here it goes.

Earlier this week Rena and I, and a few other co-worker who shall remain nameless (Rena I think you should give them nicknames too) were having a little chit chat in The Cube. As many of you know The Cube is the place where Rena and I spend about 40 hours a week. All things considered The Cube is generally a very exciting place, but can at times get a little hectic. On this particular day Rena and I were discussing going on a vacation together, after some discussion about where and when we would go, we came up with a most brilliant idea.

You see we have discovered a new option in resort vacations. This particular resort is all inclusive and you only have to pay a fraction of the total cost out of your pocket. The resort provides three meals a day, a myriad of activities to participate in, and a 24 hour nursing station if you were to find yourself feeling under the weather. You can get single room or a room with a roommate. . .but if you are bringing a friend the roommate issue is taken care of. This resort even provides clothing for the time you are there, so you don’t even have to pack! (I hate packing, I always feel as though I am forgetting something and then when you get back you have put everything away again. . .too much work) The best part of this resort, however, is the rooms. . .you see you there is no furniture in the room because the walls, the floor, and the ceiling are all upholstered with a very plush, marshmallow like, material, leaving plenty of space to practice your tumbling and roll around on the floor like you did when you were little. You see ladies and gentlemen we are taking a vacation to the Nut House.

Now for those of who know Rena and the few of you that know me are probably not shocked by this idea and some of you are probably thinking it’s about time. But I urge you to take a step back and think about this idea for a moment. It’s perfect. . .it’s all inclusive. . .and no one will expect a thing from you while you are there, because well, you’re crazy.

We did however come up with one issue that needs to be addressed. They may occasionally expect you talk about your feelings and the friends that live in your head. But fear not we have come up with a solution for that as well. When one of the nice resort workers asks you about these things start rocking back and forth. . .come on now practice while you are reading this. . .rock back and forth and start clapping your hands. If that does not succeed in getting them to back off attempt to bite your own ear. . .next time you are in the bathroom look at yourself in the mirror while you try to bite your own ear. . .I promise it will be very entertaining. . .just ask Rena, she watched me do it the other day in The Cube. . .and it’s good practice for your own upcoming vacation.

So I implore you all the next time you are considering taking some time to get away, put some serious thought into checking yourself into the Nut House. It doesn’t even have to be your local Nut House, find a city you have always wanted to visit and find a nice resort there. It could quite possibly be the most refreshing vacation you will ever take.

Note from Rena:
Well done, Phyllis. Definitely up to par. What you failed to mention, however, is our specific plan for our vacation together. We decided to have rooms next to each other with a window in between. However, the downside to this is Phyllis' need to watch me while I sleep. I can see it now...I wake up and see two eyes shining in the moonlight from my small window...
Me: Phyllis? Is that you?
P: No, go back to sleep.
Me: Phyllis, we talked about this, you can't watch me while I sleep. It's creepy.
P: I'm not. Shhh. Go back to sleep.

Phyllis is now denying this conversation ever happened. Don't tell her...but I secretly think it's nice to have someone watch over you while you a non-stalker, non-creepy way, of course.

See you at the nuthouse!