stellar A: when i scheduled the annual "muppet+nog party", i explicitly told my sister that i would deny any work offered to me that day; i would not miss this party. and, lo and behold, i got a call from cosmic pictures on saturday in need of a good camera assistant. man, sometimes the stars align against you. or, perhaps not. it turned out that the shoot was not only an awesome position (me sitting behind the camera, instead of next to it), but it would be 8 hours at most. ...meaning i could work a good day and still make it in plenty of time for that party. man, i love it when the planets align and the tumblers of the universe fall into place.
the shoot rocked so severely that i was in a great mood as i stopped by macey's to buy a lot of eggs, cream, nutmeg, and whole milk. i even remembered to use my trendy canvas shopping bags (thanks, criterion!)
which leads to...
stellar B: the muppet+nog party went more or less as planned. last year i made just enough for everyone to get one glass full. this year i bought enough to make two for everyone, but the first batch was a quadruple recipe, which had even my largest bowls brimming to the top with noggy goodness. suffice it to say, that was enough work that we didn't make the second batch. everyone got one glass of seriously dang good nog, and i've still got a ton of dairy products in my fridge.
michael caine sings, "if you want to know the measure of a man, you simply count his friends!" such being the case, i am worth 15 awesome friends and two babies. i'm pretty happy about that. we sang along as best we could, we laughed a lot, and ate homemade oreos (thanks, jaime!) and ginger snaps (thanks, natalie!)
tuesday. i've decided i'd like a blu-ray player. a bit of research revealed that a playstation 3 was actually the best blu-ray player out there and tim helped me find a great deal on ebay (did you know that if you use microsoft's new search engine to buy things on ebay under certain conditions, they'll give you money back? 100% for real!), and my ps3 came today. hooking it up is an evolving nightmare, but i've already watched wall.e twice. i have an unabashed crush on that movie for so many reasons....
we also watched the childhood favorite, a claymation Christmas, and tim showed us dr. horrible's sing along blog, about which he wrote a good, insightful essay.
wednesday. after the chris's photo-endorsement of the hogle zoo's Christmas lights, mark and i decided to ask some nice girls on a zoo date. i like monkeys. and the porcupine. and the poison dart frogs. and we saw some cougars, too, who didn't mind my camera flash. and we stuffed mark inside an egg. all followed by some seriously good pizza at stoneground pizza, our very favorite (and possibly hexed) pizza joint.
thursday. another day of work at cosmic, more awesome times had by all. and, miracle of miracles, i made it to mandy anderson's wedding reception. i wanted to, because a) mandy's great and b) i wanted to keep my resolution to attend receptions, and an insider tip let me know that people were still in line when i was getting back in town.
friday. i had a fine list of things i needed to do today. then mark called and suggest we go to ikea to buy some furniture. mostly, i went because of the meatballs. that evening was our ward Christmas party, for which I was not too eager. nor did i have a skit, and, when they said "each committee should prepare a skit", i suspected that "sunday school" may be included in that. the party was actually great, with robust attendance, plenty of food, and a couple of really good skits, the best being the brower family doing a puppet performance about the joys of fun-sounding words like "blubber", "macadamia", "gazebo", and, my favorite, "tuberculosis" (the chris, i thought of you from the start).
saturday. i ran errands in the wet snow while listening to the soundtrack for a charlie brown Christmas. itunes had it as part of their $4.99 sale this week, and i'm absolutely enraptured with it. i went to the byu bookstore and mailed a package that i should have mailed off yesterday, and another that i should have mailed off in, oh, september. and i picked up ratatouille on blu-ray at best buy on sale and marveled at its beauty as i tossed together a noodle stir fry that i'd rate about a 6 out of 10.
that night i went i filled in with bekahjo as she set up some friends on a date to the lights at temple square. had i known we were going to ihop, i wouldn't have eaten beforehand. i ordered a hot chocolate, which was nice and rich (think heated hershey's syrup). two cups was enough for me. the rest of the evening, the lights, the company, the conversation, was, true to form, pretty much great. except for the roads; they were really icy.
sunday. because i had a meeting with the stake presidency smack in the middle of my sunday school lesson, i only taught for 15 minutes, then passed the torch to another teacher. i wanted to talk, ever so briefly, on one of the more misunderstood (or simply unknown) topics in the Church, the house of israel. but that's really hard to do in 10 minutes. and harder still when it seems everyone is talking. in short, it wasn't so good.
hometeaching, however, was good. great, actually. but, sad. see, when i moved into the ward three and a bit years ago, i was given the best hometeaching companion ever. and i never would have expected that jonpaul would be so great. we seemed so different: when i drove, we were listening to general conference. when he drove, we listened to rap. but we complemented and clicked. for the year and a half that i was in charge of hometeaching, i made sure to never change us. when the new elder's quorum presidencies came, i threatened old testament-style consequences if we were ever split up. i can't remember all the people we hometaught, but, just as group 2 taught me how great f.h.e. could be, together we learned how truly wonderful hometeaching is. jonpaul moved his records to a new ward a few weeks ago without telling me. today, as we were making our final visits, he said that the reason he had stayed in the ward as long as he had was because of hometeaching, and he didn't tell me until the change was final because i was the only person who could have convinced him not to go. i'll miss him dearly. i've had some great companions (my manfriend jack, the chris, that guy named mike...), but i don't think i will ever have another companion like jonpaul.
as i finish typing this, i'm enjoying the charlie brown soundtrack and savoring a bowl of berries and yogurt. i'm stoked that jess comes into town tomorrow, and brady and i drive to minnesota on wednesday. and becky's updated me that caleb seems to really like people who sing in the car.... : )
this isn't a great post, but it gets you caught up.
and that's why you read this, right?