katie

Dear November, Oh How I Love Thee


I am quite certain I’ve never had a better week in my life than I did last week—from winning soccer games, to good things happening at work, to a hot date, to lots of delicious food with family, to not getting enough sleep, to seeing some good friends from high school, to being DONE with loads of laundry. Makes it easy to be thankful, which was rather appropriate for the holiday.

Over on my good friend, Katie’s blog, she made a nice little list of some of her recent thoughts. I like lists. I like to read them. I like to write them. So here you have a list from me filled with random thoughts and things that made me smile this weekend:

  1. I’m counting down the DAYS until you can call me Master Larrie. I will be finished with school for good. I’m very certain I don’t care for a Ph.D. That sounds exhausting to me.
  2. Remember how I REFUSE to use the painfully overused and abused acronym, LOL? So today I typed it in an IM conversation with a coworker. She responded with, “WHAT?!” I would never really, intentionally use it, so obviously, it was a facetious use. I told her, “it’s like a mormon swearing.” And THAT, my internet friends, is how dorky humor is in the IT department.
  3. Took my niece to New Moon this weekend. Just so you know, I’m not on Team Edward or Team Jacob. Since those men/boys don’t exist. But my niece liked Jacob much more than the skinny, moody, pale vampire.
  4. My leg muscles are killing me from a gym workout. If there was a fire in the building at work, I’d probably die because I wouldn’t be able to physically walk down the six flights of stairs to safety. Oh wait, YES I COULD BECAUSE WE HAVE THESE!
  5. I really like brushing my teeth at work. I also really like visits to the dentist and if I could convince my insurance to pay for it, I’d go once a month.
  6. Number six is one of my favorite numbers. When I was little, I really liked 2, 4, and 6, but eventually swapped 6 out for 8 because they’re part of an infinite series based on the power of two. I used to skip stairs so I only stepped on 2, 4, or 8 stairs in the flight. I’m not OCD.
  7. Last night, after dinner at my parents, we went around the circle and shared something new that we had learned in the last year. I love my Grumma’s comment. She was happy that my younger brother, James, taught her how to text.
  8. My little niece Kate doesn’t usually give out lots of hugs like her older siblings do. But last night as I was saying goodbye to the kids, she put her arms up to me so I picked her up, she put her head on my shoulder and squeezed me, then she gave me a wet kiss. The best.
  9. This is Max Hall’s last season. Hooray. Although that means that next year, Kirk and I can’t text our complaints about him. (And yes, I am a cougar fan, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of Hall.)
  10. Does anybody know what the definition of crazy cat lady is? Just for debate needs, I could use a good reference.
  11. My sisters-in-law wrote me some letters on Thanksgiving. They like me. How cool is that? I have fabulous in-laws. You’re jealous.
  12. I like bubble baths.
  13. This will be my first winter with 4WD. Nice.
  14. I’d happily trade sleep for the company I had Friday night anytime.
  15. Saturday was excessively busy, but it felt great to start the day off seeing Sabrina, Shannon and their little families. Plus, we won our soccer game against the girl who scores the most in the league. We won by a lot, too. Go my team.
  16. I taught the Relief Society lesson. That means I don’t have to do it again for another four months.
  17. Did you even make it to the end of this list? You deserve a prize then.

Day 4: Is there anybody out there… like me?*


Today’s “Build a Better Blog” task required me to analyze a top blog in my niche.

My niche?

Is there any other blog in the world in my niche?

I was stumped.

So instead, I started scanning through my friends’ blogs. I heart my friends. I heart their blogs. These are some of them (in random order):

Mama’s Boys – Linds and I became friends our senior year of high school, but we went to school together since kindergarten. It’s sad that we missed out on all of those years of friendship we could have had, but we made up for it, possibly all in one weekend that involved squirt guns, walkie-talkies, cell phones, undercover gang patrol cops, and an accident.

Phabulous Phippens – Mine and Karen’s friendship came and went because she came and went moving to and from Utah and always back to the same school from elementary through high school. This included a short stint in a musical, getting in trouble with the typing teacher, and attempting to sing in choir first thing in the morning. When I have kids, I’ll expect to call her frequently for advice.

Shanny’s Life – Shannon and I also went to school together since kindergarten and became almost friends in high school, but REALLY became friends as roommates our freshman year in college. That happened because I leaned over in Calculus, senior year, and said, “Hey, I need a roommate and you’re going to BYU. What’s your social security number?” (I also follow her husband, Clark’s blog, Bethletard. It’s a good one.)

The M’s – Sabrina shares her blog with her husband-how cute are they? And again, she’s a friend who I went to school with since kindergarten, but didn’t really become buds until senior year. Are we noticing a theme yet? However, we do have some moments of connection prior to that, including hiding in a garage with baby quail (sometime in 3rd grade, perhaps), and having Calculus study sessions in my basement where we rewarded ourselves with playing some type of wrestling game on the N64 after.

my little adventures… – Meghan, Meghan, bo Beghan experienced the Larrie friendship curve. This is where it takes some time before she realizes my quirks are actually endearing and then decides that we should spend Valentine’s Day eating Thai food with our Korean friend and then bake mountains of chocolate chip cookies while listening to Outkast. Can you believe they allowed such unruly behavior at BYU? Thankfully, the friendship curve doesn’t seem to be a bell curve; no sloping down yet.

Scattered Starlight – English majors UNITE! Somehow, Katie and I never got to know each other during our tenure as English majors at BYU, but we became friends afterwards, thanks to my sister-in-law, her best friend, Genny. Now we get to connect in a myriad of ways, from reading each others’ blogs to twittering back and forth or posting on each others’ Facebook walls. Yep, we’re TIGHT.

v1.2 – “Kaakun” was in a BYU ward. I have no idea how we became friends because there are many, many holes in my memory from that year of school. However, I do remember him and Rachel playing the “state game,” his commentary during mine and my roommates’ ice skating finals, and drawing on his apartment window in the middle of the night. Since then, there have been Vegas weddings, broken beds, and vomiting at Crown Burger. Sweet, sweet memories.

Family blogs: life of laina – I’m so happy my brother married Laina, for many reasons, one of which is that she blogs and it’s consistent, unlike her husband, Thane, who recently started up again on his blog, My Separate from Wife’s Blog. Nobody else in my family really blogs so I adopted my sister-in-law, Tracy’s family: Aimee, internal conversations & ramblings of aimee heffernan; Scott, Vote of Die Blog; and Ryan, The Idealistic Investor.

Tiffanie – I am a fan of our story. We met briefly during the ’99-’00 school year when she visited my roommate from Kansas. Then, I ended up in that same roommate’s wedding party where her best friend from Kansas, Tiff, did not. Seemed odd and so I was hesitant to talk to Tiff because I was the bad guy in this situation. Then, many moons later, she moved to Salt Lake and we ended up in the same singles ward. I went up to her and said, “Are you from Olathe, Kansas?” Who’s heard of Olathe and who can pronounce it right? Me. That’s who. Oh-lay-thah.

Two of my roommates who weren’t actually roommates: Nichole-The Audrey show, and Leslie-The Collyafaces. We lived next door, but both apartments got along so well, we would have knocked down the wall that separated us if we could. Now, I just stalk them via their blogs where they post pics of their adorable little girls.

A Day in the Life of Clancy – I knew Clancy when I was younger, but she was always the big sister. Instead, I spent all of my time running around with her little sister, Lacy-climbing cherry trees, rollerblading down Harrison (from 1300 E to 1100 E), doing art projects and playing Nintendo. However, today, Clancy and I go rollerblading down Harrison. Wait. No, we don’t because she doesn’t even live in Utah. Instead, we just stalk each others’ blogs and hit up the jokes on FB chat. It’s a beautiful relationship.

Norton News – Amy and I rocked the basketball court (and sometimes the bench) in high school. I miss her motivational speeches tailored just to me and my emotional rollercoaster ride that was high school sports. Then, she motivated me through a summer of door-to-door sales by sending lengthy emails. Now, she’s got an adorable little family, house, life, etc. It’s fabulous.

View from the Bushes – Every time I read the title of his blog, I think of a peeping tom. However, Ross is not… as far as I know. He’s the former coworker who I initially judged by appearance (longer hair, scraggily beard) and then got over that and realized he was an English major turned geek with the sharpest wit in the department. He moved on to bigger, better things than our web dude at work and now I have to stalk him via his blog. And we have Facebook. Too bad I only got one date with his brother-he would have been a catch.

My sister blogs. Oh wait, no, no she doesn’t, otherwise I would have included it in the family section above. But once, her roommate tried to set up a blog for the two of them: Merphanie. That lasted long. The other roommate, Kasi keeps up the blogging on her own site: Kismet of Kas. Also, I follow Martha’s blog, MOSTLY MARTHA. I’m pretty sure we’re both Mrs.-Lake-trained writers.

I know-this list is getting very long. I skipped over some people because they haven’t blog very recently. (Or because I don’t want them to know that I read their blogs regularly, mwahaha.) The rest of the blogs that I follow are written by people that I do not know… AT ALL.

Here’s a quick list of SOME of those: almost literary, Normal Mormon Husbands, The Art of Over-Thinking, Why Mormon Girls Stay Single, Lifehacker, Mashable!, Seth’s Blog, etc.

Okay, I’m tired of adding hyperlinks so you’ll just have to guess what all the other blogs are that I follow. What blogs do you follow?


*When I started typing this subject line, I was singing in my head, Pink Floyd’s Is There Anybody Out There? There’s not much to sing, though. Basically, while writing the remainder of this awesome blog post, I was repeating over and over in my head, “Hello, hello, hello” fading out.

I Miss Afternoon Kindergarten


I don’t get along with mornings. We just can’t see eye-to-eye because mornings won’t give up their long-held views of being in the morning and I can’t change my life-long stance of not liking them. It’s been difficult for both of us.

Wait, no; I take that back. Mornings could care less about how I feel about them. It’s only been difficult for me. I just haven’t been able to learn ANY mind over mattress skills… at ANY time in my life. Including these points:

  • Kindergarten – you would think the daily desire to sleep in might be something that developed over time. You might but you’d be wrong. I can still remember how my Mom told me that she would put me in afternoon kindergarten or else I would never make it on time. She was worried about me going into first grade for two reasons: school would start around 8:00 a.m. (in the MORNING) and I would eat lunch at school with apparently terrible table manners.*
  • Seminary Council – It may have been my Dad, not sure, but at least one of my parents expressed some concern when I was on the LDS seminar council my senior year. Why? It had nothing to do with whether or not they thought I was spiritual enough or if I could do a good job. It was the fact that the council met EARLY IN THE MORNING before the start of regular school (which was already EARLY IN THE MORNING). If school started around 7:40 a.m. and we met before that, those meetings truly were EARLY IN THE MORNING. And the only way I could possibly make it to them was if I was responsible for getting somebody else to those meetings, too, so I would carpool with Lindsey. Hooray for friends!
  • Biology 100 – Obviously, I didn’t have Louise** around to STOP me from signing up for a TEN A.M. class my freshman year at BYU. And to top it off, it was a class with about 800 students so it’s not like the professor would notice if I wasn’t in attendance. Oh, and one more thing to top off the topping off: it was mostly graded on test performance so when I already had the book and the syllabus gave me the dates of the tests, guess when I went to class?
  • Door-to-door Sales – I ended up in Chambersburg, PA the summer after that blessed freshman year in an attempt to make the big bucks selling books door-to-door. While I only made an okay amount of money in the end, the lessons I learned about myself made the experience worth it. The funny thing is, that I thought that by the end of the summer, it would be easy to wake up at 6:00 a.m. because I had been doing it EVERY DAY. I was SO wrong. The minute the summer ended, I slept in. Probably until noon so that I woke up in the AFTERNOON.

I’ve done a LOT of self-analysis (in the last 30 seconds) and determined my reason for disliking mornings so much is this: I really like to sleep and by the time I finally DO fall asleep, I don’t want to get up… ever.


Political Link of the Day: “How Much Should You Give?” (thanks Katie)

[New York Governor] Paterson and his wife apparently gave just $150 to charity in 2007—out of an income of $269,815—and earned a rousing Bronx cheer from many New Yorkers.


*Is there nobody ELSE out there who may have preferred eating the edge of their hot dog first before consuming the mystery meat on the inside when they were 6? Eating it like a typewriter was just more amusing than sticking it in a bun.

**Louise was the academic counselor that brought me back from the brink of academic expulsion by telling me to “get real” with my goals. That meant scheduling classes after noon (making them AFTERNOON classes, not MORNING classes) and taking them from the best professors.

A Quirky Game of Tag


Hooray for Thursdays and another fabulous installment of Larrie’s weekly therapy with her imaginary Doc. For some blog readers, this is what they look forward to—it helps them make it to the weekend.

DOC: Welcome, please sit down.

LRE: So formal.

DOC: I’m trying a new thing.

LRE: What? Acting like a doctor?

DOC: Something along those lines.

LRE: Great; just so long as you’re still imaginary and therefore I still don’t have to pay you.

DOC: Right-o. I’ve got a list of questions to discuss.

LRE: Nah; that’s okay.

DOC: But… but, I put so much time into coming up with these.

LRE: Really?

DOC: Sure, why not?

LRE: K, save them for next week.

DOC: Why? Do you have another list of 100 random things all about YOU?

LRE: No; that requires more effort than your list of questions.

DOC: Fine; what have ya got then?

LRE: I’ve been tagged.

DOC: You’ve… been… tagged…?

LRE: Yes; thanks for repeating it. Katie tagged me.

DOC: Kate did, huh? That still doesn’t explain what you’re talking about. Are you playing freeze tag?

LRE: Not exactly; it’s blog tag and I don’t think anybody crawls under your legs to unfreeze you in this game.

DOC: Blog tag, huh? So we’re expecting some of those hyperlink things where the text is underlined and blue?

LRE: Yes, a few.

DOC: All right, fine. Explain this blog tag then.

LRE: Right. Katie wrote the “rules” on her blog as she had received them from the person that tagged her.

DOC: Of course; you have to have clear rules. And what are they?

LRE: Let’s see… I link back to her (done), talk about the rules on my blog, tell six unspectacular quirks about me, tag six other bloggers and then leave comments on their blogs that I’ve tagged them.

DOC: Interesting rules. And these rules ask you to write YOUR rules about YOUR blog? YOU have rules?

LRE: Well, I wouldn’t exactly say that’s what it’s supposed to mean—talking about the rules on my blog and all—it really means that I need to explain the “tag rules” here on my blog, but I could briefly mention my daily posts as the “rules” for MY blog.

DOC: You mean—there’s more than JUST our Thursday appointments?

LRE: Hate to break it to ya, Doc, but you’re only one of usually six entries a week.

DOC: I’m crushed; I was under the impression that we were exclusive.

LRE: Ha—that would be silly.

DOC: Well, I’m afraid to ask out of jealousy, but what are the others?

LRE: Monday is my “freebie” day, Tuesday is the quote of the week, Wednesday is the cell phone pic of the week, you and I have our Thursdays, Friday is about work and Saturday I try and review a book.

DOC: You don’t sound very committed to Saturdays.

LRE: Yeah; Saturday doesn’t always give me enough attention so I’m not as committed, but there’s also lots of soccer now that it’s fall and I haven’t managed to sit down at a laptop when there’s running and scoring goals to be done.

DOC: Well, I suppose it’s good to know your rules.

LRE: Sure.

DOC: K, so what was next? Six unspectacular quirks about you?

LRE: Yeah.

DOC: Who chose to describe your quirks with unspectacular?… sort of an oxymoron there.

LRE: Almost. I can see your point, but my idiosyncrasies aren’t exactly spectacular—just odd.

DOC: All right; you list them and stop naming synonyms for quirk instead.

LRE: Let’s see… first, I keep telling myself that one day I will master “mind over mattress” but it just never happens.

DOC: I suppose that there ARE people out there who like mornings.

LRE: I suppose so, too, but I don’t really want to hear about that. I hate mornings and each morning, a different Larrie wakes up determined to come up with one reason after another to continue hitting the snooze button.

DOC: That button should never have been invented.

LRE: Seriously.

DOC: K, that was one.

LRE: Right; I better hurry this up as I’m rambling and nobody wants to read long blog entries.

DOC: Do you ever have SHORT entries?

LRE: STOP interrupting me. Number two would be that I hate doing dishes, however, since buying my own little condo, I have NEVER, NOT EVEN ONCE, left a pot or pan in the sink overnight. (But that does not relate to cookie sheets or muffin tins.)

DOC: Don’t tell your mom. She’ll wonder why you didn’t do that at home.

LRE: No she won’t. I was okay at doing my own dishes.

DOC: Hmm… maybe I’ll ask her.

LRE: Fine. Moving right along to number three: I think I’m really funny.

DOC: You’re not supposed to think of yourSELF as funny.

LRE: I know, but the thing is, I don’t think other people think I’m nearly as funny as I THINK I AM.

DOC: Do you really care?

LRE: Course not. Okay, number four would be that I had a really hard time misspelling the word millennium in an IM chat today.

DOC: Why were you misspelling it?

LRE: For comedic purposes, of course. But purposely misspelling is so difficult; ESPECIALLY when you type 90+ wpm and therefore don’t type by letter, but type by word. It really cut down on my typing speed.

DOC: Sounds rough. Okay so on to number five.

LRE: Thanks. For the sake of time, I’m going to say five AND six BEFORE you can interrupt me.

DOC: Oh, good…

LRE: STOP.

DOC: Sor-

LRE: SERIOUSLY, STOP. That wasted four lines. Sheesh. (Speaking REALLY fast now…) Five-would-be-that-I-have-a-crooked-toe-again-and-Six-would-be-that-I’m-really-bummed-I-don’t-have-a-piano-in-my-condo. The. End.

DOC: Well, I think I caught that last bit.

LRE: And I’m done.

DOC: Except you need to tag six more. Pick six that also need therapy, k?

LRE: Don’t we all probably need it?

DOC: Not you; you’re self medicated.

LRE: Saves me money. K, I tag Puck, Nettie, Nichole, Pete, Thane and Laina. Who wants to put money down on which brother actually does it… Pete or Thane?

DOC: I’m not a betting man.

LRE: You’re not a REAL man.

DOC: Don’t you have to post a comment on their blogs now to tell them?

LRE: Yes, but I can’t post comments on blogs at work. I’ll try and remember to do it later tonight.

DOC: Just try, huh?

LRE: Yeah… I’ll try.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and A Wrinkle in Time


In part to make up for missing a review last week and also to honor two of my buddies / ol’ pals who took my fabulous survey (link in upper right), it’s a two-for-one book review this Saturday! Woot woot! And these two books are ones that if you haven’t read, your life is SERIOUSLY INCOMPLETE so you better click on them and buy them immediately from Amazon so that we can be friends again. The first book is my ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE and Katie mentioned that she recently picked it up on a trip to B&N. (Katie is SO like me when it comes to visiting a fabulous bookstore; we can’t leave without armfuls of tasty literature and I heart it when she shares on her blog her latest bibliophile purchases.) The second book is one that I recently lent a copy to my niece, Annie. It’s also listed on Kow’s list of books she’s read on Goodreads.com. She rated it five stars out of five stars and I must say, I agree. (Kow is another girlfriend who I can ALWAYS count on for a good reading recommendation or to discuss one of the myriad novels we have devoured.)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was published back at the start of the 20th century and follows the story of the protagonist, Francie, as she grows up in a very underprivileged Brooklyn family. She loves to go to the library; she loves to curl up with a book hidden beneath the branches of a tree outside her flat’s window; she loves to take in the lives of the people living around her. It’s a beautiful book because it takes you back to when you were a kid and still had the energy to take in everything happening around you.

When I was living in Pennsylvania for a summer while making an attempt at selling study guides door-to-door, I would reward myself for putting in so many hours or getting a couple of sales by going to the Chambersburg library, curling up in a chair by the window and rereading this book. It’s one of the books that gives me comfort because this little woman that Betty Smith created, Francie, shares with me her courage, hunger, practicality, observations and love of books. She is a literary figure that mirrors the Tree of Heaven, which grows up out of the cement cracks or cellar gratings in Brooklyn; struggling against the odds to survive and blossom. My parents gave me this book for Christmas when I was in high school and it’s one of the most cherished in my library.

A Wrinkle in Time is a book that most everyone my age read when they were in elementary school, or so I thought. Lately, it’s come up in conversation several times and the friends that I was talking to didn’t know it. Gasp! I forget that not every kid read it so eagerly and after finishing, quickly picked up the next Madeleine L’Engle book in their mom’s library until she had read all of those, then road her bike to the city library to check out more. I even wrote the author a letter and she replied. I think that I am long overdue to read some more L’Engle books.

I had to read summaries online to remember all of the details (clearly, it’s time for a refresher), but before long I started to recall how as a child, I loved the literary relationships with L’Engle’s characters in this book: Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin O’Keefe. They meet a stranger on a dark and stormy night who talks about a tesseract—a wrinkle in time. And then the adventure takes off through space and time, searching for Meg’s scientist father who disappeared while involved in secret government research on tesseracts. Just a warning to you, though… if you haven’t read this, be prepared to enjoy it so much that you, too, will want to read everything L’Engle has written and wish she was still alive so you could write to her with your admirations.

You know how there are some sweet memories that you will always hang on to? I still have mine of walking through the library in Sugarhouse and finding a treasure of L’Engle books—shortly after looking up the address in another big book downstairs of L’Engle’s publisher. I can almost smell the library now.