Dusting Off My Square Dancing Skills

Once upon a time*, I was going to start telling you a story about my weekend. However, I got off on the tangent from my asterisk and forgot what I was going to say. That happens OFTEN.

Let’s try again. Story may change from its original intentions.

Once upon a time, I used to sleep in, do chores, and run errands on Saturdays. This Saturday, however, none of the above happened. Instead, the day was rather jam-packed and I was happy for it (despite the fact that I have no milk or eggs in my fridge, but I do have whip cream).

The day began with soccer and the weather was practically perfect, as was the field. Sadly, my game was far from, but regardless, it was good exercise and I played a better second half. (We lost and I totally shanked a shot on goal… sad. Well, really, the saddest part is that I couldn’t play better for the Campbell cheering section which came to watch mine and Maren’s team get 2nd place in the Utah Cup. Sorry Dad, Jarv, Jennie and the kids, but thanks for coming.)

After running around in the sun for 90 minutes, I of course thought it necessary to meet up with Shawman to pump some iron. So it was off to the gym to try and convince my biceps and triceps they had the energy to lift a 20-lbs bar.

After the lifting, I rushed home to clean up and meet up with Mick, Tracy, their kids and Maren to watch a movie. And what movie do you think we went to? High School Musical 3, of course! Those kids were excited for the dancing and singing and such; I was entertained by seeing my high school on the big screen. Disney made my East High look much more school-spirit-filled than I remembered it. After the movie, and after Abe danced around in the front of the theatre, it was off to the next activity: the Fall Ball.

Here’s where the new singles ward comes into play. It was a ward activity and when I showed up, there was nowhere to park so I had to back out of the parking lot and park on the street. When I walked into the park pavilion, they were sweeping it up after having pushed all the tables out of the way and an older gentleman was standing with a mic in hand, prepared to begin calling some square dancing.

When was the last time you square danced**?

Let the young single adult square dancing begin. I felt like a hand-holding slut. (This is where I was going to tell you the number of guys that I held hands with as I skipped around promenading home and such, but I have no idea… maybe 30.) For the most part, there was minimal stepping on feet, nobody fell down and everybody learned how to “go into the center with a whoop and a holler.”

Did I mention that it was a good way to meet many more of the guys in my ward? Now if only I could remember all of their names. I’ll get there… eventually.

It was an hour of dosados, allemande lefts, courtesy turns, promenading and grand squares. Turns out, it was a fairly decent workout as well. I almost broke a sweat.

Sadly, when they were preparing the dutch ovens to make cobblers, I had to leave to make it to an indoor soccer game (where I only scored once so it was not one of my better soccer days all around).

Thankfully, due to circumstances beyond both mine and the guy’s control, the date I had for that night had to be rescheduled. I went home and stretched my muscles.

So aren’t you proud of me for trying something new? Well, something fairly new as I hadn’t squared danced for many moons… (and thanks to Mademoiselle Drew for letting me borrow the use of asterisks for side notes from her blog style).

Political Link of the Day: McCain gives Obama a new nickname, Barack the Redistributor

*Once I asked an ex-relationship a question. It was my attempt to get some conversation out of somebody who seemed to have decided not to talk to me for a very long weekend playing tourist in a big city. I simply asked him, “Tell me a story from your mission and start with, ‘once upon a time.’” Don’t YOU think that’s a good question to hopefully hear an interesting story? Well, I did. But, ex-relationship did NOT. Instead, he chose not to answer me and later said something along the lines of, “Well, you have to ask more specific questions.” I didn’t realize that regular old conversation between adults was governed by such a particular rule. How have I ever managed to carry on conversations with people and not necessarily followed this? You’re probably appalled now.

**Third grade with Doug Bodell. I should iSearch him and see if I can online stalk him; he was my third grade crush.

Weekend Highlights – Late Night Movies, Late Night Soccer and Nothing Early Morning

Friday: I survived work. It was one of those weeks where this was a MIGHTY accomplishment. Go me. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do that night, though. There had been a possibility of a gaggle of girls at my place, but that fell through because of my inability to actually call anyone. I blame that on my phone dying and the need to break in my new phone before making massive amounts of phone calls. Then there was a possibility of a sleepover with the nieces, but that also fell through. It was also possible that I would watch Jarv’s and Jennie’s kids for them, but they recruited Laina to help out (who has WAY more patience than I do so I’m sure none of the kids were sent to sit in the corner in the garage for time out—wait, I would NEVER do that; they just sit in the corner of the LAUNDRY room, better).

Instead, I coerced my coworker to bring her HUGE deli sandwich left over from lunch over so we could save money on dinner. She came with her daughter who gave the cats a workout chasing after toys. She also took videos on her mom’s cell phone of my ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS cats playing with these toys and sent them to my phone. Cute, right?

After they left, I sat around for a while watching TV and could have taken the opportunity to go to bed early, but that right there would be proof enough that THE END OF DAYS WERE NEAR. Instead, I crashed the little party at Pete’s and G’s where I remembered that I’m mad at my brother for moving out of state and taking his wife with him. Grrr. We semi-watched Enchanted, but I kept on getting up to go and check out things like Pete’s new GPS device, Pete’s and G’s new fireplace, and of course to discuss finances with Pete.

I got home late. (Surprise.)

Saturday: I got up around 9:30, had some quick breakfast and then dressed up for Laurie’s funeral. It was good to see so many people there to pay her respect and offer support to her family. Also, I had NO clue that this friend of mine had an affinity for mooning people. I think if I had found that out while she was still alive, I probably would have found out by experiencing it. The stories were funny enough.

After the funeral: errands. Being an adult is über exciting.

Then it was off to Mick and Tracy’s to watch their brood of five. After pizza, a movie and starting a rock band which performed on Emma’s bed, they all fell asleep just in time for my Mom to come and relieve me at 11:00 p.m. to race to my soccer game.

I LOVE the late, late soccer games. If I didn’t have to sleep, I would run around ALL NIGHT LONG because I have the energy to do it. (Except that lately, my lungs haven’t been cooperating so well, but oh well. Must be getting OLD.) We crushed the other team and I had two easy goals in the process. Thanks Mom for your help!

Sunday: I have my new ward so FOOLED. They think I can sing. Well, okay, I CAN sing, but that really just involves me being able to read music and sing on tune. That doesn’t say anything about the tone of my voice. I AM NOT A SOLOIST. And YET… I am singing a solo next week in church. Permission to laugh now. I know, seriously. I fit just fine in a choir, but our ward choir director asked me to sing the last line of the hymn ALL BY MYSELF. I said sure, because, hey maybe somebody will come up and talk to me afterwards.

Somebody: “That sure was brave of you to sing that solo.”

Me: “Why thank you.”

Somebody: “I hope they don’t ask you to do it again. But it WAS brave.”

Me: “Right… what’s your name?”

After church, it was dinner at the parents’ and a little celebration for Thane’s birthday. This is my cool little brother who used to wear TONS of BYU paraphernalia. That used to be our bond—the cougar fans in the Campbell clan. But his blood eventually turned red and we only had our baby pictures left to bond (and fight) over. So instead, he let me play soccer with him. I suddenly realized that my cool brother was also NICE because he was willing to put up with me on the field.

We then finished out the weekend by watching Step Up 2 at Ster’s. Talk about QUALITY entertainment.

I went home that night and had an Epsom salt bath while I drank chamomile tea and read a book. I AM LIVING THE LIFE.

Clubs – All the Best

Yesterday we celebrated Annie’s birthday party at Tracy’s parents’ home. Can you believe it that after an ENTIRE WEEK of spending non-stop time with my siblings, I was happy to see them? And I drove, all by myself because guess what? I LIVE ALL BY MYSELF. I’m such a grownup now.

After dinner and before presents, the kids were playing in the living room while the adults were having mature conversations (teasing Grumma about how they all wore red in memory of the recent sadness that is Tiger Woods’ knee). Every now and then, an adult would check on the kids to make sure none of them had gone missing between the couch cushions; one of those adults returned to report that the children had started a club. I never caught the name of the club, but Annie described one of the club’s activities with these words (and I really do quote here because I wrote them down as soon as I heard them): “an occasional chorus of coughing breaks out.”

That’s a good quote from a nine-year old—worth repeating.


Most of the kids had picked up a cough from the trip. I didn’t keep track of which kid initially introduced the cough to everyone else, but before long, all of the Campbell cousins could relate via coughing. And so they made a club.

At this point in the story, it’s my privilege to turn all of the attention on me. After all, why else would I have a blog, but to talk ALL ABOUT ME whenever I want and for as long as I want? So let’s talk about Larrie’s clubs for a moment.

Somewhere around the age of eight or nine, I wrote in my journal that I wanted to start a Book of Mormon club. By the tone of my journal (do eight/nine year olds know how to use tone in their writing?) I was ECSTATIC about this club. I was even going to get my friends that weren’t LDS to join. I think I had one, but we were mostly just playground friends because SIX BLOCKS was too far to walk to become backyard friends, too. Sadly, the BoM club never got off of the ground and I never even read the book all the way through on my own for the first time until I was in high school.

Right about now, I’m just wondering if there were other kids like me who were obsessed with making clubs. Anybody? Being the geek that I am, I even had a folder, labeled, “Clubs—All the Best.” Inside, each club had a printed up page about it with a flag. I typed up the pages on our word processor and used the # symbol to create a border for the flags. Then, I drew the flags with my AMAZING ARTISTIC ABILITIES. (That’s my superhero ability, you know.)

Of course I remember most of the clubs included in that folder. The one with the most members was the Treasurers’ Club. We were a little confused with the name because it wasn’t really a CLUB OF A BUNCH OF LITTLE KIDS ASPIRING TO ONE DAY RUN THE US TREASURY. In reality, we were a bunch of kids who wanted to draw maps that led to treasure at the end. Once, the treasure was a small box full of Symphony candy bars. Sometimes the maps were drawn-out representations of the neighborhood with an actual X to mark the spot. Other times, the maps were more clues left at different locations. Pretty intense for a bunch of elementary school kids, eh?

Another club was the SBOTJ Club. This one was the bomb. Seriously. It stood for Stopper Buddies of the Jungle. You can’t beat that—combining soccer with the jungle? (For those who are sadly in the dark about what a stopper is, it’s a position on the soccer field in-between the midfield and sweeper/defense and I played that position in fourth grade.) There were two of us in the club and Puck and I had a handshake, a flag (with a very cool lion holding a baton with a soccer ball on the top), a chant, and a list of rules. Thanks to years of SSRIs, I no longer remember the handshake, even though we tried to document it by taking pictures, some of which were lost, the rest are no longer in the correct order. However, I remember the chant: “Stopper Buddies we are them; boom, boom, goal, yeah!” Coolest club EVER! Oh and to top it off, the rules were even better. I can only remember bits and pieces about most of them, but one I can remember word for word: “Never kill a wild beast; let them bring you food.” I know; you WISH you could have been in that club.

I eventually outgrew my club-making phase—just in time for the dragon-drawing phase. This occurred simultaneously with my cartoon-creation phase and having braces with headgear. I REALLY MISS JR HIGH SCHOOL.

No need for therapy when on vacation

I’m on vacation. I can see the ocean out the window to my right, just past a beautiful golf course. And I can hear my brothers’ kids chasing each other in between the condos. Ah, vacation… no need for Therapy Thursdays in sunny Newport Beach.

A little massage therapy wouldn’t be so bad as my legs are upset with me today for tearing up the muscles at the gym the day before Disneyland. That’s just how smart I am though. Why would I want to walk all over the park without having sore muscles to start with?

I did swim some laps at the pool with Tracy. CORRECTION: I swam over and back a few times, took a break, swam over, took a break, swam back, took a break, walked rapidly to the hot tub; Tracy swam laps. But, the movement did help my legs feel better for a bit. And then I returned to the condo to grab my laptop because I can leave work at home, but I can’t leave school. And spending just over an hour sitting still with a warm laptop on top of my quads really helps muscles to stiffen up.

While siblings played tennis, mom went shopping, kids chased each other, I wrote a paper on the professional uses of wikis and Second Life. Nothing humorous there so I don’t even know why I mentioned the topic. Perhaps I’m trying to convince you that I’m a very serious, studios and dedicated person. Yep, that’s Larrie: the epitome of the serious, studios, dedicated lifestyle.

I think I’ll make a business card that says that. Then I’ll have something to give to the guys who pick up on me at Best Buy and Wal-Mart. I’m very approachable when shopping for electronics.

Back to vacation.

Emma’s California To-Do List and Concerning a Dead Body

Mick emailed the family last week about the to-do list Emma wrote for our California trip. Check it out:


Mick’s translation:

Fun Things
Play game
Look at stars
Swim at the bech (also known as beach)
Have fun food
Sand big the shoa (your guess is as good as mine on that one)
Wach the f.w. (short for fireworks – and we assume she means at Disneyland)
Wach fum (or fun) movie
Do fun A. (because why write out Activities?)
Play with K. (Kate of course)
Make S.C. (sand castles)
Play with G. (although they love G this one is for Grandparents)
Wach Emma and Jane danss (which is a really cool type of dance)
Fid ice cearm (the California way to find and consume ice cream quickly)

And as a post-script, apparently it’s not that cool to mention a dead body in passing. But we only saw it in passing. Picture this: between three and four a.m. and the rest of the car is sleeping while I’m sitting shot gun talking to Jarv about dating. Up ahead there are several police cars and a firetruck in the right lane, forcing all of the traffic to merge to the left lane a few hundred yards before the first Mesquite exit. We have to slow down, to about 40 mph as we pass the ladder truck that has a large spotlight shining from its partially extended ladder.

Can somebody tell me why the authorities were allowing traffic to pass by while they had a dead body on the freeway? I won’t share details because this blog is SUPPOSED to be funny. But it was clear that the person’s head was the first thing to hit the pavement. So why were they shining a spotlight down on it and standing 20 feet away?

I’ve passed a dead body before, but there were so many cops around it and they were zipping it up in a body bag that I really didn’t see anything. Not this time.

About an hour later, when Mick and Tracy passed by in their car, Annie said there was a sheet over the body. About time.