All Gave Some and Some Gave All…

Billy Cyrus from the 90s anyone?  The above song was actually one of his more tolerable (nee any song that isn’t Achy Breaky Heart… sorry I had to mention the title outloud… for research purposes you see).  And that was the detour way for me to get to the point… having just had Memorial Day, I wanted to add my thank you to all of those who have served our country in the past, present, and future… and especially for those families who lost a loved one in the service.  I don’t have the bravery (or frankly the skillz, temperament, cajones, clothing, mental fortitude, etc., etc., etc.)  to do what y’all did/do/will do, so thank you, thank you, thank you!!  And many more… if y’all ever need a piece of toast, I make a mean one.  (I’d offer other of my baked goods, but I don’t have the insurance policy to cover chipped teeth accidents).  Afghanistan ain’t got nothing on my chocolate chip lead cookies.

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I keep having this recurring nightmare.  I’m not sure why I’m having it of late as the incident happened way back when I was in the 8th grade attending North Trash Junior High (that wasn’t a typo… it was over 100 years old and crumbling to pieces when we attended).  We ate lunch out on a stairway that was basically a rubble field of cement pieces.  The incident in question?  The school being as old as it was had very narrow hallways in the basement.  Let’s face it… it was in Utah, children per capita is approximately 8800000 children to 1 adult (give or take 7999700).  Squish all them kids into one narrow hallway and let’s have a lawsuit on our hands!

There were rows of lockers lining both sides of said hallway stacked 2 deep, which made the hall even narrower when everyone was trying to get into their lockers whilst everyone else was trying to walk down the hall.  Needless to say it was a claustrophobic person’s hell on earth!  One particular morning before the first bell starting school had rung, the power went out in said hallway and being the hyped up, nerve-ridden, hormonal 14 year olds we were, everyone started freaking out.  We were packed in there like sardines anyway and now with no way to see 2 inches in front of us.  This led to some jerk football boys deciding it would be a good idea just to barrell through everyone like bulldozers.  I was kneeling on the ground getting into my lower locker when it happened, I was knocked over onto the ground and then was unable to get back up as a herd of buffalo trampled over the top of me.  I just covered my head with my arms and thought I was going to suffocate amidst it all.

After what seemed like 8 hours… (I’m sure it was nothing more than a few minutes), I was finally able to drag myself up off the floor into a sitting position, I was bleeding and I no longer had my gargantuan glasses on my face.  Since I was blind without my glasses and the hallway was still dark and extremely tight, there was no way I would be able to find my glasses.  I sat there bawling like a 2-year-old (oh the embarrassment) until the lights finally came back on and one of my friends realized I was hurt.  She searched for my gargantuan glasses only to discover they had been mutilated in the buffalo stampede, broke clear in half and the lenses popped out.  We took the broken pair into the orchestra room and tried to cobble them together with some masking tape… because I didn’t already look like Urkel on Steroids with just the neck crimping-sized glasses alone… no… let’s add tape to the look and then shatter the lenses.  I spent the rest of the day walking around with injuries and taped broken glasses.  Like my mom would have picked me up… the school was in Richmond, which is a good half hour drive from where she worked.   I just had to wait for the bus ride later that afternoon.

I woke up the other night flailing in my sleep as if I was trying to thwart the football buffalo stampede.  It’s funny the things that stick with you for forever and 12 days… I was 14 ages and ages ago said Grandma Olive… but in my vivid dreams it felt like it was happening now.  I’m pretty sure these days I could take on the whole herd with 2 arms tied behind my back.  Come at me, bros!   Mama needs a new pair of spectacles!

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In other news… for those who don’t have Facebook and have been asking how to get tickets to Mary Poppins, they just went on sale this weekend.  Go to http://www.fourseasonstheatre.org/ and click on the “Get Your Tickets Now” tab on the right hand side.  If you have a family you are bringing and want the family discount, call (435) 535-1432.  I believe the discount is buy 2 tickets at the regular price of $10 and then after that each ticket is just $5.  (NOTE:  To family who are insisting they are coming from far distances, you really don’t need to.  I’m in the thing for approximately 10 minutes total and it would be a long drive just to support that… There are no expectations and if I were you, I’d say to myself WWWD (what would whitney do)… uh… she’d totally skip the long drive too!)

So, I’m puzzled by this weird weather we’ve been having.  We live in a desert for a reason and it has rained every single day for the last month and a half… but the weird part of it is that there is usually some lovely blue sky in the area where I am not woggercizing.  I try to walk toward it, but this is all I see in my vicinity:

I’m like Eeyore, except less grey around the gills!  I really need to invest in an umbrella that actually covers my gargantuan head if this keeps up!  Stop the madness, Grucilla!

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Twice The Money For Half the Brains…

There really is no rest for we wicked folks… summer semester started last Monday only a week after spring semester ended… so I got approximately 5 minutes of free time to stare at all the paint drying I could please!  It was a glorious 5 minutes, though!  I read an actual real book… that did not have any high-faluting, boring textbook speak in it.  I almost forgot that my brain actually likes to work sometimes… on things that are pleasant.

As for summer semester’s classes… it’s another case of Whitney did not pay attention whilst signing up for said classes and made a mistake.  Classes in summer semester vary… you have your shorter variety, where-in they cram 15 weeks of work into a few weeks and you have your longer variety… the regular 14- or 15-week course, homework at a more normal level of insanity.  I was sure I needed to pick two 14-week courses on account of the fact that trying to cram in more than that makes me irritable and bursitis-y and in need of a good ole-fashioned time-out session.  Plus, full-time working at my day job and Mary Poppins is in 1 month and the rehearsals and shows will be taking up more and more of my time.

I signed up for my classes, bought my books and waited for the semester to begin.  Monday, I logged on to read the syllabi, and discovered I’d signed up for a class that was a 7-week course instead of a 14-week one.  Meaning, twice the amount of work in half the time.  I kid you not… it’s been one week since classes started and I’ve already muddled my way through 12 assignments plus reading in that one class alone!  Add in the reading and assignments from the other very needy course and I’m already counting down until birthday numero 90!

The final week for the shorter course falls on the same exact week the MP show is… same exact week of Whitney having a smorgasboard of stress eating!  :P  Sue me… garlic bread.  Now that I’ve yammered on incessantly about mysterious classes, I guess I ought to mention what they are… said no one who cares to know this information… not even my own mother.  The longer course is a psychology class, specifically about child maltreatment (sad stuff), except the teacher is a rambler.  She has 8000000000 documents I’m supposed to read about how the class works.  I have no clue what I’m doing after reading all of the documents because they were like 15 pages each of incessant yammerizing (we may be related)… and I fell asleep approximately 12 times whilst reading them.  Fingers crossed she accepts flying by the seat of one’s pants work.

The shorter course is a class for my English minor… a literature class dealing with farming and agriculture.  I KNOW!?!?!?  Even after my 12 assignments and reading this week, I’m not exactly sure how they’re going to cram in more farming literature information, but we shall see.  In the meantime, I best get started on my final cumulative 14-page paper since it’s due like tomorrow… give or take 6 more weeks.  FYI:  I’m going to need all the no-doze I can get off the black market.

PS- Happy Birthday to Padre this past Fridee.  I bought him an apron he can wear with pride… it says: It took me 64 years to look this good!  Oh yeah… you best believe I find the quality gifts!  :P

Oh Spring… I delightest in thy beauty… said Whitney Shakespeare on ding dongs.

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Don’t Rain On My Parade…

Back when I was full of vim and vigor and frankly a load of crap… when I was just a lass of about 11 or 12, I entered a contest that the Cache Valley Mall was putting on.  It was a Mother’s Day prize package wherein a comittee would pick the best essay about one’s own mother and the mother of that essay winner would get several prizes… flowers, a session in the photo studio, etc.  I entered… and for the life of me I can’t remember what I wrote that was so fascinating because it is lost for-e-v-e-r, but I ended up winning.  Allow me to show you one of the prizes my madre reaped…

STOP LAUGHING!!!  Them dresses are madre originals… sewn by hand… lace and everything.  No matter that I look like Laura Ingalls Wilder about to accept the wagon wheel award for best haystacking.  I’m also fascinated at the fact that all 3 of us have the same hair shape… kind of like a triangular frock of corn husks… or coneheads.  And the most pathetic part of this picture?  The glasses… they don’t have lenses in them.  When I arrived wearing my regular pair of glasses… a poor 11/12-year-old going on 45-year-old with a crick in my neck, the photographer said that they wouldn’t do.  My lenses were so big that the flash from the camera would make a glare on the picture… so instead of doing what any normal person would have done (aka take the glasses off and have the picture taken without them), we traipsed down the mall corridors to Baldwin Optical and found a similar pair of frames that I could borrow for said picture.  I’m wearing an ugly pair of glassless frames, lace-frocked, coneheaded, and frankly embarrassed to have won anything!  My mom hung the gigantic-sized version of this picture on our hall wall for many years… and then one day it up and suddenly disappeared.  I don’t have a clue who would do such a thing to such a masterpiece… coughcough.

Happy Mother’s Day to my momma… your gift from me (besides the other gifts I gave you) is the re-emergence of this heart-touching picture.  It’s like a gentle reminder that we were always nerds.

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In even less interesting news, I walked in a parade this past Saturday in the wind and rain, uphill both ways with no socks or shoes with a too-small umbrella for my gigantic head.

Coughcough… April, I stole your picture… but look at me giving you credit.  I carried this banner in my left hand and the umbrella in my right hand, and by the time I got home 4 miles later, my arms were stuck in those same positions for the rest of the weekend!   Also, I resemble the BFG in this picture (oh you all have to remember the book The BFG… Big Friendly Giant!)  Deal with it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my friends out there in mother land.  I respect and admire your selfless, long-suffering, hard-working ways, and I know that you are all raising/have raised children to be proud of!   I hope your day yesterday was filled with relaxation and chocolate… and love from your families.

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Twelve Layers Of Support and A Positive Attitude…

I feel about 105 today… give or take 20 years.  I’m guessing it’s because I haven’t drunk enough Diet Dr. Pepper… either that or I’m getting old.  You know it’s super lame when you get to brag about shoulder bursitis (it hurts), elbow tendonitis, and sharp knee pain when taking the stairs or general bending of said appendage… then there’s the stiff neck and back issue from too much slumping over the computer at work.  Is this what it’s like to be 105?  I’m starting early.  I could go on but then what am I going to talk about whilst sitting on my porch in a rocking chair 45 years from now?  Gotta save some of the good stuff for Pearl and Merle to commiserate with.

It’s when I get to grumbling that I remember the Sam’s Club lady and have to snap myself out of it.  Who is the Sam’s Club lady you ask?  Every Saturday I drop by the club… I love their produce and I always have to buy a container of their cherub tomatoes, strawberries, and whatever other vegetable or fruit happens to be on my weekly menu.  Saturday is sample day… that is if you don’t mind elbowing a few 95-year-olds to get to the last vegetarian chicken patty sample.  There’s one sample lady I look forward to every week.  You can hear her from a mile away, her spiel is always the same… Come try some… it is sooooooooooo yummy! Such a good price!  Picture that said by a darling little Asian lady.  She says that over and over and over.  She is genuinely excited about whatever she gets to sample… even if she’s stuck sampling dog biscuits or frozen brussel sprouts.  I usually end up buying whatever she has to sample because I’m a pushover (I don’t know what the helium balloon I’m going to do with 800 dog biscuits… they’re kind of dry. :P ) and apparently you can sell me on positive influence.  This past Saturday she was sampling some hideously disgusting barley salad.  The ingredients were fine and dandy… it was the dressing they put on said ingredients… but I still told her it tasted yummy… because I’m jellyfish-spined like that.  No barley salad entered my cart this week… I’m pretty impressed at my resistance!

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In other news… the dancing update.  The sweet choreographer for Mary Poppins has finally taken pity on us (I’m pretty sure I was a big reason for said pity) and she has modified the final bow dance I’ve been practicing for the last 2+ months.  The dance is still super uber fast, but compared to the non-modified version, it is MUCH easier to get in… MUCH.  The only problem, I feel like that kid on A Christmas Story bundled up in the snowsuit when I go to dance practice.  These flabs could seriously wound my surrounding competition (let’s face it… we’re competing for arm flailing space).  It is quite the production… twelve layers of support and a built-in heater, which of course is wayyyyyyy too hot to be moving around vigorously in.  I’m already sweating by the time I get there… and then I go home looking like a sewer rat.  The alternative is too gory to think about… imagine the casualties!  Died whilst being flabbulated to death!  I don’t want that responsibility… hear!?

Tyler was born to play Bert… he’s the next Dick Van Dyke… but with a better name!  :P

PS – Have any of you dealt with shoulder tendonitis/bursitis?  Do you have any tried and true remedies?  I’ll do anything, including rubbing said shoulder with cow intestines (JUST KIDDING… nevermind that idea)!

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Petrified Wood Shavings and Strait Jackets…

If you need me I’ve decided to take up whittling tiny animals out of Ivory soap whilst wearing a strait jacket and sipping denture-cream-flavored icees.  It’s a fascinating life soon to be portrayed on my new TLC reality show… Whittling Denture Jackets.  Why such a drastic life change?  I can’t bear the thought of making it through finals week.  My Spanish final set for this coming Thursday is 3 hours long… count them… THREE!  Within those three hours I will be writing prose in Spanish and then probably dialoguing with my imaginary boyfriend Juan about the weather in Spain.  Oh, the humanity!  I just have to re-learn 2 semesters worth of words and conjugations and grammar rules for constructing proper sentences in Spanish in the next 3 days.  No big deal.  Totally doable said the whittling freakazoid popping smarties like they’re the next MENSA medication.  Meanwhile, that show Freaky Friday would be really beneficial right now… as long as my traded body/brain is someone from Spain!

In other news, allow me to wax poetic about freeze-dried meats… aka petrified wood shavings.  Such an odd phenomenon.  We went to the restaurant, HuHot Mongolian Grill this weekend with some visiting family (what up, Jacque, et al.).  I’ve been to HuHot before… I am on the list of people who like HuHot.  It’s just weird.  For those of you not familiar.  Basically, you grab a bowl and walk through a line of freeze-dried food items (meats, vegetables, fruits, noodles, etc.) to make up your dish and then you take it to these guys working a large cirular-shaped skillet top where they stir fry it for you and then plop it on a plate for your digestive tract to make good use of.  This is the first time I’ve been there when not a vegetarian, so the meat threw me for a loop.  It was flat disks of freeze-dried meat, like cuzzin Clem laid out the venison meat he killed on the driveway and then backed over it several times in his Ford truck.  Then he scraped her up, stuck her in the freezer, and sold it to HuHot so that Whitney could have chicken stir fry.  FASCINATING!

Also, I could not be a worker on the gigantic skillet top… A.)  I would have burn marks all up and down both arms and my stomach… and 2.) I would have managed to trip someone else face first into the skillet whilst wielding my 2 metal spatulas.  Hi-ya!  Kudos to you, HuHot skilleters!  Kudos!  It should be an Olympic sport.

So, back to my Ivory whittling… I’m taking animal requests… scratch that… I can basically only do a blob of soap that if you squint real hard like can be whatever animal your imagination wants it to be.  Call up the people at Etsy… Whitney has a store to open!

If you need a Monday, smile-inducing pick-me-up… check out this video.  It’s from Williamsburg Retirement here in Logan.  My gramsy Berger lived there for a while when she lived in Logan and now our sweet family friend, LaVon graces it’s halls.  Apparently, only a few weeks old, this video has nearly 100,000 views and has been seen by people all over the world.  LaVon is in the video several times… she’s totally famous! (If the picture frozen on the video above is the one where they are eating a gigantic sink of ice cream, LaVon is the one in the middle wearing red!)

PSS – Prayers and thoughts to the people of Nepal who have suffered so much tragedy this past weekend.

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This and That and Jonah Days…

I’m feeling less than inspired to think of putting sentences together in an orderly fashion tonight… and there are zero coherent thoughts running through my brain right about now… unless you count the one about Mary’s little lamb joining the shearing club whilst carrying a machine gun.  That’s a normal day in my neighborhood.

If you follow me on Facebook, you can ignore this paragraph since I’ve already waxed something other than poetic about this particular topic.  Saturday the world learned that we lost Jonathan Crombie, aka Gilbert Blythe.  He was only 48.  As Anne would say, It was such a Jonah day!  This generation has Edward and Bella (or whatever their names are… I haven’t actually seen or read the Twilight books… shoot me).  My generation had Anne and Gilbert… a love story for the ages.  I’ve been a huge Anne of Green Gables fan since the age of 5 when my mom read me the abridged version of the first book.  It was love at first listen.  A few years later I watched the made-for-television movies and the characters I had grown to love in the books were brought to life, and I now had a face to put to each character.  Jonathan Crombie played Gilbert Blythe beautifully and a crush was born at the age of 7.  He portrayed the ideal man, and a throng-full of pre-teen/teen brace-wearers swooned into their Cheerios at the thought of him… or at least the character he played.  Rest in peace, Jonathan, my first movie boyfriend.

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In other news… on Wednesday we got a foot of snow.  This winter has been mild.  We started out promising in December/early January but then the clouds dried up and we had very few snowstorms.  In an attempt to make up for the drought, came this lil’ gift on tax day… I told you no good comes from tax day!

But thank you for the water reserves!

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Four Seasons Theatre Company put out some of their Mary Poppins advertising.  FYI:  If you were wondering who the perfect person to play Mary Poppins was, look no further… Sarah Huff won… She was born to play the part and you pretty much don’t want to miss her!  She even looks like Mary… see below.  I got to watch a very rough draft of most of the first act on Saturday whilst waiting for my scene’s turn… it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Clickety Clack on over to like their Facebook page:  Four Seasons Theatre Company

Meanwhile… if anyone can give me a case of Jack Daniels I might be able to loosen the helium balloons up in the acting department.  I’m too self-conscious, but I do a great impression of a stiff, board-like boulder.  Any tips on how to get out of one’s head and become one with the character?

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Please Won’t You Be… My Neighbor…

I grew up on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  I was friends with Daniel the Tiger and Henrietta Pussycat.  I feared the rigidness of King Friday (feared is not the appropriate word… he was a puppet wearing a crown for gravy’s sake).  I wanted my mailman to be Mr. McFeely and was genuinely upset when he never came.  I rode that trolly into the Land of Make Believe every day as a child… and as 5 year olds are wont to do, I developed a crush on the sweater-wearing teddy bear of a man named Mr. Rogers.  He had a way of making everyone feel important and loved and capable.  He didn’t know me from Adam, but I felt like he knew me because he was talking just to me through the TV screen of my 1970s fuzzy picture box with bunny ears that needed to be adjusted every time the wind blew the wrong way.

I recently discovered that the entirety of Mr. Rogers 30-some-odd years of television programs are available on Amazon for Prime memberships to watch for free.  One late night a few weeks back during one of my many insomnia-induced nights where I search for anything to do that procrastinates homework, I set out to watch a few episodes.  Children’s programming is cheesy… and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood is like a brick of gouda in a vat of velveeta visiting a hunk of swiss with a mistress of cheddar on the side, but the sentiment is still there.  The kind, caring, genuinely gentle man made me feel as if I was an important and worthwhile specimen… and who doesn’t need that reminder every few decades?

I’m not versed on the children’s programming of today (you mommies out there may be able to tell me), but I doubt that there is a Mr. Rogers equivalent on TV today… and that’s such a shame.  I hope that you who have young kids will take the opportunity to introduce your young’uns to the Land of Make Believe (free for Amazon Prime members… get ye’ there)… tell them Whitney sent you.  In my imagination, they’ll know who you are talking about.  Thank you Mr. Rogers for teaching me a childhood full of lessons about being kind and accepting of all.

“Mutual caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain.”
–Fred Rogers
 
“Whether we’re a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we’re acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”
–Fred Rogers
Check out this clip of Mr. Rogers accepting the Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 1997.  He brought the whole room to tears by making it about everyone but himself.

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In other news… nephews Christian and Ethan found out baby “it” will be a boy!  Boys, boys, boys everywhere you look!  Guarantee you Auntie Whitney will be making him watch some Mr. Rogers!  Lindsay… it’s totally modern so stop it.

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