Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Jensen Family Pett

I had a happy weekend in Rexburg. I got to visit my dearest friends the Jensen family. All I can say to illustrate my affection is I visited them in Winter. In Idaho. Even though I have declared on many occasions that I would never drive in Idaho in the Winter again. That's how much I like them. You can't blame me though. When I arrived and knocked on the door, I could hear them break into chanting my name. How can I resist?

The boys were bursting to tell me everything that has happened since I last saw them I think. I loved their enthusiasm. We played games. Our favorite is a German card game that I can't remember the name. Before I left, I was crowned Ultimate Winner of the Universe. At least until the next visit when they boys will have a chance to vie for the title. I must admit though, Dave beat me more times, I just happened to take the championship game.
Another highlight was the girls date night. There is a beauty school in Rexburg. I highly recommend the scalp treatment. Next time I go I'm going to try the facial or pedicure. Or both. I also got a haircut. I have been doing all kinds of wild crazy things lately, but a $5 haircut at a beauty school in Idaho was one of more reckless to be sure. It turned out ok though. I like the haircut. I figured if it turned out badly, hair always grows back and I can always get if fixed by my regular stylist.
The hardest part of these visits is balancing my time with the boys and mom. I love the boys and love their attention. I think most of the time they think I'm there solely for their company. I was in fact friends with Sara first. I try and lavish regular, adult, female attention on Sara. She is the best mother (of 4 strapping boys), and I don't know anything of motherhood firsthand, but I think mom's need to keep a part of their individual identity. Mostly though, I just love Sara's friendship. I'm greedy.
I should also mention how crafty we were. Sweet Sara gave me a watch face and we picked out some beads and made a fabulous watch for me. Apparently these watches are all the rage in Rexburg. There was hardly a woman in church that didn't have one one. It was fun and I love my watch. It's practically a work of art. Sara also made me a lovely matching necklace from a leftover bead.

Definitely one of my favorite memories from the evening was something David (age 4) said. Sara was explaining to him that I wasn't actually a real family member, just a close family friend. David insisted I was family. He finally exclaimed, "She is our Pett!" He meant to say aunt, but realized how funny what he said was. He asked Sara if she knew what he meant by Pett, and said cause it's my name. I wasn't there but I could hear them rolling with laughter. Precious. Maybe you had to be there. It was very funny to me. I thought he was very clever to pick up on the humor so young.

Here are some drawings D & K did on my computer. Dave is quite the little graphic designer.

I shouldn't go on about how wonderful my friends are or everyone will want to be friends with them and I will have to share them. Best weekend of 2010 so far. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Snowshoeing

I went up Millcreek snowshoeing Monday. You don't really need snowshoes. They were handy on part of the way down on the steeper part of the trail. Love the claws on the way down. If you have a good sturdy shoe with a really good tread you may be ok.
I saw a bunch of these bugs crawling through the snow. I've never really noticed bugs during the winter before.
The road is closed off quite a ways from the top. We took a side trail at Elbow Fork, which was about 1/2 way up the road.
We were treated to a fantastic view of the clouds and sky and sunshine on our way back down.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sweet, fresh air

The air here in SLC has been terrible for at least 2 weeks. I went up Big Cottonwood with the Riding ladies and got out of the haze. It actually reminds me of the air in China.
It was fantastic. We saw blue skies, and the air was clear and fresh. It was nice to get some sunshine too.
The trail to donut falls is packed enough that you don't really need to wear snowshoes. We carried two pairs up just in case. Which turned out to be a good idea. It is really steep the last few feet to the waterfall.
I started sliding back down and just about took out the whole group. Then I tried to just use the snowshoes on my hands and pull myself up. No good. We shared the two pairs instead. We got some interesting looks on our way down.
It was such a beautiful day up there I didn't really want to come down. Plus I enjoyed the company too. Always a good time when a Riding is around.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Teddy Bear Journal 2

Oct 10, 1987

Today was grandmas Walters funarly (funeral). I'm going to miss her alot. I love her very much. I wish she weren't dead. People at the funarly said she always talked about us. My mom got me a new jacket. It's nice. (Children are resilient.)

Oct 12, 1987

Today I went on a feld trip. It was fun. I wanted to sit by Kristine but I was too late. I had so sit by Jamie. She's borning. (Jamie, whoever you are and wherever you are, I'm so sorry. I was just a kid. Forgive me.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

No Pants Subway (Trax) Ride 2010

If you haven't heard of Improv Everywhere, immediately after reading this google them. They have done some amazing work. It's part performance art, part urban prank, part awesome. I heard about them on NPR a few weeks back and finally googled them last Friday. To my wonder and amazement the no pants train thing is everywhere, even here in little ole SLC. So I immediately sign up without a further thought in my head.

I actually did do some thinking about it. Not real deep thinking obviously, but thinking none the less. I've been thinking a lot the past several weeks about things I can do to make a difference in the lives of people around me. For the better. This is a whole other topic, but I think I found my dharma (not the same as kharma). I want to make people smile and feel happy and good. Besides being a great prank, the people behind this event really do want to make people smile. I am ok with looking silly if it makes someone laugh a bit. Also, I needed a good laugh myself.

A secondary reason I did it, was to prove to myself that I am comfortable with my body. I have not historically had a positive self image. Regardless of my actual weight or appearance, I always have an idea of myself in my head that is distorted and negative. I am finally developing some acceptance for my body. Probably my least favorite part of my body are my thighs, which were about the only part of me that was seen. I was bundled head to toe otherwise. It was a drastic way of declaring, here I am and I'm not ashamed, but whatever. I can accept my body and not show it off and that's ok too, cause no one else has to approve for my to like myself. But it was a reason that went through my head.

So what's this all about. A big group of us met at the Trax station at 3:00 Sunday afternoon. I saw a group of people standing around with backpacks and figured that is it. There isn't a lot of coordination. Just everyone board the train. At some point during the ride through the free zone, take off your pants. Then ride the trains around the free zone without pants on.

If you are wondering, it is not illegal to not wear pants in public or on Trax (the VP I think they said, rode along pantless the past two years). You have to have something on your bottom, and there are rules on what can be seen. In the meeting info they specifically told people to keep it tasteful, so there are no issues with future rides. This was the 3rd year they've done it in SLC and the 9th in New York.

Yes, I am kinda crazy, but I still have a set of personal standards I choose to adhere to. Modesty is one of them. I was sorely tempted by some cute ruffly undies, but unless you are like 3 or under, no one should be seeing your ruffles in public. 3 year old, so cute. 30 year old, trashy. I found some lovely candy cane striped boxers that brought the balance of humor and coverage.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous after getting on the train. The group was probably 50-60% of the train at the time. We all kind of sat/stood around looking nervously at each other. Well, I was trying really hard to keep a straight face, so I didn't look at anyone much. I pulled out my Sudoku and pretended not to notice anything. After the first stop the girl across from me took off her pants. I tried to watch the non-participants out of the corner of my eye. Pricelesss. As more people start taking off their pants, there's this look of confusion. Like, am I seeing what I'm seeing? And then smiling, like I am seeing what I'm seeing!

I kind of looked around like, what's that, oh, ok, back to Sudoku. Mid-ride I took off my boots, pulled my pants off (focusing seriously on not pulling my boxers down too, wore a 2nd pair of undies underneath just in case.), put my boots back on, and sat down in all my candy cane striped glory.

I have to admit one of my first thoughts wasn't "oh my gosh, I'm not wearing pants," it was, "merciful heavens, my thighs are touching the seat, where's this seat been?, gah, I need a disinfectant wipe". I got over it. And stood most of the time.

I heard from the other side of the train that after everyone took their pants off, some guy got off the next stop and ran away. I hope he was just in a hurry and we didn't scare him. Dear sir, if we scared you, I am so sorry. It was all in fun. We just wanted to make people smile. (Which in many cases we did.) If you were offended or scared, please forgive us.

One of the biggest reactions I noticed was people trying to act like it was no big deal. A guy sat across from me at one point and was trying hard not to stare. When I went to the door and looked back he was looking up and down the car bug-eyed. You know he went home and was like, you will not believe what I saw on the train today. There were 4 or 5 photographers from different newspapers there too. Maybe some of the people will see a story about it and understand. Or not, nothing wrong with keeping the mystery.

One of the most common verbal responses was, "aren't you cold?" I would just say, "Ya, the wind really cuts right through you, doesn't it."

I broke off from the main group after a while. Which was fun, cause I caught another train that some other guys were on and there was a young guy there totally worked up about the ones already on the train. Then I come hopping on pantless and he really gets going about how hardcore everyone in Salt Lake is. There was a photographer in that car taking pictures. So the guy says to the photographer, "Dude, I'm gonna take my pants off. Will you take my picture if I take my pants off?" The photographer just says totally sober, "Don't do that." I just shrug at him, like what are you talking about.

At one stop I was alone waiting for the next train and a guy and his kid are working the stop. He said his daughter's bag was stolen that had their money and train tickets on. Is he telling the truth? I don't know, but I do know it's freezing!!! His kid was bundled up pretty good, but I gave him all the money I had which was only $2. He thanked me, all the time trying to not look at my legs. He tried. I noticed later he was further down talking to another guy and they were staring my way. I don't know if they were talking about the state of my pantlessness or how nice I was. I will never know. Either way, I made them happy.

It actually surprised me when I was the only one on the train, how many people didn't looked phased at all. Someone said something about my shorts. I think a lot of people thought I was wearing short shorts. I'm ok with that. I really liked the dudes, in boy short cut undies, knee high socks, and dress shoes. You knew they were not in short shorts.

Another favorite moment was when I hopped off the train at one stop where a group of 4-5 teenage boys (dressed like a little posse of thugs) where waiting to get on. And I quote, "Whoah!", "Wow! Don't mess with that!", and the youngest looking one, "Nice legs!" I just said "Thanks guys" and moved to the other side of the station. I liked the look of surprise on their faces and how they just said what came at the moment.

When I would walk pass people, I would look back a lot and catching them staring. To your face, they act like no biggie, but once you're past it's all WTH. If I made eye contact I did smile. I was there to for smiles, not to just expose myself.

Another fun reaction was this old (I think homeless), loud guy. As I got off and he got on, he yelled back (and everyone heard he was so loud, and slurred) "You got guts wearing them!" I said thanks back.

I really did keep a straight face the whole time. When I got to my car and drove up for family dinner, I couldn't stop giggling though. I would giggle like a silly kid, stop, then giggle some more. I hope we spread a little whimsy and humor today, but if nothing else, everyone who participated spread a little joy amongst ourselves.

Also, I just checked the Deseret News, and I am in one of the photos. Search for "pants", and the story should come up. It's only a little blurb, but there is a picture gallery, and you can see if you can find me. :)

Mom, don't be angry. You know me. You really shouldn't be surprised. It's art. And it was tastefully done. Hahahahahahaha. Ah. I like me.

Teddy Bear Era: Part One

These are excerpts from my first journal, the red one with teddy bears on it. I laughed, I cried, I cringed. I tried to keep the spelling the same as in the journal.

Sep 28, 1987

Today is my dads birthday. I gave him three shavers. I only had English and Math. I got to watch Bevorly Hills Teens. It was about a a rich girl who went poor and her friends helped her get a job.

Sep 29, 1987

Today we had fish for lunch. Kristen didn't want hers so she gave some to me. On Beverly Hills Teens a prince came to see Blaze. Blaze likes horses, so he deciced (disguised) himself as a stableboy. He inventes (invites) them to a ball. We were supposto have a meating about the treeshouse but nobody came but me. (Oh my goodness. I had no idea my "project planning" roots went back so deep.)

Sep 30, 1987

Today I finished My Constitution essa. I had a little math homework. We had the treehouse meeting today and we decided all the rules and ways to earn money.

Oct 4, 1987

Today is moms brithday. She made 3 pumkin pies, 1 cherry, and a choclate. We had to watch confrence all day. Confrence is two hours we watched it twice.

How much do I love the internet. Not only did I find Beverly Hills Teens in wikipedia, but I got a youtube link to the intro.

For those of you curious, some of the talks in conference those sessions were:
Our Divine Constitution
Never Give Up
Looking beyond the Mark
Ethics and Honesty
"The Great Imitator"
"They're Not Really Happy"
Take Not the Name of God in Vain (Gordon B. Hinkley, I miss him)
"The Light and Life of the Wolrd"
A Doorway Called Love (Monson, gauranteed some good stories there)
Follow the Brethren
Selfless Service
Lesss from Eve
Finding Joy in Life


Hold on to your hats people. Expect big things in 2010 from this lady. As far as some things you may see soon on this blog, I'm going to start reviewing my journals from when I was a kid and posting some of the funny stuff. Some of the stuff I wrote has me rolling.

Another thing you will see soon are snippets from a "memoir" I started last year about last year. I have a working title right now, "How to Fail: A Guide for Type-A Personalities". I can't say I know everything about it, but it's my hope that maybe some of my experiences can offer support to anyone who ever experiences failure or disappointments. Hmmmm, like everyone. In a nutshell, you can't escape failure and disappointment. The best you can hope for is to deal with it and learn from it. One of my favorite chapters is on how to stay in bed all day. Trust me, there is a time and place for it.

I have a second blog that's sort of a trail guide. I think I'm going to combine it with this one. So you might see more outdoor pics and trail/race tips. Or I might not.

Hopefully there will also be some travel entries from Italy! If not Italy, somewhere else awesome.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I was just looking at my last blog post. I was feeling good at the time and was thinking about all the people around me who weren't and just wanted to spread some cheerfulness around.

I had one more thought I wanted to add to that. The last yoga session I did (I like to do the casts), the instructor, Adi, was in a pose for a long time that made my legs tremble and burn. She knew she had us all there too. She said not to fight it. Just listen to what your legs had to tell you. At first I thought my legs are telling my ouch, stop it. But I did listen and really they were saying, you are trying really hard and pushing us to our limits. It was still hard, but I felt better anyhow.

So, if you are feeling sad and your heart hurts, don't ignore it, or hide from it, or find things to drown out the pain. Just listen to what it has to tell you. It will still hurt, but you might learn something, like that you would only be hurting if you had the capacity to care. That's not a bad thing.

Love yoga. Going to go back to the Bikram studio soon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Words of Encouragement

I just thought I'd share some things I've heard/read recently that made me feel good. I threw on some pics of things that make me happy.

First though, just a quick anecdote from my run this morning. I like winter running when it's not super cold. It was so beautiful today, I did an extra 1.4 miles cause I was just enjoying being out. So, on the corner of 2700 S & 500 E, while I'm waiting for the light to change this guy says to me, "You must be a track star." After I stopped laughing I said, "No, just an amateur." and wished him a nice day. I should have told him how much I liked his jean jacket. Bringing the 80's back. Nice.

So here's a poem I read in an article in the Ensign:

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God:
See all, nor be afraid!"

--Robert Browning

Got my dreams, got my life, got my love
Got my friends go the sunshine above
Whay am I making this hard on myself
When there's so many beautiful reasons I have to be happy

--Natasha Bedingfield, chorus to "Happy"

I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine
I got a love and I know that it's all mine
Do what you want but you're never gonna break me
Sticks and stones are never gonna shake me

--Natasha Bedingfield, "Pocketful of Sunshine"

The sun has left and forgotten me
It's dark, I cannot see
Why does this rain pour down
I'm gonna drown
In a sea
Of deep confusion

Somebody told me, I don't know who
Whenever you are sad and blue
And you're feelin' all alone and left behind
Just take a look insdie and you will find

You gotta hold on, hold no through the night
Hang on, things will be all right
Even when it's dark
And not a bit of sparkling
Sing-song sunshine from above
Spreading rays of sunny love

Just hang on, hang on to the vine
Stay on, soon you'll be divine
If you start to cry, look up to the sky
Something's coming up ahead
To turn your tears to dew instead

And so I hold on to his advice
When change is hard and not so nice
You listen to our hear the whole night through
Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you

--Pink Martini, "Hang on Little Tomato"