Saturday, July 31, 2010

Miss me, Miss me, now ya gotta......

Oh friends....the time has come.  That glorious, glorious time of year where me and my entire family get to run away to the most GLORIOUS and beautiful place in all the land.



We get to spend an ENTIRE week amongst the pines, and aspens surrounded by gorgeousness.  Quiet, no phones, no computers, no NOTHING.

Just a week of cool to cold weather (quite a feat in Arizona), nature walks, game playing, laughing endlessly, long conversations, reading, eating, boggle masters, hearts wars,  laughing, eating, competing, games, relaxation and FUN.


All because these two (CUTEST picture EVER of them) "fell in love" and had my fabulous family!!  And then we all got old, and decided that week long vacays together was the WAY to go.



Ok, to be fair, this pic is from TWO years ago, and a lot has changed.  But..I'm not on my computer, so it's the best i could manage.  At least you get an idea of how many of us there are (this is my IMMEDIATE family).
We just love eachother, that's all.


And just for funsies...i'm throwing in a pic of the in-laws from 3 years ago (who like to call themselves the out-laws). I mean really...I bet your in-laws aren't as cool as mine!  Just sayin!

It is the one week of the year we look forward to MORE than anything.  In fact, tonight has been dubbed "Greer eve" by my brother and sister.  The giddiness we feel is like unto Christmas Eve. And this year, EVERY SINGLE ONE of us will be there.  Including my adorable nephew Bryson, who will have JUST arrived home from his mission in Argentina AND Jere (who missed last year entirely and only made it for 3 days the year before that due to work).

So, please excuse my absence from blogland for this week.  Try not to miss me too much.  Ok fine, miss me A LOT!  But know that I will be back.  If I can get clever enough, I will have my sis in law post some of my favorite older posts.  MANY of you weren't around for them.  So, it could be fun reading.  But, IF that doesn't happen, just know I love your buns tons and will be back in time for a memory monday post (a 2 week delay on 8th grade).  Joyce, maybe in my respite from the world, I'll be able to brainstorm any great things to share from this year. hehehehe

Peace out technoworld.  I'm off  to GREEEEEEEERRRRRRRR!!!!

And yes, you should be jealous, VERY jealous of the good times about to ensue.


Pines and parties,

Allyson

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Ladies that Lunch

Last week before I headed out to the "wilds" of girls camp, I had the joy and pleasure of meeting up with two of my oldest and dearest friends for a little lunchy.  We're trying to make this an annual, if not semi annual thing.  We started meeting up a couple of years ago.  And really, everytime we do it, we wonder why we don't get together more often.  We laugh, and reminisce and just enjoy a good couple of hours together.  I've already written about them and our lunch dates before, which you can read about HERE.  So, no need to get all crazy here.

Andrea, Karen and Me

We met up at Costa Vida for some delish sweet pork salads and some great conversation.  We discussed my memory monday blogs, since they are featured in that time of my life.  We laughed at all the memories and clarified eachothers memories.  I have heretofore decided, I should have a committee to write my Memory Monday Posts.
Here is my FAVORITE clarification of the day.
As you may recall, on my 6th grade post I wrote that I got to go to ice cream with my teacher after school was out that year.  Andrea went with us as well.  I can still see us walking down her front walkway and getting into the teachers car.  AS IT TURNS OUT, per Andrea and her memory.  The reason we got to go to icecream is....
before school got out that year, Mrs. Slocum stood and said she had a big announcement to make.  I allegedly said "I know exactly what you're going to tell us."  She said,"you do?"  And I said "Yes." So then she asked me to tell her.  According to Andrea, I said I didn't wannt to, 'cause I'd feel bad if she wasn't really what I thought.  Evidently, she persuaded me to speak my mind, in the which, I informed HER that she was pregnant.  And SLURRPRISE...she WAS pregnant.  She apparently was so impressed with my "psychic" ability that I earned myself a trip to the Haagan Daas with the teach.  Andrea said "what I don't understannd is...why did I get to go with you?"  Good quesion Andrea, GOOD QUESTION!  Perhaps you were my friend of the week. HA!  So there  you have it people...the REST of the story.  FREAKISH how I don't remember THAT part at all!!

Karen also informed  me that she was a regular match lighter, smoker blower with me in the camper.  OOPS!  Forgot that too.  SEE, a committee is in order!

And, since I'm in a picture with OLD friends, I am now going to talk of another little something I forgot to mention. It fits somewhere in 5th or 6th grade.


But wait....here is a shot of our last get together...a year and 1/2 ago.  Just after I had Max.  As a matter of record, I am going to say...I enjoy Andreas long hair in the new picture.  Just sayin.  And Karen, I love her for being unchanged. Is it just me, or do I look OLD now?  ICK! I AM pleased to report that the girls have gotten over themselves, insomuch that LAST year when I asked someone to take our picture, they were both embarrassed and giggled at me and my need to document all things in my life.  THIS year, when I told them I ws just gonna ask someone, so they should prepare themselves now for the embarrassment, they informed me they were totally over it (I think they're secretly pleased with  my silly blogging).  Thank goodness.  Because now they can just be flumoxed that I told embarrassing stories about them instead.

Anywhodle....my story.

Karen had a rectangular trampoline.  It seriously looked homemade. I have no idea where it came from, have never seen one before or since.  Nonetheless, she had one.  It was the greatest, and we jumped and played on it endlessly.  As a side note, she also had the worlds greatest tangerine tree in her backyard, and we would eat them until we were sick. But I digress.

So, this one time, Karen, the infamous NicoleR and I were in her backyard jumping.  There was this giant rubber tree or something in the corner of her yard, so we moved the tramp over to that corner and were taking turns climbing up the tree and jumping down onto the trampoline. Well, I shimmied my way up to the branch and tragedy occured.  The branch broke and I hurtled earthward at warp speed landing squarely on my back on a concrete curbing (it marked her garden).  It knocked the wind out of me, and I literally could NOT breathe.  I was SURE I was dying.  I couldn't make noise, I couldn't breathe, I was panicked.  And stupid Karen and Nicole were standing over me, looking down at my poor "lifeless" body and laughing their heads off.  I'm sure I looked awesome all sprawled there.  But I didn't appreciate their rudeness.  And so, just for that....I'm gonna tell you...Karen totally peed her pants one time when she was climbing a chainlink fence. And I was underneath her. And she was NOT cool at that moment. BUT, we laughed A LOT about it!  Needless to say, I did survive.  BUT, my back was super bruised for awhile, and I never tried stupid stunts like that again.  Except when I was doing a back flip on that SAME trampoline and back flipped myself right off the tramp and onto my back.  Seriously, I was a magnet for falls and injury.

Anyway, while visiting at our lunch, now that we're so mature and OLD.  We discussed our upcoming 20 year reunions (which makes me vomit a little), marriage, kids (which is fun, since both of them have SIXTEEN year old kids and I'm in the baby phase), life, our parents health, the loss of Andreas father, other people.  You name it, it was covered!  I am SO GRATEFUL for wonderful women and fabulous friends in my life.  How many people get to say that they're still friends with the girls they've known since they were 5 years old.  Ours is a bond that can never be broken, and for that, I'm thankful.

Thanks for the memories girls (both old and new).  You're the best.

Belly laughs and Memory jogs,

Allyson


Dear Joyce,

Sorry for the delay on 8th grade post.  I'm not sure I have it in me to write before I leave. BUT, for your sake, I will try.  Not that there is any great happenins that year.  Thanks for being my most avid memory monday follower.  Don't worry, my pic is a beut.

Sincerely yours,

Ethel

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Girls Camp...Ain't no WHERDS!

BE WARNED!!  Many picture post ahead.

GIRLS CAMP 2010
FOREVER STRONG!

About four months ago I was asked to be a part of the Stake Committe (a Stake in the Mormon church is a the place where all the wards come together.  Wards are congregations with in a certain geographical area) for girls camp.  I got to be on the "FUN" committe, even though they called it the Fireside Committe, it really just meant, we're the "good times" girls.  We got to be in charge of the lip synch, the Bishops night fun, the music video, etc.  I had NO idea what I was getting into, but BOY am I glad I got into it.  I got to work directly with two of the funniest and coolest girls ever!  And indirectly with a SLEW of fun, hysterical, AWESOME women.  As seen in the picture below!
Stake Staff 2010

Alright, also as a matter of clarification for all my beloved non-Mormon readers out there.  Girls Camp is done once a year for 5 days in the summer, usually at some location in the mountains, with addies or cabins, or sometimes tents. The girls go to learn things like boy scouts do.  Tying knots, hiking, proper flag etiquette, I don't even know what all they do.  But, it's also very much centered around creating greater bonds, drawing closer to Christ and strengthening faith in God.  And around the"work" is a lot of fun.  It's a very cool experience.  I always loved "camp" as a girl.  I haven't been in probably 16 years, and I wasn't sure I was all that excited to be going this year.  However, this Stake is AMAZING and rocks!  I will go to camp every year forever if it remains this fun.  These women above, and many not pictured are the coolest people EVER!  I haven't laughed this hard, or been this relaxed in a LONG time!


The Theme was a Super Hero theme.  It worked so fabulously!
This is the main stage area where we did all the lip synchs, firesides, etc.

Yesterday afternoon it rained and rained and was just sooooo beautiful.  I sat in the ramada area and just watched and listened to the rain fall for hours.  This is a shot of one of the little "cabins" just above the ramada.

The fearless Threesome
Jamie, Me, Camie
Camie is the sister of Tracie, our friend that I just wrote about on he 30th b-day.
This picture proves a few very important things:
1. NEVER, EVER,NEVER wear tennis shoes (much less with capris)
2. Never, EVER wear these short/capris again, they do all kinds of bad things for my body.  WOW!


Here I am "backstage" in my super hero cape, minus my mask, getting ready for our lipsynch.


We did our lipsynch to "Holding Out for a Hero".  It turned out to be funny and a smash success.  I could NOT have done it without the help of Miz Jennee P.  Thanks Jennee.  We stood in her kitchen and giggled as we came up with moves.  The ladies were SUCH good sports and totally went for it.  I look a little scarey, but HEY, I was JUSTgetting into it.

SheMan and HeWoman
These ladies are the Camp Spirit and they are INSANE and hysterical in every way.  The things they are willing to wear, to do, to say are just amazing to me.  Every year they come up with new characters and the girls just love them.


These are our fearless Bishops (a bishop is the ecclesiastical leader of a ward, sort of the equivolent of a Pastor or Priest).  They come up for a night to meet with the girls.  Well this Stake LOVES to "torture" these men with silly things.  This year we created "superhero" alter egos for them and made them compete in a Super Hero Pageant, replete with physical fitness (situps, pushups, stretching and dance), evening wear (they put on a boa and strutted across the stage) and interview.  So, from Left to Right we have:
The Incredible Sulk, Captain Junk in his Trunk, Captain Flotatious
Back Row:
Captain Twinkle Toes, Super Sensitive and The Mighty Redneck
Each of them had descrptions of their super powers and their deeds for the year and were introduced by "Disney Wonder Girl" and her sister "Cruella McNofun". Jamie wrote the most hilarious, witty, brilliant script I've ever read.  I laughed the whole time.  The girls LOVED it and it was a great success.

After the great pageant and commercials and deep thoughts and all the fun stuff, we had a dance.  And while I promise there really were 150+ girls there and they were dancing, I'm just showing a bunch of the leaders. 'Cause trust me, these ladies were BUSTING some serious moves!  I'd try to upload the video of Jamie droppin it, bu you know me and video.  CURSES!


Camie, Jamie and Misti the star of this "Last Dance".  Such a Fun, FUN night.

We were in the woods.....BIG bugs were bound to happen.  Camie took it like a champ.  And I sort of was a rock star, 'cause I actually TOUCHED that giant thing, picked it off her head and threw it.  Well, aren't you impressed?


Flashlights were a must.  Betsie especially rocked her headgear.  What is not to love here?

Heidi (funniest girl EVER) Jamie (equally funniest girl ever) Me and Camie
Don't even worry, we are FULLY aware that we look either "challenged", special and or like we are POOPING our pants.  And by we, I mean ME.  Seriously?  I took a picture like I was dropping a load.  If you must know...we were trying to convey our rockstar ability to "do the cyclone".  Ah hahahahahahahahaha, guess you had to be there.


Another area where they amazed me....the Craft Lodge.  We are in the beginning stages of making some RIDICULOUSLY adorable hair flowers.  Aren't we cute?

Other than my ability to look totally "Saucy" wish you could see the cuteness of this flower I created out of fabric.  Easy peasy people.  Camie got so excited, she's decided to make a bunch for her nieces for Christmas.

Our fearless Spirit Queens reappeared as mermaids for lunch the other day.  Oh jeez, lunch.  Dont even get me started on how gourmet and amazing the food was.  All prepared by the coolest and funniest kitchen staff ever.  ALL volunteering their time, taking time off work to come up and play with the girls.

Heidi, Jill and Aubrey

There are just some people in the world that make it a BETTER place.  They're funny, oh so funny. Talented, kind, and loving.  Jere has fully adopted us into two of these Wright families, and they've willingly accepted us.  These are three of our favorite Wrights.

Heidi, Jamie and Betsie
Have I covered my love for Heidi yet?  Perhaps mentioned her 3 Masters degrees, her ability to play the harp and violin like a Goddess?  NO?  Well how about her mad, MAD dancing ability.  You should see her tap dance to Single Ladies.  Not enough yet?  Fine, then you will NEVER stop laughing.  Smart and FUNNY!  But get these cousins/ladies together, they're unstopable!

This group of young girls on stage ore just so fantastic!  They're fearless, so willing to stand up in front of all their peers and act like complete fools.  They dressed and acted like old ladies and put on these skits that just had you rolling.  In this particulr one they are making fun of all the leaders.  HI-LARIOUS!

And finally...on the last nijght, there is a "cheer off" between some of the leader womens and the men that are up there.  Really, the men are such GOOD sports.  Our ladies did three really great cheers, and I would say they totally won!  I mean, Jamie did the full on splits at the end.  HELLO!

I ended up riding home at about 11:30 last night, and it was so great.  I got to visit with a lady in my ward that I really love.  We had a great visit and good laughs.  I rolled into my driveway at 1:15 a.m. and finally made it into bed around 2:00.  It was SO great to sleep in my own bed, and to wake up to my sweet kiddos.

I am soooooo greatful for the opportunity I had to go up there, to associate with such amazing women.  My batteries were most definitely recharged.  I laughed enough for a year.  I was child free and enjoyed that.  I got spiritually uplifted, which was greatly needed.  I had time to think and to ponder.  It was truly a blessing, and I hope I get to repeat it again (sorry Jer).


Superheros and big bugs,

Allyson




Thursday, July 22, 2010

You wanna know something?

Well I'm being all copy catty to my friend Terri over at http://www.bipolardiva.com/ (sorry too lazy to do a proper link) and doing this short question and answer.  I NEVER do these things...but the kids are napping, I'm not getting the pedi that I really want and I don't feel like being truly creative, so here it goes.  So thanks Terri, muchly appreciated.


1. What is the most common question that you are asked (in life) that is none of the questioner's business?



"Where is Jere?"  Seriously....I can NOT go anywhere without being asked that. I know people like me (and I'm the REAL friend) but HE is who everyone LOVES to see.  He is the life of a party, so when he's not there, he's missed.  People that don't REALLY know us, I'm sure most of the time can NOT figure out how we're together. Oh wait, people who do know us must think that too.  But, my point is.  He's this super loud, friendly, lovey, funny guy.  Talks to everyone, laughs loudly, while  I am content to just be quiet int he corner.  And since i have the cursed face that looks mad even when it's not,  People think I'm mean.  So yeah, I truly get asked that EVERY SINGLE DAY.

2. Who makes you happiest right now?

Fine, in the spirit of total honesty....MAX.  He is just so stinkin HAPPY and nice and sweet.  He brings my mood up every time.  I just can't help but smile when his sweet little face is near me.


3. Would you consider yourself to be spoiled?

That depends on what you're gonna consider spoiled.  If you mean...I have an amazing family, adorable kids, a loving husband, a roof over our head, food on the table, GREAT friends.  Then yes, YES I am very spoiled.
If you mean traditionally speaking...No, never have been spoiled. That just isn't possible when you're 1 of 7 kids, and your parents are practical and don't believe in entitlement.  We were given opportunities, but not spoiled.

4. Do you want to be famous one day?


Ummm NO.  I don't need that to fell fulfilled.  Would I like to have some more validation for my performance ability...yes.  But I don't want to be famous.  That would be Jere.  HE MUST be famous or die.

5. Could you handle being in the military?

NEVER.  But I am thankful for those that can.



6. Do you believe in Karma?

Most DEFINITELY



7. What’s the stupidest thing you ever did with your cell phone?

Let my kids play with it at all.  But really, I've been pretty lucky with my phones.  No big mishaps.


8. Who knows a secret or two about you?


My sisters.  They are my best friends and they pretty much know everything there is to know.  Then again, you all are getting the inside scoop on a few of my secrets too.


9. Who is the most experimental person you know?



I am gonna go with my brother Eric.  Dude will do/try anything.  Oh wait, he has done everything.  But I would also say Jere, in his previous (pre me) life.  He did A LOT of experimenting. 
Let it be know....I am the LEAST experimental person there is.


10. Last thing you did that ticked off your S/O (or if not in a relationship) most recent S/O?


Told him he couldn't have the money he wanted.  Oh wait, ANY time money is mentioned there is usually irritation or hurt feelings.  DAMN money.  I hate it.



11. Have you ever purposely been irritating to someone? If yes, explain.


OF COURSE!  I did it to my siblings ALL the time.  And fine, I won't lie..there have definitely been times that I just said something to irritate Jere.  I'm a jerk that way.

12. What's crazy to you?


Obama...what?
Let's see, what is crazy?  Sky diving, bungee jumping...just pure insanity.  The very thought gives me hives.



13. Who (other than the three of us TT writers) writes the most interesting blog?



Well this isn't a loaded question....NOPE, not at all.
I read all different blogs for different reasons.  I read some simply for family updates.  Others for their view on life.  Others to just make me laugh.  But, if I REALLY had to choose a couple/or few  blogs that I find truly interesting/entertaining and can't NOT read...

CJane
JennyMAC
DentonSanatorium
LooksGreatNaked.com (just found her...I'm in love)
Pulsipherpredilections (funniest blog EVER)
Maile (will break your heart and make you think EVERY time)

Ok, so there you have it.  That wasn't so painful now was it?  Feel free to copy and paste and do it yourself.

Just so you know...I will be heading out of town until Monday night.  Gonna kick it with the young women of the church at girls camp.  I get to be on the "fun committe", so that means last night I taught 20 middle aged women a dance to "Holding Out for  a Hero" as we'll be lip synching it on the first inght.  Also means we came up with skit ideas, and just the fun.  I'm looking forward to this little get away, even if it does mean lots of bugs, dirty and sleeping on a crappy bed with no air. Jere however is traumatized to be watching the kids ALL BY HIMSELF (which isn't true, since Julie will be here).  he's never had run of things.  Wish us him luck.  What I'm trying to say is...I won't be here to update.  And memory Monday will not happen.  Joyce, just take a deep breath. It will ALL be ok.  I will post it on Tuesday.  Not that 8th grade was all that anyway.

With that said...I must be off!

Memes and No no's


Allyson

Should I be Concerned?

My son.  My BOY.  My Max.  He is just truly the BEST! 

But, we should discuss a thing or two, because I'm afraid I might have something to be concerned about.  Let me know if you agree or not.

First we have this crazy situation.  Not once, but TWICE as I've gone into the kids room to retrieve Max in the morning....I was greeted with a scene straight out of Nightmare on Elm Street (or in this case, Nightmare on Nina)... Like perhaps Max and Freddy Kreuger had a brawl in the night, and Max lived to tell the tale.  I mean really........THIS is disturbing.  NO?


Oh hey Mom.  Just a little blood for breakfast.  The first time I walked in on this blood bath I nearly had a coronary.  There was blood all over his blanket, all over his sheets, his pillow, and as you can see HIS FACE.  And my mind begins racing with what in the world has gone awry.  As it turns out, he appears to have just had a gnarly bloody nose in the night and this is the aftermath.

At least he's just so freaking sweet about it and happy.  In fact, he was none the wiser that he was covered in his own hemoglobin.


And then we have this:

Tutu...check.  Purse....check.  Tiara......check

You've all seen the video I posted of him spinning.  The "problem" is, he insists on this getup at least 4 days a week.

But what is NOT to love about this look?  He is so damn adorable in it.  He will pull the big tub out of the closet and lug it clear out to the kitchen.  All the while saying in his high pitched squeak..."dressup, dressup."  And then I'll take the lid off, he'll locate HIS tutu and on it goes.  Usually followed by the heels.  Then he clicks around happily for the day.  Sometimes napping in the tutu.  What?  Is this wrong?

Does he not look like he's holding court or what?
Jere HATES that i allow him to do this.  He freaks out.  I just say, the bigger deal you make of it, the worse it is.  Just allow him to play and be.  He's a "baby".  Am I wrong?




Ok, nothing wrong here.  Just a gratutitous shot of the freaking cutest LINEBACKER of a child ever.  Oh, the headband?  'Tis nothing.  He screams of some 80's movie character to me.  Like the guy who played Biff in Back to the Future.

Don't MESS.  This kid will get ya!  Or at least his rat nasty stain covered shirt will get you.  Seriously?  I should be fired!

So, be honest....should I be concerned?

Nightmares and Daydreams,

Allyson

Monday, July 19, 2010

Memory Monday 7th Grade....Hairtastrophes

7th Grade
Fall 1984
(Where do we EVEN begin with the TRAGEDY that has befallen my hair?   WHAT happened here? It pains me to no end.  Well that and the zit party that erupted on my forehead.  I clearly hadn't learned the fine art of eyeshadow here.  I looke all nudey eyed.  Also, are you comprehending that I am ELEVEN years old here.  Sorry, I think I look like I'm 80.  Fine, not 80, but at least a lot older than any 11 year old I know.  And the dress....Pennys Outlet special.  It had a little belt, I remember it well)



Before I can properly begin 7th Grade, I HAVE to discuss an AMAZING event in my life that took place the summer before.  It was called Horizons.  It was an event (equivolent of a Boy Scout Jamboree) for all girls ages 12-18 from all over the state of AZ, Utah and CA.  It was for our church, and they brought all of these girls to Northern Arizona University for a week long "Experience".  We had workshops, classes, meetings.  It was AMAZING!  One of the classes I went to was cross stitching.  I made a little tiny letter A and then we framed them and put eyelet lace around it.  Let's just say, cross stitching was NEVER anything I could do.  Still can't.  Also went to cooking classes.  Classes on self esteem.  This is when I had the pirvelage of meeting Vicky Gephardt for the first time.  She was teaching a class, and she was the funniest, most AMAZING woman EVER!  And all I could think was that I wanted to be JUST like this lady when I grew up.  Little did I know that years later her daughter would be one of my dearest friends.  And I will tell you, her daughter is EVERY BIT as amazing as her mother was.
There were Firesides on self worth, Christ, values, etc.  It really was one of the greatest things I've ever been a part of. And the COOLEST thing to see was this:  Each girl was required to bring a solid white dress with them.  On Sunday, as nearly 1000 girls wearing white walked up the hill to the indoor stadium, the sight was stunning.  I can't explain it, other than it was awe inspiring.  White is a symbol of purity, and we were young women striving to uphold specific moral values, and this symbol, brought to life and moving en mass was really AWESOME to behold.
We got to stay in the dorms at NAU.  That felt so "cool".  Here I am with my apparently shaved off head, rockin my VELCRO shoes and hangin with my friend Tara.  Hi again Tara.  Apparently we had a free moment to "kick it."  I so remember having to take showers in the big group bathrooms down the hall.  Looking out the windows at the cemetary across the street.  Eating cold cereal down in the cafeteria.  I STILL have the little porcelain doll they gave us (does this surprise anyone?).  Each Stake (a geographical grouping of people) got their own color of doll.  Ours was dressed in turquoise.  I will forever be grateful that I was able to attend this event, and gain the testimony that I did because of it.


Also in that big summer BEFORE...I got my "rite of passage".  You KNOW, the one Nicole didn't really get, but said she did.  Yeppers, the big P came and knocked at my door.  I went to the bathroom, and there she was.  I wasn't sure what to do about this whole situation.  I mean, you know, when you're in the actual moment, all your "know how" and bravado disappears.  Suddenly I was the scared, nervous little 11 yr. old that i really was.  I immediately got on the phone and called my Mom at work.  Explained what had just happened.  Upon her evaluation (over the phone) it was official.  I suddenly felt like I had truly arrived.  WHY do we as girls WANT this so bad?  So ridiculous really, since we spend the rest of our lives wishing we NEVER had it.


Alrighty then, and THAT was just the summer BEFORE!!!  Where does one even begin with Junior High and all it's pre-pubescent awkwardness?  So many pains and embarrassments and good times too.  After all, we were so "grown up" now.  School didn't start until 9:00 in the morning.  HELLO, super the coolest.  We got to move between classes, and have all different teachers.  Band was it's own PERIOD in school for goodness sake.  I got to wear makeup, no sneaking necessary.  Shoot, I got to wear "the PANTYHOSE"! (can you imagine, WANTING to wear those torturous things?) All KINDS of new kids to meet.  I could BUY anything I wanted for lunch; you better believe there was a lot of lemon pies being purchased.  Mostly I ate orange juice (with awesome pebble ice) and a pretzel everyday. And you should know that in Mesa, where I live, Jr. High consists of grades 7 - 9.  I LOVED this, still do.  I was so nervous for school to begin.  Would I be able to find all my classes?  Would I make new friends?  Would I like it?

Briefly (as if) speaking of Band.  I was still tooting away on my clarinet.  The band teachers name was Mr. Feldeverd, and he was a total creep.  Had a big beaky nose and smoked too much.  But mostly, he just wreaked of liking girls a little too much.  Maybe I say that because i didn't feel the love.  I don't know.  I just know I didn't love him.  He gained some special disdain for forcing us to practice marching through the neighborhoods around the school.  Hey, it's HOT here in AZ, and marching is NOT FUN!  We played in one stinkin parade, and had to go out and practice marching.  Slave driver!  This is wehre I give a special shout out to all you Marching band players, 'cause it is NOT for the weak of heart. LITERALLY!

I went to Powell Jr. High......I was a Patriot.  In fact, we have a little fight song, shall I sing write it for you? (just know that I AM singing it, out loud, as I type it.)

"We're Powell jr. high we're the Patriots, forever brave and strong are we. 
We're Powell jr. high we're the Patriots as we go forth to victory.
Red and Blue are our colors..Mesa, Arizona is our Home.
We're from Powell.  We're the Patriots.  We're proud of it, singing forward Powell Jr. High.
Fight, fight, fight, fight."
(it has quite a charming little tune too, to bad you can't hear it, but I guarantee at this very moment of reading it that several of my faithful readers and former Patriots(rollcall, Dana, Diane, Tim, Jenny, Andrea, Tara, Karen, anyone ELSE?) are singing along)

No need to worry kids....it was all just fine.  Well, other than that hideous part where there was PE and a big open locker room where we were forced to change clothes, or shower, IN FRONT of other girls.  Really?  Who thinks up this kind of torture?  Are they not aware of the mass body issues rampaging through that room?  Seriously.  When we did swimming (which snore...I was already a champion..DUH!) it was THE WORST!  Having to change into a suit, walk out to the pool, and THEN having to try and get re-ready for the day.  So NOT COOL!  Have you SEEN my hair in that pic.  There was no ponty tailing it up for me.  Nope, there was blowdrying and curling required.  Totes had the little butane curling iron.  LIFESAVER(said in an operatic overtone) for sure!  Also, not a big fan of the whole "run a mile" thing.  This girl ain't runnin no miles, even at that age.  I so clearly can see myself  laboring around that dirt track and BARELY making it in under the 15 minute time limit.  Stupid mile.  Bah!  Well, at least I can beat that now, not by much, but whose askin'.

'Twas the time of all things Madonna...Like A Virgin style.  Oh the girls who were super trendy were totally rockin the lacey, cut off finger gloves, the messy ratted hair, the million little rubbery bracelets.  Yep, I was there, in ALL my non-Madonna glory.  I have NEVER been a trendy girl, most certainly not one that followed some crazy A, naughty rockstar look.  And I was rather fascinated by all these girls that DID dress like this.  Oh hell, lets be honest, at the time of school starting that year, I honestly had NO idea who this Madonna character  was.  I have never been a huge listener of the radio or follower of the music industry.  However, somehow I knew EXACTLY who Cindy Lauper was.  I Lurved me some Cindy Lauper.  I totally bought her little Biography book and read it in like 2 seconds flat.

MTV was quite popular, and since we were NEVER allowed to have cable, much less that "evil" MTV at our house, I would watch it when I babysat.  I swear to Buddah that EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I babysat, and turned on MTV there were only two videos that EVER played.  One was "Steppin Out" by Joe Jackson and "Goodnight Eileen".  SWEARS those were the only two that EVER played.  It got so irritating to me.  C'mon man, I only got so many chances to watch the Devil station...why not give me something to work with here!

I had Mr. Iverson for Core (don't ask I can't remember how that all worked back then).  He was a bit odd, but likeable enough.  The really wierdo was Mr. Gulbrandsen who I had for math.  I mean, as we've established, math and I are not so much friends.  But this guy was an extra brand of ODD.  When he talked, his lips were really pronounced, and every single pair of his pants had permanent yellow stains at the pockets where he would clearly stick his hands with chalk dust all over them.  He had these wee beady little eyes and those poochy lips, and a lot of black/gray hair greased up on his head.  Man, I hate math.  So anyway, Core was the class that you had for more than one hour, and so whoever was in your core class you saw more of.  There was this boy...his name was Roger.  I loved Roger.  He was so cute, blond, stocky, "cool."  We became good buddies (since that  was what I always was...buddies.)  I think he always loved Karen a bit, but she was busy dating Mitch, one of the twins.  Roger totally drove a Yugo in highschool...HAHAHA ok sorry that memory just popped back in my head.  Too funny.  Ok, so anyway, Roger was in my core class, and we would joke around with eachother, he would punch me in the arm.  I absolutely took it as a sign he loved me.  WHAT?  It was a sign.  Because I couldn't deal with my only other option.  His name was Bradley, and he was a NERD.  Totally my lot in life...loved by the nerds and outcasts.  He was shorter than me too (you should know now, I could NOT ever date someone shorter than me, just couldn't do it) and my mind recalls him with a permanently stuffed up nose and always making googly eyes at me.  Oh Bradley, i'm sorry i couldn't return the love.

There was another boy...his name was David Puafua (can't remember HOW to spell that name for real) he was Samoan (or maybe Tongan, I'm apologizing now for the mix up, i know they don't like that).  Point is, he was really funny, and cool, and we were friends.  We would walk between Wierdo Mr. Gulbrandsens mathclass to Odd duck Mr. Iversons Core class.  David and I spent a good amount of time doin this walk...AS FRIENDS.  Then one day, OUT.OF.NOWHERE, as we left math, he just took my hand, and held it, all the way to our next class.  It was the strangest, most unexpected moment of my life thus far. Boys didn't just go around holding my hand, that is for SURE!  I probably looked somewhere between stunned and catatonic on that walk.  Though my inner monologue was definitely "OH MY HECK, OH MY HECK (yep, I had given up the swear and moved firmly into the good mormon girl speak of heck) WHAT IS GOING ON, DOES THIS MEAN WE'RE GOING OUT, WHY IS HE HOLDING MY HAND, DO I LIKE HIM? WHAT ARE WE DOING? OH MY HECK, OH MY HECK!!!!!"  Whilst my outer language was probably limp hand and pleasant face of stone.  We arrived at our next class, he dropped my hand and then NEVER said a thing about it again.  Never attempted to hold my hand, never talked about it, nothing.  As if it never happened.  It remains one of lifes great mysteries to this day.
Hey DAVID....what the heck?

I made a new friend, her name was Phaedra.  She and I were really close that year, and I was totally fascinated by her name.  Plus, she was ::gasp:: Not.A.Mormon.  There weren't a lot of those around me (really, living in Mesa is a bit like living in Utah) and she was so interesting.  She rudely moved away in 8th grade and I lost her forevermore...UNTIL last year and facebook reunited us.  Wouldn't you know, she lives a few miles away.  Crazy world.

Whilst most kids turn 12 in 6th grade....I, being the special case I am (see 1st grade post, of my genius) did not turn 12 until 7th grade.  And.....my Birthday party was OFF.THE.HOOK.


As we know, me madre knew how to throw 'em.  And the 12th Birthday Party was the official

HOLLYWOOD STARS Party.

The invitations were made to look like giant sunglasses, and they were awesome!
Requirements for attendance were:  Dress like a Hollywood Star (which was loosely interpreted at best)

As I have NEVER been an all that creative person, and dressing up stresses me out (no really, I HATE Halloween, I HATE wearing costumes, unless I am in a show) I'm sure my Mom or sister came up with this.  I do remember getting the dress at D.I. (the mormon equivolent to Goodwill).
Ladies and gents.....I dressed up as:

PHYLLIS DILLER
You see that right? hahahahah
More importantly...TWELVE in this picture.


Nicole R. as Private Benjamin, Andrea as Minnie Pear, Robin N. as Punky Brewster


Karen as Shirley Temple
Others there were dressed as Snow White (clearly she stretched the meaning), Angela Lansbury, Annie Oakley (again people, HOLLYWOOD, sheesh)
There was a giant board of baby pictures set up, and you had to guess who was who.  Then there were other games, which I can't remember.  Of course dinner was provided as well.  But the real piece of awesomeness was:


Was this cake NOT rockin?  My sister Dana made that.  A HUGE movie camera.  She made all of our birthday cakes.  But I think this was extra clever.  I mean really, How MANY cakes do you think it took to do this?  Upon review, i'm guessing five!

So, guess what Nicole R gave me?  A can of Mighty Dog dog food.  She thought it was the FUNNIEST thing EVER!  What a douche!  I didn't think it was all that funny then, and come to think of it, I STILL don't.

I believe I spent that entire year growing my hair out, so that I could join the ranks of the "bob" it was really becoming the rage.  And well, let's just say...I got there by 8th grade and never looked back.

Overall, 7th grade was fairly low key.  There was the bad hair, the unrequited love, the hideous acne, the random hand hold and the making of new friends.  It was all good in the hood.  Is it wierd to anyone else that I have LESS memories locked up in this here head for jr. high than all of my elementary memories?  Yeah, wierd to me too.


Pimples and parties,

Allyson



Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's all in who you know...

As I was sitting in a gorgeous sanctuary Friday night rehearsing a beautiful, religious Oritorio about Christ, I couldn't help but laugh at the irony.

Last Friday:

I was in a bar singing Pat Benetar


THIS FRIDAY

I got to be part of a choir of 60 hand picked voices to record "Lamb of God"; an oratorio depicting "the Passion", written by Rob Gardner, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra.  The caliber of the voices and the musicianship in that room was RIDICULOUS (and the coolest part to me was...probably close to 1/2 of them were actual good friends of mine, or people I've associated with)!  It was really an honor to be a part of.  And that church we recorded in......WOW!  The acoustics were AMAZING!

Ok, the blond right on the end in the 2nd row....she was DUE today with her first baby. She was eleventy months pregnant and totally doing this recording.  If you've been that pregnant, you know that breathing is NOT easy.  She was having contractions through the whole recording, and yet she trooped on.  Also, she was the Galinda understudy on Broadway for a long time(just a cool little tid bit of info for ya).  Right next to her is my sis. in law Lana, and above them are my two sisters Dana and Jenny.  What?  You didn't know I have a ridiculously talented family?  Well....I DO!  Also singing was Jere, my bro. in law Adam and my bro. Porter.

That little twiglet of a guy conducting is Rob, the writer and creator of the work.  His talents and abilities are somewhat ridiculous!  I am always in awe of people that just have music in their heads.  I am happy to sing what you've written, but honestly, I have NOTHING in my head that is creative.

The shots of me sitting were just so disturbing I couldn't include them.  But heres we are singing away.  You can see Jer right behind me, and next to him is Adam.  It was quite an interesting experience having headsets on.  Singing to a HUGE orchestra, and trying to hear your part around you as well.  And earphones do NOTHING for my hair, I'll tell you that much.  I looked a hot mess when all was said and done.  BUT, 'tis the price I was willing to pay to be a part of this.  My name will be on CD liner notes...HELLO!  Cool!

Right in the center of this pic in the white t-shirt is my brother Porter.  Rob is actually one of his best friends.  They were in an acapella group called 259 for several years (google 'em, I dare ya.  They actually made some good cd's that I still love to listen to).

So Saturday was the actual recording day.  We got there around 9:30 and worked until 5:15.  I will not lie, even if I had been in perfect health...it was one of the most exhausting things I have ever done.  You stand and you sing these songs over, and over, and over, and OVER!  We'd finish a take and Rob would say.."that is PERFECT, Except for ONE thing."  And then, we'd do the whole thing over.  Or we'd start, and suck and have to stop and do again.  It is just A LOT of work to record anything.  Especially if you want perfection, which is what Rob is looking for.  As well he should, I mean, he paid BUTTLOADS of money to have the London Symphony, plus the recording of this, and then the mixing, making, marketing....all of it.  But really, as we were doing take 1000 on something yesterday, and I was trying my darndest not to cough, all I could think was...."yep, I would NOT do well in movies or tv."  I have no patience for having to redo the same thing over and over.  I just like to do it and be done with it.  Perhaps that is WHY I do theatre, no re-dos.

So, quick story.  As I mentioned, I've got a "touch" of the sick.  I have a cough, a ton of congestion and in general, just not so much.  I was really worried about "ruining" this recording.  And there were quite a few times that I just couldn't sing certain sections 'cause I needed to be unison and quiet and straight toned.  Well, I had FAR too much crap on my chords to be able to do it.  So anyway, we started this song, and about 2 seconds in I could feel this total crap storm in my throat.  I needed to cough so bad.  So, I literally just held my breath and covered my mouth and held it as tight as I could until the song ended (which for the record seemed like FOREVER).  As soon as Rob motioned it was ok to make noise, I literally GASPED for air and started a coughing fit that lasted a good long time.  Everyone laughed and Rob congratulated me for hanging on.  It was AWFUL.  But, at least I didn't ruin that take.  Seriously....lame!

Anyway, moral of this story is....life is funny.  One week you're rockin the "heartbreaker" and the next your singing praises to God, making a recording that will literally change lives.  Sometimes I have to marvel at the uniqueness of my life.  But mostly I'm just grateful for amazing people and good friends in my life that make things like this possible!

The CD will be available in September.  I'll let you know as the time draws closer.  In the meantime you can check out his website for any info. on his other work.  http://www.spiremusic.org/



Choirs and coughs,

Allyson

This post brought to you by the color GREEN

I probably shouldn't be writing anything right now.  Why you ask?  Well, because I am grumpy, tired and I feel like CRAP!  I have the "pleasure" of housing an army of hideous little green guys like on the Mucinex commercials.  I'm pretty sure they've set up camp deep in my lungs, and they're having a party of the century.   This makes it difficult for me to breathe, and the coughing and hacking is bringing up squadrons of the army at a time (which I'm sure pisses them off to no end) and it's DISGUSTING!  It's exhausting and gross.  I HATE coughing.  I really, REALLY hate coughing.  On top of this issue in the lungs...my head is full of perhaps another Army, possibly smaller, of green guys.  AND.......worst of all, my eyes are infected.  The GREEN is EVERYWHERE.  So, I had the distinct pleasure of reddish, watery eyes filling with gunk. This morning I woke up with TWO eyes crusted shut.  I'd share a pic, I even found one on google, but it made my eyes water worse to just look at it.  I have a little compassion for you all, so I saved it.  Saved it for what?  I don't, maybe a rainy day, maybe when I'm "mad" at you all and i need a torture tactic.  WHO KNOWS!  Needless to say, it's a bundle of good times around here.

When I woke up Friday morning and my left eye was crusted shut, I knew I needed to do something about it stat.  So, I called a guy that goes to my church and is an opthomolegist.  He said i could come in on his lunch break and he'd take a look.   So, I took my sorry self down to his office and he had a looksy.  He found something strange with my left cornea, AND he told me that I had a significent astigmatism in my left eye. WHAT?  In 20+ years of eye exams I have NEVER been told that.  Apparently i developed one this last year.  SUHWEET!  He wasn't too sure about the infection but he did prescribe me an antibiotic drop.  Then he sent me on my way.  I fully expected to pay, and yet he didn't charge me.  I was soo stunned and soooooooo GRATEFUL.  He did NOT have to do that, and yet he did.  Such a blessing!  Especially because that TINY bottle of eye drops was EIGHTY DOLLARS!  Yeah, you read it right....EIGHTY.  How gross is that?  Oh well, guess essentially I would have paid that much for the doctor, so it all worked out.  So, that was Friday, Saturday my right eye joined the party in a more painful way.  And there was nothing I could do about it.  I was recording all day (post coming about that).  So Saturday night I picked up the medicine and started using it.  Here's to hoping THAT gets better STAT!

Jere doesn't feel good today.  Julie fell at work last Friday and injured her knee, and is now in a brace and on crutches.  So, basically we're a house full of HOT MESSES!  Anyone want to come over and play? hahahahaha

On second thought, maybe I DID need to sit down and write.  I feel better having done that.  Now I'm gonna do a post about yesterdays recording session.  Not to mention I need to write about Maggie turning THREE yesterday.  Yep, her birthday was spent without us even there.  Good thing she's 3 and totally got over it.  Also, tomorrow is Memory Monday.  Good hell, now I'm overwhelmed!

Green goop and grumpy girls,

Allyson

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Je gotta be KIDDING me on the Jeggings

Alright...it's LATE, and perhaps I should rethink writing and posting this at this current juncture.  But, then again....when do I EVER really think through what I write?  Not often.

Here's the deal....my friend over at The Atomic Soup wrote a little posty today about skinny jeans.  She was horrified as she wandered through the mall at a display touting them.  Bless her little atomic heart...she lives in the middle of NOWHERE New Mexico and does not make it out into the "real world" very often.  So, you can imagine her dismay and alarm upon seeing this.  For the rest of us who actually live around civilization...we've seen this hideous trend for awhile now.  And as I told her, the skinny jean, she don't look good on anyone, even the twiglet boy that lives next door.  I HATE them. 

Of course, my disdain probably runs even deeper due to the sheer mass and volume of my ASS, but that is neither here nor there.  The point is, it wasn't attractive the first time around, and it's certainly not attractive THIS time around.

But, BUT...even more disturbing than the skinny jean is this other phenomenon known as:
THE JEGGING.  'Tis a denim or jean looking LEGGIN!

Friends, Romans, Countrymen....Lend me your EARS, or in this case...your EYES!  This is a bad idea, a very, VERY bad idea.  Hell, leggins in general are just craptastic, and that's on the skinny girls.  I give you exhibit A:

WHAT is happening here?  Besides the suction and sheer cyntrivical force involved in pulling these on.  Look at the totally gramma nerdy wasteline.  Elastic waist, and you're showing that?  REALLY?  You can NOT tell me there is ONE attractive thing about this.  And she's the skinny model.

Truth be told, I was unaware of this current fashion faux pas trend.  I live somewhere in the fashion world of oh, let's say...oblivion.  I don't pay much attention to Lane Giant and their hideous styles meant for skinny girls that they're selling to us fatties.  As I've stated before....WE'RE FAT, therefore we requiree fabric to cover up the fright fest that is our ARMS, and or legs.  We're doing the public a service.  YOU...Lane Bryant, are NOT doing anyone any favors.  So imagine my surprise the other day when I opened their latest flyer and jumping off the page was this HUGE print and announcement of JEGGINGS!  I had to re read that totally stupid word like 5 times.  Who the hell came up with that dumbness?  THEN I looked at the model, modeling them.  I'm sure her inner monologue at that shoot was something like this.

"please don't make me wear the jeggings, oh please don't make me wear the jeggings."  "Dammit, I HAVE to wear the freaking jeggings." "These are the ugliest damn things I've ever put on." "WHY ME?" "mmmmm, cheese cake."

I mean really, even her face said that she felt that way...I swear.  But what really caught my eye was how AWFUL they looked on her. And SHE was the MODEL, wherein airbrushing has occurred, and also wherein she is on the SMALL side of fat.  Like maybe a size 12 (which in my book is NOT fat at all.)

I quickly discarded the flyer, so as to save my eyes from the cancer that was at that very moment forming on them. 

So, Atomic Moms post brought me to this.  I hopped on to my friend Google and did a quick little picture search.  Not pretty.   I also learned a thing or two.  Like...this yuckity trend has been around for at least a year, and that the all important, her word is scripture, Rachel Zoe has said that it is  "a trend that is HERE TO STAY."  Here's for hoping NOT!  I also learned that there are a lot of women out there who buy and then WEAR these, and many (read all) of them have no business doing so. I also learned that some women prefer them when they wear tight, LONG shirts because regular jeans are bulky.  So, at least they're trying to cover up their bootays, 'cause that is just not attractive.  Here are a few other pics I found to illustrate my point (be it known the BEST pic I found has obviously been coded so I couldn't copy it.  Pity really, cause she was the WORST offender of all).



Oh HELLO sadlebags.  How are you?


Bootylicious!  Walkin right next to her pappy and his pimped out walkin shoes.

I REST my case.

My dear beloved friends...I beg of you...Avoid this trend.  Run away, as fast as you can.  Do not perpetuate the cruel and inhumane treatment of denim and spandex.  Give us all something to "imagine".  Because really, I just don't need, nor want to know EVERY curve  of your voluptuous lower half.

JEGGINGS are BAD!  Just say NO!


With that said, I'm taking my larger than life keister and goin to the GYM first thing in the morning!  Somewhere a pair of jeggings have got my name on 'em.  HAHAHAHHAHA I kid, of course!  It's skinny jeans....DUH!!!

Twiglets and piglets,

Allyson