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Monday, February 21, 2011

President Jimmy Carter, please pick up on line 4

I put this as my FB status, but it was such a hoot that it deserves a bit more explanation. Today is President's Day, and what do all good Americans do on President's Day? Well, of course, we shop. I stopped by my favorite ghetto Sears store in downtown SLC to buy some new shoes. I was completely sucked into the bowels of the store by enticements of "Up to 70% Off" signs wooing me deeper and deeper into the store.

I made my way to the women's shoe section when I hear, "President Obama, please dial" (then some number was stated). At first I thought that some smart ass clerk was just messing around. Then I hear a page for Presidents Bush and Ford. I thought that everyone at the Sears store had lost their damn minds!

I asked the shoe clerk what was going on. She told me that in honor of President's Day that the store management had taken on the names of the Presidents. I said, "How do you know who Obama is?" She said, "Oh, that's the store manager." She then explained that Bush was the assistant manager, Clinton was the manager below the assistant manager and so forth. Quite clever if you ask me.

A woman who over heard our conversation then said to the clerk, "So who are you, Nancy Reagan?"

As I bought 3 pair of shoes, two handbags, two dresses, 2 coats, four shirts and a pair of mittens, I enjoyed hearing the paging of our US Presidents. Hey, at least they were recognizing that the holiday actually had a meaning beyond that of exercising our capitalism.

I love my ghetto Sears.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sounds like life to me...

I've been busy lately....really busy. And when I'm not busy doing things, I worry about all of the things I should be doing!

A few things on my list (and this is just in the past two weeks!):
  • I'm in school full time this term (I'm deferring one project until summer, so that helps quite a bit.) I have class on Thursday nights from 2-5 the 6-9. It's not nearly as bad as it sounds, but it makes me feel silly for complaining about taking one class last term.
  • I've been taking an active role in issues related to our local middle school. There is a proposal on the table to talk about adjusting or eliminating certain curriculum and programs, and I've been trying to work with my local school administrators and PTA to make sure our facts are straight and our opinions are submitted. Seriously, being engaged at this level takes a lot of time
  • State government. The legislature is in session, and I spent one whole day last week up at the statehouse...and of course, I expressed my opinions about education to Utah lawmakers.
  • Sweethearts Dance. I'm so grateful that Mariah wants Dean and me to be part of the dance day activities. This past Saturday we cooked breakfast for the gang then I sent them on a scavenger hunt. This seems like a small task, but it literally took my entire Saturday, and I spent a good three hours before that planning and shopping. Click here to read about it.
  • I've gotten a new drivers license.
  • We did our taxes.
  • I've taken care of countless things that just need to get done.
Whew...see what I mean....
But even in these busy times...I have so much to be thankful for! Here are a few things that I've been especially grateful for these past two weeks:
  • The world's best husband!
  • The world's best kids! I love them so much! (and I freak out every time I realize how quickly they are growing up....)
  • A job that keeps my mind active and allows me to use my talents
  • Enough money to pay all of the bills and a little left over to save
  • The fact that I can read. I love to read. It brings me a lot of joy, and I don't know what I would do if I couldn't read.
  • Friends who listen to me bitch about life (and you know who you are ;-)
  • Neighbors who willingly and lovingly take care of our girls on Thursday nights when I'm at school and Dean is working.
The second list is the most important list! For that, I'm truly grateful!

A Sweethearts Scavenger Hunt

Saturday was the Sweetheart's Dance at Jordan High School. Here in Utah, they kids make a whole day of any dance event....which is weird to me...but oh, well! Last year for Sweethearts, Dean and I made Mariah and her friends a Chinese themed dinner, and while dinner was finishing, I sent the kids on a scavenger hunt in our neighborhood. ...you know...find a house with Christmas lights still up...find a house with a 9 and a 5 in the address...that kind of thing.

This year, she asked me if I would make a "big" scavenger hunt that took a couple of hours. Challenge! I put on my creative hat and created what I think is a pretty good little scavenger hunt for Salt Lake City. They divided into two teams: boys vs girls. I had no idea it would take them 4 HOURS to do this scavenger hunt, but it did. They had to take pictures or video to provide evidence of their accomplishments.

Here is how it all turned out:

Fortitude, Integrity, Honor and Patience are their names. They live on one of the most important “hills” in the “capitol” city. They are white…and they are BIG…but they are only statues. Look for them on the east side of this most important structure where laws are made. When you find one…you must act like a lion tamer.
Garrett:
Mariah, Audrey and Jordynn (Not quite sure how this is lion taming...)

Now that you’ve tamed the lion, let’s visit someone who wears a different kind of hat. Isn’t life grand in America? Find a uniformed bellman at the only 5 Star Downtown hotel and take a picture! Bonus points if you can get the manager to appear in the picture with you!
Mariah with the Bellman (smiling):
Kalen with the Bellman (not quite sure what face that is...): He was Utah’s first territorial governor, and he had a house full of wives. He holds his hand out…some say with it reaching toward Zions Bank (for money). Find this iconic statute downtown and pose like Brother Brigham in the statue. Bonus points if you can get a random person on the street to pose with you!
Garrett posing like Brigham: The girls posing...but Brigham not in the statue!“I’ve got joy like a fountain!” Find the way…and it doesn’t really require gate…to this popular summertime fountain…where kids frolic and moms can rest from their shopping. You think you’re going in the fountain? Guess again. Get a bottle of water…and you guessed it…you become the fountain. Water must come out of your mouth for your fountain picture. Get creative!

video

video

Old timers still call it the Delta Center. In the 1990s, these two men lead the Jazz to back to back NBA finals against the Bulls (and unfortunately lost two years in a row). They both are immortalized in bronze outside of the house that Larry built. Strike a pose like one of the NBA hall of famers. You must be in front of their actual statue. Hint: props will help make this photo complete. BTW…the mailman is in town…and if you could get him in a picture with you, you win $100 (no joke)….it doesn’t have to be a picture at statue.
Mariah didn't *get* the reference to the "mailman" was about Karl Malone. So, they found a real mailman and got him to pose in the picture!
In 1997, lightening struck this tree, and people believe that what was left is an image of the Virgin Mary. For almost 14 years people have paid tribute to this tree in downtown Salt Lake City. Don’t been offensive (and offend those who actually believe that you can see the image of the Virgin Mary in the trunk of the tree), but get a picture of you and your party at the tree.
Notice how Garrett is solemn and respectful and Mariah "poses" next to the Virgin Mary tree! In the 2nd largest park in Salt Lake City, you’ll find a collection of over 400 species of birds. Pay your entrance fee and find at least 5 of the birds in the list.
At this stage of the scavenger hunt, the boys lied to the girls and told them that they were almost done. So the girls decided to take their time and have fun. I let the girls know that the boys had fibbed..and the girls took off to finish the hunt. Bald EagleSome birdFlamingos!!!
You don’t have to be an Einstein to understand political theory. At the Starbucks on 15th South and 15th East find a barista named Rosa. Ask her, “What are the three types of pluralism?” Write the answer on one of those Starbucks cup sleeves and bring it home with you.

My friend, Rosa, helped me out on this one! I don't have a picture to go with this....
It was 20 year ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play….and in 2004, the artist who did the original album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band created a more modern version on a downtown wall. Find the mural called SLC Pepper, and when you take your picture, put yourself in the crowd…or pose as how you might fit in the crowd.
The girls got two homeless guys to be in the picture...then after the picture the guys asked them for money. *Classic*
What is the greatest university in the state? While the U, of course. In the plaza in front of the Marriott Library (at the U) build a human pyramid…and of course…the person on top should somehow show that you’re pyramid is for the U! Bonus if you can get U of U students to help you and/or be in your picture.
The guy in the pic recruited all of the by-standers to be in the pic. But....they boys got a girl to be on top!!!

They had SO MUCH FUN! I asked my neighbors, Kim and Doreen to judge and distribute the prizes. The prizes were Chili's gift cards...and conveniently, that is where they had dinner that night. I have no idea how I will top this next year!

Click >>HERE<< to see the scavenger hunt list.