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Stupid Sickie: Can't sleep. Can't breathe. I don't know how a body can make so much snot!

Smarty-Pants: An actual quote from a parent-teacher conference between Mom and my seventh-grade Pre-Algebra teacher:

Teacher: She is always waving her hand in the air.

Mom: Well, you're lucky. It's the other side of her in the air at home!

[Comments] (1) Nobody Likes Me: Growing up, we were only allowed to eat sugar cereal on Sundays (hence the term "Sunday cereal". Genius, n'est pas?). I remember one fine day when Rachel was pouting because Leonard or I had eaten the last of the Corn Pops. This day a new song was born.

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
I'm going to go eat worms 
(And Corn Pops)
Big ones, little ones
Fat ones, skinny ones
I'm going to go eat worms 
(And Corn Pops)

Sorry Rach!

The title of this entry unintentionally reminded me of Hannah's whininess during the Disneyland trip. "Nobody wants to be my friend!"

Sidekicks: I noticed today that I have a thing for sidekicks. I always knew I liked Woodstock, Snoopy's chirpy friend. I look forward to his little dancing scenes in the videos we have.

We watched The Nightmare Before Christmas a while ago and who do I love? Zero. He's so cute! I even went into the Nightmare Before Christmas store at Disneyland to see if they had a Zero ornament, but it was a mass of Jack everywhere. (John likes to point out that he liked that movie before it had a goth cult following.) Zero makes a few appearances in the Haunted Mansion. He gets a big pile of bones for Christmas!

Tonight we finished Treasure Planet. You guessed it - Morph. Everytime he parroted something or morphed I said, "aww!"

I can't help it; those little guys are too cute.

Feeling Better: It seems like a lot of people have had a very nasty flu in the past month. I lucked out with a wimpy cold. Good thing, too, because I am going to Jamie's to print shipping labels after work. Normally I work through lunch and leave early to do that, but I am covering for Noelle today, so I couldn't. It makes for a long day, but I don't mind. It's nice to have some extra to do, especially when I'm earning money.

[Comments] (1) Ode to Leonard: Well, it's about time my brother got an entry all to himself about how much I appreciate him.

Leonard shamelessly spoils his sisters. And his Mom. And his brother-in-law, for that matter. We got tons of great and thoughtful presents from him this Christmas, even though he said he was going to spend less on us, and he always makes the stockings so full and fun. He even has one more present for me that he forgot, and a juicer!

He offers advice on computers and other nerdy stuff, like buying a digital camera. He is so smart. I love to brag about him. And he is very, very funny. I am so proud of myself when I can make Leonard laugh!

Once when we were pretty little, we were swimming in our pool and Leonard did or said something that made me cry (or pretend to cry) and I was sitting on the pool steps and he came over and apologized and gave me a hug. When I was about 15, I was watching a movie when Leonard arrived for the weekend from UCLA. He came in and gave me a hug. I was shocked! That's when I realized my brother loved me.

There are two times in my life when I was rather afraid to be in the car with Leonard. Once was when he had to drive the truck when we were moving to Bakersfield. Even if you can drive a manual, the truck was terrible to drive. Leonard now admits he was as scared as me, and I'm sure I didn't help much. Then, when he graduated college and got a new car and I drove to San Francisco with him. He hadn't driven much in the last four years and you could tell! Now I'm sure he is a wonderful driver.

Over 6 years ago, the day before my 18th birthday, Leonard set me up with my very own weblog. Thanks to him, the internet has been graced by my presence since then.

So basically, my brother is great and I really appreciate him and hope everyone else who is spoiled by his presen[ce/ts] does too. I love you, Leonard!

Yesterday I was wearing a necklace Leonard bought me for Christmas last year - a little porcelain heart that says "Susie" - and I got a compliment! Also, someone complimented the magnet Sumana bought me that says "Be Nice or Leave. Thank You." I have it on the filing cabinet in my cubicle, because my cubicle is, apparently, held up by plastic.

[Comments] (4) Note to Self:

Utah Susie: Why is your rent twice as much as mine?
California Susie:  Because it's 85° outside! On January 6th! That's why!
Utah Susie: Oh. That's a good reason.
California Susie: And I make 70% more than you.

[Comments] (2) A Story from Mark: Mark was telling me this because his ice cream reminded him of me...

"A friend asked me just then what I was doing and I looked at the empty bowl in my hand in realization and told her, 'I'm eating ice cream for dinner, I LOVE BEING AN ADULT!!! (insert childish laughter)'"

Larger-than-Life Spoiler: John and I went to see King Kong on Saturday. I mentioned on Jamie's message board we were going and someone said, "Too sad. I hate to see KK taken away from his island and then die at the end." And I said, "What!!! He dies!! gah. Oh well, what did I think was going to happen?" After the movie, I told John what happened and he said the same thing: He didn't know King Kong died either. But we've all seen him on top of the Empire State Building; how else could it possibly end? And a film that came out in the 30s is hardly still covered under the No Spoilers rule.

Overall, I liked the movie. I'm glad, however, that I read reviews by Camilla and Newsweek, because there were some gross parts. A couple people actually walked out, but I just snuggled into John. I mean, it's not like you don't know people are going to die, or how many disposable characters are left in the scene. And I know how much gore I can handle.

I thought the pre-island part and some of the fight scenes were a bit long, but I was never bored. And of course, I enjoyed the romance. There was one well-developed character that disappeared at the end and I missed him. Naomi Watts really is a good actress.

[Comments] (2) Misc.: Some random things I've been meaning to mention.

Last week John and I watched The Wizard of Oz. We both cracked up laughing when the scarecrow said, "Of course, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?"

We bought a digital camera with Target gift cards we got for Christmas. (Thanks Mom, Uncle Garry... and Rachel.) I am a terrible photographer. I shall have to practice on our cruise! Only 134 more days.

I have had a terrible time the last two weeks being the Primary Chorister. So terrible, in fact, that I wouldn't do it this Sunday and played the piano instead. Mer. Next week I get to teach 5 year olds with John instead (although I'm sure I'll still be playing the piano).

Woot Dawg: We got a postcard from Rachel signed "woot dawg", and I still think it's hilarious, so I thought I'd tell the story.

All piled in the car on Christmas Day, John, Leonard and Sumana were in the backseat talking about nicknames. Very quietly I said to Rachel, “woot dawg.” We laughed for about 5 minutes before we could tell them what we were laughing at. I think we were mostly laughing because we were laughing, just the two of us, not because it was funny.

That story also reminds me of when John gave Hannah the nickname “H-bear”. She thought it was cute until James got upset over it. But once Nathan explained that John called her that because he loved her, she was pretty pleased. And once when John called her “Hannah”, she shouted, “he knows my name!”

Cute sister. Cute niece. Back to work.

[Comments] (2) : I cried at another OnStar commercial on the way to work. This is why I don't listen to the radio!

Yesterday started off badly, but luckily I already knew it was going to be a great day in the life of Susie. My alarm didn't go off and I got on the wrong freeway on my way to work! This isn't quite as stupid as it sounds, since I was coming from Jamie's, and I took the freeway I usually take to go home.

Good things: I started doing interviews at work. There was a very short line at the post office. My husband called me. I had a lot of work to do for Jamie. I was very inspired to make a scrapbook page and had a lot of fun doing it. I had an extremely yummy dinner - Baked Potato soup. I had a clean comforter and clean jersey sheets to sleep on.

I cleaned out my purse while I was standing around at the post office. I found 5 hairbands, 6 bobby pins, and the permanent marker I borrowed from Noelle and hadn't saw since. I did not find my bubblegum lipgloss, but I got a cotton candy one in my stocking, so I guess I'll live.

[Comments] (3) City Girl: cheese alert.

I am picking John up at the LA office today on the way to Bakersfield. I was just thinking about when we did the same thing before Grandma's funeral. I got off the freeway and drove down among all those tall buildings with people in suits bustling everywhere and felt like I'd come home. It was a bit like the moment I realized I wouldn't be happy working for a small company.

Of course, I have the same feeling when I'm driving on the 58 through hills covered in dead grass, or thinking about bike rides at our house in the vineyard. But there was just something about all those people going about their lives together in a jungle of steel and glass...

: I have to post this so I can throw the sticky note away. About three months ago, Andrea was discussing growth opportunities and accidentally coined a new term: "grass ceiling".

On Camelot: Rachel: Oh, the Disney version: The ultimate in historical truth.

Scrap Ahoy: I put a link to my scrapbook gallery on my main page. Now that we have a digital camera I can update it more often. I have been "collecting" paper and embellishments from Jamie's kit club long enough! Time to start using them.

[Comments] (4) Gifties: We spent a scant 18 hours in Bakersfield this weekend and I got more presents! Leonard gave me his entire collection of P.G. Wodehouse. I picked out two books to bring home and read, and left the rest on the shelves he vacated in my bedroom. Mom and Aunt Anne made me ducky pajamas. They are so cute, I don't want to get dressed in the morning! And I "discovered" the gift Rachel got me on the piano. It is a music book of The Corrs' Forgiven, Not Forgotten record. It was the only one she could find, which is too bad because there are better records, but what an awesome gift! I am excited to learn some of the songs to play with her.

I also got John to take time off from studying and take me to Disneyland for a few hours last night. The place was practically empty; it's going to be an awesome few months. We waited 45 minutes for Space Mountain and <10 minutes for everything else we went on.

Leonard was right: Making homemade pretzels is the perfect way to showcase sea salts. I got a tiny tube of sea salt in my stocking and I used it on a double batch pretzels last night. So yummy, so fancy.

Today was a cold day. I hate inside cold. Office buildings are cold all year round and my little typing fingers get so cold they can barely move sometimes! I warmed up our house by making scalloped potatoes and by drying some lemon slices in the oven.

I took a grocery bag full of lemons from Mom's tree and could hardly find enough to do with them! I juiced enough for 3+ pitchers of lemonade, made 5 into potpourri, gave 5 to Noelle and I still have 2. Mom's lemons make the yummiest lemonade, so I can't complain about having lots of juice in my freezer.

Florida and Wrinkles: Laure: Now... hold on, who was I married to?

Noelle: And that's why it's important to moisturize.

Laure: "Have you ever seen a dead elephant?" No. "That's because they all go to Elephant Valley to die."

Susie: That's not why I've never seen a dead elephant. I've never seen a dead elephant because I don't see elephants!

Busy yet Bored: Is it true that only boring people get bored? Because I seem bored an awful lot lately. Not that I can't self-entertain, but being bored, or at least non-busy, demotivates me. But I'm probably boring and I don't even know it.

My actual life is busy and fairly interesting. I'm mostly trying to keep busy and out of John's way while he studies for his last CPA exam on Monday. I've had plenty of scrapbooking kits to make (Tammy's kit this month is "Night at the Theatre" (preview pic) and I love it), laundry to do, movies to watch, dinners to cook, and tonight I am going to "Girl's Night" and tomorrow we have our monthly ward party.

Hmm: 60 cents in my purse. That is the exact amount for a package of Starbursts in the vending machine. Coincidence? I think not.

I'll be right back.

[Comments] (4) Sunday: John has been studying all day, so I got to spend the entire day scrapbooking! I finished four pages of the Chadwick Family Disneyland trip. They aren't that great considering how long I spent on them, but I had a fun day. And I am getting better at taking digital pictures.

John and I went for another walk on the beach pathway. We like to look at all the beach houses and pretend we have $3.5 million. We walked nearly the entire distance between Newport and Balboa piers and back. Our beach has so much character.

Also, our Primary lesson went much better this week. Our class was rearranged (there are two CTR 6 classes) so it was smaller, calmer and I was better prepared. It wasn't perfect but I am feeling much more confident after today. The children were also better behaved during Sharing Time.

Olive Oyl: At dinner in Bakersfield the other night, Rachel reminded me of how I used to tease her that she looked like Olive Oyl when she wore a certain skirt. At first I couldn't remember the skirt, but as she described it, the image slowly came into my head and I started laughing uncontrollably. She did look like Olive Oyl in that skirt! I even looked up some cartoon pictures on the internet. The skirt was grey and came to just the right place between ankle and calf that gave her the Olive look.

Supportive: The other day I had a - we'll call it a "thing" - at work. I didn't want to tell John about it because I was afraid he, being a man, would tell me what I should have done, or should not have said (which, of course, I already knew). Well, turns out I was way wrong because he totally defended me and found some humor in the situation and made me feel a lot better. Thanks, John!

John has been having a hard time at work since being pulled from his training. I am being a good wife and listening and telling him he's right (because he always is). People are stupid sometimes. High school is over! Move on!

[Comments] (2) OnStar Moment: Yesterday at the grocery store, I forgot to use my coupon, so I went back to the Customer Service Center. The girl was really nice and not only let me use it after the fact, but let me keep the extra dollar when she accidentally scanned it twice.

Ten minutes later, at the gas station, a guy came up to me and asked me for money for bus fare for he and his wife. "Right", I thought. I told him I didn't have any money and wondered if he would want the 10 cents in my purse. As I was getting in the car, I remembered the scripture that says if someone asks for money, it's the Lord's job to judge and your job to give. Suddenly I remembered the $2, so I grabbed it and ran over to give it to him. I mean, I wouldn't have had the $2 in the first place if it hadn't been for the nice girl at the store.

As I drove off, I saw him go over to his wife. She was standing there looking at a bus map.

In Romania there were a lot of people begging for money. You can't give to everyone. I mostly just gave to the street kids, and even then, I mostly bought/gave them food. (In general, they ate the food, whereas the money was given to their parents.) There was this one sweet old man we walked by every Sunday on the way to church. I always gave him a 10,000 lei (about 30 cents; a decent amount to receive from one person while begging). I was doing my alms on Sunday! Oh wait, maybe it's healing people you're not supposed to do on Sunday? Well, we did that, too.

Vegas, here I come: I am going to the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) trade show in Las Vegas this next week with Jamie. I am so excited! I've never been to anything like this and it sounds like a lot of fun. It will be a lot of work, not to mention workout, but fun. We are leaving Saturday morning and I'll be back Wednesday night (because I have to do work at Jamie's when I get back). Things are slow at work today. I am going to attempt to donate blood at a drive across the street this afternoon.

[Comments] (3) Anemic: No such luck on the blood-donating. I got a little poke and a rejection letter. Next time: steak dinner the night before.

Vegas, Baby!: We are having about as much fun as married women in their mid-30s (I can't have more fun than the rest of them), three Mormons and a Lutheran, can have in Vegas. Yes, that's right: we went to a scrapbooking convention.

Spent all day on our feet gathering catalogs. Tonight we must plan the April kit. Tomorrow I am free to do all the make-and-takes. There was a lot of really awesome stuff I can make for free. I've already collected quite a few free goodies. I'm very excited to spend all day doing that tomorrow!

Anyway, back to work! I miss my hubby.

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