Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CD Swapperoo

So...lately I've been craving new music (or at least a re acquaintance with some old favorites). Basically, I'm just burned out. Summer's right around the corner (says the calendar, not the weather) and I thought it would be fun to host a swap.

Here's how it works. If you want to play, leave a comment and let me know you're committed. Do this by May 16th. Then, I will let everyone know how many copies of their mix they need to burn (if 10 people say they want to play, you'll make 10 copies). You'll get your discs to me by May 30th and then I'll get one of each sent back to each of you! It's simple - I just need your commitment. Make sure you include a track listing and some fun cover art too! OH, and give it a shout out on your blog - the more people that play, the more music we get!

The catch? Summer music can tend to be so cliche (Summer Girls by LFO, Cruel Summer by Bananarama, Steal My Sunshine by Len). If you want to play, get those creative juices flowing and really put your personality stamp on that mix! Try to think of the songs that make you want to sit out on your porch sipping a Shirley Temple, or drive around town with your feet out the window, or put the top down on your convertible and feel the wind in your hair.

If you have any questions, you can also email me at s [dot] mcallister83 [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, April 24, 2009

a day off

When this girl takes a day off, there had better be a good reason. Today's "good reason" was that I have accumulated too much vacation/sick/comp time and I now have to burn it off before it expires. SO, I tried to think of what fun things I could pack into my day to make it worth the time out of the office. Normally, when I have a day to myself, I run, sleep in, go to a movie, bake something, and/or (if it's warm), lay out. Since I overdid it on my run on Wednesday, and I decided to give it another go last night (and aggravated the injury), the run was out. I did manage to sleep in (until 8:30...haha), and lounged around in my bed, checking emails and watching Gilmore Girls until about 11 am.

Last night, while recovering from the 2-miler Bre and I did, I stumbled across a FAB baking blog. Since I'm single and I don't have a husband to cook for, I end up trying my hand at some new and different baking projects. THIS was the recipe that caught my eye last night. When I finished getting ready this morning, I threw on my shoes and walked up to the Smith's. After filling my basket with my supplies (and some impulse items), finished ringing myself up at the self-check and reached for my debit card. Since I didn't have my purse, I didn't have my debit card. I summoned the self-check babysitter over to my station and told her my problem. Sadly, I did have to leave behind my strawberries, doritos, and vitamin water. I only had enough cash for the essentials.

I wasn't sure I had enough time to throw these delicious morsels of goodness together before I had to leave for my 1 o'clock appointment with Braden, my new masseuse (he got a good tour of the assets...sadly, my running injury is in the gluteus region), but I worked at lightning fast speed and got them in the oven with just enough time to garnish before running out the door. I'm proud of these little beauts! They were quite the accomplishment for moi.

Back to Braden, my new best friend, who singlehandedly (well, doublehandedly, really) pressured the kinks out of my back and booty. He was quite the attractive devil as well. Secretly, I had hoped that he would be ugly so I wouldn't be so self conscious about my bare booty on the massage table, but was fantastically pleased when Braden came into the waiting room to take me to the massage table. What a glorious hour. Let's hope the effects carry on into tomorrow's 8-mile run.

Maybe tomorrow, if I'm feeling super ambitious after the run and the SWEET BBQ, I'll try my hand at these. Don't you wish you lived at my house?? Come on over...I'm more than willing to share :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Get your grill on...

...in more ways than one! I have two FAB ways to satisfy that "grill fix" of yours.

One of my awesomely awesome JDRF families is hosting a BBQ on Saturday (April 25th), courtesy of Macey's grocery store. Best part? All the proceeds will benefit JDRF (oh and the other best part is that you can get a juicy hamburger, chips and Coke for a BUCK!). Just come out to the Macey's in West Jordan (7800 S 3200 W) between 11 am and 2 pm. Be sure to find me and say "HI," because I'll be there with bells on!

KFC has launched their new line of Kentucky Grilled Chicken and they have aptly dubbed Monday, April 27th as UNFry Day. They are offering a FREE piece of their new grilled chicken to each and every customer that walks through their doors. All you have to do is ask! Click the pic for more info. Go check it out on Monday!

Monday, April 20, 2009

She & Him pt. 3

The Other She landed in Salt Lake on December 19th - the day that Winter Break began; the day after She said goodbye to Him for the long 9 days ahead. She had never been so anxious or worried in her whole life. She couldn't concentrate, She had a knot in her stomach 24 hours a day, She was consumed with thoughts of losing Him. Her friends and family coached her, saying that this was the time for her to be confident - when He would realize just how much he missed her. Unfortunately, these reassurances only made matters worse. She took nearly a week off work to spend time with Her family to try to pass the time.

He arrived on her doorstep to drop off a Christmas gift, and immediately She started to cry. She hated that she couldn't maintain her composure in front of him, but seeing Him after 4 days of brain-numbing anxiety was all that She could handle. He had bought Her a book - by an author they had discussed. A passage in the book reminded Him of Her, however, he couldn't, for the life of him, remember which passage it was. His charge: to read the book searching for similarities. She did, and though there were many, She didn't find their correlation strong enough to their immediate situation. She completed the book in record time.

She was getting her hair done when She got the text, "Hey do you have some time to get together?" In Her mind, this could only bode badly for her. She pushed and pushed for him to spill his guts (and in His defense, He really wanted to talk in person). "We stayed up until 4 in the morning talking, and after that I had decided that She was the one." (of course, referring to the Other She). She stopped reading at that point. The tears began to fall amidst the crowd of pubescent beauty school students - not many past the age of 21. Fortunately her sister was the one doing her highlights, and tried her best to console Her. "I hate him" her sister said, "you need to make a clean break and move on."

The texting continued through the duration of Her hair treatment. He claimed to have regretted his decision immediately, and, long story short, He wanted to see Her - tomorrow at breakfast. With eyes swollen to the size of grapefruits, She consented to the meeting. They talked in circles for nearly 3 hours, with the consensus being that He needed more time (more than the ten months She had already given Him). She agreed - anything worth anything can be waited for.

He managed to taint Her holiday season with anxiety, even on Christmas, He asked her to a movie. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was the decided, and He even went down to Her families' house so She wouldn't have to drive. They went to the movie, and came out to a winter wonderland. His dad asked Him not to drive home. He was down to stay (at least for the evening). Upon arrival at Her parents' house, they tiptoed in, careful not to disturb its' slumbering inhabitants. They retreated to the basement, where the spare bedroom was located. They quickly reacquainted, as though nothing had transpired between them the last 10 days. She went upstairs and quickly fell asleep on the couch, and no sooner had she fallen, She awoke to the cereal chomping of her younger brother (he eats like a horse out to pasture). She had a small conversation with her mom and dad, and went down to awaken Him.

He was embarrassed to ascend from the basement, worried about the judgment of Her parents and family. She reassured Him, and quickly ushered Him outside. They dug His car out of the snowdrift they parked it in the night before, He gave her a quick kiss, and drove away. For the first time in 10 days She felt markedly reassured.

That day She shopped the after-Christmas sales with her sister. While at her favorite shoe store, She got a phone call from Him. "We need to talk," He said. Feeling Her stomach churn just as She had for the past week, She agreed to call Him back following Her outing. She got home and immediately dialed those familiar 10 digits. His voice had a somber tone he responded to her question, "What's up?"

"I've been thinking about things since I left this morning, and while I value our friendship, I value my relationship with her more." He had finally made a decision. The whole ordeal had finally come to a screeching halt. She was immediately devastated. However reassured She was that morning, She now felt as though she had been repeatedly kicked in the stomach. She didn't think she had ever cried so hard, or felt so much pain because of one person. The next morning, She awoke to find an email from Him, delineating all of Her attractive qualities, and reasons that He had loved her for the past 10 months. She read quietly as the tears streamed down her face. She thought "He really believes I exhibit all these traits, yet He still chose her. What a slap in the face."

It took a little bit of time, but eventually She picked up all the pieces of her broken heart, and managed to forge on. She did emerge a stronger person - just as She had many times before. And She never really figured out what passage in that book He was talking about...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

She & Him pt. 2

Things continued this way for a couple months and things were fabulous for She and Him. They were fantastic friends with all the trust, communication, and laughter of any great relationship. They talked to each other about various topics, movies, music, and even dating experiences. So, when He went to North Carolina to meet up with another She, whom he spoke very highly of, even to the point of romantic interest, She thought nothing of it. He sought out her advice regarding how to handle the girl he was currently dating, and whether he should break up with her pre-emptively.

He came home from the East visibly unchanged, but with the Other She existing merely as a technology friend (phone, email, IM). She and Him continued to hang out multiple times per week, and He even took her to the airport for her 9-day jaunt to Seattle. She was scared when she realized that she had new, ever-familiar feelings for Him. Worries about how their friendship would be affected (as He was getting very chummy with the Other She - 0r at least as chummy as you can get 2,000 miles apart) crossed her mind often. Other worries included whether She really wanted to take the plunge and be vulnerable again, whether it was really worth it, whether or not She would win.

She desperately wanted to tell Him how she felt, but was content to continue hanging out as friends until she gained the courage. He mentioned to her that he had dreamt of her and that it was an "in-person tell." He picked her up and they went to Cafe Rio. The sat down with their food and He spit it out, ending with the question, "So, are you interested in me more than just a friend?" Caught off guard, She spit it out as well, embarrassed to the brim, and immediately thinking she would never speak to Him again (in normal, comfortable conversation).

To her disbelief, things were sticky for a short couple of weeks, and then they became inseparable. They hung out 4-5 times a week, and She tried fiercely to push thoughts of the Other She out of her reality. Talk of the Other She coming to town for Christmas break started, and immediately She began to feel insecure and anxious about the whole ordeal. While she was confident, She had never met this Other girl, and She had no idea what kind of "competition" she had.

She & Him pt. 1

**Long short-story style post - proceed with caution (and read carefully - lots of personal pronouns!)**
She thought she would have an ordinary night at home. Her roommate was going to dinner with an old friend so she would have the apartment to herself. After making the suggestion of Cafe Rio for their dinner, She decided that it sounded good herself, and made the mighty trek for takeout. They asked her to sit down and eat with them, noting that they had just been discussing various options of guys to set her up with. Yes, it was decided, He would be great. She asked the particulars (his looks, tastes, background), and they set up the meeting for that night. They would all watch The Darjeeling Limited together that very evening. He had to pick up his parents from the airport, but would be on his way shortly. The threesome played cards to pass the time.

When He walked in, She wasn't too impressed. He was growing a beard, that had amassed the size of a small nation by that point, he was on the short-ish side, and she was left wondering why her newfound friend, Eric, and her roommate would think that She would be interested in Him. The remainder of the night was uneventful, but impressions were made, and she thought to never give another thought to the gentleman.

Nights later, Bre mentioned that Eric and Him had been asking about her. It appeared that there was a shared interest (however so mild) between the two guys. When, later that week, Eric came by her house, She confessed that she was first attracted to and wanted to date him, not his friend. He let her know that he was dating someone, but that she should give his friend a chance - because He was really interested in getting to know her. If at the end of this "chance," things didn't work out, Eric hoped that She would still be interested in going out. It was almost the challenge she needed to go out with Him - even without the initial attraction.

Two months passed, and no further attraction developed between She and Him. However hard She tried, She couldn't make herself fall in love with him. They went out sometimes twice a week. She couldn't put her finger on it either - there was something holding her back. They always had a fantastic time together, but She didn't enjoy thinking about Him holding her hand, or kissing her, the way She had with other guys. After a good coaching session with Eric and Bre, She decided it would be best to end it now, and hopefully try to keep his respect, and possibly forge a friendship out of it.

The conversation came and went easily. She said her piece, and He didn't even seem phased by her lack of interest. She was incredibly sorry (since she very well knew how bad it felt to hear someone say they weren't interested in you) and thought she broke his heart. Even discussing it with Eric and Bre afterwards, they both thought that He would still be willing to be her friend, although it would probably take a few weeks for him to get over it. However, the very next weekend, She wanted to go see a movie, and He had become her favorite movie buddy, so She gave him a call. They picked up as though nothing had even happened (with the only exception to their new relationship being that She bought her own movie ticket).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

So we thought we'd be domestic...

Conference weekend for Mormons is pretty well consumed by listening to the words of the prophet and napping. That's how my Saturday went - conference (+nap), running, conference (+nap). For men, it's even more consuming with an additional session on Saturday night. Don't get me wrong, it's more enjoyable for me than actually attending church - and the talks are FAB, but it makes for two long days (of slothful, lazy bliss). For Lynsey and I, however, we managed to find some domestic activities to keep us busy on Saturday night.

We started out by hitting the Roberts (remembering that they have this HUGE ladies night out event on conference Saturday after we had arrived). We decided to brave the crowd of moms and kids to get our crafting supplies for the evening's festivities. Perk to this outing being that I won a bead spinner (no clue what the perk to actually having a bead spinner is, but thrilled to win, nonetheless). We spent far too long perusing the printed papers, and I dropped far too much dough, but I just couldn't limit myself! I'll take the matter up with the Budgeting Gods later...

We then hit the Home Depot and realized where all the hot guys hide out on the weekends. I never thought I'd say this, but my sister has it so great actually working there! I think I saw several guys I would have gone out with, or would have hit on, at the very least. After walking the length of the store a few times, we left and found ourselves at the WalMart. I got the hankering to make cupcakes, and I had neglected to get some glue applicator sticks at the Roberts.
Words cannot describe the kinds of things you witness while shopping at WalMart. I joked with Brian on Friday night that he must be allergic to white trash because his allergies flared up once we got inside the store (did I just admit to shopping at WalMart two nights in a row??). The caliber of people who shop at WalMart crack me up, ranging from the annoying teenagers who just want somewhere besides home to chill, to the inconsiderate families who just can't manage to make room for one more person in the aisle. Anyhow, we settled on easter egg cupcake papers and devil's food cake and headed home.

While the cupcakes were baking, I taught Lynsey the delicate art of magnetry. I never thought I would be imparting crafty wisdom to another, but since my ever-so-thorough tutelage from Leigh, I am a magnetress of unparalleled proportions. Turns out, Lynsey's not too bad either. The cupcakes turned out remarkably (I'm even thinking about telling Martha Stewart about my endeavors in the kitchen) and the frosting was oh-so-creamy. We even learned that the adhesive we used in the creating of the magnets is industrial strength - most commonly used to bond cement or metal or repair conveyor belts. So glad we're using it to attach paper to glass (no wonder it smells worse than perm solution - perhaps we were a little high on fumes).

We even topped off the evening watching Food Network Challenge: Miley Cyrus Sweet 16 Birthday Cakes. What can I say - we got sucked in; I can't be held responsible for my viewing behavior.

What a fantastic Mormon girl retreat (unplanned). I felt so domestic and productive - after running almost 8 miles (my personal record), it felt nice to give in to the Mormon girl stereotype (no matter how brief) and embrace my pioneer roots. I'm sure the ancestors are proud ;)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

In case you were wondering....

This is what running in the rain looks like on me: (and I should be ashamed for posting this photo, as it is NOT my finest moment)

As soon "amen" was said, and I awoke from my conference-induced slumber, I hopped to it and got dressed. It was raining, and even, at points, snowing, but I kept warm, and managed to hit 7.87 miles before I called it quits. Despite the rain, it was a great run. In case you were wondering, THIS is what 7.87 miles looks like in the slums of South Salt Lake. It's a wonder I haven't been jumped. And to think, I was going to run at the gym today...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Music I {heart}

As a music junkie, I "waste" too much tine scouring the internet for new music. It's not just the internet either - I hear music on TV shows (most often Grey's Anatomy and One Tree Hill), on commercials, in stores, and on movies. I have also learned that Murray Public Library has a DANDY CD collection. I have found a new favorite site, TuneGlue, that explores relationships between artists. It is amazing! Once you enter an artist or band and click "expand," it branches out into a web of related artists. I highly recommend giving it a try sometime.

Since I'm lacking the blogging "creative juices" tonight, I thought I'd share a few new artists/albums/songs that are currently tickling my fancy. Some are older loves that have resurfaced, but most are new finds - doing a lot of play time on the old iPod.
  • Rise Up by Ben Lee. This song is found on the not-yet-released Rebirth of Venus album and was featured on Grey's Anatomy last week. What a beautiful, delicate song! Not to mention the great scene it played behind on the show! Ben is a fab artist, with other such songs as Catch My Disease, Chills, What Would Jay-Z Do?, and Ripe. He even adequately covered The Beatles, In My Life.
  • Paris by Benton Paul. Benton opened last Friday for David Archuleta, but exhibited a musical maturity of someone with much more experience. He was a joy to watch, and melted my heart with his talent (not to mention, he hails from Highland, UT)! He spent some time in France, and managed to crank out this beautiful song - "I learned to talk in French. I learned to kiss in French," he said.
  • The Weepies iTunes Exclusive Live EP. I thought I had all there was to have of this fantastic mellow duo. The husband and wife have cranked out yet another great release. I would listen to The Weepies 24 hours a day. I know they're a smidge "easy listening," but once I heard The World Spins Madly On on Grey's (the gripping "bomb episode" in season 2), I was hooked.
  • Half Acre by Hem - found on an insurance commercial (of all places). Another mellow band, using a lot of soothing piano riffs, and that oh-so-common indie woman vocal. This track even boasts a clarinet (now think if I had never given up - I could have been Hem's clarinetist - haha).
  • Then by Brad Paisley. I'm not a country girl, by even the loosest definition, but this song quite nearly made me cry. He performed this beaut on American Idol a few weeks ago, and it helped me to see just the smallest glimpse of what my mom and dad, and numerous other long-time couples have in their relationships. Fantastic perspective!
  • Duet by Rachael Yamagata. She has partnered with one of my all-time favorite male vocalists, Ray LaMontagne, to sing this beautiful arrangement. The vocals compliment each other quite well - it's a fab song for bedtime.
  • Hazy by Rosi Golan. This indie gal was featured on One Tree Hill, and at the conclusion of the episode, I hopped on iTunes and downloaded the album immediately. Rosi features another uber-talented bearded vocalist, William Fitzsimmons. These two are some of my favorite finds of the new year.
  • The Fear by Lily Allen. Lily is a fearless British pop star, with questionable lyrics. I love her. The Fear is the first single off her newest album, "It's Not Me, It's You" and is a great little ditty.
  • Grizzly Bear's Yellow House album. No words to describe them. Favorite track? Knife.
  • David Archuleta's self titled album. I know, I'm 26 and I shouldn't have so much love for the underage Idol, but after seeing the kid perform live last weekend, my heart is brimming with love for Murray's own superstar. I think I have listened to his album at least 10 times since last Thursday when I started prepping for the show. I don't even think I can denote a favorite track. Judge all you want, but you know you secretly love him too.
Check 'em out. You won't regret it...just let me know when you've succumbed to your musical coma.