Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dressing Room Drama

What is it about dressing rooms that causes me embarrassment? I went shopping on Monday and found three shirts I liked. I selected a dressing room and proceeded to try each one on. With the third shirt, I walked outside my booth to the large mirror for optimal personal critiquing. After approving the new top, I walked back to the booth and took the shirt off. I reached for the hanger.

Where did I put the hanger?

Wait...where are the other 2 shirts?

Where is my purse?

Where am I?

I discovered I'd gone to the wrong dressing room. Not wanting to waste time by putting the shirt back on, I waited for the teenage girls trying on bathing suits to start talking. Had they broke from their conversation weighing the pros and cons of each suit long enough to look my direction, they would have witnessed me clutching a shirt close to my chest as I poked my head in various stalls looking for my belongings.

I've always known the ditz in me surfaces near a handsome guy, but this time the cute culprit was a shirt. Which goes to prove it's not just the Tall, Dark, and Handsome that makes me scatterbrained and momentarily lose my surroundings.

Sometimes it's Medium, White, and Cotton.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Did you hear about the new pirate movie?

It's rated ARRRRRRRRRRRR for too much booty.

I was able to see Pirates III this weekend. Nothing better than seeing Johnny Depp on the big screen for 2 and 1/2 hours. Ahhh...

Anyway, in preparation for the movie, some friends of mine threw a Pirates party complete with a contest for the best costume. I need to confess: I love dressing up. I am only encouraged further if there's any chance for costume competition. I had to scrounge around the house a bit but what do you think?

I took an old pair of pants from my concert band days (Why we still have them 10 years after I graduated is a mystery.)

And tucked them into Johnny-Cherie's conservative boots.

I added an Old Navy shirt in the Rainbow Bright variety,

And covered that with a ridiculously over-sized, mismatched shirt.

I accessorized with an eye patch, one of Julia-Gulia's earrings, a belt, and a toy sword

Next I needed a handkerchief. I opted for red but you could always choose psychedelic if you happen to be a pirate stuck in the 60's.

I download a skull/cross bone picture from the internet and taped it to a Zorro hat turned (glued) pirate.

I borrowed a stuffed toy monkey and what did I get?

ARRRRR ya ready?

Oh, and I won Best Costume.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Instant Non-communication

So my last post zoned in on cell phones and how our lives have changed because of them. Today's post is technological as well but focuses on the instant communication that literally surrounds us. On a daily basis, I can chat via email, texting, my cell phone, instant messages, blogs, scanners, or fax. Times have changed from the Pony Express, and Smoke Signals.

It's easier to stay in touch - but do we really? Recently my mom asked how a friend of mine was doing and I responded, "I just got an email from her today. I guess she is doing alright." "Well, what did she say in her email?" "Oh, it was just a forward about blondes."

Yep, I keep in great touch.

Another example involves a buddy of mine who is teaching English in the Ukraine. The time zone difference doesn't allow too much interaction on the phone so we utilize instant messaging. One day I noticed he was online and I typed a quick "word" to say hello. The computer indicated he was typing back. I had a small glimpse of technology advances. I was "talking" with a friend across the globe instantaneously. Incredible! And you know what we said?

Set of Encyclopedias

Not really anything. Good thing for technology or no one would keep in touch!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Can you hear me now?

Cell Phones.

Everyone except my parents has one it seems. Only a decade ago, hardly anyone had a cell. Pagers were the cool status symbol back in the 1990's. A pager meant you were important and needed. People wanted YOU to call THEM. Anyone with a pager was pret-ty hot stuff.

Next came the car phone. This brick sized attachment literally was built or lugged into the car. I wasn't as impressed by the car phone. To me, the person didn't know how to relax and took work with them wherever they went. I never wanted a car phone.

About this time, TheDeanInc got a job as a cell phone sales rep. He purchased a plan for himself but when he left a few months later for a two year mission to the Philippines, he needed someone to take over his contract. That lucky person was me. My first cell phone plan was $32 a month. I had 75 weekday minutes, 500 weekend minutes, call waiting, caller id, and the capability to store 99 numbers. Texting wasn't developed yet, coverage only existed within the 50 mile radius of the cell phone tower, and the phrase "free nights" only applied to children under 5 staying at rundown motels. The phone also came with 10 different ring tones. No option to download or upgrade. 10 styles.

Today phones are everywhere. A status symbol is no longer really attached to the actual cell phone. Now it's the ring tone. Some are obnoxious and some are quiet. Some are downloaded songs and some are recorded voice clips. Some are actual original rings and others just vibrate. A ring tone says quite a bit about a person.

What is my ring tone? A sound clip from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I realize it's May but back in December I wanted a holiday ring tone. The only other option that sounded remotely decent was Jingle Bells. I obviously chose otherwise. I spent $3 downloading the ring tone. January came and I didn't feel as though I'd used my new ringer $3 worth so I continued with the song. Now it's mid-May and I'm still using it. Occasionaly my phone will ring while I'm with friends and inevitably someone says, "Isn't that a Christmas song?"

Why yes, yes it is. My cell phone ringer indicates I'm cheap. I would argue but - oh hold on, Jack's ringing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I love my granddawg!

That's the bumper sticker I saw the other day.

Let me introduce some culture here in Athens, Georgia. Obviously the University of Georgia is located here...and the city won't let you forget this. Local businesses such as Bulldawg Diner, Bulldawg Tan and Gift Shoppe, Bulldawgs Pizza, Bulldog Bank and Trust, Bulldog Baskets, Bulldog Carpet and Upholstery, Bulldog Corner, Bulldog Inn, and Bulldog Limousine only help me remember where I now live and where my true football loyalties should lie. I do wonder what some business owners were thinking. For instance, take Bulldog Alarm Systems: What do they do - just give you a bulldog? I would be scared of a bulldog. Or Bulldog Detective Agency: I can just see a bulldog, with a hat on his head, sitting in a dark room smoking a cigar, barking orders - literally - to his staff as he tirelessly works through the night on the latest 'bone-chilling' caper. One can also go to Bulldog Rental. I guess it's for those lonely nights when you just need a bulldog to keep you company. In the morning, if the bulldog won't leave, just call Bulldog Towing. And if your bulldog rental left a treat behind, never fear, Bulldog Waste is near.

If the names of the companies fail to remind one of their football loyalties, the city has placed 36 statues of bulldogs that sit about three feet high, four feet long throughout the entire city.

Each one is different.

I suppose it helps with directions. "Jest go down Broad striet till yew git to thu bulldawg that luks like Ceasar, tern left onto Montgomry and gow straight till ya'll git to thu yella bulldawg. Ya'll see a bunch of us there."

"Ya'll hurry up now. Ya Hear?"

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mama Mia

Tomorrow is Mama Mia’s birthday. She’ll be worth a quarter, two dimes, a nickel, and two pennies. She’s done quite a bit with those 52 years but most of her greatest achievements fall under work done during the past 28 years with the title of “Mother”.

The fact is, she is an amazing mom. I might be biased but I do think she's the best around.

In my younger years, those years in which I somehow knew more than Mama Mia ever would, I found so many opportunities to critique. I would have made dinner differently. I would have raised my siblings better. My yard would have looked nicer. I surely would have kept the house tidier. Mama Mia was wiser than I realized though. Instead of arguing back, she would simply say, “Write it down, sign and date it.” I complied.

One example involved our “lived in” home. I was frustrated that our house so often looked unkempt. After another snotty comment, I obliged Mama Mia’s request and wrote, “I will always have a clean house after I have children.” She coyly took the signed paper and stashed it with the other statements previously written.

Several years later, I was babysitting four children, two of which were twins. I was frazzled after just three hours of juggling diaper changes, feedings, books, children, taking phone messages, and cleaning up after little ones. I looked around the cluttered living room and remembered the promise I’d sworn in such haste. On my own, I prepared a disclaimer for Mama Mia explaining, "If I have twins, the note about a clean house no longer holds true.”

I don’t know why I limited the clause to twins. I’ve tended enough children now to realize just one can demand my attention louder than a messy room. Guess Mama Mia has every right to say “I told you so!” She also has a collection of oaths penned by my hand to refer to when the opportune moment arrives.

Today I have another statement. This one needs no retraction:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It's All Relative

Several years ago, a buddy of mine somehow got his hands on two All-Access Opening Night Sundance Film Festival tickets. I wasn't privy to any details concerning how he acquired the tickets for free so I can only assume he was part of some underground Utah mafia. Anyway, he invited me to join him and gave me a rundown of what to expect.

* The tickets gave us access to dinner served on the top floor of the venue.
* Robert Redford would be there.
* I needed to dress nice and act dignified.
* Many city officials would also be in attendance.

The night arrived and I dressed in one of my best outfits. I wore a floor length black skirt with a form fitting V-necked burgundy striped shirt. I accented the V-neck with a silver necklace and square black pendant. I did my best to mingle with all the socialites. I met some individuals in high positions: city government, state government, and school board executives. Although I was able to relate with most of the guests, it was clearly obvious that this elite class wasn't what I'd grown up in.

One of my favorite conversations was with a city official. She and I were enjoying some delicious food with names I couldn't remember let alone pronounce when she noticed my necklace. She let out an audible sigh then said, "I adore your necklace. It looks like onyx and I just love that stone. Tell me, is it 'Tiffany's'?"

Conversation hit a slight bump as I replied, "" It's her younger sister, Claire's."

Sigh - I don't fit in.

At least the movie was good.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thoughts on cars:

Do people think they obtain some sort of cosmic power when they get into a car? A power that allows them to communicate with other drivers perhaps?

Recently I was stuck near the end of a long line of cars and when the light turned green, the first car – for whatever reason – did not go. The light was short and none of us made it through. I could see the lady behind me throw her hands up, roll her eyes, and yell something. Although none of us heard what she said, she seemed to think we could and that we cared. The next green light we all made it through. I checked in my rear view mirror and saw her turn into a Mexican Restaurant. It was 5:51. So either she was 6 minutes late for her 5:45 shift or really early for dinner. Either way, her irateness humored me for some reason.

Do people think a closed car door eliminates anyone from seeing what they are doing?

At that same traffic signal, since I waited through two red lights, I had time to watch the other car passengers. The girl next to me had just completed a shopping spree. She had purchased a few items and held each one up to eye level for closer inspection. "Hon...I'm sure that pair of lime green panties will look great on you."

And to the guy in the next lane, um, if you did succeed in finding that gold you were digging for, you might consider cashing some of it in to get tinted windows. I know I’d appreciate it.

Friday, May 11, 2007

My Date with a "Ted Bundy"

The date was May 10, 2004. It was a beautiful summer day in Utah with incredible winds. I was halfway home on the freeway when I heard a noise. It was as if I’d run over something but when I looked in the rear view mirror I didn’t see anything. The wind picked up speed. My car rocked back and forth wielded by the wind. I was ready to get home and relax…a fleeting thought. I smelled burning rubber. Again I looked in the rear view but this time watched a piece of tire chunk fling from my car. I immediately pulled over to find my tire hanging on by shreds.

I popped my trunk and slowly got the tools necessary to change my tire. Several cars zoomed by and I wondered if anyone would pull over to help. Although I had just come from the gym and was covered in glisten, I was beginning to doubt I had any sort of “damsel in distress” influence. I jacked up the car and was about to take the ruined tire off when an Audi pulled over and backed up. Finally, someone to just keep me company and help in case I need it.

Even more company arrived. A police man pulled over to insure I was okay. The Audi Man had started taking off the lug nuts by slowly, manually turning the wrench. I stopped relaying the situation to the cop long enough to bend down and show Audi Man a better way of twisting the tool so the wrench didn’t have to be removed every half-turn. When I looked back at the cop, he laughed and told Audi Man, “She’s totally right. Looks like she knows what she’s doing.” The cop stayed long enough for us to get the spare started; then he was gone.

After the tires were swapped, I gathered the tools to the trunk and slammed the lid to see Audi Man leaning on the driver’s door with his elbow. He cocked his head to the side and casually asked, “So, whatter yer plans tonight?”

Uh…um…well…I was going to go home and eat some dinner. Maybe watch an episode of Seinfeld.
How’s about you and I catch something to eat then.
Uh…um…well, I need to shower first.
No problem. I’ll pick you up in an hour. What’s your address?

Too stunned to think clearly, I gave him my address. Five minutes later and home, I realized the stupid mistake I'd just made. A random stranger had my address and would be by to pick me up at 7. I felt sick. Worried sick. When he knocked, I barely cracked the door and yelled to my roommate that I would be back later. He didn’t need to know she wasn’t home. I just wanted him to realize I would be missed if he didn’t bring me back.

I got in the car and he began talking. He told me about the construction company he had worked for and spent several minutes pointing out different buildings he'd helped erect. I turned from Chatty Charlotte to One-Word-Girl. I hardly spoke. I didn’t want him to know anything about me. During a silent moment I happened to look in the back seat and saw Dr. Laura’s book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. This book was popular among some of my female friends but I couldn’t see why he would need a book about husbands. I asked if it was his. He exclaimed, “Yes! I bought it and read it all the way through. The parts that specifically pertain to me are highlighted. That way when I get engaged, all my future fiancĂ© has to do is read the book and pay particular attention to the parts I’ve colored. In fact, read this...” He opened the book to a particular page and asked me to read aloud a certain section.

“Men are really easy to understand. They want one of two things. If he isn't horny, make him a sandwich.”

I closed the book, paused, and said, “Well, it’s a good thing we are going to dinner.” He laughed and said I was witty. I was done. Audi Man was Outta Chances. I tried not to smile or laugh or talk the rest of the evening. And I still couldn’t get him to take me home. He wanted to take me to his place and show me his dog. I told him I hated dogs. He wanted to show me an episode of Seinfeld on his flat screen tv. I said I wasn’t interested. He wanted to call me. I wouldn’t give him my number. I wanted to go home. He wanted to drive around more.

I finally got him to take me home when I mentioned it was my sister’s birthday. I needed to call her still and if it wasn’t for that fact, I don't know when he would have brought me back. When I relayed the story to my parents I knew I'd been protected. My parents were glad I was safe. Aside from that night, I can't think of any time when my parents have called me names. That night though, my dad was completely correct when he called me an idiot.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Smelly Shelly

Tomorrow my little sister Shelly turns 20!

I remember when she was just a baby. Isn't she cute! She was born with one dimple in her left cheek. I was so jealous. I tried, unsuccessfully, to produce my own dimple. I would bite the inside of my cheek hoping to indent the skin. I got a canker sore but never a dimple.

Shelly loves animals. When she was younger, she aspired to be a veterinarian but has since changed to dental hygiene - a different type of animal.

She always has been beautiful...even on tacky day. HEY!!! Those are my glasses. And isn't that an old plaid shirt of mine too? What are you implying Shelly? Hmmm...

Some of my favorite memories with Shelly include working out at the gym (it's humbling how much she can bench compared to me), late night slumber parties when she and I shared a room with Julia-Gulia, and dancing in the den with Christmas music blaring.

Smelly Shelly-Belly, you are one of my heroes. I love you. Happy Birthday!

Monday, May 7, 2007

1...2...3... TAG you're it!

I was tagged by Dorky Dad on Friday to share 10 things about myself. First I was surprised to learn some unknown blog personality had tagged me. It made for some interesting conversation around the house.

"Did you read my blog today? I was tagged!"
"I was tagged. It means that someone out in this world wide web of ours tagged my blog. I have to write 10 things about myself on Monday."
Who tagged you?
"Dorky Dad."
Dad has a blog?
"No...Dorky Dad. It's a blog I enjoy reading. He lives in, well, I actually have no idea." have problems.

So since we've established I have problems, jumping into this "10 unique facts about Charlotta-love" should be simple. I, of course, don't like to be simple. So instead of just listing, I'll write you a story. Sit back in that corporate swivel chair of yours, read quickly before the phone rings, and enjoy.

Saturday I allowed myself to sleep in until 8:30. I (1)typically set my alarm for 5:55 to insure I'm out of bed by 6:15. I ate (2)my favorite meal of the day: breakfast. Every morning I look forward to Kashi with rice milk. It may sound bland but add some blueberries, banana, raisins, or coconut and it's simply delicious! I sorted through the paper and caught up on the local happenings. (3)I always read something while I eat breakfast. It varies between the paper, a magazine, or a book. Mama Mia had to be trained to not talk to me while I eat breakfast. I will give simple answers laced with irritation since (4)breakfast is my quiet time and I don't like to be interrupted. Plus, who really talks first thing in the morning anyway?

Finished, I went upstairs and changed into my gym clothes. I relayed my agenda to Mama Mia in case she needed me and was off. I first stopped at a garage sale. (5)I love yard sales. A few weeks ago I snagged a wet suit for $5. This weekend I only bought a cd but still felt it worthwhile in my getting up early. I finally made it to the gym. The front desk girl and I chatted a bit about our dating lives. More so about hers since mine is pretty scarce. Okay fine. We only talked about her dating life. Geesh. She is Jewish and (6)I am Mormon so we relate with the difficulties in finding someone not only interesting but also of our faith. While conversing, Nicki's lunch was delivered by a local Mexican restaurant. (7)I love Mexican food.

After talking a little longer, I decided I needed to actually work out. That was my original plan in going to the gym. I first needed to make a quick stop to the ladies room. I washed my hands and looked into the mirror. That's when I noticed I had not washed my face yet. (8)I wash my face in the shower but since I planned to shower after the gym, I still had visible cream marks on my face. White, pasty cream for polka-dotted sunburns. Or zits as most people call them. (9)I don't have zits. I prefer to call them polka-dotted sunburns.

Polka-dotted sunburns. On my face. Covered with white, pasty cream. How many people saw me? Mama Mia, however many fellow garage sale shoppers, Nicki, the delivery guy. Boy oh boy. It would have been nice for someone to mention I had white pasty cream on my face some point in my morning routine.

It's okay though. Made for an interesting blog. And apparently (10)I'm addicted to blogging.

Here is where I'm supposed to pass along the love and invite 10 other bloggers to share 10 things about themselves. I'm not going to though. If you want, email me and I'll come up with 5 random questions for you to answer on your blog.

Friday, May 4, 2007


I received yet another FW:Email the other day. I had to reply with one word that described my friend to the fullest. This got me to thinking...which is always dangerous...but what do my friends think of me? One word. That's all they get. I bravely forwarded the email and here are the replies thus far:

Soul mate

I came up with at least one example for each quality. Some I have already blogged about and some will appear soon. I'm just glad the responses didn't include descriptions like Blase, Spinster, Gold-Digger, or Noseypants.

How would you like to be described in one word? Better yet, what is the one word YOU hope wouldn't be used?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Organic suds

I just returned from my Utah adventure yesterday. On the flight home, I skimmed a few articles in a magazine. One specifically mentioned new lines of "Green" cleaning products. Apparently Dierdre Imus, the wife of Don Imus, has come out with a line that's free of any known carcinogens. I shared the passage with P2 and asked, "Do you suppose Don Imus ever had to clean his mouth out with organic soap?"

I found the thought rather amusing.