So, the President is proposing a way to help people who are being foreclosed on. This irritates me to no end. A key element of his plan would allow homeowners with good credit histories, but who cannot afford their mortgage payments, to refinance into mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration to keep from defaulting.
Of course, if I was being foreclosed on, I would probably jump at the chance to take advantage of Bush's plan. However, there needs to be consequences for taking out stupid loans! Everyone is trying to find a scapegoat in this situation. The lenders want to blame the government for not regulating them. The borrowers want to blame the lenders for not informing them appropriately. The government wants to blame people for not reading the fine print on their loan documents.
Did I mention that I am so irritated at this right now?
So, the President is proposing a way to help people who are being foreclosed on. This irritates me to no end. A key element of his plan would allow homeowners with good credit histories, but who cannot afford their mortgage payments, to refinance into mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration to keep from defaulting.
Posted by Cristin at 10:46 AM
I recently got the 'ol Aquarium Bouncer out of storage for an Expo TV review and Luke can't get enough of it! He climbs into it all the time and turns on the vibrating buttons himself. He really likes to sit back, let the chair give him a little massage, watch the fish, eat a graham cracker and drink a little juice. I almost think he likes the chair now more than when he was 2 months old! Moral of the story: You will know your child is too big for the bouncer when he physically breaks it. Until then, keep using it!
Posted by Cristin at 11:07 PM
Can I just say how fortunate I feel to have not bought a house during the past few years of this real estate craze? When we first moved back to California, we were both working full-time and a mortgage company pre-approved us to buy a $650,000 tract home in Camarillo. Although we knew it was idiotic, almost everyone around us was telling us what a great investment it would be, how the home will go up a gazillion percent in the next year, how we can just refinance our adjustable rate mortgage using the equity we will gain, how everyone does it, and my favorite scare tactic, "Get in now or you'll be shut out of the market forever!"
Consequently, we visited with that same mortgage broker 6 months ago to look at our possibilities of buying a home in Tehachapi. His advice to us, "Do not buy a home right now. Wait." Since then I have had another mortgage broker give us the same advice. You know it's bad when the people selling mortgages are telling you not to buy one!
Of course we're still tempted to buy all the time. I am always wondering, "Is this the bottom? Is this it?" Fortunately, now that the decline of the housing market is a well accepted fact and people are getting scared, I am starting to feel better about our decision to wait. Another good thing is that the market is excellent for renters right now, at least in California. Since so many investors are desperate to fill their homes and there are so many vacant ones, homes are starting to rent for way under "market value".
Since they've started actually verifying people's incomes, we can't buy a $700,000 home anymore. Shucks! I don't really know what the housing market is like in other parts of the country, but in California it is starting to look really good for people like us. This isn't to say that home ownership is a bad thing. I still believe that if you plan on staying in your house for 10 years, you'll obviously make money on it, but it's the house flippers that I want to thank from the bottom of my heart.
Now, if I can just be patient and keep saving...
Posted by Cristin at 10:23 AM
Last night I rented "Blades of Glory" from the Redbox. Erik got home while I was halfway through the movie and asked, "So, has Jon Heder done anything un-Mormon yet in this movie?" I said, "Yes, appearing in this movie." Honestly though, is Jon Heder a bad guy because he appears in a crude movie with lots of sexual innuendo? (It would be difficult to be an LDS celebrity with obscure blogs judging your every move as being in line with your religion or not.) If any mistake was made, it was that we expect more of certain actors because of how good and pure we perceive their personal lives to be. In reality, we have no clue what these people are really like.
I would like to think that I have grown out of putting celebrities on a pedestal. For example, in college I thought B-Rock from the Backstreet Boys was the greatest thing ever and clean enough to be a returned missionary. (Yes, I meant to write in college.) Lots of people think that Jon Heder's movies should be clean because he's LDS, but even School of Scoundrels has an unrated version. Even now I would totally be lying to you if I didn't say I wasn't disappointed when Anne Hathaway started doing "trashy" movies like Havoc and Brokeback Mountain. Or what the heck is with that picture of my nice, clean cut boy, Zac Efron, on the cover of Rolling Stone? That is a really weird pose if you ask me. Why does he have his hand up his shirt? It makes me think of the time my friend, Steve Fenske, shaved his chest. I remember that he told me he couldn't stop putting his hand up his shirt to feel his smooth chest. Has Zac Efron just shaved his chest? Is Zac Efron old enough to have chest hair? (Wow, maybe I should just devote an entire blog entry to that picture because I obviously have a lot of questions.)
As for Blades of Glory, it was okay. If you are offended easily, don't watch it. You might think it is clean because Jon Heder is in it, but you are mistaken.
Even if we consciously try to not think of a certain celebrity as a good person, we do. You know you do it. It's like that time I thought Paris Hilton was the bomb and then she got arrested. Oh, snap! I was so mad!*
*That was a joke.
Posted by Cristin at 1:11 PM
The FDA recently issued a warning against codeine for nursing mothers. According to the warning, some mothers have been metabolizing the drug too quickly and as a result, it can kill the baby. When I heard this on NPR, I actually got pretty mad. I chose to have no drugs during Luke's birth, but after he was born I asked for just a little something to relieve the pain. They had that scale of pain on the wall, the one with all the funny cartoon faces. A nurse or doctor would come in every few hours and say, "Which face do you feel?" So, when I asked for a little pain reliever, they prescribed me this incredibly strong Tylenol with codeine. I never filled the prescription because a) I was too lazy and it didn't hurt that bad and b) I was afraid of anything that strong going through my breast milk to the baby. I just stuck to extra strength Tylenol and I was fine.
My point is that hospitals love to prescribe super strong codeine to new mothers. If codeine affects new babies, what other drugs have similar effects? I realize that sometimes you are in a lot of pain and drugs are great. I was hyped up on pain medication when my wisdom teeth were removed and it was totally awesome.
However, there are a lot of old wives' tales regarding breastfeeding and pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Luke, I was given a book by my Ob Gyn that said I shouldn't blow dry my hair while I was pregnant. (She told me to ignore that part of the book.) I also had a doctor tell me not to color or highlight my hair while I was pregnant. Then I heard that was a lie. I had another doctor tell me that keeping everything as natural as possible while breastfeeding and pregnant was the best thing to do. He had done landmark studies about deodorant and perfume causing infertility and miscarriages. He only allowed his staff and patients to wear Tom's of Maine deodorant. (Did he have a deal with Tom's of Maine?) Ironically enough, this "natural" doctor was the same one that gave me an ultrasound every other week. Then there are some people that think ultrasounds hurt the fetus too. It's hard to know what to believe anymore.
I often wonder if doctors love to prescribe certain drugs (like codeine) because of all the kickbacks they receive from the drug companies. I see those free pens they use with the drug company's logo blasted across the side - don't tell me that doesn't influence what they choose to prescribe to patients.
So, as a breastfeeding mother, I am now super paranoid that any drug I take (except Tylenol) will affect my child. This makes for a miserable existence when I am sick and I really have no clue how well founded my fears are.
I'll get off my soap box now. Thanks for listening.
Posted by Cristin at 12:07 PM
We made it home late last night. It was tons of fun, but the straight 12 hour drive on the way home nearly killed all three of us. I know that less is more, but I have over 350 pictures from our trip. It was really hard to find just a few. So, here goes...
First off, Luke did extremely well in the car. He slept, played with his toys, ate food, clapped his hands to music... we rarely had to stop for him. I am very proud of that little boy.
The Winchester Mansion was fantastic. I would definitely recommend the tour to anyone going to San Jose. It's expensive, but worth the price. We got a great deal with a hotel/mansion tour package. Just make sure you aren't claustrophobic, because the rooms in the house are itsy bitsy.
Here is a picture outside the hotel room in San Jose that Luke trashed. The climax came when he spilled a whole jar of peanut butter on the carpet. I wanted to die. It was the first time we have ever left a tip for the maid. Erik spent an hour cleaning the room before we left.
We rode a trolley to Chinatown (in San Francisco). I lost my appetite for Chinese Food when I saw the posters advertising the food, it was a little too authentic for me. I guess I'll stick with Panda Express.
Here is my childhood fantasy being fulfilled. The drive thru tree was on a loop, so you could drive through as many times as you wanted. Very cool.
Luke and I eating breakfast at our campsite in Oregon. I can't believe what a big boy he's becoming. He loves to sit at the table and eat off a plate.
We discovered the joy of drive in movies during our trip. We went to a nice Drive In Theatre in San Jose and then this farmer's field in Crescent City, CA. It is fantastic being able to take Luke to movies this way. He sleeps in the car during the movies and we don't have to worry about him disrupting any of the other moviegoers. Plus, Drive-In's are really cheap. Just $10 per carload for a double feature. Too bad there aren't any near where we live. *sigh*
Posted by Cristin at 3:01 PM
While I am recovering from our vacation, I thought I would drop this short little post about another way I recently discovered to make a little extra money from home. Google Business Referrals will pay you $10 for each local business that you can provide information about, i.e., hours of operations, pictures of the business, etc. I'm not sure if the money is worth the time yet, and I haven't had a chance to try it out. However, if you figure that you are out pushing the stroller around town anyway, why not spend the time you would be walking, going into businesses, getting some information, snapping a few pictures, and boom, one morning walk could merit you $100!
Posted by Cristin at 12:20 PM
I hate buying embarrassing things. I start shaking and get nervous when I think about doing it. I play out how its going to go in my mind before I walk into the store.
I have never been to a supermarket as cruel as the Albertsons in Tehachapi. I think they took a survey of the most embarrassing products and then crammed them all into one locked glass case. I really don't see any similarities between these objects that would cause them to be grouped together, except for the fact that they are all embarrassing things to buy. Think of the most embarrassing thing you could buy at a grocery or drug store and multiply it by 100. That is the value of this glass case. I'm guessing they had a big problem with people stealing stuff because they were too embarrassed to purchase it. I don't know how this is going to help.
There are different levels of embarrassing purchases:
At the lowest level are tampons and birth control prescriptions. Lots of folks actually think these things are really cool.
The middle level is maxi pads and any sort of yeast infection medicine or other stuff for "down there." Maxi pads are interesting because they become more embarrassing the larger they are. Pantyliners are cool, but huge overnight hospital industrial strength maxi pads or adult diapers are downright humiliating.
Some of the most embarrassing products are pregnancy tests and anything else related to sex, i.e., condoms, ky jelly, etc. (If you dare to get condoms that are anything but normal and plain, you might as well wear a ski mask into the store because you will be so embarrassed you will never want to show your face in there EVER again.)
To have the embarrassing glass case unlocked, you must ask the associate closest to the case to open it for you. This would be the the butcher. The butcher is a nice guy who wears a hair net over his beard that looks like it is cutting off his circulation, or at the very least, leaving permanent elastic imprint lines on his cheeks. He must take off his gloves, wash his hands, pick up a phone, and call for someone to come open up the glass case to unlock the goods. The whole time you must make small talk with him, but you know he's really thinking, "Gross, what is wrong with her that would require her to get into that case."
If I am willing to endure the humiliation with the butcher, then there are other hurdles to overcome. Tehachapi is a really small town. It is not uncommon for me to run into at least one person I know at the grocery store. Since I have to see this person again, I want to make sure I don't have Product X in my hand, i.e., I have to have it buried under lots of other things. Buying Product X is expensive, not because it is expensive, but because it forces me to buy lots of things I don't really need in order to conceal it. If Granola Bars are on sale then I will buy 6 boxes to build a fortress around Product X. It takes a lot of granola bar boxes to cover a package of industrial strength hospital quality overnight maxi pads (I know from personal experience).
Many of you might say, "Get over yourself. No one cares if you are buying blah blah blah." I beg to differ. I was a cashier at Wal-mart in high school and I can honestly say that I thought about and noticed every time a customer bought something embarrassing.
Anyway, that's all for now. We're going out of town so I can buy all the embarrassing stuff I need in total anonymity.
See you in a week!
Posted by Cristin at 11:54 PM
I'm trying to figure out what to wear to church tomorrow. Last Sunday I wore a cute wrap dress. Big mistake. I was wrestling with Luke to keep him on my lap, and as a result, I kept exposing way more leg (and thigh) than I wanted to the boys passing the sacrament every time he moved. Since Luke was using my lap as a trampoline, any ironing I did of the dress was also pointless because of his "pew acrobatics." Don't forget about all the half-eaten goldfish crackers decorating my chest either. (I just want to make sure you have a good visual here.)
Before I had a baby, I swore up and down that I would never turn into one of these women who wears flip flops and a denim jumper to church, but it's starting to become really impractical to continue wearing my pre-pregnancy heels and easy to wrinkle dresses when Luke destroys them so badly. I'm not going to wear flip flops or denim jumpers, but I do wonder if there is a nice happy medium. You know, something that is stylish, yet practical, with a crazy toddler? (Kelley: Maybe you could write about this in your blog, HINT HINT.)
I know my child is crazy, but he's not the only one. (If he was, sacrament meeting wouldn't be so loud.) So, here's my question: How do these other mothers stay so good looking and together at church (and elsewhere)? I call them Perfect Moms. (Erik calls them Plastic Moms. ) I'm sure you know a few PM's. They usually wear designer jeans and heels everywhere, even to the grocery store or park with their children. At church they look like they could be in a catalog. I often wonder if they ever touch their children, because if they did, they wouldn't be so un-wrinkled and polished.
I don't really watch Desperate Housewives, but I wanted to give you an example of Plastic Moms. With the exception of Lifetime Made for TV Movies, most moms on television are plastic looking. Even Claire on Lost looks really good, and she is on a deserted island.
I am actually very intimidated by these PM's. How are they so perfect? Why aren't their dresses wrinkled at church? Women won't admit it, but they tend to group themselves with other women that dress the same as them, hence the PM clubs, also called "Mom Peer Pressure." I will never be in the PM club because I refuse to wear heels to the park or have long hair when I am 40 (a la Teri Hatcher).
Posted by Cristin at 11:00 PM
We’re going on vacation next week and I can’t wait! I spent a good majority of yesterday putting together an itinerary and finding cheap hotels. I checked this great book out from the library called “California Driving Tours.” I’m excited because if Luke is having a hard time in the car, we can just look in the book and stop wherever we happen to be at something interesting. Rather than bore you too much with all the trip details, I will give you the highlights:
Drive from Tehachapi to
Visit the Children’s Museum (Maybe)
Spend all day in
Drive the Avenue of the Giants
Drive through a Redwood Tree (This is a childhood fantasy of mine.)
Visit the town of
Possibly stop in
Thursday – Saturday:
Fish with my Grandparents
Drive up the Southern
Drive home to Tehachapi
Does anyone have any ideas about what we should do in San Francisco for the day? I have been to San Francisco a lot, but never with a very active toddler. So, please don't suggest, "Go see a play and out to eat." Because that is out of the question. I need something that we, as a family, will enjoy.
Posted by Cristin at 11:03 AM
This morning on the Today Show they ran a little story on "High School Musical 2." At the end, Al Roker said something like, "High School Musical had a secret weapon. The leads fell in love, but they never kissed. Will they kiss in High School Musical 2 is a question on the mind of about a billion 13 year old girls." And I thought like a giggling schoolgirl, "It's on the mind of this 29 year old housewife too!"
Why can't I control my thoughts better? I am constantly struggling with this. Why do I spend way too much time thinking about whether Troy and Gabriella are going to kiss in some cheesy made for tv Disney Movie? Or what Jim and Pam's relationship is going to be like when Season 4 of the Office premieres? Or what song Erik should sing when he tries out for American Idol next season? I should be thinking about how to solve the conflict in Iraq, which presidential candidate 's health care policy is best, and how to win during the upcoming housing market crisis... but I don't.
Here's to mastering one's thoughts!
P.S. Not that it matters, but if I was a betting woman, I would bet that YES, TROY AND GABRIELLA WILL KISS IN HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2.
Posted by Cristin at 9:51 AM
When I left Luke with my Mom while I was at girls’ camp, she went and purchased a Baby Einstein DVD for him. She knows how I feel about babies watching any sort of television, so I was little frustrated, but not too mad because she was watching Luke for me after all. I actually thought, “Hey, why not? It keeps him occupied.” The first time he wouldn’t watch it. The second time, he would watch it while sitting on someone’s lap. The third time, he was hypnotized by the hand puppet and flashing pictures of animals. By the fourth time, he was walking around the house in a trance chanting, “Dog, Dog, Dog, and humming something by Bach.” (Just kidding about that last one.)
This is isn’t the first time my mother has encouraged a child to fall down a slippery slope into television dependence. I blame my addiction to television on my parents for allowing me to stay up late and watch Johnny Carson as a toddler. When I told my Mom about this Baby Einstein study, she brushed it off, saying, “Oh, you can’t believe everything you read.” This is coming from the same woman who is convinced that her cell phone causes cancer because of some obscure Swedish study!
In the alternative, so your kid doesn’t talk as much as others? Is that a big deal? Won’t the kids catch up eventually? Does Baby Einstein cause long term speech problems? I would argue that many parents would say, “Good Riddance! So my kid doesn’t talk a lot. You call that a problem??”
Here is the irony: After being subjected to 2 weeks of Baby Einstein’s Animal Farm, Luke has never talked more. His vocabulary has more than doubled over the past few weeks and his language comprehension is undoubtedly better. This is what we call a coincidence.
Posted by Cristin at 1:52 PM
Today was a big day for Luke - his first ever official “play date”. You see, this is my new plan: Luke likes other kids. Luke makes it hard for me to get things done around the house. I invite over other kids, Luke is entertained, I get things done. Win, Win, Win.
Since Luke thinks he is older than he is, I invited over a little boy from our ward who is twice his age. The only real problem I see is that his new friend has a much better command of the English language than Luke. Luke says, "Poopy, Please, Baby, Kitty Cat?" And the other kid responds, "What are you saying?" As I write this, they are bludgeoning each other with blocks in the playroom, yet I still hear them laughing, so it’s all good.
Luke had to show his friend how ALL his toys worked. (Notice, he is drooling with excitement. Gross.)
Posted by Cristin at 11:37 AM
Mattel announced today that they are issuing a massive recall of their toys containing lead paint. Here is the list. As you can see, it includes stuff like Polly Pockets, a car seat, bassinets, mobiles, walkers and Fisher Price Toys featuring Elmo, Dora the Explorer and Big Bird. So, this morning I'll be going through Luke's play room and closet, fishing out all the tainted goods.
I'm already leery of most toys. Take for example this really cool looking toy that I fell in love with from Babystyle:
It costs $78. What if Luke plays with it only twice? I can't afford that. I was so tempted to buy it, but know that if I do, I will be literally placing him on it to make him play with it so that I feel I got my money's worth. I have no way of knowing what he is going to like or dislike, so I've decided that it's best to stick with clearance racks, pots and pans, duct tape, and garage sales when looking for Luke's toys. Plus, now it looks like even the most trusted toy brands, Mattel and Fisher Price, are having problems. That's too bad.
You know what toy can be trusted? BOXES. My Dad has made boxes my whole life, so many of my toys and Halloween costumes were made out of cardboard. I'll never forget the year I was an Oreo cookie and wore a visor with a carton of milk taped to the top of it. Or the awkward year I tried to go trick or treating as a refrigerator in an actual refrigerator box. It was no surprise to me that when we were in Arizona my Dad created this big "toy" for Luke:
Luke tired of it after an hour, but since it was so cheap we could discard it without any guilt! I love cheap toys.
Posted by Cristin at 8:33 AM
That is the question.
Last Thursday I was in the Phoenix Airport literally running after Luke as he explored every nook and cranny of what seemed like a 5 mile radius of our terminal. He'd go into shops and tear down their merchandise, try to run behind the California Pizza Kitchen counter, and desperately wanted to lick the women's bathroom floor. I've gotten into the habit of looking for kids Luke's age when we are in public places. He likes other kids and it will keep him in one place if there are other children for him to play with. During this "airport adventure," I zoomed in on numerous potential playmates and discovered that many were on leashes. When I say leash, I don't mean a dog collar or electric choker, but these cute backpacks that have a leash attached. The whole theory is that you gently nudge your child to go the way you want. Here is an example of one in action:
Okay, so replace this lady's face with mine, and put Luke's face on that kid, and that is what we will look like. You get the picture.
The first time I saw one of these, I thought it was a joke. However, that was before I had a "spirited" child and now I am totally tempted to buy one.
1. I don't have to chase him every which way.
2, This seriously minimizes the chances of him getting lost.
3. This is the closest I will ever come to having a dog.
1. I feel guilty because a) I know I would have to yank hard on that thing a couple 100 times before he understood and b) am I stifling his chances to explore?
2. Couldn't I just hold his hand?
3. I hate dogs, and this kind of looks like a dog.
Any help with this important decision is appreciated.
Posted by Cristin at 10:27 AM
Normally, Luke runs away from the hose while Erik is watering the grass. Saturday was unusually hot, so Luke walked right into the water and just stood there. It was hilarious (you had to be there).
Here is the best part - look at the massive thing of snot hanging from his nose. Nice.
Posted by Cristin at 10:00 AM
Today I couldn't stop listening to the soundtrack from Hairpray. Did you know you can watch like whole movies practically on You Tube? Anyway, here are two clips since my other downloads weren't working:
I wish I could get this whole scene, but this was the best I could find without posting something someone shot in the movie theatre with their video camera.
SPOILER ALERT. This is the end of the movie. Here is a clip from what seemed like one of the longest closing numbers ever.
Posted by Cristin at 10:06 PM
Flashback Friday is devoted to Kid Logic. For example, we always think Luke is the smartest toddler EVER and then he'll do something like try to eat food the same time his pacifier is in his mouth. He hits the food to the pacifier a couple of times before realizing that he has to remove the pacifier in order to eat. Or, my other favorite example of Luke's kid logic is that when he is nursing he thinks he can take "it" with him, i.e., he will be completely latched on and try to go somewhere. This is as uncomfortable as it sounds. With me still in his mouth, he's turning and trying to get off the rocking chair. Ow.
When Erik was 10, he bought a mint set from a coin show. He carefully opened it up, used tweezers to remove each coin, individually wrapped them in plastic wrap, and wrote on each coin, "Never Been Touched By Human Hands." When I want to torment him, I find those coins and threaten to touch them with my human hands. We get into arguments about how I think they really were touched by human hands and he's convinced they never were. In Erik's logic, those coins were the coolest thing EVER.
Kelley told me that when she was little (I'm assuming 5 or 6, but maybe she was 15?) she thought it would be a good idea to wear all her underwear at once and then she would just peel off a pair each day. This way she wouldn't have to change her underwear. Never mind the fact that she isn't peeling off the pair closest to her body. Ew.
In my own kid logic, I remember an incident when I found myself unexpectedly locked out of the house and alone briefly when I was 5 years old. I had to go to the bathroom badly. I went into the our Orange VW Vanagon (with the cool pop top cot), found a roll of toilet paper and thought, "I normally wipe myself with one square of toilet paper and in my hand I have a whole roll of toilet paper. I will just pee directly on the roll and it will work the same way as wiping." Got to love kid logic!
Posted by Cristin at 11:28 AM
Oh how I wish I had my video camera last night! If I would have remembered to bring it to Arizona, you would now be watching a beautifully edited montage of Kaci yelling at us while cooking the food for Caitlin's baby shower. This still photo will have to suffice.
Ever since Kaci returned home from the CIA, it's like we are her army for Goodrich special events. We kept saying, "Kaci, it's just a baby shower, not a wedding reception." 10 minutes before she arrived at the house she called me from her cell with a list of things I needed to have ready for her in the kitchen (celebrities call them their "riders"): hot griddle, cutting board with the knives placed at a 90 degree angle, etc. In this picture, she started yelling at me that if I put this photo on my blog she would literally sue me, and then she noticed Kelley wasn't whipping the cream right. In her defense, the food is really good and people loved it. I really feel like it made Caitlin's shower special. But, man, is it INTENSE!! When people arrived at the shower, Kelley whispered, "Kaci, people are in the house now." And suddenly Kaci screaming something like, "ARE YOU STUPID? DO NOT CUT IT THAT WAY!!" turned into, "Sweetheart, let me help you with that." Kaci, did I mention that I love you and feel privileged to work in your kitchen? It's just a little Jekyll and Hyde-ish, that's all.
We couldn't get the cat to stay off the serving dishes. We finally had to banish him to the 110 degree heat outside. I kept saying, "Make sure you wipe off those dishes before you put the food on them, just a thought." My mom said, "Stewart [the cat] thought it was his garden."
Cupcakes with edible flowers.
On the invitation I wrote (in a cute way) that she is having a boy and already has all the baby clothes she needs, yet, someone still gave her a little girl's outfit. When the woman who gave it to her walked in, she said to some other guests, "Has she gotten any other girl's clothes yet?" so maybe the joke is on us, because it is really funny to give someone who is having a boy, a dress?? I don't know. Caitlin was nice and said thanks. The woman said she got it at "Ross's" so she can take it back, but then we noticed that she left the plastic security tag on it like it's a stolen good (the tag is circled in green, for your convenience, on the picture.) At least Caitlin can take it back to "Ross's," she might get arrested if she does, but she can still take it back.
When everyone started going home, we took some fun modeling pictures with the fan.
Posted by Cristin at 8:30 AM
Posted by Cristin at 10:40 PM
I realized recently that daily there is this inner battle that rages inside of me. I know that many people have inner battles, like overeating or some other sort of "addiction". My big problem is internet spoilers. I know they are bad, but I can't help going back over and over again.
Internet spoilers are way too easy to find and I don't have willpower to resist them. My favorite sites are:
The Movie Spoiler - Especially if I know I will never see the movie in the theatre because of the rating, I visit this site and feel some satisfaction in knowing what I am missing.
Office Spoilers - Every time I look I tell myself, "Don't do it again. Stop looking at spoilers, it makes the show not as fun." I have absolutely no willpower to overcome this, as much I want to.
Lost Spoilers - I am such a dork.
Sometimes I even waste time reading spoilers about tv shows I don't even intend to ever watch! This is how bad my addiction is. I'm guessing that a psychologist would probably say that my need to read spoilers stems from a deeper problem with patience, a fear of surprises, and a major lack of self-control.
By the way, if anyone knows of any good spoiler sites, please share!
Posted by Cristin at 10:23 PM
I have a love-hate relationship with Clean Flicks. I hate Clean Flicks because the premise of the store is ridiculous. Aren't I supporting raunchy movies by encouraging Clean Flicks to pay people to buy and edit these films? Does this mean I am encouraging and paying someone to watch "bad" movies for me? I think their business plan was to prey on Mormons (mostly from Utah) who were afraid to watch anything. (I say this because they sold edited versions of PG movies. This seemed like it had taken it too far.) They even had a service where you could pay someone to watch an R rated movie of your choice, they would edit it for you and send it back. I equate this to hiring a hit man or sending your non-Mormon father to the store for you on Sunday, i.e., reaping the blessings of having someone else do your dirty work.
I love Clean Flicks because I love movies and there are some R rated films that I would rather see choppy and edited funny than not see at all. When we lived in Provo, I broke down and decided to buy a month long membership to Clean Flicks. Admittedly, I felt like a kid in a candy store looking at all those formerly "forbidden" R rated movies, that were suddenly accessible with no guilt attached! I also had to get my money's worth, so I rented movies like crazy. It was very exciting to finally be able to see movies that people had been raving about for years.
The idea of Clean Flicks looks good on paper, but in reality, the movies are awful. Since the definition of "offensive" is so vague, the editors remove everything, regardless of the affect it may have on the storyline or character development. For instance, we watched "Gangs of New York" and it made no sense. The villain would pick up an ax and then suddenly major characters were dead in the next scene, without any explanation. "Love Actually" was good, but the end of the movie had characters I had never seen before. When there are plot holes you wonder if its the movie's poor quality or Clean Flicks lousy editing. My month of Clean Flicks made me want to watch a truckload of R rated movies, just to see complete story lines and missing characters.
Clean Flicks was shut down last year when they lost a lawsuit brought against them by several Hollywood directors for violating U.S. copyright laws. I don’t blame the directors for doing this at all. Clean Flicks butchered their movies. When they lost the suit, Clean Flicks was ordered to sell or abandon their inventory. My sister, Caitlin, bought a ton of their edited movies, including The 40 Year Old Virgin. I'm looking forward to watching her choppy and full of plot holes copy of “Blood Diamond” tomorrow night.
Now that Clean Flicks is shut down, it looks like I will have to rely on my Mother-in-Law to do the editing. She edited Titanic by taping parts of the Walton's over the bad parts, i.e., Rose tells Jack she wants him to draw her and then we see a house and hear, "Goodnight, John Boy." I think I prefer the "Waltons Editing Method" to Clean Flicks because at least I know when I am missing something and for how long. This way I can use my imagination, which is sometimes way worse, I mean, better, than what I am missing in the movie.
Posted by Cristin at 11:00 PM
You can make up to $1,000 per person this month on Expo TV. (Its normally capped at $500 per person, per month, so this is really good.) Assuming you need me to add this up for you, you and your husband, collectively, could earn an extra $2,000 this month! Seriously, I think the only reason not to do this is laziness, because that is some really good extra money.... especially that can be made by a housewife while the kids are napping. All you have to do is make silly video reviews that don't even have to be good!
Posted by Cristin at 10:39 PM
For Flashback Friday I thought I would reflect on the time I tried to be famous. The year was 1997. I had just moved to Camarillo and figured that the proximity to Los Angeles meant I was destined to a career in film and television. Sadly, this dream was very short lived.
It began when I had to give a ride to my sister, Kelley, to one of those model search things at a seedy hotel in Oxnard. When I walked into the hotel lobby to pick her up, the "scout" got really excited and said I was the perfect size to be a catalog model or child actress (who was really 19). I acted like I wasn't interested, but secretly this was a dream come true for me. I "reluctantly" made an appointment with him at his agency in West Hollywood. When I went down there they gave me this whole spiel about how they had discovered a kid who appeared on Sister Kate or some other obscure television show, and that they were going to take a bunch of head shots of me right then and there. I was really disappointed because they didn't do my makeup, hair or let me change my clothes. Then of course they tried to sell me on paying them for their representation. When I refused, they let me have my negatives, and I left. Here's one of the cheesy pictures. I think I look like I am 14.
After that experience, I decided to either try being an extra or appearing on game shows. I started calling lots of game shows and the only one that called back was a little-watched show on the USA Network called, "The Big Date." The premise of this show was that a guy or girl would ask 3 guys or girls various questions. Based on those answers, they would pick a guy or girl to date. The new couple would do a lightening round of questions at the end to win money. It was very time consuming to appear on a game show. First, I had to drive down to L.A. to audition. Then, once I was accepted, the producer called me for an hour and we went over every single question I would be asked on the show. When I arrived to tape the show, I discovered that all of the other contestants except for one guy, were paid actors to appear on the show. The show was really dumb. They would ask us questions like:
Host: What would you do if your date had corn in his mouth?
Me: I would lean over and pick it out for him. (Applause and Laughter)
The non-actor guy who looked like Rolf from the Sound of Music picked me, which may have been a set up because I was the only one who wasn't an actress. In between commercial breaks, the producers would say, "Act like you like each other more. Hold hands, hug." We were pretty lousy on the lightening round and walked away with only $400. In the end I had to choose whether to go on a date with Rolf or split the money. Of course I split the money. Like I would actually go out with a guy from a game show... puh-lease. The host asked us what we were going to do on our date and I said, "Go to Chuck-E-Cheese." Funny, huh?
When I returned to college that semester I had a main role in a NAU-TV drama series. Unfortunately, I was killed off after 4 episodes. I had to play a dead body under a sheet after that. Think what you will, but it is really hard to play dead and not move.
Then, that was that. I grew up, changed my major from theatre to political science and kind of gave up on the whole acting thing. Sometimes I wonder how things would be different if I had stayed on that acting path. I'm guessing I would have probably been one of those kids who does sword fighting in front of the Wilkinson Center at BYU. Not like that's a bad thing, just different.
Posted by Cristin at 12:23 AM
I got back into town late last night. Girls Camp was fun, but really hard. Nothing like the Parent Trap! Here are some good memories of the past three days, in no particular order.
1. It has been a really long time since I have camped like that - no electricity, no showers, and outhouses. We had to dig trenches around our tents so the rain would stay out. I actually preferred this to the "Camp Hilton" style of camping that I experienced at Girls Camp as a youth.
2. I had to supervise the girls stirring the "goo" in the outhouse. (Did you know you have to "stir the pot" when you are using a porta-potty? Pretty gross. Don't touch the skinny side of the stick.) I also had to give a talk to the girls about disposing of their pads and tampons correctly. Here is part of my talk: "We don't want to know your business, you know what I mean?" Pretty good, huh?
3. Awkward can easily be defined as using my breast pump while lots of people came into the tent and wanted to talk to me. I was in pain from not nursing. Ow. It was hard to pump because we were busy and there was almost no privacy, so I just resigned myself to acting like it was no big deal that people kept coming in and out of the tent while I tried my hardest to do it under my shirt. I felt like a cow.
4. One difficult thing about camping in an extremely secluded, 8000 feet elevation, primitive campsite for three days is that there is no cell phone service. One person in the camp had a satellite phone for emergencies only. It was agonizing not being able to talk to Erik or find out how Luke was doing. This is the longest I have ever left Luke (the first time overnight), and the longest I have gone without speaking to Erik since we started dating.
5. I had a really fun time. The girls were great, the other leaders were fun, and I almost cried as I pulled out of the camp. (Everyone else goes home Saturday.)
On the home front, Luke did really well with my mom and Caitlin. He took the milk I pumped and formula while I was gone. When I got home, he looked at me funny for a few seconds and then resorted back to being a total baby, i.e., crying more than ever before. My mom thinks he's afraid I'm going to leave again because he has been very clingy today.
Erik left for Tennessee this morning to attend one of his co-worker's funerals and I am driving to Phoenix tomorrow morning to spend the week with my sisters. Busy, busy, busy.
Posted by Cristin at 8:47 PM