How old are you? (and a book giveaway)

So, this is in response to my friend Tamara and her blog post about intolerance. Really, it’s the last section that set off this spewage of thoughts that I’m going to share with you today. Well, they’re more memories that Tamara reminded me of when she expressed that she looked like a 17-year old knocked up girl. (Of course, I agree with David…she looks 19.)

Anyway, here are some memories of people misappropriating age.

My cousin has had fairly youthful looks and voice for most of her life. She and her husband both worked until she was close to her due date with their first child. Well, there were a lot of men who flirted with her, even when she wore her wedding ring. These flirtations took on a different level when they expressed interest in the unwed-teenage-mother-to-be who was really 29 at the time. Wow! Some guys are just too…well…you know.

Speaking of being young, my sister, who I will say is beautiful, hated her age (maybe that should be present tense). Well, one day, when she was about 20-and-then-some we were at a restaurant with our parents and she ordered a drink from the bar. The waitress asked to see her idea. Now, the waitress had to be at least 22, 23. And my sister looked a few years older than this waitress (sorry Apryl, but it’s true). But my sister was sincerely complimented by this request. “I’ll gladly show you my driver’s license. Enjoy!”

And then there are two stories of my wife concerning Vegas. When we were dating, she joined me on a trip from Logan to Las Vegas to visit my brother for a disappointing 4th of July celebration (meaning no real fireworks). Well, after we got there, my brother and sister-in-law asked me into the kitchen. They wanted to eat at a nice restaurant, but one of the ones they had in mind was for only those over 21. They were both expecting me to say that Mary was 18. Mary is actually 4 months older than me and was almost 22 at the time.

A month later, I was playing at a blackjack table in Vegas. Mary and I were engaged at the time. She came up behind me and started scratching my back. The dealer looked at her and said “Are you old enough to be here?” Well, Mary’s wallet was in the car and we didn’t want to have to go get it. So I looked at him (the dealer) and said “Dude, she’s older than me.” He looked back at me and said “Man, you older than dirt!” Yeah, that one felt good. At least she didn’t get kicked out.

And let’s make things a little more fun here and how old I’m not. All through high school, when I turned in an absent-note, the people at the window where I turned it in at would begin looking in the Seniors folder for my absentee sheet. They did this my Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior year. Well, Seniors can write their own notes when they’re 18. So, the first time I did this I was given a scowl with the response “Freshman can’t write their own notes.” I laughed and said “I’ve been confused for a Senior every other year.” I pulled out my driver’s license to prove that I was 18. That lady didn’t apologize and acted like she was still right.

Going back to the pregnant cousin: There was one time when we were at Wal-Mart and she was getting some fabric for something. Well, I was with her son and he started complaining/whining/crying. So I said “Erika, your baby’s unhappy.” The woman at the counter said “Sure, when they’re good, they’re Daddy’s boy. When they’re not, they’re the Mommy’s.” My cousin laughed and said “He’s the baby’s uncle.” (we’re close enough that she refers to me as her kids’ uncle.) I laughed (mostly because I made this woman say that on purpose just to get that reaction. Yeah, I’m mean. But karma is mean.)

Soon after graduation, I tried growing a beard and mustache. One of my friends said “it makes you look 25.” I thought, eh, no biggie, I’ll shave it. On the day I shaved it off, I went with my mom somewhere. While the sales clerk was trying to get my mom to buy something, my mom said “No, I already have to explain all this to my husband.” The clerk pointed to me and said “I thought he was your husband.” Now I never minded age confusion before this, but I almost stormed out of the store (which would’ve proved I was younger than I really was.) My mom accepted the compliment and said “This is my baby. I have a daughter who’s (age left out for fear of death).” My mom was in her later 40s at the time and I was 18. What would she have thought if I had kept that beard and mustache?

So now that I’ve told some fun embarrassing stories and refrained from revealing my sister’s age and there are more stories to tell (like my dad being thought of as his father’s brother. Or my brother being thought of as our father’s brother. Or my brother being confused as his wife’s father.) Have you ever had someone do an age misconception on you? Tell me about it. If you tell me a good story, I’ll enter you into a contest that will choose a random winner for my first book giveaway.

Which book am I going to give away? It is Jim C. HinesGoblin Quest. Why am I giving away a book that’s been out a few years? Because Goblin Quest is a fantasy novel that all should read, in my arrogantly humble opinion. I wish I wrote it, it’s that good. Goblin Quest takes all the fantasy novels out there and then mocks them. And mocks them well. So leave a comment in here. The contest will close at midnight on June 23rd and I will choose and post a winner shortly thereafter. UPDATE: I will give the winner a choice between Goblin Quest or The Stepsister Scheme, both by Jim C. Hines.

Also, you can get a second entry if you follow me on Twitter. So, in your comment below, tell me your twitter name and if you are following me, you will get an extra entry.

If I get over 25 comments, I will choose one of those comments to get 3 extra entries for being my favorite. (Yes, I play favorites, deal with it.)

UPDATE: I will also give you an entry if you post a link of this contest on your blog. Please post a link to your blog in the following format: timtypes(dot)wordpress(dot)com. Also, I’ll give you an entry for retweeting this contest. So, to summarize: One entry for commenting here with a story of an age mishap. One entry for following me on twitter (leave your twitter name in the comments so I can see that you’re following me.). One entry for linking on your blog here. One entry for tweeting this contest (again, leave twitter name in comments so I can see comment tweet/retweet.) That’s four entries. Also, I will give three entries for my favorite stories if 25 real comments are in.

Note: Jim C Hines has not asked me to give away his book, nor does he know I’m giving it away. The above paragraph is truly my thoughts on his book. I think Hines is one of the more truly comical fantasy authors ever to write and he deserves more promotion for it. His newest novel: Red Hood’s Revenge, book three of the Princess Series, is coming out in a few weeks. So, until then, remember…

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

Proof I’m Still Californian

Ok, so I’m going to get off the writing kick for this post. I couldn’t resist this topic. First, I sent this link to my friend Casey (a fellow native Californian who moved out of the state, like me.) If you’re too cool to read it, let me tell you what it states. Supposedly there was a 2.7 quake in southern Salt Lake county followed by a ginormous 2.5 aftershock. Let me tell you: I was in So Cal when the Northridge 6.7 quake hit as well as its 5.6 aftershock later that morning and a 5.4 aftershock a few days later (something like that). I was in So Cal when the 8.2 hit San Francisco. Yeah, you could feel that one. I was there when a 6.2 or 6.3 quake hit the San Jose area. I remember many other small earthquakes that hit. Those were a lot milder…and all over 4.0. Let me tell you, the Northridge quake was scary. Very scary. It was 4:30 in the morning. I thought a robber was jumping on our roof and then my bed started shaking. I was on the top bunk. Quickly, I jumped down and yelled at my brother to join me in our door frame. (Just because an earthquake feels mild to begin with, doesn’t mean it ends that way.) But a 2.7 in comparison to the Northridge earthquake is like comparing a mild misty sprinkle to a tropical storm. So, Casey and I had a good laugh, as I hope you will, with our So Cal knowledge:

Casey: OMG. That quake. Are you guys ok?

Me: I don’t know. Still pretty shaken up by it. I’m not sure if I was feeling the quake or the hum of my computer at the time.

Casey: I’m glad nothing fell on your head.

Me: I know. It was touch and go. I thought a thumb tack moved. But I’m sure it was only slightly.

Casey: You’re lucky your chair didn’t roll you out of your cube.

Me: You know, I was already moving my chair at the time. But I was concerned that I could lose control.

Yes, it’s that serious everybody. Comments welcome about how mean we are. But just maybe, I’ll be abducted before I hear them.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

Memory

How good of a memory do you have? Me? Oh my memory’s awesomely weird. (I’d like to point out that ‘awesomely’ is an adverb according to WordPress.)

Let’s go through some examples on why my memory is weird, shall we? Well, I’m going there and you just get to come with me.

1) I can tell you the birth dates of the following people: Dad, Mom, 3 of my 4 grandparents, both my brothers, my sister, both my brothers’ wives (that’s one each, not two each, we’re not that kind of Mormon), two of my cousins, two of my aunts, my wife (duh!), my daughter, my son, all my nephews, and my wife’s living natural niece (don’t ask, long story), most my wife’s nephews, a  lot of my friends, and of course: mine. I can tell you close proximity to the birthday of many other family members and friends. I can also tell you the anniversary of my grandparents, my parents, my brothers, my sister, and a few other people. Most importantly is my own, of course.

2) Twelve years ago today, I got my driver’s license. It’s one of those things that I just recall. I got my license on May 7, 1998. Don’t ask me why I know it. I just do.

3) If I was in any of my high school or college classes, don’t ask me what we were talking about. I don’t think I paid enough attention because it wasn’t entertaining.

4) I can tell you where each Survivor season took place, in order. I can tell you each of the winners, in order. I can tell you who got voted out when in most seasons. I cannot tell you the challenges played or when for the majority of them (unless they’re one of my favorites like the ‘perch’ competition in Australia.) I can also tell you random trivia. Example: There are only six players (Rupert, Jerri, Colby, Sandra, Parvati, and Russell) left this season. 4 of them (Rupert, Jerri, Colby, Sandra) come from a season before the first all-stars. 4 (Colby, Sandra, Parvati, Russell) of them have made it to the end of the game. 4 (Colby, Rupert, Jerri, Parvati) of them are playing this game for a third time. 2 of the players (Colby and Jerri) have been on the same tribe at least once each time they’ve played. 2 more (Rupert and Sandra) have been in an alliance before. 2 of them (Sandra and Parvati) have won the game. At this point in the game, this is the furthest that Jerri has ever made (having placed 8th and 10th in her previous two seasons.)

5) I cannot tell you what was said between two people. I can never requote someone unless I write it down. I have difficulty remembering what was said during lectures, speeches, talks, keynotes, etc. But I can tell you whether or not I enjoyed it. For example, if you need a recommendation on who to have keynote your next big author convention, I’ll give you a good list of people.

6) I can be given instructions from my boss. Walk the 25 feet to my desk and absolutely forget what I was supposed to be doing. I do it all the time.

7) Here’s the final thought to my memory. I only remember what I want to. If, at the point in time, I pay enough attention and energy on something, I’ll never forget it. No matter how hard I try. Believe me. If I don’t pay much attention or am not interested in what you’re telling me, I won’t remember it. No matter how hard I try. Believe me.

How’s your memory?

Here’s the one thing to remember:

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

Hugs

So, this memory/random post is in response to Josi Kilpack’s post about hugging. (And a quick plug for Josi, I’ve never read her books, but based off their yummy titles and her comments to the Survivor LDS Author post, I am intrigued enough to read her mystery books. I’m probably one of few guys to say that. So go check out Josi Kilpack’s books Lemon Tart, English Trifle, and Devil’s Food Cake. You can get them at Deseretbook.com and I think amazon.com sells them as well.)

I don’t know why, but throughout my life, I’ve been very comfortable hugging other people. It doesn’t bother me. My dad and brothers have all hugged me and each other. It’s not a ‘less-than-manly’ thing to do. I mean, Super Bowl winners smack guys on the butt or give them hugs. Why can’t normal people? (Because, let’s face it: the day I win the Super Bowl as a football player is the day Satan starts wearing a ski jacket while holding a shotgun aimed at flying pigs.)

Anyway, this story comes from my college days. For my first year at Utah State University, my apartment was connected through a stairway to a girls’ apartment. During my first semester in this apartment, I had become good friends with these girls. Now, on the flipside, for these three, there were guys that had no tact when talking to girls. Three of these tactless guys were in the girls apartment. Now, these girls were so nice that they didn’t mind the guys there, but didn’t want them there to begin with.

I had just returned from class or the store or something and I went to say hi to the girls, since none of my roommates were home. Well, April (the one from “Popcorn Can’t Write“) greeted me with a big hug. That was pretty cool. Then Necia walked into the kitchen and gave me a hug. A moment later either Stefanie or Olivia did the same thing. So in about two minutes upon arriving at the girls apartment, I received three hugs.

Well, one of the guys asked the obvious question “Why does T.J. get hugged when he walks in?” The ego-building answer that April or Necia gave (sorry, my memory doesn’t serve perfectly) was “Because the world revolves around T.J.” Funny enough, the other two girls agreed to this. “Well, my day got better,” I replied.

The real answer, that I know was in these girls’ minds, was “T.J.’s not here to flirt with us endlessly in some hope that we’ll eventually go out with him. He’s here to hang out and be normal and cool.” (Ok, that last sentence may not be accurate, but I’m 99.99% certain that the first sentence was.

Anyway, this seemed like a random and fun post to do.

How much do hugs make your life better?

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

What is Bob?

First of all, 19 views yesterday. My friend Jenn made a good comment on my facebook page: good thing it didn’t say butt probings are scheduled. Maybe people misread my facebook page? Were more people interested in butt probings than alien probings? And seeing as how my blog had nothing to do with either were all 19 people disappointed? I really didn’t expect to get that many viewers, but all I have to say is this: Awesome.

So, where did “Bob” come from? Well, in my life, my brother Chris and I used to use the name Bob as the most generic guy name ever, for whatever reason. Come on, who doesn’t come up with something stupid when they’re teenagers or younger? Shoot, who doesn’t come up with something stupid in their 20s, 30s, 40s and so forth?

Well, for some reason, Bob became my random alias nickname. Bob was our joke nickname. We thought it was hilarious when Family Matters even mentioned “and I’d have to go to UoB!” “UoB?” “University of Bob!” Of course, Chris and I wanted to apply, but for some reason, our IQs were too high.

Moving forward with the “Bob” concept. Apryl and I both can admit we’re nerds. We’re just very cool nerds. Well, Apryl is, I just get to be under the “cool by association” tab. Anyway, we were playing Jeopardy on the computer one day. Well, I thought I knew the answer to a question and I hit my button and started typing. I realized my answer was wrong and my time was coming to an end. So, I ended up typing “What is Bob?” Was I right? No…….not remotely. The answer was probably something like “What is Ping Pong?” Anyway, Apryl thought that “What is Bob?” was funny. So we kept using What is Bob? as our fake answer. Then, we got tired of the computer cheating so we created our third contestant, Bob. Well, Bob never won. We even had Bobbette on occasion. She never won either. Of course, Bob and Bobbette were great at killing time. If Apryl or I wanted more time, we’d just let Bob or Bobbette answer. And the question they’d give? “What is Bob?” or “What is Bobbette?”

In all my time playing/watching Jeopardy, there has been two times when Bob was actually part of the answer. Literally, the answer was just Bob. One was something like “God, the Devil, and this person is a tv show on NBC”. The answer to that one was “Who is Bob?” But, I did get a “What is Bob?” for “Out of all of Newhart’s television shows, this is the one with the shortest title.” I was so excited when I heard “What is Bob?” I almost called my sister. I don’t know why I didn’t. Maybe because I would’ve felt like I had no life. Yeah, like I really do anyway.

I even once had whatisbob@hotmail.com as my email address. I miss that one. Maybe I’ll do that one again. I’ve been leaning towards more mature email addresses lately though. I like my random ones though still.

So, yesterday’s question. Nope, it wasn’t Dog Grooming. But that’s so close of an answer. The answer is of course Math. Wow! Really? Yeah. I love Math. I wish I could go back and start at early math, well, not early math, because let’s face it, I can do that stuff in my sleep. I’m talented enough. Really, I would love to go start with Pre-Calc (just for the familiarity of it). To make it more fun, I’d want my sister Apryl to go through the program with me. No, we wouldn’t need to take all the awesome generals in this scenario. It would just be one math class at a time. Why would I want Apryl in there with me? Duh! I’d have somebody that I can copy off of. No, not really. It’d be because we both would be answering the questions and skewing any curve and have the whole class hating us. That’s always fun.

Today’s useless trivia question: Which is not a real comic series in France/Belgium?
a) Les Schtroumpfs (in English, The Smurfs)
b) Les Aventures de Richard (The Adventures of Richard)
c) Bob et Bobbette (Bob and Bobbette)
d) Asterix (Aterix, hmmm….that one doesn’t really translate. Guess, technically, it’s Asterisk)

Happy Birthday to Me

Yep, that’s right. Today’s my birthday for those of you who didn’t know. Seriously, where’s my present? Paying off a publisher to publish my book would be a nice gift, any takers?

I really don’t know what to write today. I’m at work, which is the second year in history that I’ve had to work on my birthday. Yes, yes, I know that most people have to work on their birthdays. But the majority of days in the year have a potential to also fall on a school day. So, all those people had to go to school on their birthdays. Whereas, with me, I never did (along with the rest of you with birthdays between December 20-ish and the rest of the year. A few of you have summer birthdays so no school then, unless you had nothing better to do during your summer. But then again, a lot of teenagers had summer jobs or went to summer semesters in college. The closer your birthday is to Christmas, the easier it is to take the day off. Well, last year I had just started this job and didn’t have any vacation days for my first 7 months here. Thankfully, my boss let me go early last year. This year, I’ll hopefully get to leave early again. But man, am I not motivated or what?

So, I hear two things when people here “Yeah, my birthday’s Christmas Eve.” I get the “THAT SUCKS!” or “I bet you got screwed” from about 75-80% of the people I’ve told that too. For the other 20-25% I get “That’s so awesome, double presents.”

Ask any member of my immediate family (and some extended) I was SPOILED growing up. (Maybe they’ll say spoiled rotten, but I hope I’m not rotten.) Yeah, I’ll admit it. My mom spoiled me. First, with her birthday being 11 days before Christmas, she knew how much it sucked being that close to an international holiday. (One of few I might add. It’s true. Did you know that England doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving? Did you know that Belgium doesn’t celebrate President’s day? Did you know that there were American flags in a Barcelona Mexican restaurant on the 4th of July? That’s another story and I’m rambling…) Since my mom knew that, her goal was to make my birthday special and not let it get ruined by the fact that it so happened to be right next to Christmas. Also, anytime that I wanted something, say, in June, my mom usually got it for me. It wasn’t EVERY time. (No Dad and Apryl, it wasn’t EVERY time, she did say ‘no’ more often than either of you are aware.) So it was nice for my mom to do her best to separate my birthday from Christmas. In all honesty, I only remember one gift that I got for my birthday that my mom actually wrapped in Christmas paper and that was because she didn’t have enough birthday paper for it. But that’s ok. I can live with the occasional gift in Christmas paper.

Shoot, I honestly expect birthday gifts with Christmas papers or Christmas bags, whatever. Why else wouldn’t I? People don’t understand that. But one thing about my mom is that she did her best to celebrate birthdays. Chris’ birthday was always nice. As was Eric’s. Sorry Apryl, I only vaguely remember 1 of your birthdays. (Now some may speculate it’s because you’re so much older than me, but they should understand that it’s because you just stopped having them at one point and so why would I recall something that doesn’t exist? Seriously.) Dad’s wasn’t so special, but that wasn’t for lack of Mom trying. That was lack of Dad wanting anything besides being left alone on the couch to watch pre-season football or something.

Let’s see, anything else. Oo….let’s countdown some of my birthday memories.

10. Birthday #28. Yes, that is today. But let’s back up about three days to Monday night. So, out of kindness for my birthday, somebody decided to put candles on the Christmas tree cake for me. There were 7 candles. Well, I haven’t blown out birthday candles for a few years. (No, I’m serious.) I couldn’t do it for some reason. I must’ve done something wrong or they were trick candles or something.

9. Birthday #18.  For Christmas that year, Mom and I decided to get Dad a necklace with a Jewish Star of David as a heritage symbol for him. Well, for my birthday, Mom gave me a nice necklace with charms of the letters T and J. At this time, I was always called Tim by people but my mom knew how much T.J. meant to me since that’s what my grandfather (her father) called me. It was a nice heritage symbol for myself.

8. Birthday #21. Yeah, still Mormon so no I didn’t go to Vegas and get drunk. Although, I did go to Vegas and meet my brother-in-law for the first time that day. I also had the awesome privilege of sitting in a 5 or 6 hour car ride from California to Vegas with my ‘godfather’. Well, the man is a major pervert (which we all know and accept). So during the car ride he got on my nerves with all the stupid perverted jokes about me being 21 and how we should go to Pahrump where the whorehouses are. Um….no thanks. But the awesome part was going with my brother, sister-in-law, sister, and brother-in-law to, well, the parking lot of an adult book and novelty store. My brother-in-law asked if I wanted to go in because, at 21, I could. He even offered me ‘last chance’ which my first thought was “Why, am I not going to be over-21 after this moment in time?” I didn’t say and truly wish I did.

7. Birthday #7. This was the only adolescent birthday party I remember having. And we held it on December 12th because no one could make it the weekend before Christmas. This was also the birthday that Auntie Stephie brought (us as a family but for my birthday gave) me Cinderella. Now, yeah, that’s a girly movie. But nothing’s funnier in that movie than Lucifer the cat happily pouncing on the mice when they’re trying to get Cinderella out of the locked room. Even though I watched it a lot as a kid, I still laugh at that part.

6. Birthday #23. Mary tried really hard to give me a surprise birthday party, which is one of my constant birthday wishes. Well, first, about 3 or 4 weeks before, my old roommate Landon called me up the day Mary gave out invitations to the party and said “Happy Birthday!” I was like “Dude, my birthday’s not for a month.” “Oh, anyway…” I didn’t know the invitations were going out, but I was very confused. Well, the day before the party I was selling back my textbooks and Mary went to go talk to one of our old neighbor’s Bill. Well, they were across the room, which was quite noisy with all the hustle and bustle of students selling back textbooks, celebrating the finale of finals. As Bill was leaving the building (I was near one door and he was on the opposite end near the other) he says to Mary “See you tomorrow!” I was quite confused because I didn’t know about any plans for the next day. So, stupid analytical me (after Mary tries to brush it off as nothing, next time I can give her a list of lies to use) figured out that Mary was planning a surprise party for me. The next day, Mary pretty much forced me to go see my old roommate Landon who was kind enough to give me a haircut. I told him I knew about the party and he made me promise to act surprised. (Yeah, Mary knows I found out thanks to Bill’s loud mouth.)

5. Birthday #27. Yep, that’s last year. (At this point, Mary’s trying to think what happened last year.) The day before my birthday, I got home from work and went straight to the computer. The website that was left up was for a Brazilian grill restaurant called Tucanos that is in Provo. I’d always wanted to eat there, something that many of my former co-workers raved about.Well, the next day I kept hinting to Mary that I knew what she was planning. She of course acted (a lot better than with the surprise party) that she was making me chicken patty burgers (a common joke since that’s our last-ditch for dinner meal). As I said earlier, my boss let me go home early that day. I got home and took a nice nap while Mary finished getting ready. Well, she of course took me to Tucanos, but I was very happy. They brought me a dessert (singing at restaurants for birthdays needs to go as one of my top pet-peeves, well, with this exception). Our waitress said “Attention Tucanos guests, we have a birthday right here for T.J. Now he’s going to stand up. (which I did) We’re going to sing (which they did) and he’s going to dance (which I did, but it looked like an entertaining drunk Indian rain dance).” It was a very nice birthday.

4. Birthday #9. For my birthday I wanted the WWF (WWE, whatever) Wrestlers. But my parents and brothers thought it’d be cool (and I still thought this was awesome) to have me go on a scavenger hunt for all the wrestlers. There were twelve in all along with a ring to make the ‘wrassle’ in. They were hidden all over the house from the kitchen to the bathroom to my parents’ room (they hid that under the sheets and I kept crawling under the bed). I love scavenger hunts, which is why one day Apryl and I will win the Amazing Race.

3. Birthday #8. This is special because it is the day that I was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In the Mormon religion, the age of 8 is also called the ‘age of accountability.’ Mormons believe that when we turn 8 that we are responsible for our actions. Anyway, it was kind of a party because there was birthday cake and all. Not many members of the LDS church are baptized on their birthdays. Mine just so happened to fall on a Sunday and in California we didn’t do ‘stake baptisms’ (which normally means more than 1 person is being baptized at a time). It was nice to have people come to my baptism as well as the nice little party. There’s a picture of me holding the cake with really dark hair and a really big smile looking all cute. Wow! I was a cute kid! What happened?

2. Birthday #20. The only birthday I’ve spent outside of the U.S. During the previous year, I had somehow managed to lose the J from my necklace and watch my nice ‘gold’ chain tarnish. I used to take the necklace off before I showered and my mom warned me that I would lose it or something. I guess she was right. Oh well. Anyway, I left the chain and T on my tv stand before I went on my mission to Belgium. While in Mons, Belgium (if any of you are wondering, that is where MonsMagic comes from for the majority of my email accounts) I had my birthday. My mom sent me the necklace. This time, she gave me a very nice chain (that is still gold) and a new J. I was very happy to have my ‘identity’ back.

1. Birthday #4. Ok, I used to say this was my 3rd birthday. But, I later found out through some documentation (i.e. my baby book) that this event took place on my 4th birthday. For months before, and I still recall them, TV had commercials for a My Buddy doll. Yes, a My Buddy doll. I really wanted one. Well, the eve of my birthday my parents placed my presents in the living room for me to find. Of course, that was a mistake. I woke up, walked out of my room and into the living and found it. I screamed “MY BUDDY!!!!!!!” so loud that my cousin Erika in L.A. heard it. Of course, at 5:30 in the morning, I woke everyone else up.

So, I guess that’s enough vanity for one birthday. Merry Christmas everyone. Oh, and Happy Birthday to me of course.

10 Things About My Mom

I have been too busy to blog lately. No, seriously. I haven’t had time to do it at work. I can’t believe work has been getting in the way of doing the important things like blogging! Gees! (J/k).

So, the last question I asked was my job title. That would be Staff Accountant. (For those that care.)

Anyway, I know it’s not my usual ’10 things’ day. But,  it’s a special day. My mom would be 58 today if she were still with us. So, on her birthday, I’m going to honor her with a list of things that I think people should remember her for, I know I will. Enjoy, and sorry for the sappy post, but I’ve been planning on doing this for a while now.

10. Texas Tea. My mom gambled a little bit. When she went to Vegas she would love to go to the casino with my dad and play at a Texas Tea machine. I never had the opportunity to join her, but I knew that was her favorite game. It’s funny how this little armadillo or chinchilla or whatever it is would make her (and almost anyone playing it) smile when at least three of the animal hit on a line. (If you don’t know my gambling terminology, too bad. And I really don’t care to explain it further.)

9. Scrapbooking. My mom was great at scrapbooking. I have a binder full of pictures that she scrapbooked for me. It’s a wonderful memento and I will cherish it always.

8. Disney. My mom loved Disney. Disney was just a wonderful thing to her. She liked the princess stories of course. But she also loved going to Disneyland as well. And, she definitely had her favorite one.

7. Beauty and the Beast. This has nothing to do with the Disney movie. Well, yeah, no, yeah…Anyway, Mom loved the story of Beauty and the Beast before Disney made it big, just like my cousin Erika loved the story of The Little Mermaid before Disney made that big. My mom loved the tv show that was done in the 80s. She just really liked the story. Of course, her favorite Disney movie was Beauty and the Beast. It also helped that Angela Lansbury of Murder, She Wrote was in there. Speaking of…

6. Murder, She Wrote. Well, if you ask my mom and dad, they changed the name of the show to ‘Murder, She Caused.’ I mean seriously, if Jessica Fletcher moved to my town, I’d move. That woman just brings murder with her. She went to NYC for a few seasons of the show even. Not like murder was easily avoided there. But with the small town in Maine that she started off in, almost everybody ended up killing somebody. I personally thought that she and Matlock had a deal to commit murders for one another to keep each other busy.

5. Barbie. My mom had a huge barbie collection. She had all the international Barbies, historical Barbies, Lucy Barbies, Christmas Barbies, and various other Barbies. She loved displaying them. One in particular was a Christmas barbie in a green dress. I was able to get that one a few years ago and we display it every Christmas now.

4. “The Cat Who…” books. My mom loved to read. But out of all the murder-mystery series that she read, “The Cat Who…” topped her list. She just loved Koko and YumYum for whatever reason. There was something about those two cats that made her smile as she read the books. I don’t know anything more than the cats’ names, but if you ever want a fun mystery series, that was a good one.

3. Purple. Seriously this was a woman that was obsessed over a color. Oh, I’m not mad at her. I knew three other girls growing up that shared this passion for the color purple. I was absolutely amazed at it, but they all did. My mom had to have everything purple. You’d think she was born in February. Nope, she wasn’t. But amethysts were her favorite stones. My mom has ingrained onto her children’s minds that purple is the best color. Well, not really. But for special family occasions, a lot of us have purple ties to wear to honor my mom. Mary and I had an unlit purple candle to represent my mom at our wedding. Purple flowers grew outside my dad’s parents house out of nowhere shortly after her passing. Even Lizzie, when asked what her favorite color, will list purple then pink, just as my mom always did. Occasionally, Mary will have to go purchase something and she’d choose the purple one having no real reason why.

2. I Love Lucy. Mom had all the I Love Lucy episodes memorized. She passed before they came out on DVD or I’m sure she would’ve owned them all the moment they came out. I Love Lucy was my mom’s favorite tv show. I watched them with her all the time. At first, when I got back from my mission, I couldn’t watch it. But finally, I was able to watch them and enjoy as I once did. Recently, Mary and I watched the episode where Lucy finds out she’s pregnant. This was my mom’s favorite episode. And because I knew that, just watching it made me tear up. Funny enough, there was a time after my mom passed that Mattel sent my mom an I Love Lucy Barbie. I thought it was nice.

1. Family. My mom was very unhappy when I would say “I hate Chris.” (He’s my older brother for those that don’t know.) She would always remind me “He’s your brother and you should love him, not hate him.” My mom loved her family more than anything. She raised four children along with housing a niece and a bunch of her kids’ friends throughout their upbringings. She was a mom to many people, but she always put her family first. My mom loved my dad very much. She loved us four kids. She loved her sister and niece as much as she could. She loved her parents and siblings. She loved her in-laws. But most of all, she loved her grandchildren. It’s sad that she only got to know two of them. But, on the same note, we know that my daughter would be her favorite because, well, let’s face it, Mom couldn’t resist dressing up little girls. And since I was the youngest, and a darn proud momma’s boy, Lizzie would probably get more attention than her cousins. Even though it sucks not having her around, I know that my mom is watching over her granddaughter and all her grandchildren.

I’m not looking for responses on this blog, unless they have to do with my mom specifically. It is her birthday and I’m looking to keep this day (at least the one in 2009) special for her.

No random useless trivia today. I was in a meeting from 10:30 this morning until 5:30 this afternoon. I took 1 five-minute break and 1 ten-minute break during that time. The company paid for lunch for me and the other two in the meeting. I don’t recall my job having responsibilities like meetings before, but I am very pleased with it. So, until…well…whenever.