I use Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner, have for a long time, and in the last year or so they've changed things up quite a bit. The bottles look different, there are so many different kinds, it's a good change. And one of the new things on the bottles are little trivia questions. The shampoo will have a question, and the answer is on the conditioner, and vice versa. Being blind when I shower, I did not notice these little questions until Clark pointed them out to me. He's the one finding things to read in the shower; I might as well close my eyes the whole time, because I can't see anything. Anywho, I was reading them today on all the bottles of shampoo and conditioner I have stashed away (I buy them when they're on sale or when I have a coupon, look at that, I'm a smart shopper for at least 1 thing). And then I came to the bottle of shampoo that has no matching conditioner. The question is: "On average, who do you talk to more than anyone else?" I don't have the answer to the question, I have the answer to the conditioner's question. Which would be sad, but I looked at the conditioner answer: "Pants." (Clark goes by Pants in some circles, for those of you who don't know) It was just perfect! I really do talk to him the most! They answered it for me without even knowing it! It's a sign; it's like a little clue. Ok, enough quoting Sleepless In Seattle, I just thought it was cute.
I've been sharing my vocal abilities a lot more than usual this month, which is a good thing. I sang a small solo in church on Easter Sunday, I sang in church this last Sunday, and I sang at an old folks home for Family Home Evening on Monday. It's good for me to sing more often, it helps me be less nervous. But what I really wanted to post were a few observations from the Kolob Care and Rehabilitation Center, so here is a bulleted list:
Older people like to keep the thermostat up nice and high. We walked into the building and were bombarded by heat. Maybe it's not just the mild winters that draw people here, maybe they are crazy enough to like the summers.
They had a lovely selection of movies in their activities room. Lots of old classics. Lots of new releases. And some Baby Einstein. Yeah, you read that right. Baby Einstein. Either they get a lot of babies visiting them, or they've regressed to that point.
They had numerous framed pictures on their bookshelves, you know, to give the place a more homey feel. They had framed Lucy and Desi, Humphrey Bogart, Fred and Ginger, John Wayne. Like these people are dear friends. And really, they could be for some people. I thought it was neat.
I just thought that we all needed to remember how quirky Clark is. And this is a good thing, don't worry. The other day, I opened the peanut butter to find this:
That is what happens when Clark has peanut butter and saltines - he spends most of the time just trying to get the concentric circles perfectly matched up. The reason we got out the PB, though, was to make Clarky's Creation: the Peanut Butter Marshelaides.
PB and Marshmallows on a piece of bread. . . .
Toast it up. . . And there you have it! It is actually highly delicious. It's like a campout with the roasted marshmallows, and then you have the warm peanut butter goodness. . . mmmmmm. . .
And our final quirk of the evening: Clark found these in our kitchen, so I told him he should put them on his fingers and see if he could play the piano better. And he actually did it! It was entertaining. And he can get 2 octaves with those babies. What are they, you ask? That's for us to know, and you to find out. . .
We were expecting to have the Adamses down in the George this weekend, but alas! Brian hurt his foot last night, and thus cannot walk. So no Adamses for us. :( Just when I was trying to regroup and figure out what we're doing this weekend, who should get online but one Sabrina Millar. When she heard that sad tale, she said, "Well, maybe we should come down instead." Ha ha. Nice idea, but who says something like that and then actually does it? The answer to that question is: the Millars. Yeah, they are totally coming down this weekend! It will be Adie's first trip down here. Good times will be had. I'll post pictures. :D
Today is Wednesday, the day when American Idol fans all discuss what happened last night, and make their last minute predictions as to who is in the bottom three and who is going home. Usually I just let Clark blog about it, but I haven't had anything good to blog about in a while, so here we go. The rundown:
Phil was actually better than he usually is. I didn't find myself wincing as he hit wrong notes, he was just a lot more on tune. Good job.
Lakisha was actually worse than she usually is. I found myself wincing as she hit wrong notes, which she normally doesn't hit. She is a fantastic singer, though. I agree with the judges, she needs to pick better songs.
Melinda = amazing. Seriously. Nate, I don't know how you can say you hate her, because she is by far the best singer in this competition. By FAR.
Blake is another favorite of mine, but I just hated him last night. He sounded terrible. The judges all praised him, but I have no clue why. But he is well loved, so he'll be safe.
Jordin pulled out a stellar performance. You know, I've known this whole time that she was good, but I've had some issues with her styling. But last night, she was fantastic. I'm becoming a much bigger fan, these days.
Sanjaya? Yeah, I really don't like the fact that he is still on the show, but I have resigned myself to the fact that he is going nowhere. He sucked. Nuff said.
Chris R. gets the "Worst Performance of the Night" award. Just terrible all around. His biggest problem is he sounds too pinched and nasaly. He also gets "Best Quote From the Night," and perhaps even "Best Quote of the Season." Yes, he did in fact say, "Nasal is a form of singing." HA! I'm laughing. Out loud. What a ridiculous thing to say! I'm still laughing. At least he provided some entertainment with that statement alone.
So there you have it. Who do I think will go tonight? Chris R, or Phil. Who do I wish would go? Well, I'd say Sanjaya, but in my heart of hearts I'd rather see Chris go after this week. How weird is that?
This is a quick post for Jessica, on the subject of marrying your cousin. I guess there has been some fuss up there about that? I don't know, I just go off of what is posted on the internet. Anyway. It is not "totally illegal" to marry your cousin, in fact it's 100% legal in some states. I found this map to be rather enlightening. And it is important to remember that back in the day, it was not only legal, it was encouraged. Just because Elizabeth Bennett and Jane Eyre had terrible cousins who loved them (Mr. Collins = ew), we shouldn't count all cousin marriages as "a bad match," to put it in old-fashioned terms. Think of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. There is a tale of love. As well as a tale of first cousins marrying. And who can forget George Michael and Maeby?
Not that I'm encouraging anyone to date or marry their first cousin. It is generally frowned upon in this day and age. Not to mention pretty weird. But if you're 3rd or 4th cousins, no big deal. Heck, we live in Utah, most people in this state are related in some way!
Today I finally finished Jane Eyre. And I must admit, I really did like it. It definitely has an older style, and that can make it hard to read sometimes (people just don't talk like that anymore), but all in all, it was a good read. Yes, she receives a proposal from a married man. Yes, she receives a proposal from her cousin. Yes, she marries Mr. Rochester after his crazy wife burns his house down and dies. (These are some of Clark's main points against the book). But Clark's largest complaint was that she is always whining about how horrible her life is. I found this to be just not true. Sure, she has some rough times, especially at the beginning, but I feel like the book is all about making the best of what you are giving and finding happiness in those circumstances.
She starts out with her mean old aunt. Things aren't good there, to be sure. But she gets sent to a boarding school pretty quick. And for her, she is happy because it's different, because there are more people there. It turns out that the school isn't the happiest of environments either, but then circumstances change. She makes dear friends there. And after that it feels like no matter where she goes, she goes to find something better, and she finds it! Anyway, I'd like to have it known that in our small Blockburger family, I am the expert on Jane Eyre, and I find it to be a delightful book.
Since we moved our computer, I now get to look out the window while I'm working. It's quite lovely. And just the other day I discovered the most wonderful thing: I can see roses over the neighbors fence! They just brighten up my day, so I thought I'd post a picture and brighten yours!
On Monday night, I watched a documentary about Jonestown on PBS (Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, to be specific). I've been thinking about it ever since. It's such a bizarre happening, 900 people out in the jungles of Guyana all drink poisoned kool-aid and die. I'd heard sketchy details before, but didn't really know the history behind it all. This show started back at the beginning of it all, followed the Peoples Temple from Indiana, to California, to Guyana. And it was told with the voices of those who lived the experience, people who were part of this "cult," people who lived in Jonestown, people who saw everyone around them die. It was a very well done program.
So the part that has really stuck with me is this: the survivors really don't regret anything they did. They never say, "Oh, I wish I had never joined up with Jim Jones; that was a mistake." The one regret they have is that Jonestown didn't work. One woman said that, to her, Jonestown was heaven, and since that didn't work, she has a hard time believing in a heaven. Quite the statement. I guess the overall "learning moment" for me was realizing that these people weren't crazy, and they didn't go into it thinking they were joining a cult. They really felt they were doing what was right, and trying to live a good life. The problems came in when their leader went loco. The 900 people who drank poison weren't crazy, even though it seems that way. They just came together as a group, trying to take care of each other, trying to find happiness, to find heaven on earth. And when faced with the chaos of that fatal day, they chose what they thought was their only option. There are a lot of circumstances surrounding that event, too many to relate in this blog post. I recommend that documentary to anyone who wants to learn more. It really is enlightening and educational, and not just about the Peoples Temple, but about human nature.
I neglected to post a funny happening from yesterday. I went on my morning walk, as usual, with my neighbor Danielle. We're just walking along, minding our own business, when this newspaper comes flying in front of us! Just whizzes past our heads, probably only a couple feet away! And the car from which the paper was lobbed, which had barely even slowed down to chuck the thing, just cruises away. Yes, folks, we were almost attacked by the paper lady. I thought it was particularly funny, given the bad blood between us. Anyway, it made me chuckle, thought I'd share.
Saturday night as Clark and I were going for a walk, I started whining about how I don't have any callings. I know, there are some of you out there who think I'm crazy, but I'm not. Having a calling helps you meet people in the ward. It keeps you busy. And I am in a position where I actually have time, and I would be willing to spend it on a church calling, but alas, I have none. So after my rant is over, Clark says, "Hey, at least you're a visiting teacher. That is something." I had to agree with him there.
Fast-forward to yesterday. At church we had our Visiting Teaching Conference during Relief Society. It was good, a reminder about how great visiting teaching is, how important it is to do it, etc. I was feeling a lot better about my one, "little" calling as a visiting teacher. Life was good.
And fast-forward once again to this morning. I got a phone call informing me that they had taken me off the visiting teaching list because they thought I had moved. So now I'm not even a visiting teacher. You wanna know what I think happened? There is another girl who lived in the same complex and has red hair who moved. So I'm pretty sure they think Shannon Blockburger is Ashley Bonham. Good one, guys. They said they'd fix it as soon as they can, and let me know. But I think I can now official say that I have "fallen through the cracks" at church. And I haven't even gone inactive.
We have finally purchased a computer desk! So our computer has been moved from the hole in the corner: To the nice new desk: So now my arms won't fall asleep while I'm working! Also there is way more space, both at the computer, and in the room in general. And the printer isn't on the floor anymore. And the scanner doesn't have to sit in a cupboard. It's a change for the better.
I've been reading Jane Eyre lately (yes, I know, it's taking me 10 years to read it, I just have trouble finding time for it), and I've finally come to the part where the truth comes out about Mr. Rochester already having a crazy wife that he keeps locked in the attic. You do feel bad for the man, living in an age where arranged marriages were the norm, not the exception, not knowing about the tendency to go crazy in his wife's family until after they were married, falling victim to the problem of money, etc. I have some sympathy for him. But you know, not nearly as much as I think I had the first time I read the book. I am not sure if it's because I'm an adult now, or if it's because I'm married, or what, but I just have little sympathy for the "but I love someone other than my wife" excuse. The fact is, he's married. You can't just go marry someone else if you want to, especially if you are concealing your first marriage from your future wife. And how about this: he lives in England. I am 100% sure that he lives after the time of King Henry VIII. So I am 100% sure that divorce is allowed in his country. So just divorce your first wife, you can still take care of her if you feel bad, and then you are free to marry whoever you choose! My small amount of sympathy for him diminished even further as he described his travels in Europe, living with his many different mistresses, a few months with the Parisian, a few months with the Italian princess, etc. Um, right, so he already seemed to have a solution to his problem, go sleep with whoever you want to. And I love that he is telling all of this crap to Jane. I am pretty sure that on the day I was supposed to get married, after it comes out that my fiance is already married, I don't want to hear about his long string of mistresses, especially knowing that I would have basically been another one on the chain. Ridiculous.
And you know, I think I feel this way about a lot of movie plots, books, etc. We can rewind to the time we saw Tristan and Isolde. I had no sympathy for their situation at all. For those who may not know the basic story, they fall in love, and then through bad luck, she ends up marrying his uncle. So sad. Too bad. Either you say something before the marriage, or you just move on. None of this sneaking around, having an affair. You do whatever it takes to move on. One of the people who was there with us was crying, saying how sad and tragic the whole thing was, but I didn't feel that bad for them. You make poor choices, you deal with the consequences. That is life. Welcome to it.
RadioWest yesterday (well, I guess it actually aired on 4/3/07) was all about radio and how it is surviving with the boom of the internet. It's kind of funny to have a radio show about radio. So I'm listening to Doug Fabrizio and Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher talk about the history of radio and how it has molded our culture, it's fairly interesting, when suddenly who should show up but Bill and Kerry of X96! I used to be a Radio From Hell listener, I would listen to it on my commute. Sometimes I'd have to change the station because Bill would be going off on some anti-Bush tirade, and that gets really old in a hurry, but it's a good show. They are funny, they are entertaining, I like them. But, of course, I haven't listened to them since we moved to St George because, well, we don't get X96 down here. Anyway, it was great to hear them on the show, they had some good things to say, and it was quite a switch to hear them having a serious, intellectual conversation. There were still jokes aplenty, but they really had some good insights. And it reminded me of how great that show is, inspiring me to seek out some way to hear the show via the internet. If any of you know how I might do this, pass the info along. I'm looking on their website, but all I see is "Listen Online," which will probably just stream in whatever is on at the moment. I would prefer to be able to listen to the show later in the day. . . any thoughts?
I went to the doctor this morning, and it took quite a bit longer than I had anticipated. As such, I having been working non-stop all afternoon. I realize that I have it good, I don't have to work more than about 4 hours a day, and usually I work about an hour or so, and then take a lengthy break. But alas, not today. And I am. . . .so. . . . bored. . . .and my arm is falling asleep. I think we need a new desk. Sorry I have nothing exciting to say, but I needed at least 1 minute of relief. Ok, back to work.
Wow, it takes a lot to be seen by a doctor. I decided that I should go get my heart checked out, since it's been about 3 years since my last echo, and even when I had the echo I didn't actually talk to a doctor. So the last actual doctor I saw for my heart murmur was my pediatric cardiologist. Good one. Anyway, I called my insurance "Member Advocates" on Friday, the called a doctor in the area, set me up with an appointment on Tuesday (quick, I know!), and all was well. Oh, wait, but then I called my old doctor's office to have my medical records sent down here, and it turns out they keep their records off-site, so it takes 7-14 days for records to get sent anywhere. Since my appointment was in 3 days, not 7-14, I called up and rescheduled. Oh, and let's remember that I actually have my records at 2 different places, so I have to try and get consent forms to each of them. "But Shannon," you might say, "didn't you just go through all this crap just a few weeks ago?" You would be correct. Good thing I have multiple problems, because this way I get to go through all this fun multiple times!
Fast forward to today. I got a call back from the Member Advocates lady, and she said that doctor isn't on the plan actually, and the other doctors in the office aren't accepting new patients. So there goes that plan. She calls another doctor, who could see me, but she is retiring at the end of the year, so that would be pointless. She calls yet another office, and they can get me in, but first the guy has to check and see if I need a referral. Great. I don't have a primary care physician. But wait! My OBGYN apparently can count as a primary care physician! Saved. So now I am waiting for that guy to call back and let me know what we need to do in order for me to be seen by them.
On to round 2. I needed to make another doctor appointment, so I called the office. After calling during the lunch hours (I am amazing that any doctor's office that busy can just shut down between 12 and 1:30), and getting the busy signal quite a few times, I finally get through - and I'm on hold. Waiting. . . waiting. . . Ah, she picks up! After I explain what I need, she tells me I need to call the nurses line. Don't ask me why. So I call. Busy. Busy. Busy. Finally I get through! To be on hold. For something like 10 minutes. And let me just say this: When someone is on hold, you really don't need to hear, "Due to the high volume of calls received by nurse, a wait of several minutes may be required. We appreciate your patience," over and over again. I swear, every 30 seconds it would click on. I'm all about just saying it once and then listening to hold music or something. Just a suggestion. Anyway, finally I got through. And once I actually talked to someone, I got it all set up, no problem. So at least the people were helpful, even if they seemed swamped.
I guess the moral of the story is: Doctors are busy on Mondays.