Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Time Machine Would Be Awfully Handy Right Now

You ever do that thing where you are thinking something but, of course, you would never ever say what you are thinking aloud because it is incredibly rude, out of place, wrong, bad or otherwise inappropriate and then, quite by accident, the inappropriate thing you are thinking pops out of your mouth unexpectedly and you stand there horrified at the unsightly words hanging in the air like an ugly hummingbird? Yeah, me too.

I have been teaching my boss* how to do my job lately. Kind of a headache, but whatevs. This morning I was going over how to process the stack of forms to get numbers to plug into our monthly claim. Our conversation ran thusly:

Me: So then you take the sum of the totals in the yellow line and square-balance it against this line here and if it all checks out, you put that amount here in this box. Then you do the same thing for the pink line, but you put the total in this box here. Okay?

Boss: I like how you color-coded all these forms.

Me: Yeah? Well . . . uh . . . does this make sense?

Boss: Could I do the pink line first and then the yellow line?

Me: Well, you could but it’s best if you do the yellow first because it’s easier that way.”**

Boss: Well, it looks like it wouldn’t matter either way.

This is the point that those words I had been biting back all day, those hideous, hideous words, flapping around in my head all day that I only ever meant to think, never ever to say, burst forth with inconvenient force.

Me: Don’t question me, woman.

Dang. That’s not good. Not only did I reprimand my direct superior for “questioning me,” I called her “woman.” (Though, in my defense, Jesus totally called his mom that so it’s not like it’s the worst thing to say.)

Happy ending, though. Boss burst out laughing and, after a tenuous smile I laughed along, relieved and thinking, “Oh, good. She thinks I was kidding. This is good news.”

And that thought stayed right where it should have.

*I actually really like my boss.

**Don't tell my boss but I don’t know why I do the yellow first. I do know that I always do the yellow first that that’s just the way I do it and don’t even suggest to me to do the pink one first because that would just throw off my groove, man. Yellow comes first on the sheet anyway.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Taking a Stand (To Go)

Does anyone else refuse to eat at Arctic Circle on principle because they pronounce "Arctic" incorrectly in the commercials? (Two c's, folks.)

Or do you refuse to eat there on the principle of "that place is grody"?

Be Ye Prepared

I’m starting to consider my love handles part of my food storage. In the aftermath of a disaster, I’m calculating my body could live off its chub storage for a good month or two. Alls I need now is a couple cases of Diet Dr Pepper and I’ll be set.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Karen, Whitney and I went to the Jazz/Mavericks game on Friday night. We had great seats and a ton of fun. I just love my Dallas boys. We were served a plethora of dirty looks during the game (probably due to my exuberant support of the Mavs). In the fourth quarter Jason Terry grabbed the rebound, streaked down the court and dunked that ball, hard; I, meanwhile, had shot to my feet, fists raised triumphantly, and shouted, "YES! YES! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! WO-AH! YEAH, TERRY!" Uh, the other fans didn't like that so much. And when I vowed to have Dirk Nowitzki's "little German babies" after a stellar defense/rebound/perfect arc of a shot, the ladies in front of me swiveled around, horrified looks plastered on their faces.

The most exciting part of the game was when Dirk got all hotheaded and angry, as he always does when playing Kirilenko (because AK is A DIRTY PLAYER AND TOTALLY COCKY ALL THE TIME AND I CAN'T STAND WATCHING HIM PLAY AND TAKE EVERY FOUL, THE BIG STINKIN' BABY), and "accidentally" slapped Harpring in the cheek with a closed fist. The ref ejected Dirk, to the Jazz fans' everlasting glee. Dirk threw his towel on the ground and ran out the tunnel, three officials huffing behind. My despair knew no bounds.

The Jazz played an excellent physical defense and the Mavs just couldn't keep up with them offensively. Jazz took the game 97-88. I wasn't too suprised due to the fact the Mavericks always struggle on the Jazz's home turf. The boys will be back in Salt Lake on February 5th and I'm trying to talk myself into shelling out another chunk of change for good seats. (Anybody want to go? I promise I'm way fun to watch basketball with.)


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

At Christmas play and make good cheer,
For Christmas comes but once a year.
~Thomas Tusser

Have a very merry Christmas! Thanks for reading!

All my love, Kim

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Tears

A portion of the children who attend my school come from low-income families. A few of the other teachers and I got together this year to purchase warm clothes and a few toys for the families who needed a little extra help this Christmas. Apparently one of the teachers talked to her parents, who talked to their church, who just delivered bags and bags and bags of coats, games, toys, socks, jeans, and food to my office.

Characteristically, I burst into tears the minute I saw the elaborate spread.

One of the students saw my weepy state and asked sweetly, “Ms. Kim? Are you crying?”

“Yeah, honey,” I replied, “But, it’s okay. These are happy tears.”

Touched as I have been in the past by anonymous generosity, I continue to be amazed at the human spirit’s capacity for compassion. I’m grateful for the many occasions this season my eyes have prickled with happy tears.
P.S. Did anyone else watch "Dawson's Creek"? It was on for 6 seasons so I know I can't be the only one but whenever I make a reference to it, I just get blank stares back.

Movie Memories

A standard in the Raynor family media gamut is the film Sense and Sensibility. I first saw the movie when I was about 12 or 13 and read the book when I was 15 or so. It is one of my go-to novels when I want to read something lovely.

Amid swells of nostalgia, I recently watched the movie again. In my mind, that film is inextricably intertwined with memories of my mother. Even as I watched the romance unfold between Elinor and Edward, I could picture the movie playing in the family room of my teenage years: my mother, always and forever at the ironing board; my dad, book in hand and fast asleep in the floral armchair; my sister and I curled up on the couch amidst a multitude of blankets; my kid brother stretched out on the floor in front of the TV with Teddy, our astronomically chubby dog. My mom, ever a teacher, would always prompt us to a deeper understanding of the story. I cannot watch some scenes without hearing her voice saying, “Look at the differences of expression in the faces of Mrs. Dashwood and Fanny. How do you think they are feeling?” or “See where Marianne put the flowers from the Colonel and the ones from Willoughby? What do you think she meant by that?”

It's funny how often movies are linked to memories of my youth. Take Last of the Mohicans, one of my top five favorites. I remember watching that movie with my older sister years ago. Right after Uncas dies, Alice looks down at his body and slowly turns back to Magua. At this point in the movie, I vividly remember Amy whispering, "She's so beautiful!" Every single time I see that scene, I hear my sister's voice: "She's so beautiful!"

And Titanic. When I see that movie I remember the time our parents were out of town and Sandra and I dragged all the mattresses and pillows in the house into the family room and perched on top while we ate chocolate cream pie and watched Leo and Kate. Of course, I'll always remember my sister Michelle and the night we decked the house out in owl-shaped luminaries in preparation for our in-home screening of the first Harry Potter film.

My memories aren't always pleasant ones, though. My mom let me watch Beethoven one time when I was home sick with the flu. I still get queasy when I see that movie.

I think sometimes the affection (or abhorrence) I have for certain movies is not based on the film's merits alone, but on the memories they invoke. And I know that there is no bout of homesickness that cannot be eased by a quick screening of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Back to the Future, or Three Men and a Baby.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

True Love

Dear White Rhino,

Thank you for getting me to work through all this yucky snow. Thank you for having four-wheel drive and those special winter brakes that make driving in snowy weather so much easier. I'm sorry you had to hear all those wretched things I said about the other drivers.

Thank you for having a great sound system to make my commute so much more enjoyable. Also, thanks for the 12-disc CD changer to facilitate my attention-span issues. I'm very sorry about the singing.

I'm sorry you haven't been washed since August. Sorry I bought new floor mats instead of vacuuming. Sorry I haven't treated your leather interior in months. Sorry I whistled at that BMW this morning. I didn't really mean it. Also, sorry about that thing with your bumper back in 2006.

Thank you for being a good sport about the wreath on your grill and the Scentsy thing on your mirror. Thank you for the sunroof so I can see the stars at night. And, speaking of nights, thanks for the summer of 2007 (wink, wink . . . you know what I'm talking about.)

You are the best car in the whole world. I love you, babe.

Love, Kim

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Now you shouldn't even get into who I'm givin' skins to.

For my morning musical pleasure, I always hit “Random” on my iTunes and enjoy a haphazard assortment of music to gear me up for work. I love this system (or, more accurately, non-system) I have because it provides for me an agreeable medley that is new and different every morning. Some days I walk into work whistling Aerosmith, and others, it’s the BYU Men’s Chorus.

This morning’s collection featured both Salt ‘N Pepa’s “None Of Your Business” and Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative.”

I double-dog-dare someone to talk to me about my life choices today.

Which reminds me, I should probably call my mother back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dumb as a Stump

My boss has somehow inveigled me to discard all my pressing work and help out with interviewing candidates for several open positions here at work. (I really don’t know how she gets me to do some of this stuff.) I’ve had a steady stream of absolutely ridiculous applicants over the past week and we might just have a problem if the next person does not know how to correctly utilize an adverb. Is it wrong to reject a candidate because of poor sentence construction and grammatical errors?

Here are some cerebral treasures I’ve gleaned from the past few interviews:
“I have a few friends that have teached for some years and they really like it.”
“I think kids are more cuter than adults.”
“I had to learn that very, very quick and it was acrost the whole company.” (two-for-one-special!)
“I had to use precise . . .ness in that job.”
When asked about her work ethic: “I don’t believe in lying or stealing or anything like that.”
When asked what was challenging about a former job: “They kept asking so much from me. Hello! It’s only a job!”

And my personal favorite:
Me: Tell me about some of your long-term goals, personal and professional.
Applicant: Well, I really want to go overseas and teach English.
Me: That sounds very interesting. If you had a choice, where would you like to go?
Applicant: Well, my two favorite countries are Italy and London. So probably one of those.
Me: (sputtering) Oh. Sounds . . . nice.
Never mind that London is not a country, you can’t go there to teach English because, guess what, they ALREADY KNOW ENGLISH IN FREAKIN’ ENGLAND!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Someone I Love

From my bedroom, I heard my roommate cleaning the kitchen a few evenings ago. Scrubbing and sweeping, she filled our house with a joyful lilting song. After listening to her for several moments, I was overcome with affection for my darling friend.

Karen is good humor personified. She is happiness. She is fun. Karen understands the personal obligation to make one's own happiness. Karen doesn't wait for circumstances to fall into place to bring about contentment. Karen is the girl who sings whilst scrubbing the kitchen floor.

I love my roommie.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Two Amusing Anecdotes

Story One: Self-Fulfilling Prophesy
One of my roommates moved out last month and our friend Gretchen “Too Legit to Quit” Dutson is moving in on Saturday. She stopped by the house on Tuesday to pick up a key and was given a quick rundown of the odd little quirks about our lovely home. Karen and I also provided her a taste of how it will be living with two of the most amusing people in the state. I notified her that I “often spontaneously burst into song and dance about,” and Karen warned that waking her against her will is "more dangerous than rousting a sleeping, hormonal bear." I cautioned as we headed downstairs, “Watch out for these stairs. I always seem to slip on them.” Three seconds later, Gretchen and Karen are grasping their sides, doubled over in laughter, while I am sprawled at the foot of the stairs moaning incoherently.

Story Two: Supermarket and Starcraft
After examining my debit card at the store last night, the cashier looked up at me with wide eyes.
“Your last name is Raynor?”
Impressed, he exclaimed, “That’s awesome!”
“Is it?” I asked.
With notable gravity, he leaned forward and said, “You have the same last name as a guy in Starcraft.”
He solemnly examined my face for the expected elation such a declaration would naturally trigger.
“Oh.” I nodded. “Neat.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Most Fun Thing in the World

Well, I don't know what the most fun thing in the world is, but I know what is NOT the most fun thing and that is getting yelled at by three people in one day. That is definitely not the most fun thing in the world.

And also something un-fun is when, after the third person yells at you, you quietly hang up the phone, close your office door, let all your calls go to voicemail, and just sit there and cry for 5 minutes. That is also low on the fun scale. Very, very low.
The only thing that could make this day worse is if I turn on the radio and every station is playing "Christmas Shoes."

I hate that damn song.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Best Newscast Ever

You know when you are watching the news and they show a picture on the screen that has nothing to do with the story they are reporting? Usually not a big deal, right? Or is it?

Tonight on KSL they were reporting on the Blackwater case (the military contractors who are charged with 14 counts of manslaughter). While telling about one of the men charged who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was testifying against the others, they showed a picture of the man. Or did they?

No, they showed the picture of the man from the next story. The man who had pulled a woman out of a car submerged in an icy river. The hero.

This guy did not kill any Iraqis. At least, I don't think he did.

Hilarious and also sad.

Letter From Me

Recently, I was called to be in charge of the monthly newsletter for my ward. I was encouraged by a few friends to include a letter from the editor in each issue. I wrote the following for the December issue but I was never really satisfied with it overall. The night before D(istribution)-Day, I went back and forth with putting it in and taking it back out. At the last minute I decided to yank it. I can't put my finger on what's wrong with it but, upon reflection, I realize that I'm never completely satisfied with things that I write. That is the reason why I have a folder on my computer filled with short stories, poems, articles and 2 rough novels. I dread to open that folder, knowing that I cannot be satisfied with what it contains and I will finally come to the realization that I can't write and have no talent and that my dreams of actually publishing something will never come to fruition and I'll be here in my mediocre job for the rest of my pathetic live. Or something like that.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this month's ne'er-to-be-published letter from the editor, because (no offense) I care less that you think I'm a crap writer than I would if my whole ward thought so.

The Christmas season seems to overtake our lives and rational thought processes the moment we waddle away from the Thanksgiving table, distended with poultry and pie. The crazed shopping, the endless festivities, the TV specials—oh, save us!—the TV specials, all conspire to induce us to remember Christmas! celebrate Christmas! venerate Christmas! It seems, when bringing to mind things cherished: faith, family, love and hope, the holidays are no longer a gentle reminder but a tremendous and awe-inspiring wallop. Presents are a dreaded obligation, the parties are a chore and eventually December turns into drudgery as the tedious stress eats away at our cheer.

Let’s together aver to disallow “Christmas” to detract from Christmas. Let’s remember that Christ is love, and to honor his birth we need not be jolly and festooned, merely good and kind and full of love. Let’s undertake to smile a little brighter, serve a little longer, comfort a little more and stress a little less. Let us embody the words of my father’s favorite carol: “God is not dead nor doth He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will to men” (Longfellow).

Saturday, December 6, 2008


The girls and I saw Australia last night. On the whole, I liked it. I did. But, boy howdy, was it long. Too long. It kind of felt like they skipped the whole editing thing before the film was released. Some of the performances felt forced and artificial (I hated Nicole Kidman's for the first half-hour or so) and the plot was semi-mediocre.

But the film did have several redeeming qualities. Firstly, it had a war in it. I freakin' love war movies! I also really liked the cinematography and the use of light in the film. I liked the music quite a bit. The sweeping vista shots were also nice (well, the first couple hundred or so) and I found myself chuckling (and tearing up) more than I expected. And, of course, there was this:


I left the theater feeling pretty content with the film. And with a strange yearning for a harmonica-toting aboriginal kid. Verdict: definitely worth the 8 bucks.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Winter is (kinda) awesome!

As a true child of Texas, I lovelovelove summer and sunshine and heat. Love it. So when big, bad, horrible, miserable winter rolls around I'm none too pleased.

However, I’m trying to focus more on gratitude (like my awesome friend Becca) and less on how much winter totally blows. So here are some reasons why I’m grateful for winter:

1. Hello! Christmastime!! Yay!

2. Sweaters are just so dang cute.

3. Guys wearing sweaters are just so dang cute.

4. My house is really dry because the heat is on, so my hair goes from shower to bone dry in 10 minutes flat.

5. It gives me a chance to use all those scented lotions I get for every occasion by every acquaintance, distant relative, and co-worker who doesn’t know what to get me.

6. Fires in fireplaces are so cozy. (If I can just get one of those be-sweatered guys to come light mine . . .)

7. It gives me a chance to use the line: “Look, we’re under the mistletoe . . . well . . . that’s awkward.”

8. The snow is pretty to watch (kind of a beast to drive or walk in, but I digress.)

9. The extra blankets on my bed make snuggling down with a book so much more inviting.

10. Fuzzy socks (they are always on sale at the Gap right before Christmas, so remember to stock up—they’re my favorite! They also have really nice ones at Bath & Body Works on sale this week.)

11. If you look a little chubby, you can blame it on the three layers of clothes you're wearing and not the Kit-Kat you had for breakfast. (True story.)

Why are you grateful for winter?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Morning Quandry

I like lox on bagels but I don’t like cream cheese. I could get it sans cream cheese but then it would be just bread and fish, and that’s a little too biblical for me.

At least I would have enough to share. (baa dum bum)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Unfounded Fear #3

Sometimes I worry that I will fall in love with a Korean guy whose last name is Kim and then if we got married my name would be Kim Joy Kim and that sounds so ridiculous.

Into the 'Hood

Liz and I went to see Hale Centre Theatre's Into the Woods on Saturday. HCT is, as you may know, located in the heart of West Valley. I am, as you may know, a certifiable east-side snob. I unabashedly proclaim to not venture west of State Street if I can help it. But the lull of the theatre is enough to roust me from my comfort zone and hazard the west 'hood.

Into the Woods is one of my very favorite Sondheim musicals (second only to Sweeney Todd) and it was performed extraordinarily well. My favorites were the debonair princes; their sweeping gestures and manly voices are enough to make any girl swoon.

In the second act, Cinderella's prince tries to seduce the baker's wife as he sings, "Right and wrong don't matter in the woods, only feelings." At this point Liz leans over and whispers, "We need to spend more time in the woods."

It was a great time. Fortuitously, we even got to see our dear friend Molly in action as she played Snow White. And guess what? She really was the fairest of them all.