Archive

Archive for the ‘Story Time’ Category

Introducing “Cute” to the Internet

August 24th, 2011
Over the 4th of July, I brought the man I have been seeing to my parents house for a BBQ.

This man you will be hearing more about in future posts. That is, unless blogging is a jinx, in which case forget I ever mentioned him.

He has been aptly nicknamed “Cute.” Not just because he is, in fact, very cute. That would be to obvious. His name actually yields from the graces of my co worker, Adam. Adam decided to name him that after going on a work trip with me. He kept hearing me gush on and on about the man I was seeing, always prefacing his name with “cute”.

As in, “Cute Jaron came over the other night and made me dinner” or “I’m so excited, Cute Jaron is taking me to see U2!”

Gag, right?

It was only a matter of time before said coworker ditched “Jaron” and just started asking me how “Cute” was doing or when I had plans to see “Cute” next.

So, Cute it is.

While at my parents house, my two giggly, barely-teen nieces decided that Cute and I were adorable and that being adorable warranted constant harassment. They threw snaps at us, teased me about having a boyfriend, and asked us if they heard wedding bells in our future.

Actually, that last one was my mother’s doing. Little does she know, I’m only using him for sex.

At one point in the night, as we were all sitting down to watch my brother-in-law light fireworks, the giggle sisters confiscated a camera and went to town snapping pictures of us.

They were greatly amused by their handiwork. But none quite so much as this.

To be honest, I like it too.

It’s…cute.

Blogfully yours,
Summer
* To see more pictures, including the Giggle Sisters, Cute, fireworks, and me holding a baby, go to my Flickr account.

Holidays, Loved One(s), Story Time

Terrie Hall: My New Favorite Person

May 2nd, 2011

In April, I had the pleasure of meeting and touring the state with one of the most amazing women I have ever met, Terrie Hall. I should preface by saying that it was my job as an advertising account executive for our state’s anti-tobacco account, to help recruit her, pay her, and take her around the state to spread the word of the dangers of using tobacco to teenage kids. However, I never, in a million year, expected how much I would grow to absolutely love this woman.

Terrie is a Laryngectomee (you can’t even imagine how long it has taken me to remember the correct way to spell that). Meaning Terrie had to have her voice box removed due to cancer. Cancer caused from smoking.

Terrie now speaks with the aide of a voice prosthesis.

When I met Terrie at the airport for the first time we hugged. After six months of planning it felt like we already knew each other. She had asked me in one of her emails what she should pack. I replied to pack as much as she wanted and we would sort through it together when she got here. When I went to grab her bags I quickly found out that she took me up on my offer.

Not being used to large luggage and having never spent any time with someone who has a physical handicap, I decided that we should just muscle the two 50lb bags, carry on, and laptop bag to the car.

I know. I’m an insensitive jerk, right?

We hadn’t gone more than 20 feet and poor Terrie was out of breath. I can’t even tell you how horribly embarrassed I was. But Terrie, after catching her breath and seeing my look of panic, just smiled at me sweetly and said, “Just another day in the life of a Laryngectomee. Do you think we can get one of those baggage cart things?”

Our first stop after leaving the airport was to pick up my counterpart on the anti-tobacco account, Adam (or Mr. Bramwell as I like to call him). Not being under any tight time constraints to drive to our first destination of Price Utah, we stopped for lunch.

Adam and I had a million questions for Terrie and she told us that we had her permission to ask her anything we wanted. Throughout the next five days I found out Terrie’s life story, one amazing story after another. But it was at that first lunch together that I found out something that would change me forever. Terrie told us she had something she wanted us to know. The doctors found three more areas of cancer in her body and she was going in to find out what the treatment regime was going to be the day after she returned from her trip to Utah.

Terrie is a ten time cancer survivor already. Ten. TEN!

How in the name of all that is right in the world could this woman who I had already fallen in love with in less than an hour, possibly be subjected to more cancer?

I cried.

She told us that she didn’t mention it to us before because she didn’t want us to think she wasn’t well enough to come out here.

Terrie is tough as nails.

Then she told us that it was okay because she was lucky. They caught it early and she has really good doctors and it will probably just be more chemo, but not the really bad type, she normally doesn’t loose her hair, just her eye lashes, sometimes.

She said all of this with a straight face and 100% sincerity. That is the type of person Terrie is. The most amazing optimist that ever existed in the history of the world. Ever.

Outside of touring the state giving presentations to Jr High and High Schools, our secondary purpose for bringing Terrie from her home in North Carolina to Utah was to film her for both an ad campaign and the creation of an educational DVD. I work in advertising as I said, but I am on the planning/strategy/client relations/management of projects side of things. So when my agencies creative director asked me if I would be the one to interview Terrie, it was a huge honor on multiple levels.

When I told Terrie that I would be the one to interview her she was both excited and relieved. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind discussing some of the questions over dinner with a glass (or two) of wine. It was just the two of us and I have to say it was one of my favorite nights. I had my exclusive one on one with a woman who daily continued to blow me away with her strength, personality, ginormous heart, gumption and love. She made me cry, again, and I fell even more in love with her.

And that was just my second night with her.

In the five and a half days Terrie was here she spoke at eleven schools, was featured on every local TV news channel, local newspapers, and was on “Good Things Utah,” one of our early morning talk shows, and in between that she was filmed, photographed, and adored by all. Through it all she never once complained. Never once acted put out or tired. She was a trooper. Her energy kept me going.

At one of the photo shoots I asked the photographer to take a picture of the three of us. I was able to get it printed and framed to give to her as a surprise goodbye gift.

When it came time to say goodbye I was devastated. I’m not going to lie, I was a blubbering fool walking her to the check-point at the airport. I didn’t want my new friend to leave. Work had never been so much fun and I have never been so uplifted by one person. I didn’t know I could form a bond with someone so quickly and I didn’t want our time together to end.

Terrie text me from the plane, from her layover stop, and finally when she got home.

We continue to text daily. She asks me about my dates and rubs it in my face that it is sunny and 80+ degrees in North Carolina while it is still snowing here in Utah. I ask her about her daughters wedding and we laugh together through the distance.

I miss her incredibly but I am so proud of the work we were able to accomplish in her short time here. After every school presentation she gave, dozens of kids would come up to her and to give her a hug or tell her how much her story had impacted them. And now we have a whole campaign and will be able to share her story with even more of the world.

Filming was emotional. It effected all of us, from the camera, lights, sound, make-up and production crew to, of course, our star Terrie. Here is the 30 second television commercial.

Terrie Hall 30 sec TV

Want to see more?

You can view all of  Terrie’s TV commercials on our TRUTH Against Tobacco YouTube channel.

You can view her full presentation from the TRUTH Against Tobacco website.

And you can view the rest of some of my pictures with Terrie from my Flickr account.

One last thing, before taking Terrie to the airport, I HAD to take her to my favorite place – the mountains. She shared so much beauty with me, I felt it was only fair to share some back.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

Lessons Learned, Loved One(s), Story Time

I’m tragically independent. Also, awesome. Also, ridiculous.

September 2nd, 2010

So I got a new ride.

Wanna see it?

Big Pimpin'

Big Pimpin'

I started back to work this week and to be honest, crutches are exhausting. So I found a harmless old man who rented me his knee scooter.

I don’t have a picture of me on it yet, but this is pretty much what I look like… only without the beard.

Mac Daddy-O

Mac Daddy-O

I figure now that I’m a little more mobile, that means I can do just about anything, right?

I’m sure you can feel the direction this is headed already.

I decided to go to the grocery store to pick up a few items. On my own. Because I can totally handle shit all by myself.

MAKE WAY! Independent bitch coming through.

I pull up to the grocery store, parked in a handicap parking stall (because I totally scored a temporary handicap parking pass!), and decided crutching my way in to the store would be easier than using the knee scooter – that way I could use the motorized shopping cart.

Did I mention I am totally doing this at the busiest time of day too?

I’ve found the trick to using a motorized shopping cart is to act like you don’t feel like a complete asshole and are not embarrassed what-so-ever. I may have been kicked out of high school drama club, but this is one role I was totally born to play.

Yep. I got my milk, q-tips, three gallon jug of water, and rotisserie chicken with my head held high! And I only ran into two other shopping carts and one small child. Which? Totally not my fault! They don’t exactly make those carts to stop on a dime, you know? Brat should have watched where I was going.

So I managed to successfully get four bags of groceries and a three gallon jug of water into my car, return the motorized cart, grab my crutches and hobble my ass back to the car. I’m a little sweaty, but overall feeling good about this little shopping accomplishment. Until it dawns on me, I have no way to get the groceries from the car into my house.

So I cried. Then I cussed. Then I cussed while crying. Then I called Karina the Russian and my sister Staci to see if either of them were available, which of course they weren’t. Something about having lives and children to take care of.

I decided I needed to make a decision. I could either continue to call everyone in my phone book for help, or I could grow a pair and figure out how to take care of it on my own.

Guess which one I chose.

I got home and through a combination of one legged wheeling and carrying grocery bags with my pinkie fingers so the others fingers could grasp the crutches, I was able to get them all inside.

Even though it took forever and I dropped things, I felt a little victorious. That is, until it dawned on me that I still needed to take the garbage cans to the curb.

By the time I got all of the food put away, cans to the curb, and made myself dinner, I was spent. Finished. Stick a fork in me cause I was done.

Looking back I’m not sure if I consider the whole experience a victory or not. Sure, I proved to myself that I am still an independent person and even though it’s harder and takes forever and my foot was totally throbbing by the time I finished, I was still able to take care of myself.

But at what cost? I didn’t have to have get groceries right then. I could have waited until a day when someone was available to help. I could have saved myself a whole lot of headache, frustration and bruised bananas if I wasn’t so damn stubborn.

Independence.

Is it totally overrated?

Blogfully yours,

Summer

Anklegate, Story Time

Why I’ll never be famous, at least not for my voice

June 30th, 2010

I think my mother made a pact with Jesus to keep me humble.

It’s the best explanation I have for the reason dogs howl when I try to sing. Because if I could sing? I would totally be a full fledged diva. I’d be like, I said PEANUT BUTTER M&M’s NOT PEANUT, you MORON! How do you expect me to perform without my PEANUT BUTTER M&M’S??? For the love of god, where is my stylist? No not her, I like the other stylist better and would someone PLEASE get these red roses out of my dressing room? I specifically said NO red roses, only pink, because they make me feel pretty.

Yeah, good call on that pact, mom.

The other night ED and I were driving in the car and I started singing along to the radio.

“Honey, why do you purposely sing as flat and off key as possible?”

“What? What are you talking about? This is just how I sing.”

“No, that can’t be how you sing. You are purposely making your voice sound worse than it is.”

“NO, I’M NOT. I just have a really bad singing voice thankyouverymuch.”

Sigh.

Apparently performing in front of a million screaming fans is not in the cards for me any time soon. I mean, you know you don’t have a shot in hell when you’ve got your boyfriend, your mom AND Jesus all plotting against you.

Thanks a lot, a-holes.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

ED is not Emotionally Disturbed, Story Time

The story she’d tell her children if she wasn’t fixed already

June 29th, 2010

Remember back when people got cats because they had a problem with mice?

Yeah, my cat has never caught a mouse.

I’ve seen her stalk a few flies and the occasional Daddy Long Legs, but that’s about the extent of her hunting skills. Although I can’t say it’s entirely her fault, I did have her de-clawed when she was a kitten which hardly makes hard core gaming easy for her.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw my lazy cat, Aurora, came bolting through the crack in the screen door, running for her life from a momma bird that was chasing after her. I looked down and in Aurora’s mouth was a baby bird! She looked up at me and dropped the bird. It flew a foot and Aurora promptly knocked it down, holding it under her claw-less paws.

Of course I did what most sane pet owners do and FREAKED OUT! I ran up the stairs for back up, “Heidi! Heidi! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! There is a bird in the house! Aurora caught a baby bird! What do I do????”

We came down stairs and Aurora was still playing catch and release with the poor little sparrow. Heidi informed me that I need to catch the bird and bring it outside the house. To which I replied, “The fuck? I can’t catch a bird!”

Heidi in her wisdom, peaking from behind the door, informed me, “It’s not like the bird can hurt you, you know?”

Right. I am a giant, totally capable of catching a bird the size of tangerine.

I grabbed an empty basket and a princess DVD (totally appropriate bird catching tools) and slowly tried to coerce the bird into my trap. After a few too many attempts, squeals and minor heart palpitations, I finally had the bird secured.

“Now what do I do? I mean, I don’t know where the nest is. Will the momma bird come and get it?”

Of course Heidi had no clue but told me to put it on the grass, which I did.
Baby bird
The bird was stunned and wouldn’t move. I don’t blame it really. I would be stunned too if I had just lived through being caught and tortured by a cat, a crazy screaming giant woman, entrapment and unforeseen freedom.

I was pretty sure the bird wasn’t hurt, just not quite old enough to fly very far (it still had a few down feathers). Still, I couldn’t bring myself to go back outside and check on it.

The next morning on my way to work I passed by the spot where I had left the bird on the grass the night before. It was no where to be seen.

I like to tell myself the bird is okay.

Because sometimes living in the world where upside down goldfish are “just sleeping” and the family dog went to live on a farm far away where he can run and run, is just so much better than the truth.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

Bitch kitty, Story Time

Russians, Baseball, and Stoners

June 10th, 2010

Oh baseball, the all-American pastime. A sport filled with gorgeous men who openly play with their balls and spit on the ground without shame. Yes baseball, the best sport to devour a hot dog while attending a game.

Why? Because it’s baseball.

When I took Karina the Russian to her first baseball game, “why” questions were in abundance. And by first baseball game, I mean, like EVER.

In our typical fashion, the adventure began with the journey. We decided to take the train, A.K.A. TRAX, to avoid having to deal with parking.

BBall TraxI guess we must not have been paying close enough attention to our stop because when we heard the robotic woman’s voice say “Ballpark,” we exited the train.

THREE MILES TOO EARLY!

But of course we didn’t think to wait and get on another train, no, we decide to walk in our heels the rest of the way.

BBall Wrong wayHonestly, I have a new found respect for hookers.

When we finally showed up at the ballpark, sweaty and with bloody feet, we had no problem finding our way to my companies catered suite. After grabbing some much needed beverages we found our seats and settled in to watch the game.

“Why are there so many gray people out there and no white guys?”

“That’s because the gray team is playing defense. They white guys, our team, is up to bat.”

“Why are some of the guys so far out there? Do they not like them?”

“They play a position called outfield, if a ball gets hit far it’s their job to catch the ball.”

“Why isn’t that guy hitting the ball? SWING THE WOOD THING LAZY ASS!”

“You only swing on the good throws, the rest are called ‘balls’ and you don’t try to hit those.”

“Balls. Base-ball. Basket-ball. These men are all about their balls! And why is there a big 420 painted on the fence over there? Is this a stoner game?”

“No, that’s the length of the field. I guess every field is different or something.”

“Hmm… why is that guy dressed in black bent over like that? He looks like he needs to take a dump.”

“That’s an umpire, he helps judge the game.”

“How do you know so much about this confusing-ass game? You don’t even like sports! You are wearing heels for god’s sake!”

That one stumped me for a minute to be honest. I think baseball is forced on us from childhood. I remember in P.E. having to play baseball and being taught all the rules. I wasn’t any good and I didn’t particularly like it, but I developed a level of respect for it.  I remember my parents once taking me to a semi-professional game where I asked my dad a million of questions just like Karina asked me.

Well… maybe not just like she was asking me. I’m pretty sure I never asked my dad if baseball was a game for stoners.

After the game ended, we were able to sweet talk my co-workers brother to driving us to our cars. Thank goodness too, because by this point in the night it was all dark and not hitchhiker friendly, plus there was no way in hell either of us could have walked the come to find out, HALF block to the correct train stop.

Yes, baseball…

It can be so painful.

And confusing.

But only if you are Russian.

Or possibly a stoner.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

PS – you would have died to see the priceless look on Karina’s face when we all stood up to sing “Take me out to the ballpark.”

K to the R stories, Out and About, Story Time

A life without technology is not one I am prepared to live in

June 8th, 2010

My sister Staci needs an intervention. A texting intervention.

Over the weekend, while laying by Karina the Russian’s pool, we realized just how bad she has gotten. Her face is always in her phone. The girl can’t even pee without her damn phone. I mean, it’s boarder line scary.

I think I told her more than once I was going to throw her phone in the pool if she didn’t stop texting.

It’s ridiculous.

Anyway, we are laying by the pool and she says she has to leave to go to a wedding reception with my mother because she is the good daughter. We agree that we should all go to a movie together later and she leaves.

Karina and I find the movie time and location that will work best. We figure if we just text Staci the details there shouldn’t be a problem with her meeting us there.

However, being the beautiful blond that my sister is, she accidentally left her phone in my parents car. Which wouldn’t have been a big deal except that they had dinner reservations to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary (Happy Anniversary mom and dad!!!) leaving her phone-less and in an all out panic.

Trying to remember what people did before cell phones, Staci drives to three different gas stations before she finds a working payphone. She gets change from the clerk for a dollar and calls my phone. I didn’t answer so she calls Karina’s phone. She didn’t hear it and didn’t answer but Staci left her a message so we are now aware that she is phone-less and scared.

Side note: did you know payphones now cost .50 cents? WTF?

Honestly I am just impressed she remembered both of our numbers by heart. That’s more that I can say.

Next thing I know I’m sitting at dinner with Karina and we are feeling super bad for our poor, freaking-out, lost Staci. Then, I get a text message from my brother-in-law.

Apparently poor, freaking-out, lost Staci is also uber resourceful. She went home, got on Facebook and sent out a mad request to whoever was online and could contact us for her.

When we finally reunited with her she was still notably traumatized by the whole event.

Some sisters are comforting at times like this. I left the comforting to Karina while I snapped a few pictures.

Phoneless Staci 1Phoneless Staci 3Phoneless Staci 2

My crazy sister… she is like a modern day pioneer woman. She survived four hours without a phone!

If that aint roughing it in this day and age, I don’t know what is.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

Story Time

Interviewing Russian Children

May 13th, 2010

Now that I’ve successfully gotten an A out of my newspaper writing class, I am practically an expert reporter. However, even experts need practice or they will lose their skills. So while visiting Karina the Russian last night I decided to put my newly acquired skills to good use by interrogating her two lovely children.

Interview # 1
Pasha the Russian
Age 3

Me:  Pasha, do you have a boyfriend in your class?

PTR:  Yesss….. Bengellie!

Me:  Is he pretty?

PTR:  NO! He’s awesome.

Me:  OK, so what does Bengellie like?

PTR:  Jelly Beans.

Me:  I see, and what else does he like?

PTR:  Fishes.

Me:  Anything else?

PTR:  Chicken nuggets.

Me:  So what does he look like?

PTR:  A gingerbread man.

Me:  Hmm… so has Mr. Gingerbread Man Bengellie ever given you a… hug?

PTR:  very shy nod of the head with a huge smile

Me:  Well what does he want to be when he grows up?

PTR:  A dog.

Me:  Oh honey, that’s just a given.

Interview #2
Dimitri the Russian
Age 7

Please note: the majority of this interview was done while Dimitri was laying on his back, legs and butt in the air, attempting some sort of little boy contortionist act.

Me:  Dima, do you have a crush on anyone?

DTR:  NO!

Me:  What about in your whole school?

DTR:  NO!

Me:  What about Olivia?

DTR:   NOOOOO!

Me:  What’s wrong with Olivia?

DTR: She has freckles.

Me:  You don’t like freckles?

DTR:  N.O.

Me:  What color of hair do you like?

DTR:  I like… blond… and brown hair.

Me:  So you don’t discriminate? I suppose that’s good. What about Olivia, what does she look like?

DTR:  I don’t re-member! I only re-member when I am at school, NOT when I am home!
***

Moral of the story?

Little girls fall in love waaaay too early and often with the first dog who offers them Jelly Beans. Meanwhile, boys grow up not knowing their heads from their asses.

I kid! I kid!

Mostly.

However, the cuteness of their responses was just something I had to share.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

K to the R stories, Story Time

Astrology is for Hippies

May 3rd, 2010

Last weekend I did something I’ve never done before. I paid a woman money to toy with my emotions, take me back to painful memories and cause my boyfriend to tease me to no end.

No, I did not see a hooker.

To tell the truth, I’ve never really been into astrology or tarot cards – that’s more my hippie sister’s thing. I’m the skeptical sister. I try to be open minded. Really I do! But mostly I roll my eyes at the thought of someone telling my future based off of what some crazy cards say. I mean how absurd is that notion to begin with?

I have been curious though, especially since I’ve never actually had a real reading done. So when Sarah asked me if I wanted to go with her to get cards read I didn’t hesitate.

When we entered Victoria’s mystic layer, filled with trinkets and fairies everywhere you looked, my hopes were not high. We told her our dates and times of birth, she told us our magic number and what they meant. We took turns shuffling cards while saying our names and thinking of a wish. I wished for lunch to be provided with the reading, but apparently that was not in my cards.

I made Sarah go first for our “long readings,” because 1. this whole thing was her idea and 2. I was a little chicken. Her future, according to the cards, involves money, pining over lost love, a move and travel. Not too shabby, but maybe not exactly what she was hoping for.

When it was my turn Victoria reprimanded me several times for crossing my arms. Something about it blocking my energy. But I guess my block wasn’t too strong because my cards were fairly good. Love, move, exciting changes, fighting with family, contention with lover, make up with lover and so on.

All true things, except, couldn’t all these things be the same for someone else? I mean, cards were flipped, Victoria would tell us their meaning and we would find a way to interpret them to mean something to us, to make them fit. Some things were shockingly accurate and the fit was not forced. Other things were like putting on a pair of shoes a size too small. You like the way they look, but it takes some determination to pull them off.

When we left, I think we both felt emotionally drained because the first thing out of both of our mouths was “I need a drink.”

Nothing like a tarot card reading to bring out the alcoholic in you.

I joke a lot about the reading, partially because I want to believe that my fate is not already determined, partially because some of the things she told me were super personal and actually made me cry, and partially because ED is like I need to know if you really believe in this stuff because if you are going to go all magic crystals checking your cards before leaving the house and giving up deodorant on me then we need to talk!

Mostly though, I joke because it took me two days of obsessing over every thing Victoria told me before I came to the conclusion that tarot card readings are fun but they are not magic and they still are not my thing.

Guess one hippie is enough for every family.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

Out and About, Story Time

Sleep punching is just one of the many perks of dating me

April 21st, 2010

The other night, I was cuddled up in bed next to my sweetheart, softly dreaming away. Only my dreams are never actually soft, mostly they are twisted and on the rare occasion they are downright physical.

I can’t say for certain, because dreams are always a little hazy, but what I remember of this night’s dream was that ED was training me and Sarah at the gym and every time she would turn her head he would try to grab my ass or grope me in some kind of flirty way. I kept telling him to knock that shit off because I didn’t want to get caught or embarass my friend. Finally, after telling him several times to quit it, I got so frustrated that I punched him.

Only I punched him in real life.

Of course it woke him up. Confused he asked, “Babe… did you just punch me in the back?”

Half awake I mumbled, “Sorry… In my dream you deserved it.”

A little while later on this same night, ED started talking in his sleep! Not just inaudible sentences either. He started speaking as if he was perfectly wide awake. It woke me and I half sat up and said, “sweetie, what are you talking about?”

He told me he was showing someone the gym, rolled over and went back to sleep.

That morning, ED had to get up early to train a client. He is a well trained good man and does his best not to disturb me so I can sleep in. As he bent down to kiss me goodbye, I woke up enough to tell him again that I really was sorry for punching him in the back.

He just laughed.

Apparently he is getting used to my brand of crazy. Which is a good thing, because it’s starting to wear off on him too.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

Dating debating, ED is not Emotionally Disturbed, Story Time