Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dinner Discord

After reading b.'s post Hey!! What's Fer Dinner?? I was reminded of how well my goal to have family dinner is not going.

Since school started on August 20th it has been my aim to sit as a family for dinner on all school nights. This is a huge step for us.

Sadly, in the past I have been less than consistent with serving a family meal even once a week. I have struggled to prepare something that I, as a vegetarian, will like, and that my meat-loving family will also devour, without cooking two separate entrees. However, with those excuses behind me, I embarked on a new resolution.

The third night of this new tradition, DH, upon hearing me call everyone in for dinner, told D1, "We need to go in to support your mother's efforts." DH denies any tone of ridicule in the word "efforts", despite D1's claim otherwise.

However, apparently DH is becoming accustomed to my "efforts" and has increased his expectations.

On Tuesday night of this week, DH did not arrive home until well after 6 PM so we had dinner without him. Later that evening I mentioned to DH that if he was hungry, there was vegetable lasagna that I had made in the refrigerator. A couple hours later he opened the refrigerator door, spotted the lasagna packaging and promptly called me at the mall on my cell phone.

DH: You made vegetable lasagna?

Me (initially oblivious to his sarcastic tone): For dinner tonight. Yes. It's in the refrig---

DH: This lasagna is from Costco. If you microwave a frozen dinner, that is not making dinner.

Me (full of indignation): I did not microwave the lasagna. I cooked it. For an hour. In the oven.

DH (mocking in a loving way - if that is possible): I can't believe you think that is making dinner.

(Remember this is a man that ten days ago was getting virtually nothing for dinner, except perhaps a bowl of cold cereal he poured himself.)

Me (exasperated and wanting to get back to shopping): Next time I'll be more precise. I'll say, "I prepared vegetable lasagna."

DH (in a non believing tone): Uh, huh.

Me: Warm some up and try it - it's really good.

DH having confirmed the complete lack of meat in the dish, ended up having steak for dinner instead. Steaks were charitably delivered by a dear neighbor concerned about DH's minimal iron and red meat consumption.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gamble With a 'G' As in Las Vegas and Poker

Compulsive had me in jaw dropping awe as she described a less-than-typical phone conversation with a customer at her place of employment. I was quickly reminded of my own rather awkward phone conversation when I was employed at a large corporation.

Me (completing my request for an order from an outside vendor with whom I had not previously done business): Thank you, I'll be looking for the package to arrive tomorrow.

Older Lady Sales Rep for Vendor in Illinois: Yes, it will be there. Now what did you say your name was again?

Me: My name? My name is Debbie Gamble, but I need the packaged delivered to the attention of the VP of Operations.....

Vendor (interrupting): Gamble you say? With a 'G'?

Me: Yes, that's right.

Vendor: And you say you are in Orem, Utah.

Me: Yes, in Orem.

Vendor: You didn't go to BYU by chance did you?

Me: Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. Are you a Cougar fan?

Vendor (ignoring my question entirely): So you are a Mormon?

Me (worried now that perhaps she does not do business with Mormons): Yes, I am a Mormon.

Vendor: Gamble. Hmmph. Well that is just a terrible name for a nice Mormon girl like you to have.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Perfect Plate Picture

David is not the only one out there photographing license plates. This picture was taken on a trip to Bear Lake with friends this past month. Their daughter's nickname is Breezy, so when we spotted this plate in the parking lot of tourist hot spot Merlin's Drive In, with the car owner patiently waiting, I had to get a picture of Breezy and the BREE Z Idaho plate.

Please don't knock the composition too much. I took this with a baby in one hand while a drunk boater honked the horn on his ginormous diesel truck and cursed at me. Evidently, me taking up an extra four feet of the 38 feet available in the parking lot driveway was too much of an imposition. He is clearly not a scrapbooker. Either that or the sentimental importance of taking this once-in-a-lifetime picture before the last fleeting daylight was gone was beyond his scope of comprehension.

No worries, though! We got the picture.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What's In Your Pocket?

In a lovely show of affection, I drove north on I-15 this morning amid Monday morning rush hour traffic to deliver my mother curbside at the Salt Lake International Airport. Armed with my AM talk radio helicopter-in-the-sky every-ten-minute traffic report I believed we would make it to our destination without incident. Which we did. But that is in no way a credit to the gridlock guru.

Repeatedly throughout the two hours I was on the road, I was told by the way-too-cheerful-for-a-Monday-morning chopper voice that traffic on 1-15 was flowing with "pockets of slowing from Orem to Ogden." If you are not familiar with Utah geography, that is about a 75 mile range of freeway that covers three different counties. My guess is that traffic description could be used to describe a 75 mile stretch of virtually any metropolitan freeway system on a sunny Monday morning.

I am so indignant about the vague traffic summary that I am seriously wondering if the "eye in the sky" is not actually some peach on a beach. In fact, I'm certain she is there. She's got the wide rimmed sunglasses and a big floppy hat. Most assuredly she is mid way though Eclipse (Twilight Book 3) as she pauses to cue the helicopter blade swooping sounds and present via cell phone her regular report i.e. "pockets of slowing from Orem to Ogden" repeatedly throughout the morning.

And somehow, even though she is certainly hundreds of miles away on a Caribbean holiday, she knew when I had turned around this morning, because as I was driving home, now heading south on I-15, her traffic report changed only slightly as she announced "pockets of slowing as you make your way from Ogden to Orem."

While there may indeed be pockets of slowing on the freeway this morning, I am predicting my traffic tell-all lady has only got pockets of sunscreen with a hint of sand.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Love Is...Bearing All Things

If there is one thing I can't bear, it is typos. As a writer I try to produced well-edited manuscripts. However,
David, Suldog, and Janna have kindly notified me of some of my glaring mistakes in the past. Which I appreciate immensely.

However, occasionally a misspelling can make your point even better than you thought you were making it originally. Don't believe me? Here is one example:

Once upon a time I taught a Sunday School Class on marriage and family relationships. I was given this assignment because my marriage and family are perfect and ideal in every way. Either that or my Bishop (clergyman) knew I needed extra study regarding this subject matter on a weekly basis. The reason I was teaching the class does not matter.

What does matter is that in this role I found myself writing on a chalkboard frequently. If you are a so-so speller on paper or a computer screen, so-so turns to terrible on a chalkboard. The moment I picked up the soft white stick, all spelling sense was immediately soaked into the dry writing utensil.

One week I had listed several Biblical commandments on the board and we discussed how these could relate to marriage. One such charge found in I Corinthians 13:7 is to, "Bear all things."

However I wrote it on the blackboard with the brain cell sucking chalk as "Bare all things." Either out of kindness or spite, no one in the room said a thing. Until the end of class when I assigned a specific precept to each couple to work on for the week.

When I got to the Golly's I asked him if he and his wife would accept the challenge to "Bear all things," as I pointed on the blackboard to "Bare all things."

Naturally he had a big grin on his face and promised they, "definitely would" try to do so. When the snickers turned to outright laughter, I eventually realized my error.

But in hindsight, if bearing all things in your marriage is becoming a taxing chore, try baring all things. I'm not marriage counselor, but once upon a time I was a Sunday School teacher, and I'm certain both biddings possess positive benefits for a marriage.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Seventies Were Hot

I don't mean to dwell on the unfortunate, but if I don't stop complaining about the lack of A/C in my Yukon, I might be forced to recall my real problems.

Pope Terry pointed out the irony in that what is supposed to be the coldest place on earth, The Yukon, is actually the hottest, my Yukon. That made me laugh. For about a millisecond.

My neighbor, RKCD, unlike OzLady's neighbor, rarely assists with any of my plant care or gardening chores. And he is really pathetic when it comes to car repair. However, he tries to be helpful, which is probably why he suggested the following, "If you are going to drive around all day without air conditioning, like in the seventies, perhaps some seventies tunes will help you along."

It is rather basic logic, not rocket science, but as I considered it further, I realized, "This is profound advice!"

So I immediately snagged DH's custom burned CD, hand titled with a black Sharpie: "70's Funk." I suppose I have yet to mention that DH is The Master of Music Mixes. You wish you had this CD, I know. Or at least if you had ever heard it, you'd wish you had it.

It is hard to be cranky when you are grooving to Boogie Shoes and Brick House. Sorry, Chewy and Dance With the Sun, no Sugar, Sugar by The Archies. But only because it is DH's mix, not mine.

So in response to my adorable neighbor's terrific advice, I'm playing it at full volume. Mainly because with all the wind rushing around the car cabin that is the only level at which the music can be heard.

Air conditioning will come and go. But KC and The Sunshine Band, The Commodores, and even The Archies will live on forever.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Til Death We Still Cannot Part

The air conditioner in my beloved Yukon has expired. Completely. As in barely blowing hot air.

DH, the eternal optimist, said, "Well good thing it is the end of summer." I am not certain what the temperature is where he is standing, but I'm right next to him and today will be a high well into the nineties. In a black leather-seated Yukon that equals sticky, sweaty and gross.

The funeral for my beloved coolant system will be, well, I'm not sure. While I recognize the importance of laying to rest the deceased in a timely manner, there has been a complication.

Namely, a $1900 repair bill.

Yes, to properly replace my broken compressor, condenser, and other parts I do not recall the names for at this time, in addition to flushing the lines, which I assume is akin to the embalming process for mortals, it'll cost me nineteen Benjamins.

Since my checking account is about 18 and half Benjamins short, it'll have to wait.

I will continue to drive the Yukon with the deceased cooler under the hood. While the prolonged burial may cause friction in my marriage, let's hope the rotting parts in my car do not cause too much friction with local authorities.

I plan to send a death notice to the paper and when the memorial service is finally planned, you will all be invited. In lieu of flowers, please send condolences in the form of Benjamins.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Typecasting the Golf Widow

Once upon a time I wrote a regular column for a golf publication. It was called The Golf Widow. The following is one of my articles:

Golf Widows…they are all the same. Though you may think so, it is most assuredly a false notion. Golf widows are a complex and ever-changing breed. Below, a few of the most widespread golf widow types are defined. See if you can pick yourself or someone you love from the list.

Don’t Leave Me's – This golf widow is the newbie. She is dating or engaged to a hunk of a guy and she is so darn attached that she can’t stand the idea of them being apart. She brings her sun chair with attached umbrella, her latest People magazine and sunscreen to the driving range. There she sets up camp where she will sit and watch him hit balls for untold hours. She is not embarrassed by her devotion and even claims to enjoy the time spent just inches above the dirt in the hot sun with sweaty golfers all around. It is pathetic, understandably. But she is out there, and deserves our pity.

You’re Going Where’s? – She’s young with a houseful of kids, and is completely overwhelmed. Somehow during the day she manages a home with four kids going seven directions. She drives them to their activities and helps them with their homework and science fair projects. She even sands and paints Cub Scout pinewood cars. But, she can only take so much! She can’t wait for her husband to come home in the evening and lend a hand. However, at 5:30 PM, he calls to say he won’t be home for two more hours; he’s going to golf the back nine before it gets dark. Too much backlash directed at the golfer and he’ll get wiser. Without knowing it, she’ll soon become one of the “No Ideas.”

No Idea’s – The problem with this golf widow is she really has no clue she even is one. Whether it be financial concerns, time constraints, or plain guilt, the husband of this golf widow does not want her to know how much time he actually spends on that “Green Hill Far Away.” She is ignorant about the fresh dirt on her husband’s golf cleats as they are securely stored in the trunk of his car. She does not become wiser, until one day when she notices a nasty sunburn across his neck. She wonders out loud how he obtained such a scorcher at the office all day. Without a pause, he mutters to himself, “Dang, I’ve got to remember my sunscreen.” Finally, catching on, she understands it is not the risk of skin cancer as much as being caught golfing that upsets him the most.

If a Golfing You Will Go…Then A Shopping I Will Go’s – This is the golf widow that is most at peace with her situation. She enjoys the perfect freedom of no young children and a newly raised limit on her Nordstrom credit card. The only problem here is, unless there is an endless trust fund and the children are grown, such a combination of childless shopping with a perpetual zero-balance Nordstrom card, can only be temporary for this type of golf widow.

I’m Comin’ Too’s – This is the golf widow that has mastered the phrase, “If you can’t beat ‘em: join ‘em.” This lady is as addicted to golf as her husband. She has spent hours on the course perfecting her game. She plays in country club tournaments, is wanted in everyone’s foursome, and owns an awesome set of clubs. Even her golf wardrobe outshines them all. And if he is golfing, well then, so is she. Several days a week she may even beat him to the course. Best-of-all…her handicap is lower than his!

Get Outta Here’s – This dear, woman is often a retired empty nester. She is more than pleased to see her husband leave for a few hours, and can often be found pushing him out the door into his golf cart in the garage. She desperately needs a break from his aimless wandering around the house and not-so-helpful hints with her cooking. Besides, if he tries to fiddle with that garbage disposal one more time, it will break for sure.

Golf widows are a complicated species and tend to evolve from one version to another as their lives transform. One thing is for certain, they all share the common trait of a special guy that is missing in action for several hours every week. Luckily he is not drinking, smoking, gambling, or, heaven forbid, carousing with other women.

His harmless mistress is the rolling green, the little white ball, and a shiny set of clubs. And for this reason, we let him get away with it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dead Headed

A Mother's Day gift is a precious and priceless show of love, adoration and affection.

Whether or not a mother is able to keep such treasure alive is no indication of her true feelings for D2 her child.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Recently, I had the opportunity to interview ozlady. The discussion was enlightening as she confessed to performing mime in Paris, and explains why you should never take a pack of Bubblicious with you to Singapore.

This whole interview thing started with the beautiful and talented Carol, so it is probably only right that we've come full circle. Carol and I started this particular interview, oh, about two months ago. Due to circumstances beyond our control, it is only now ready for publication.

Hello Deborah, it's lovely to see you here in the tortu, er interview seat. What? Oh, don't worry about that, it's only a little lie-detector box, it'll just take a minute to hook you up. There now, see? Okay, I believe we're ready to roll. So, lets open with a gentle one to begin.

We are all aware of what a talented writer you are, and you never seem to lose inspiration when it comes to posting fresh, funny and interesting anecdotes. What first tuned you in to blogging, have you always written, and with such a busy home life, where do you find the time and energy for it? Is your family supportive, do they ever read your posts, and have you any future ambitions to publish outside of the blogasphere?

Your compliments are too kind. I had considered blogging for couple years, and one day, without even giving it much thought, I opened a blogspot account, put up my first post, and voila! A blog was born.

Writing is something that has been mine to do by default. When I was working, I was always the one assigned to write the letters, the scopes of work, and other business documents. I have been the resume doctor for friends, family, neighbors and vague acquaintances for years. I'm not sure what they like more, my work or my fees (or lack thereof). I created and wrote a magazine
Golf Widow column for a time as well.

I derive my energy from eating a healthy meat-free diet. Alright, just kidding. In truth I have no energy and often blog while nearly falling asleep.

My family is supportive of my blogging as long as it does not interfere with making meals, driving them places, washing their clothing, cleaning the house, or visiting with them (him) when they (he) come(s) home from work.

My family used to read my blog.

- S1 quit reading after the cell phone post which he still maintains is entirely fiction.

- My brother refuses to read my blog again until I post a "full retraction and apology" for the Spanish Fork post.

- My mom is too busy going to the gym for water aerobics to read my blog anymore.

- My dad only reads my blog if I sit at his computer and read it to him.

- DH's birth mother reads my blog. But as for DH himself, he reads only when he becomes an outsider to conversations at dinner with our friends, because every comment is an inside joke, funny only to my blog readers.

Happily all my sisters, their neighbors, friends, boyfriends and Sunday School classes are die hard readers of my blog. Sisters are the best!

My future ambitions outside blogasphere are to become a famous syndicated columnist, of course! Or one of the judges on American Idol. I'd happily take either job offer.

Moving on to my second question, I note you are a vegetarian, have you always been one, if not, what moved you to become one? Is your family also vegetarian? Do you also eat fish and dairy (my siblings are vegan, I know how much dedication that takes).

Actually, by my calculation, this is your seventh question, ah, but who's counting? I have not always been a vegetarian. I became a vegetarian about eight years ago. I never really liked meat, and after doing some research I became convinced of the health benefits so I abandoned meat and poultry all at once. My family is a chicken nugget and steak chomping crew. But I have high hopes for D3 to be a vegetarian with me. I do occasionally eat fish. Eight years ago I was a strict vegan for about a year, but I found that lifestyle to very difficult to maintain. So I slowly added some animal products back into my diet.

Stepping aside from the home front for a minute, can you expand on both your political and spiritual beliefs, have they always been the same, if not, what happened to make you change them?

Politically, I am a conservative, registered Republican, but I don't always vote straight for one party. I am more anti-gun (or at least favor stricter gun control) and pro-environment than the typical Republican is thought to be.

Spiritually, I believe in God and Jesus Christ. And I am trying to live my life such that I may worthy of living in their presence some day. These beliefs have not changed much throughout my life.

If you had unlimited wealth, and assuming you have already generously given to every good cause and charity you support, what would you choose to do with the rest of your life?

If I possessed unlimited wealth, I would probably divide my time between working in orphanages in Romania and shopping. This plan epitomizes the dichotomy in my life. Much like the conservative, non gun-owning, vegetarian Republican that I am. But I am a Gemini so maybe such opposites are my fate.

Finally, if you could go back in time and change one decision you made in your life, what would it be, and why?

If I had it to do over, I would have changed my college major. Well actually, I did change my college major, a few times. But I think I would have been better off majoring in something other than International Relations. Something like English, Computer Science, or even Organizational Behavior would have been far more applicable and useful later in my life.

Carol, thank you for taking time out of your busy blog and novel writing life to produce this interview. You are the best!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Holy Guacamole!

10:15 A.M. - I begin loading the dishwasher as D3, who is freshly changed and dressed for the day, is in her high chair finishing breakfast.

10:21 A.M. - "Mom," D2 interjects, "Where did D3 get guacomole?"

I glance over at D3 who has wiggled out of her belt fastener and is standing in her high chair with a greenish, creamy, slighly clumpy, glob on her hand.

Let me just say that while the resemblance was uncanny, it was not guacamole. And I have no plans for eating Mexican for lunch.

10:22 A.M. - I begin a major diaper overhaul on D3.

10:45 A.M. - The "guacamole" outfit is rinsed and placed in the washing machine.

11:05 A.M. - The "guacamole" baby is given a bath and redressed for the day.

11:45 A.M. - We were right back where we started.

Only now it was time to consider what was for lunch. And the dishwasher was still not loaded. And this is why I get nothing noticeably accomplished in a day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kate Comes to Us From The Date

Kate AKA Jessica Biel

Many of you have been asking for an update on my sister Kim and The Date. I am sorry to report that as far as these things go, this one appears to be moving about as fast as a hundred year old tortoise. Hence, there is not much of anything to say.

Of course, it is important to recognize that Grettir and Kim had only one brief blind date just hours before she flew 1893 miles away, so what can we expect? She barely had time to recover from the shock that Grettir was an intelligent, personable, hunky human. And then she vanished. Like the money in my checking account.

But thankfully, the entire experience was not in vain. As a result of this little afternoon tryst, I have a new BFF: Kate. Kate may not be aware that she and I are BFFs, but after reading this, she'll be officially clued in. I "met" Kate as she is the loquacious friend of Grettir. And if you read the Comments of this blog, then you to know a little bit about Kate. Probably more than you want to know. And that is what makes Kate so endearing.

As far as I can tell she and I are two peas in a pod. She loves pink and purple and fuchsia. I am a red, black, white, dark brown and sometimes grey or green fan. So see, we both have favorite colors. She has a family of kitten children and I have a brood of human children. And the similarities do not stop there! Of course, I am not aware of any more similarities at this time, but I'm sure as we become even better BFFs we'll figure them out.

So while Grettir is rethinking Chili's versus a pancake establishment for his one and only date with Kim, I can rest in peace knowing at least someone got something out of the whole experience.

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Cold Shoulder Welcome

I am pleased to introduce you to Trevor, my six-year old nephew from Phoenix, Arizona. This was our exchange yesterday as he climbed into my car at the Salt Lake International Airport.

Trevor: Boy is it good to be here!

Me: Really? Why's that?

Trevor: Because at my house it is cookin'.

I glanced at the car thermometer to confirm that it was a brisk 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Does Google Ad Sense See In My Legs?

Should I be offended or frightened that on the day I post some pictures of myself this is the Google Ad Sense ad?

Utah Vein Doctor
Utah Vein Center Can Eliminate Varicose Veins Quickly and Safely

What makes Google Ad Sense think such an ad is "relevant to (my) audience" or my "site content"?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Travel to NYC in A.R.?

August, 1 B.R. - Taking the Jet Blue red eye to NYC.
I woke DH up so I could take this picture of us. Isn't he a sport?

May, 3 B.R. - DH and me in Central Park.

May, 3 B.R. - The Lady and me.

August, 2 B.R. - DH can't take his eyes off of me long enough for a picture of us at our favorite Italian restaurant in New York City.

I have told our friends that as DH and I look back on our life together it is timed much like the world is timed. The world's time is based on the pivotal event of Jesus Christ. Hence, B.C. = Before Christ and A.D. = Anno Domini, or since Christ was born.

In the world of Debbie and DH the pivotal time in our lives was not the birth of a child or graduation from college. Our pivotal time is entering the restaurant business. Hence our time is denoted as B.R. and A.R. Which is to say B.R. = Before Restaurants and A.R. = After Restaurants.

For example, we were married 15 B.R., or 15 years before entering the restaurant business. We traveled to NYC for the first time together in 4 B.R. We returned in 3 B.R., twice in 2 B.R. and finally again in 1 B.R. It is now 2 A.R. and we haven't been back to The Greatest City in the World. For those of you not historians or math majors that equals three years.

For the most part, I try not to think about my sad travel budget that currently prohibits such excursions. But just when I'm over it, someone has to brag about their upcoming trip to The Greatest City in the World.

Then I am once again reminded that I will not cross the Brooklyn Bridge to enjoy a romantic dinner with DH where I would dine on Tuna with Tomatoes, Scallions and Capers here. Nor will I indulge in a Chocolate Croissant here. I won't be able to try to make up for the fattening breakfast by eating my favorite salad here. While the tourists fight the crowd at Carmine's, I won't spend an evening happily dining at the best Italian restaurant in Manhattan instead.

And it is just not all about the food.

DH won't be able to make me go here. Again. And we won't literally, and I truly mean literally, as in all text messaging overused lingo aside, be rolling on the floor laughing at Lucille Ball. Where she would be boxing in her kitchen during a hilarious old television show that we will not be personally choosing for our viewing...pleasure is so this little known secret place.

There will be no window shopping for me here or for DH at any jeweler savvy enough to carry these. I'll miss a ride on this, which we always take. Not because we necessarily want to see her again, although its nice. Nor is it because we really want to go here. Mostly we do it because it is free.

Since I won't be buying an airline ticket, I guess I'll go do some more laundry and try to sound sincere when I wish her a safe trip as she travels to The Greatest City in the World in August, 2 A.R.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

My Wife Kind of Panicked?

Jason Platt of Lehi, Utah went hiking last Thursday. When it was 10 PM and he was not home yet, his concerned wife called search and rescue. Despite helicopters flying overhead and searchers screaming his name, he was not found. Until he walked out of the canyon himself the next morning.

"I got caught in a storm and took a sleeping pill, spent the night up there and then came back this morning." Platt explained. The sleeping pill, he happened to have in his day pack, made the whole helicopter-overhead-and-screaming-his-name search an obviously fruitless activity.

"My wife kind of panicked," he added, "And called search and rescue."

It was 10 PM. Her husband was untold hours late from an afternoon hike. He was not answering his cell phone. It was pitch dark and had been very stormy. What sort of loving, caring wife calls search and rescue for that? She is clearly a real jump-the-gun kind of worry wart.

Like when a pipe in the basement bursts and the water is knee-high. I bet his wife kind of panics and calls a plumber.

Or when the dog is hit by a car and is limping and bleeding all over. Most certainly she kind of panics and calls the veterinarian.

When she has a searing tooth ache for a week, do you think she kind of panics and calls the dentist? I bet she does.

Of course, she could have presumed him face down and dead on some mountain side, planned his funeral, and went out and bought a new car with his life insurance pay out.

Friday, August 3, 2007

I Am an Overeager Wishful Thinking Goofball

Setting: Friday, August 3, 2007 12:15 PM in my laundry room in Orem, UT. I am still unshowered for the day. With a baby in one arm, I am trying to fold the tenth load of laundry for the week when my cell phone rings sharply.

Me (answering the ringing phone): Hello.

Kim: Hi, its me.

Me (smiling thoughtfully): Hey, How are you?

Kim (hurriedly with words running together): Great can you do me a favor? The Internet is down at my work which is a real pain, because I have personal things that need to be done.

Me (walking down the hall to my desk): Okay...

Kim: I need you to buy a plane ticket for me.

Me (thinking there is nothing more in this world that I want than for Kim to move her three children and all her personal belongings to the land of Utah and marry a nice man): Ooooh? Where are you going?

Kim (sarcastically): I'm coming to Utah to see that guy.

Me (giddy with delight and confusion): No way! Really? Are you kidding me? You are kidding me. Oh my gosh are you serious? You aren't serious.

Kim (interrupting with a shot of realism): Of course I'm not serious. I need to buy a plane ticket for _____ -.

In this blank one should place the first real name of Grettir, which I am unable to do because that name is a secret. So lets pretend it is Don.

So now that you are up to speed let's rewind....

Kim (interrupting with a shot of realism): Of course I'm not serious. I need to buy a plane ticket for Don---

S2 (simultaneously speaking in my other ear - the one not super glued to the cell phone): Mom, what's for lunch?

Me (ignoring my hungry child altogether and interrupting a little too soon): Don!? What the heck? Are you kidding me? What is going on? On my gosh! You're not serious.

Kim (slowly and clearly): Debbie. I don't need a ticket for Don. I need one for Don-na. Donna my niece. She's coming to watch my kids next week.

Me (weakly): Oh... (moment of awkward silence) You know S2 was talking and so you cut out. So all I heard was...

Kim (not really caring to hear the story): Uh huh.

Me: That is kinda funny - their names and all, huh?

Kim (annoyed): Sure.

(More silence.)

Me (getting down to business, placing the baby on the floor and double clicking Internet Explorer icon on the computer): Will Donna - emphasis on the feminine. The uh. Will she be flying Delta, or some other airline?