Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Double the Garmin

In my very first blog post, I mentioned that Sammie is retrieval impaired. He has the very endearing quality of NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND ANYTHING!!!!!!! And that is why Sammie and I have two GPS systems right now. They're almost exactly identical--both Garmins--except one is one month old and the other is one year old. We bought one last year before driving across the country for Christmas. It has become our favorite toy for road trips. It finds us the nearest Maggianos or Chipotle, tells us how far we have to go that day, and takes us to whatever address we plug in. With it, we found the Andersons in Raleigh-Durham, the Dal-Marks in Dallas, the Hou-Marks in Lake Jackson, the McLaughlins in Houston, the Linscotts in St. Louis, and the Powells in Austin.

Alas, last month Sammie took the Garmin with him to Arkansas and, upon his return, couldn't find it. We finally decided it was gone, that we needed to be more careful with it, and that Sammie shouldn't feel too bad about losing it. It could happen to anyone. We also determined that, despite our limited student budget, we should definitely buy a new one before our road trips over Thanksgiving and Christmas. We're happy with our new Garmin and have almost settled on a name for it.

Today, however, I got a phone call from Sammie. He's at school working in his office. He's mostly trying to wrap up the semester, but took a break from academics to call the State College tax office (again) and try to figure out our city taxes (again). He reached in his backpack to pull out his calculator and found... the Garmin!

He called me to tell me the funny news and put me on speaker phone so his office mate could hear me laughing hysterically. I haven't laughed that hard at him since he went to the eye doctor and came home with "nerd robot" sunglasses. He asked me how long until I let him live this down. I responded that we'd be married for eternity... He asked if I was going to make this story a part of the epitaph on his headstone when he dies. I told him that I hope there are very clear road signs to heaven, otherwise he'll never find it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Marketing Survey

OK, thank you very much (all 22 of you) who completed (on very short notice) the last survey I posted here. I have another one and I would very much appreciate it if you all could complete this survey as well. I'll need to type the results on Monday (12/1) -- so please do this one before then if you want your response to count :) It shouldn't take very long, but you'll need to understand the product before completing the survey. And I should forewarn you that some of the questions are a bit long -- please read them carefully and let me know if one of them seems totally whacked to you.

Here is a written description of the product followed by a picture:

Our product, the Recipe Manager, is a device which will allow a cook to work on multiple recipes at the same time as a collective meal as opposed to working on multiple recipes independently of each other. This product fills a key need identified by our market research – time management. The product will be a system into which multiple recipes will be inserted alongside each other and a light will move down the recipes to highlight the step which the cook should work on. A pause button can be used if the cook is slowed down. Each row of the recipe will represent one minute of time. Recipes can either be downloaded from the internet or made with a simple software package. The picture below shows what the top view of the product will look like – arrows explain what each part is/does.

In this survey, you will be asked several questions about the Recipe Manager. Some of the questions refer to the product itself; others refer to situations which this product will make easier.

Click Here to take the survey

Click on the picture to make it bigger.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Once a Utah Mormon...

I feel really in touch with my Utah roots tonight. Utah Mormon roots, that is. Recently, I bought a wheat grinder attachment for my Bosch Bread Mixer. I have been looking around for some wheat to buy for my food storage and finally found a feed and grain place that sold me 50 pounds for $13.00. So, tonight I ground my food storage wheat into flour and then made whole wheat bread from my Lion House Cookbook. And in the background, Sammie was watching the BYU vs. Utah game.
So when do we change that cliche from "Molly Mormon" to "Melissa Mormon"?
But my Pennsylvania roots are well intact, also. Samme and I are going to eat the whole wheat bread with locally produced honey. (The guys sells it in front of his house. He just puts different containers of honey on a table in front of his house with a jar for money and trusts his customers' honesty.) And we spent the afternoon in Beaver Stadium watching Penn State become the Big 10 Champs! And, in true Penn State Fan style, we watched the game in 30 degree (and dropping), snowy weather.
As I felt the feeling slowly creep back into my toes during the bus ride home, I realized I'm more ready to move to Texas than I thought...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Now joining the "Dal-Marks" and the "Hou-Marks" - the "Aus-Marks"

Well, it's officially official. I received a great offer from Dell that I couldn’t refuse – so we’re moving to Austin this summer. I’ll be working in Client Field Services – the same team where I interned from May-July. No other news than that. Melba and I are both really excited to be headed back to Austin. Melba insists that I’ll have to start putting all of my musical gear back to good use and get in a band. She is already looking into schools in the area and getting ready to teach. We’ve looked online at houses and Melba has made it a point to get a house with a nice guest room (hint, hint). We’ll post updates on our blog as things develop.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Phoebe's New Haircut

Melba came home tonight after babysitting for the Smiths. Toni brought home a gift for Phoebe -- a Dog Mullet. I swear to you that Toni is the only human on the planet who brings home gifts like this for the baby sitter.

Oh, and did you all know that Melba got glasses last week?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Marketing Survey

OK, something about hearing lectures for two weeks about coming up with ideas for new products and how to find out if there is a patent on them made me think that the first deliverable for my marketing class (due tomorrow) would probably be related to coming up with an idea for a new product and find out out if there is a patent on it. But no. I actually have to conduct some market research on a focus group. I mean, it says that clearly in the syllabus -- don't know why I didn't look at that until now. Anyways, enough about me being stupid -- I don't want such things on this blog to begin with. Wait -- I digress here. Seriously, though -- for those of you who are reading this (evening of 11/3), please click the following link and fill out the survey. I need the responses by tomorrow afternoon (around 2pm ET) so i can do the write-up and get it to the professor by the due date. It should take about 5 minutes or less. Thanks-


http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=U2AS6Q539RHJ

Friday, October 31, 2008

Funkweiler vs. the Trick-or-Treaters

Sammie and I were excited for Hallowe'en this year. Last year was our first time passing out candy to trick or treaters and we thought it was a lot of fun to see the costumes and meet the neighbors. This year, I was soaking in the bathtub as the trick-or-treaters started to ring our doorbell. When I came out of the bathroom, Sammie's Funkweiler gear was suspiciously on the bed with a few key pieces missing. I went downstairs and, sure enough, there was Funkweiler--black afro wig and 70s polyester shirt--passing out candy to trick or treaters. It was fun to open the door and see the look on the kids' faces when they saw Funkweiler. But soon that wasn't enough. He started swinging open the door and yelling "boo!" That got some good scares. But it still wasn't enough. Sammie's creative (perverse?) mind never rests. He'd had enough of treats and decided to try some tricks. The next doorbell ringer was 20-month-old Isabel from our ward, with her parents, our good friends, Adam and Lauren. Funkweiler swung the door open and waited for Isabel to say "Trick or Treat!" When she finally did, after a few false starts and much prompting from her parents, Funkweiler pulled the water bottle from behind his back and sprayed it in Adam's face, yelling "Trick!" All three trick-or-treaters collapsed, two in laughter, one in tears.
Adam didn't cry for long, though.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Crazy Wife

After laughing hysterically at this video, my wife went out with the Relief Society President and then sent her this email:

BYU went up in the rankings from 18 to 14. Sammie's ecstatic!

I told him about the Smiths moving and he was most unhappy. He was wondering if we were going to call him as the new RS Secretary. I told him probably not.

Thanks again for the meeting tonight. I'll e-mail you tomorrow.

Love you,

Melba

Friday, August 29, 2008

Birthday, Boyers in the 'Banx, and Ben Hur

After ending our Texas summer with a bang, we're back in State College trying to stay in the same city for more than a week at a time. Sammie's last day of work at Dell was on August 1, which is also his birthday. Now, I DIDN'T forget Sammie's birthday. I had asked him weeks before what he wanted and bought him plane tickets to Utah in September to watch BYU/UCLA with his Dad. But, I woke up that morning with a lot on my mind! We had to get Phoebe to the vet, pack up the apartment, clean the apartment, load the car, and drive to Dallas that evening. Sammie's subtle reminders of his special day (jumping on the bed, the wide goofy grin on his face) failed to jog my memory. It wasn't until I was signing Phoebe into the vet and the desk attendant said, "It's August 1st" that it hit me. The whole waiting room heard me gasp and watched me look at Sammie in horror. He thought it was hysterically funny... and will never let me forget it.

The second week of August found us in one big beach house on the Outer Banks with the entire Boyer family - 2 parents, 8 "original" kids, 6 spouses, 5 granddaughters, and 3 grandsons. It was a blast! Having the entire family together is magical. There's nothing like it and more than once during the week, I decided that it was like Heaven. Here's a picture of us in our "Boyers at the Banx" t-shirts.

(Funny story. As we were taking the picture, a car drove by and stopped to stare at us. We realized that the camera was behind a large plant where they couldn't see it, so it looked like we all put on matching t-shirts, lined ourselves up on the front porch, and stood there smiling.)

Sammie's back at school, feeling "big and bad" cuz he's not only a 2nd year, but had a coveted Dell internship and has an even more coveted job offer from them. He says it's fun to see the 1st years try to ask him about Dell without looking too eager. He and his buddy Paul are coordinating a "Champions League" to help the 1st years with their resume, interviewing skills, and job search.

I finished my 2nd day of teaching at Juniata yesterday, and feel like myself again. I forgot how much I love teaching. I also forgot, though, how tiring it is to teach 3 80-minute classes in one day. (How do you high school teachers do it? And you do it 5 days a week while I do only 2!) Yesterday evening, Sammie was at a "Champions League" event at school, so I flopped down on the couch with my laptop intending to do some work. As I flipped through the cable guide to find some background entertainment, I saw that Ben Hur was playing. It's been about 2 1/2 decades since I saw it, so I decided to have it on while I worked. Well, so much for working. I was absolutely entranced. What a great show! I love the panoramic view it gives of the Roman Empire. The Christian message in it was wonderfully profound--a movie with not just a "good message," but with THE good message! The characters are fully-rounded, complex, and moral (although I remember when I was little thinking that Judah and Esther were naughty for kissing so much before they were married). And speaking of kissing--romantic fervor isn't expressed by open mouths, tongues, and groping, but by how high on the e-string the violins are playing and the intensity of the bow stroke. Okay, okay, so the soundtrack may need updating, but the movie is magnificent. If you haven't seen it in a while, log on to Netflix, go to blockbuster, or sign up for cable and watch it!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

We're Home

We got in late last night and all is well here in PA. My boss gave me Friday (Aug 1st) off as a 'birthday present.' I think it had more to do with that being the last day of my internship and there was literally NOTHING for me to do. Anyways, Melba took me to a nice birthday lunch at Macaroni Grill (they gave me a free piece of birthday cake), then we went home and packed and snacked on another piece of cake that Melba had bought for me (thank you, Melba) and then hit the road to Dallas. We stayed with the Dal-Marks -- always fun to see them and Laura had made a birthday cake for me (thanks, Laura). We left early Saturday morning and drove all day to St. Louis and stayed with the Linscotts -- spent Sunday with them (Thank you Carrie for the birthday cake) and then left Monday morning. We drove 15 1/2 hours yesterday and got home around 11:30pm. It was nice to be home. We'll post more details sometime later.

Here's something funny from the trip (since I know that's why you all come to this blog): Saturday night I woke up and realized we left something in Round Rock. I didn't mean to bring it, I meant to throw it away -- we had to leave the apartment empty to keep from getting fined for anything that was left. I called my good friend Brandon (Dell Intern from Duke) who lived at the same building as us and would be there for the next week.

"Brandon, I need a HUGE favor."

"Sure, whatever you need -- what's up?"

"Brandon, I left a small trash can on my porch that we used for bags of poop after walking Phoebe. Can you go throw it away for me -- PLEASE?"

Let's just say, I owe Brandon several favors now. Trash cans full of poop sitting out in the Texas heat make quite an odoriferous combination..........

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Camp Anderson

I just returned from a week at Girls’ Camp with my Stake in Pennsylvania. When my good friends, Toni and Bekah, were called to be the Stake Directors, I was bummed that I would be in Texas all summer and wouldn’t be able to go with them. So when someone approached me and asked me to cook, I couldn’t resist. My friend Stephanie, who cooked at girls’ camp the last two years and is amazing and helped me prepare, told me I would feel like I climbed Mt. Everest when it was over. She was right! It was totally physically tiring, but exhilarating to accomplish.

Below are some lessons I learned along the way.

1. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN ASSISTANT COOK THAT DOES!!! I originally thought I would do all the food by myself, with Stephanie and other camp leaders lending a hand when they could. Stephanie was wonderful at helping me to prepare, but I couldn’t have done it without Suzette, my full-time helper. She’s done this a million times and was absolutely awesome! I kept telling her all week that I wouldn’t have gotten out of the grocery store if it weren’t for her. By the end of the week, she even let me call her Zettie.

2. Token Priesthood Holders (Men) are great help in the kitchen. Brother Brant manned the grill every morning and President Roming chopped watermelon or did whatever else needed to be done. Some mornings, they were in the kitchen before Zettie and I were.

3. Go SIMPLE and cook recipes you’ve already made and know how to do. And remember that cooking times are longer for the big recipes. I made my family’s favorite Frito casserole one night. I’ve made it tons of times, but since I multiplied the recipe by 12, cooking took longer.

4. Teenage girls like green peppers. Who knew?

5. The night the girls cook tin foil dinners over the fire is a good night for the leaders to get take out from a local favorite BBQ place. (Toni’s idea was to wrap up one of the BBQ pork sandwiches in tin foil, pull it out of the fire, and say, “Hey! Look how mine turned out!” We didn’t think the girls would laugh very hard, though, so we didn’t do it.)

6. Keep a supply of “contraband” in the fridge--Diet Pepsi, extra cookies, ice cream, and, of course, the leftover BBQ--etc. for the leaders.

7. “Shoe String” potatoes are not hash brown. They’re French fries.

8. Teenage girls think it’s super cool to be served French fries for breakfast.

9. French Toast cooks up quickly. If you need a morning to sleep a little later, opt for French Toast.

10. Campers and other camp leaders willingly pamper the cooks. Zettie and I had 35 minutes on Thurs. afternoon before we had to help the girls put together tin foil dinners. It was the first free 35 minutes we had had all day. My feet were killing me, so we decided to soak our feet. We grabbed the buckets that the girls use to wash their dishes (they weren’t so thrilled with us when they recognized the buckets) and sat out on the patio with our feet in warm water. At the end of the 35 minutes, we had a sign that said, “M&Z Spa,” a plentiful supply of Almond Joy, Chocolate Candy, and Good & Plenty, a girl to change our water when it cooled off, another girl giving us shoulder rubs, and another girl making us tie-dyed t-shirts. Camp goes well when the cooks are happy…

11. At Stephanie’s home, passing gas is another way of saying, “I love you.” We all agreed not to let our own families in on this, for fear that they would tell us they love us.

12. The cooks’ bedroom, off the main room of the lodge, is not soundproof, especially during testimony meetings. No, I wasn’t “telling anyone I loved them.” I was singing silly songs to Chase, Bekah’s baby, to make him laugh. I made a few other people laugh, too.

So, girls’ camp is supposed to be for the girls, but the leaders have a pretty dang good time, too. Thanks Zetti, Toni, Bekah, Kelli, Cynthia, Greg, Pete, Stephanie, Katherine, Becky, Dawn, Melissa (the great), Ashley, Megan, Meagan, and all the wonderful girls!

PS - Check my recipe blog for camp recipes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

June 23's edition of "Why My Husband is a Poopoohead"

Before I left for PA, I told him that I was leaving clothes in the dryer because they wouldn't be dry in time for me to get them out and fold them. He responded by saying, "I'm sure they'll still be there when you get back." I laughed. It was funny. A clever joke.
Or so I thought.
Today, I go to do laundry, open the dryer, and, sure enough, there are the clothes still there for me, now that I'm back. Just like my husband, the Poopoohead, said.

And that is today's reason why my husband is a Poopoohead.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Big Trouble, Little China: Big Stupidity, Little Merit

I need a guy's help. I don't get my husband right now. He's sitting on the couch, as I type this, eating a bowl of ice cream. That's pretty typical. But he's watching Big Trouble in Little China. And ENJOYING it! This is a movie with the stupidest plot on record and lines like, "Are you ready?" (As Kurt Russell and his side kick rush in to save the girl.) "I was born ready." What?!?
I don't understand how Sammie is enjoying this. This is my film-school graduate, worked on movie sets and in the Technicolor film lab, loves to hate stupid movies, cinema snob husband Sammie. Is it a guy thing? Someone help me. After almost three years of marriage, I thought I knew this guy...

Oh. And I should add that we OWN the copy of the movie he's watching.

My universe just turned upside down.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Chihuahua?

We think we figured out Phoebe's other half. We know she's part Corgi, but have been pretty certain she's not a thoroughbred. The other night we went to see the new Narnia movie (FABULOUS! by the way) and, to our horror, made the discovery. Check out this movie trailer and see if you agree...

video

(Sorry to make you sit through that, I know it's painful.)

Just so you have a reference, here are some pictures I posted of Phoebes.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Adventures in Houston

This weekend was filled with adventures and memorable moments. Perhaps Jacob, our nephew, summed it up the best in his prayer on breakfast this morning, "We've had a lot of fun with Uncle Dammie and Aunt Melissa and Phoebe's a really cute dog!" Sammie's older brother Dave lives with his wife Carolyn and their 4.5 kids in Lake Jackson, just south of Houston. We traveled through pretty back roads on Friday afternoon, arriving at their beautiful brick home in time for smoked ribs and grilled vegetables. (HOW COME NOBODY HAS EVER INTRODUCED ME TO GRILLED CORN?! I'VE HAD A DEPRIVED LIFE UNTIL NOW!) The next morning, "Dammie" and I went to the Houston temple and then drove by Clear Lake, where Sammie grew up. We parked in front of his old house, walked around the back to see the gazebo and deck he helped build with his Dad, brothers, and Todd (the carpenter they hired to do the job) and gazed into the bayou where Sammie used to see alligators and water moccasins. He also drove me by the KFC where he used to work, his junior high, his high school, and the parking garage where he and his friends rappelled down the side. That evening included swimming, meeting Aunt Mary, Cuban sandwiches, strawberry shortcake, and the Far Side movies. (Yes Boyers! They exist!) This morning, we went to the Brazosport ward to check out the rumors of a new bishop in town. Indeed, Dave had been made bishop the week before. Sammie celebrated this important milestone in his brother's life by making faces at him from the audience. We were also there for Carolyn's first Sunday School lesson. I think she's relieved to trade in her 6:00 a.m. seminary kids for a room full of adults once a week. She began the lesson by saying, "I taught seminary all year. So when I ask a question, keep in mind that I'm not scared of silence!"
This picture was taken as Sammie and I tried to watch the kids while Dave set Carolyn apart for her new calling. Sammie ended up as a jungle gym... Will's on his head, Jacob's on his right foot, and Matt's on his left.Sammie's greatest church adventure, though, involved taking Jacob to the boy's room. When Jacob asked Sammie to take him, he assured him that it was only #1. Carolyn said he'd only need help washing his hands. All the way down the hall, Jacob chanted, #1! #1! #1! However, as he pushed open the bathroom door, he smiled up at Sammie and chanted, #2! Let's just say Sammie took another important step towards fatherhood today.
After a yummy crepe lunch, some coloring, and a walk around the block with Phoebe, we said our goodbyes and made our way back to Austin. Thanks Dave, Carolyn, Will, Matt, Melanie, and JJ! We love you!

Monday, May 26, 2008

So Where Are You Guys From?

It's an easy enough question, usually, and a very popular conversation starter. But this weekend, it was too confusing for Sammie and me to answer. A year ago we moved from Va to Pa and a week ago, we moved to Austin, Tx for the summer. This weekend, we were in El Paso for a wedding of friends we had in Virginia. So, when anyone asked us where we were from, and how we knew the bride and groom, it was difficult to back track and get to a semi-coherent answer.
It was a beautiful wedding and one of the best days we've had in a long time. I like to tease Jesse and Echo (bride and groom) that they are Ken and Barbie. When I was a little girl, my sisters and I loved to play Barbie and especially loved to plan and execute Barbie and Ken's wedding. Well, Saturday I saw Barbie and Ken get married and it was more beautiful than anything I ever imagined as a little girl. Sammie would say that Barbie could have found a better Ken. (He and Jesse have that kind of relationship.) But I think I'm proof of the miracles that a fabulous woman can do with her husband. :)
Maybe Sammie (who was the wedding photographer) will let me post a picture of them on this blog. In the meantime, here's a video that Jennie (my baby sis) took of Sammie and Jesse playing in their band, Barefoot. We uploaded the clip to youtube.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Have a Feeling We're Not in Pennsylvania Anymore, Phoebe

If Sammie's mileage countdown across the country ("52 more miles to Texas... 48 more miles to Texas...") had somehow failed to tip me off that I was in Texas, the following 2 clues would have surely given it away. At our hotel in Dallas, I made a Belgian Waffle for Breakfast (I think I blogged about this when we drove home for Christmas). Texas has special waffle irons, though. The waffles come out in, yes, the shape of the state of Texas. Then, yesterday morning, Phoebe and I went on an exploring walk. We found lots of cool places by our apartment and lots of fire ants found us. When I got home, shaking fire pants out of my pant legs and socks, Sammie said, "Welcome to Texas, Melba!"

We had a wonderful trip across the country and got to see lots of friends: The Choates and the Kidds in VA, the Andersons in NC (who showed us around the Duke campus), and the Markhams in Dallas (we got to see Ella's kindergarten graduation!). Highlights of the trip also included the monsoon we drove through in Mississippi, leaving my purse at Jonas and Rachel's in North Carolina, and the absolute jitters we both had as we drove into Austin.

We have a nice apartment, very close to Dell and lots of shopping. We miss State College, though. We knew we loved it there, but we didn't realize how much until leaving. We'll see all you Penn Staters in the Fall!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Feeling Lucky?

Melba and I took Phoebe on a walk today and as we were finishing I decided to look for 4-leaf clovers. Melba kinda mocked me -- so I reminded her of the time when I once found 3 three 4-leaf clovers in one day. She walked a little bit further ahead, and then in no-time I saw her pick a clover from the ground and start walking to me.

"Did you find one?" I asked.

"No, not really. Look."

Then she showed something that isn't a 4-leaf clover.



There are 5 leaves here. Four symmetrical ones, with a fifth leaf growing above them. Crazy. (The clover is a little bit mangled, and it wilted a little bit by the time we got home to take the picture, but I assure you -- it is for real.) I kept looking for a little bit longer until I found a 4-leafer. I decided that it would take too long to try and out-do Melba........

Saturday, May 10, 2008

32 Down, at least 16 (but more like 24) more to go


I’m officially done with the first year of MBA School. Um, that’s it. And we’re leaving for Texas Monday. But that’s not why we blog – we blog to tell people the funny things we do. So here’s a part of the conversation Melba and I had about finishing up the first year of MBA School:

Melba: So, you’re done with the first year of MBA School.

Sammie: Yes, I’m done. So what does that mean?

(Pause)

Melba: I don’t know – what does it mean?

Sammie: I don’t know either. That’s kinda why I asked. They taught us a lot in the first year, but they didn’t teach us that. I hear it’s an elective for the 2nd year.

OK, I admit that’s not really funny. In fact, it’s not even kinda funny. In fact, I wonder if I should even post this blog. Spending the past two weeks taking finals has made me pretty boring. I ought to be funny again by the time we make it to Austin.

As I write this stupid blog, Melba watches a stupid chic flick. I laugh at the cathartic scene where the bratty step-daughter finally has a heart-to-heart with her step mother (right then, the step-mom goes into labor – funny) and Melba wishes me away. Then she says, “I like Emma (the step-mom). Of course, she’s too good to be true, but everyone needs a character that’s too good to be true.”

So I say, “Melba, you have someone in your life who is too good to be true.”

Melba looks at me, smiles, and says, “Yes – my sister, Carrie.”

This blog sucks.

I’ll post something better sometime later.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dinner Time

Melba and I recently got invited to dinner and were asked if we like steak. Her response is very much 'blog-worthy.'

Are you kidding? Could we eat steak? I married a Texas Boy! In Texas, the 13th article of faith says: "We believe in buying red meat, storing red meat, marinating red meat, barbecuing red meat, and eating red meat. Indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of certain 80s fast food commercials: 'Where's the Beef?' If there is any red meat, we seek after this thing."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"I Married You Because You Don't Act Like Me."

(Sammie on the way home from church today.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chippendales and Mom

One of my favorite things about my parents is what good people they are. They never watch TV or go to R-rated movies or participate in anything that is not uplifting and inspiring. That's why it was so funny that on their first visit to VA after Sammie and I were married, Sammie took them to a sports bar to watch the BYU/Utah football game. Fortunately, they loved it! I wish I was better at following their example.
When I flew out to Utah to take care of my Dad, I landed in Vegas, because it's closer to St. George. Martha, Marian, and Mom drove over to pick me up. I was reminded yet again why I hate Vegas so much. The large advertising screen next to my baggage claim carousel kept playing clips of the Chippendales. And as we were leaving the airport, we saw numerous billboard advertisements for "Chippendales" and "Thunder from Down Under." Martha and I started complaining about/making fun of the Chippendales. Mom asked very innocently, "Well, don't you like the Chippendales?" I had to explain, "Mom, they're male strippers." She was horrified! Thought they were a folk music group and didn't even know there was such a thing as a male stripper.
It reminded me of one of my favorite moments from General Conference (semi-annual world wide broadcast of messages from our church leaders.) Here's the quote: "I love the story told at the funeral of Henry Eyring’s father. When he was a young man coming across the border from the Mexican colonies to the United States, the customs man said, “Son, do you have any pornography in your suitcase or trunks?” He responded, 'No sir, we don’t even own a pornograph.'" (If you want to read the whole talk, you can find it on the church's website.)
I love you Mom!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Facts of Life?

I'm in Utah right now, taking care of my Dad. He had a mountain biking accident and broke his hip. He's doing very well, but just has to hobble around on crutches and needs a little extra help doing things.
I dropped him off at a stake (church) meeting last night and went over to my sister's to see her and her husband and play with their five kids. I've really missed them! I had fun playing wii with my nephew Matt, watching Lucy take some of her first steps, and reading stories to Lizzie, Josh, and Sam. Josh and Sam (aka the "cage fighters") are true guys - i.e. tried the whole night to impress me and outdo eachother with their flatulence.
Anyway, when I put Lizzie to bed, she asked me to cuddle with her, so I lay down by her and we talked about whatever comes in to an 8-year-old girl's head right before she falls asleep. We started talking about wedding receptions and she told me how much she liked mine and remembered being on the boat. She then told me that she wanted to have a large reception so that she and her husband could sneak out in the middle and... (of course at this point, I was wondering what in the world she was going to say.) ... go to the slurpee store for slurpees! She then assured me that brides and grooms will sneak out of their wedding receptions to go get slurpees or candy. When I asked her how she knew that, she said she just listened carefully, like when her Mom was on the phone, and just found these things out.
Of course Lindsay, her Mom, denies any such phone conversation.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Our Dog is Crazy

Phoebe loves stuffed animals!! And they're even more fun if they make noise. In fact, the more annoying the noise, the more fun the toy is. Grannie (Mom Boyer) sent this toy frog to Phoebe for Valentine's Day. Hopefully you can hear the clip and experience the "ribbit" for yourself... Also, my sister Martha is obsessed with pointing out and mocking nerdy laughs. Mo - check out my laugh after Sammie's joke. WORST EVER!!!!!
video
In this next clip, which is shorter, you can hear Sammie in the background, telling me about Luke losing his appendix. (Welcome to the A- team, Luke!)
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Finally, last December I had a huge stack of papers to grade, so naturally, I was looking for unimportant things to do to avoid grading. I ended up taking pictures of Phoebe and thought it was funny how well she posed for the camera.

Sammie's Christmas Present

Sammie and I have had a deal since we got married that I would keep my hair long as long as he kept his face shaved (when we started dating, he had a goatee). Every once in a while, I would tease him about wanting to cut my hair. Finally, on Christmas he granted me permission to cut my hair, promising not to grow out his facial hair. Well, once I had the permission, I lost my nerve. It wasn't until he was in Istanbul and I was contemplating a hot and humid Texas summer that I finally did it. And I'm glad I did! It hasn't been this short since about 1999...

Friday, March 21, 2008

My R-Square is bigger than your R-Square

Just remember, when you're forecasting demand from historical data that includes trend, level and seasonality -- you darn well better be sure that your independent variables cut the mustard or someone like me is going to have a different forecast result and as we all know, he who has the bigger R-Square wins. And, FYI, if you have multiple sets of demand and need to find out which of them, if any, contain trend, level and/or seasonality, I would recommend using a bivariate correlation to measure significance on all variables in one shot rather than doing things the long way and running multiple linear regressions until one of these pops up. (Yes Mike, that means you.)

That pretty much sums up my life for the day. No kidding. That's what I did. And my R-Square was bigger than Kyle's so we ended up using my forecast results for the assignment instead of his.

Perhaps my father is the only who understands what this all means which makes the picture below all the more amusing.




My mom took this picture while my parents were here last week. It begs for a humorous caption -- specifically one that reflects what Phoebe is thinking. Please post whatever caption you think fits. The ones we have so far are:

"Who ARE these people? And when will Melba come home and take me on a walk?" -- Vernon P.

"8 Billion people in the world -- and I get stuck with these two?" -- Melba

"How do I get online?" -- Grandma Dewey

"Hey, a quarter!" -- My brother Jeff

"Well, it could be worse. At least these guys aren't lawyers." -- Vernon P. (that one is for you, Jeremy.)

"Phoebe's the only one in the picture I can relate to. It's the story of my life." Larry (Mom Boyer)

And this is my favorite -- from my sister:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Back from Istanbul.

Istanbul is a cool city. I spent the first week of March there as part of the MBA Program -- it was a graded course. Here's a picture for you.

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School has started up again. Time to hit the books.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Enough About You... Let's Talk About Me!

I had a tedious project to do at work today. I thought it would be more palatable if I opened up some blogs to glance at while I worked. 45 minutes later, I was caught up on my blog reading and the project still sat in front of me, untouched. oops. I especially liked the "all about me" posts so I'm inviting myself to the party!

6 quirks. My sisters Carrie, Martha, and Anna all posted their quirks and tagged me. I had a hard time coming up with some, even though I could list a lot of quirks about people around me.

1. When I grade papers, I have to grade with a mechanical pencil and a pink eraser. I can't grade in pen.

2. I love to walk Phoebe and listen to my ipod. But I usually don't listen to music. I listen to lectures from The Teaching Company. Right now I'm switching back and forth between The History of Africa and History of World Literature.

3. I'm scared of being alone in the dark. The first summer I lived in DC, all the power went out one night and I was home alone. I literally had an anxiety attack, convinced that there was someone in the house waiting to attack me. I was on the phone with my summer fling and he was trying to calm me down. He reassured me by saying, "Baby, when the power goes out those kinds of people aren't going after you, they're robbing electronics stores."

4. I love playing spider solitaire and other time-wasting computer games. I also love crosswords, sudoku, and any kind of word game. Sammie makes fun of me, but at least I'm warding off alzheimer's.

5. I crochet while I watch the Superbowl.

6. I'm really particular about my temperature at night and will sometimes get up in the middle of the night to change clothes if I'm too hot or too cold.

I'm definitely tagging Sammie for this one. He's my favorite quirk!!

I also liked this fill-in-the-blank...

Places I've Lived:
- Torrance, CA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Jerusalem, Israel
- Campinas, Brazil
- Harrisburg, PA
- Falls Church, VA
- State College, PA

Job's I've Had:
- Drycleaner
- Candy Jar
- MTC Teacher
- Software Trainer/Project Leader
- College Instructor
- Reading Enhancement Instructor

Most-loved Vacations:
(what's not to love about a vacation?)
- 2 tours through Brazil with my parents
- Some wonderful trips to Europe
- 2 weeks spent in Maine when I was 11
- Some great Moab trips with College friends
- A crazy trip to China
- Puerto Vallarta
- Israel in June 2007 with some of my family
- Roadtrips across the country! Once with my Mom, once with Sammie and Phoebe
- Numerous trips to Charlottesville to visit the Kaelberers
- Outer Banks
- Condo in St. George
- Lake Powell
- And, of course, our numerous trips to Balboa Island, CA

Lifetime Aspirations:
- Have kids!
- Learn, read, teach always
- At the end of my life, I want to say, "But as for me and my house, we [served] the Lord."

Tag - All of my favorite people. (You know who you are!) :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Funkweiler in the Dell

OK, lots to write and little time to do it. I just finished Mod 3. It was quite a killer. Not only was it a complete overload of assignments and such, but it was also when the big recruiters came to campus. Each class was really challenging and they all required a lot of homework. The cases aren’t easy anymore… They are really tough. They require a lot of thinking, calculations and everything you recommend has to be supported by quantifiable data. Ugh.

I spent a lot of time perfecting my resume over the break (the Boyer’s will probably remember me in their basement on Christmas Day working on my resume…) in anticipation of the recruiters coming to campus. I applied for just about every opening thinking that I could play the odds and get a handful of interviews. I ended up getting an interview offer for every position I applied for. (Thank you, Career Services, for all of the resume workshops.) Trust me when I say interviewing is very time consuming – it requires the interview, online applications, dinners, info sessions, researching the company, etc.

By the middle of the Mod I was overwhelmed school and interviewing and I decided it was more important to get an intern than it was to get good grades. I got 2 offers in early Feb – both of which were good, but not exactly what we wanted. I kept approaching other companies and got 2 more offers – from Dell and ExxonMobil – that were both exactly what we wanted. Dell’s offer was in Operations and Exxon’s was in Procurement. (Exxon has A LOT of money, believe you me…) I flew to Austin last week to visit Dell and signed papers with them while I was there. So we’ll be in Austin this summer. Intern starts May 19th and ends August 1st.

My brain really hurts right now because I just finished 2 finals and had another one yesterday. I don’t know what my grades will be like, but I have an internship. Melba is really sweet – she drove me to school today (eyes hurt too much for contacts so I couldn’t drive…) and when she brought me home there was a big bunch of green balloons in the living room with sayings like, “YOU ROCK!!!” and “Me loves You.”

Now I’m off to Istanbul for a week and then Spring Break and then Mod 4 starts. I’m glad I’ll time to sleep on the airplane – because I really need some. I’ll write more later and try to give a better update. Sorry there’s nothing really funny in this blog. It was more of an update –I have been way too slammed than to do anything but study, study, fly out to interviews, study, do more interviews, and study.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Indiana Jones

I clearly remember my 6th birthday when my Dad took me to my favorite restaurant, McDonald's, and then took me to see my favorite movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. I remember ordering a cheeseburger, chocolate milk shake and then when we were at the movie I closed my eyes during the 'spider' part and asked my Dad to tell me when it was over so I could watch the rest of the film. I had no clue what was going on over the 2-hour movie, but I loved every minute of it. Well, except for the spiders on the guy's back at the beginning.

It's now almost 27 years later and I'm just as excited to see the new Indiana Jones movie as I was back then.

video

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I have a new recipe blog! Come try it out at

http://www.somethingsmellsgoodinmelbaskitchen.blogspot.com/
Peppermint Patties not so innocent after all

In case you don't know Sammie and me very well, we are faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As such, we don't drink alcoholic beverages. Neither of us have ever had a drink in our lives. Until yesterday.

I finished my institute class at the church (similar to Bible Study) and had an hour before I had to be at work, which is just down the road. I took myself and a good book to Ruby Tuesdays for a quiet lunch. As I was finishing up a sensible lunch of salad and chili, I started fantasizing some hot chocolate to sip on while I read. I picked up a dessert/specialty menu and found a "peppermint patty." The menu described a cup of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, whip cream, and chocolate sprinkles on top. Now, I've heard of schnapps before, but somehow it didn't register. I was thinking along the lines of the peppermint hot chocolate I love to order from Starbucks. I thought, "Oh! So that's what that peppermint flavoring is called." I ordered the drink (The creep didn't ask for ID. Would it have killed him to flatter me by asking me to prove I was over 21? Not to mention it would have tipped me off...) When it came, I decided the peppermint flavoring was way too strong. I didn't like it and only drank 1/2 a cup. When the bill came, I gaped at the $6 cup of hot chocolate. (Shoulda gone to Starbucks!)
It wasn't until I was at work, feeling sick to my stomach, and getting a headache that it dawned on me what had happened. I asked a coworker what "schnapps" is and she explained. How stupid did I feel? At least I know alcohol is not for me. I felt so crappy, I had to leave work early and go home.
I'm sure you can imagine the jokes that have come out of this. My boss warned that if I come to work under the influence of alcohol, she'll have to let me go. Sammie's worried that the stress of his busy MBA schedule and his long days on campus are driving me to drink. When I slept in this morning, it was, of course, a hangover.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Road Trippin'!!

It turns out, road tripping across the country is a blast! Even in winter and with a dog. Since Sammie had so much time off for Christmas this year, we decided to drive out to Utah to visit our families, rather than fly. (We had a wonderful time in Utah with family and friends. More on that later…) We looked at the weather forecast for Interstate 80, found the perfect window of time to get out of town, and drove! Except for one night in Wyoming, we had perfect weather the whole way. I never realized how cold Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota are, though. Every time I got out of the car, I thought, “Geez! Who lives here?!?” (And Cath, I was very aware of you NORTH of me. Stay warm!)
I compiled a list of top 10s for the trip. Here goes…

10. Infrastructure… Infrawhat? Let me explain. When Ben and Julie, Sammie’s parents, returned from their mission in Ghana, they repeatedly talked about infrastructure and how blessed we are to live in a country that has things like regular running water, electricity, roads, street lights, etc. I was so glad they pointed this out, because we really are lucky to have all this! For example, Interstate 80 runs about 5 miles from my house in PA all the way across America to about 5 miles from my parents house in Utah. And there were flushing toilets, nice hotels, places to eat, etc. all along the way. We were having trouble with weather in Wyoming (as I mentioned before). The wind was blowing snow across the freeway, which was pushing the car around a little, but then we would hit a patch of ice and it would push the car around a lot. 20 minutes after it became unbearable, though, we were in a warm, comfortable hotel ordering Chinese takeout.

9. Belgian Waffles… We stayed at some great hotels! Each morning, we got on the internet, figured out about how far we wanted to travel, then logged on to petswelcome.com to find pet-friendly hotels near our destination. We always had continental breakfast at the hotel and especially loved the make-your-own Belgian Waffles. Yeah carbs!!

8. Starbucks… Sammie and I are Starbucks addicts. “2 venti hot chocolate with hazelnut.” It just rolls off the tongue. Especially when you say it three times a day… (btw – some of you protest that Starbucks offers nothing for the non-coffee drinker during the summer. We’d like to point you to the frappuccinos. Strawberries ‘n’ crème or chocolate chocolate chip. yum!)

7. The Prius… We love our car! We were amazed at how well it handled (except for the wind in Wyoming) and how much room we had. We put down the seats, so Phoebe hung out in the back with the suitcases while Sammie and I sat in front. My wonderful husband loves to drive. He thinks maybe he should have been a trucker. He drove most of the way while I crocheted, read, or played word puzzles. I finished an afghan for my sister Martha and started another one for the Thon auction. We bought some Bill Cosby cds and listened to those, or to other music, or to the local radio stations.

6. GPS… Sammie’s Christmas present this year was a GPS navigation system. We first bought a TomTom, but it died in Utah, so we exchanged it for a Garmin. We recommend the Garmin. Not just because it’s still alive after a month, but because it’s cool! We were able to keep track of exactly where we were and how far we had to go, plus we could find any cool restaurant we wanted to. More on that later!

5. Church… On Saturday night, we made it to Worthington, Minnesota. We found a local ward and attended church there Sunday morning. We loved the Spirit in the meeting. The saints bore humble testimonies of the workings of the Lord in their lives. We could tell that there was a lot of love and fellowship in the branch. A high councilor spoke about surviving a heart attack and his renewed appreciation for life. It was a wonderful service! We only stayed for Sacrament Meeting because of Phoebe (3 hours in a cold car...) but felt grateful we could be there.

4. Maggiano’s … Sammie’s favorite restaurant and for one reason only. Eggplant Parmigiana. He OBSESSES about this stuff. It’s really kind of cute. Anyway, we don’t have a Maggiano’s in State College, so obviously we needed to find one on our road trip. We found two.
We stayed our first night in South Bend, Indiana, and drove through Chicago the next morning. Our GPS was telling us that we were within a few miles of 3-4 Maggiano’s restaurants but we weren’t hungry yet. What oh what to do? We figured we would be ready for lunch in Madison, Wisconsin. (You I-80 enthusiasts will note that we are deviating from our route. See below.) But, there was no Maggiano’s in Madison. However, there was one in Milwaukee. And it was only a slight deviation from our route. Like traveling along the two sides of a triangle rather than across the hypotenuse. The servers at the restaurant were impressed when we told them we had driven about 50 miles out of our way to go to Maggiano’s.
The second Maggiano’s encounter happened on the way home. It was our last night and we knew if we could stay in Chicago that night, we could make it home the next day. We had directions to a pet-friendly hotel along I-80, but further research revealed that the nearest Maggiano’s would be 20 miles away. So we changed our night’s plans to stay closer to the Maggiano’s. (I didn’t really realize what big of freaks we are until typing this out.) As we neared our Italian oasis, however, we began to run out of time. A snippy-ish guy on the phone told me that Maggiano’s would close at 8:45 and we wouldn’t be able to get food after that. I’m usually the faster driver, but that news added some lead to Sammie’s right foot. We made it in the nick of time! (And then found out that the guy was wrong and we could have gotten food much later. Oh well.) We cuddled up in a warm hotel that night with Maggiano’s take out, knowing we would be home and in our own bed the next night!

3. Mount Rushmore… In a word: Wow! Sammie had wanted to see it since he was a wee lad. I had never seen it, either, and we both loved it! Our trip to Rushmore says a lot about our personalities. As soon as we got there, I had to rush to the bathroom. Sammie wandered all over the monument, taking pictures from every possible cool angle he could find. I rented a headset and did the audio tour, taking every opportunity to “press pound for more information.” When we got to the giftshop, I immediately went to the book section while Sammie checked out the DVD documentaries on Rushmore. We’re such nerds…


2. Phoebe… We love our dog! She was wonderful on the drive across the country. For the first hour or so through PA, she stared out the window and panicked each time a truck would pass. But then she calmed down and slept or stared at the driver. We worked out a system at rest stops—whoever had to go to the bathroom the most would do so while the other walked Phoebe, then we would switch. Most states had nice rest stops with designated pet areas. She was great in the hotels, too. At home, we don’t let her on our bed, but since it was vacation, we let her on to the hotel beds. It was fun to cuddle with her or play hide-and-seek in the sheets. She earned some more nicknames while on the trip… Feeble, from my Mom, and Phobia, from Anna and Spencer.

1. Being together… Cheesy, I know. But it’s true. Sammie’s a great travel companion. I had hardly seen him all semester, so it was fun to just be with him all day. He’s a good man and I definitely have a crush on him!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Phoebe Delilah

It's been a while since we've posted. Christmas break was long and relaxing. School has now started back up and it is just as time consuming as ever. Internship interviews are a plenty and offers are starting to come in. More on that later when there's something solid to write about. For now, you have to deal with one of 'those' dog owners who treats their dog like a child. We have a new joy in life and that is watching Phoebe play in the snow. She looks more like a rabbit because she leaps through it. Her tracks are mostly just big holes about 4 feet apart. If she's chasing something the holes are 6-7 apart (no kidding). It is quite humorous to watch because she just frolics through the snow leaping up and down and up and down and up and down. When she gets into really deep snow (like 2 feet or more) the leaps are a bit smaller and all you can see is her head popping up every couple of seconds. My nephew Matt really loves Phoebe and I hope he can someday see this - he will love it. Here is a picture of Phoebe leaping at me. We'll give a much longer post sometime later with an update.