Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Big Thing

Last Monday I finally purchased my ticket to Chicago. It was a big thing. I had Mother there with me for moral support. Also, I was sick, so I needed someone to look over my work so I didn't accidentally buy a plane ticket for 2011 or something.

Anyway, I had all these plans about how I was going to get a cheap plane ticket. I could use my credit card points to pay for some of the ticket. I could try and fly at off hours. I could just go with the airline that lets bags fly free. I could try and use my United frequent flier miles, but I've had those miles since 2005, and they haven't gotten me anywhere yet. Because United is one of the two airlines that flies out of San Luis Obispo, I went to their website and found that you can now use your miles on one-way flights! Woot woot! So I made my flight selection, and only had to pay $5.00 for additional taxes and fees. Yeah! That's right! Five dollah ticket! Wicka wicka woot!

I'll Bring My Jokes

Mother and I took Greta to the dog park for our very first time. We view the dog park as a treat, so we made her work for it. First she had a nice long walk, then we practiced some of her obedience skills. After that, it was dog park time.

This is a whole new social situation. I had no idea. First, the dog must socialize, and it turns out the human must also socialize. Naturally I wanted to keep the status quo. When we entered, almost every human was gathered around this one picnic table with a shade cover. By "gathered" I really mean "jammed in". I had assumed we would let Greta wander around and Mother and I would sit on a free bench somewhere. Nope. Apparently the dog park is really a human park. Everyone knew each other! They were all chatty! Everyone knew the names of all the people there, the names of all the dogs there, the names of the people and dogs that weren't there, and there is a standing joke about a guy named Mike! I almost jumped in with a joke about Mike, but wasn't sure how it would be received from an outsider, so I held back. These people were very nice. They offered space at their table, but we politely declined. Even their dogs were nice. Almost every one of them let me pet them. It was a wonderful thing.

So my question is: Have you ever been to a dog park? What was your social experience?

I had no idea we would need to socialize. I figured Greta would, but not us. I just wasn't ready. Next time I'll bring my jokes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sweating Like a Sweaty Guy

Paula Abdul just taught me how to do the George Jetson.

Today in Netflix I received Paula Abdul's Get Up & Dance. It's sheer brilliance! Tonight I put on my spandex and wore my pony high. I would have laced up my high tops if I had any. I started Paula's workout and made it all the way through the warm up.

Then I had to take a break.

I learned the first segment of the dance, and then I just couldn't go on. My body hurt. My brain hurt. I was sweating like a sweaty guy. So I went and changed my shirt, grabbed my yoga mat, and watched the rest of the video from the floor. I did join in on the cool down, which included a killer ab segment with your arms and hands in all sorts of crazy positions.

You have got to try this video. It's awesome. And, if the hot tub time machine ever takes you to 1994, you will have some killer dance moves when you go to the club. You might as well be prepared and go get Paula Abdul's Get Up & Dance. Go get it. Get it right now. And then maybe one day we can do the routine together.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bike Greta

Problem: I needed to be at FHE with a lesson and activity by seven. I would get home by 5:30. I needed to eat something and walk Greta. Greta needed a nice long walk so she would be exhausted, and not try to chew everything in sight after I left. Obviously, I didn't have time to walk Greta for hours. I could run her, but I tire out way before she does, and plus I didn't want to be sweaty before I gave the lesson at FHE.

Solution: Bicycle. I could ride, Greta could run, it would be fast and effective!

I'm brilliant.

Problem: I don't own a bike.
Problem: I haven't ridden a bike for at least five years.

Solution: I walked Greta over to Brandon and Jodie's, and Jodie generously offered the use of her bike. Now, my nieces had just learned to ride two wheelers, and they said, "Does Aunt 'Riah know how to ride a two wheeler?" Turns out not so much. After trying on every helmet the girls brought me, I tried to take the bike out for a little spin. I was terrible! I couldn't even turn! What happened to the confidence and skill I had when I was ten? Are the glory years gone??

No matter, after a wobbly 50 yards I told Brandon I was ready to try taking Greta with me. I had her leash in hand and started to pedal. I went down the road a little, then turned around to head back to their house. Doing so, I basically ran into Greta and kinda fell off the bike. I looked up to see Brandon and Jodie doubled over with laughter. It was very funny, and obviously quite unsuccessful.

But I will dominate that bike! I will! It can't bring me down!

In the meantime, maybe we should get Greta a treadmill.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

BYU Women's Conference 2010

Women's Conference chewed me up and spit me out. I am exhausted. I have too much in my brain. There were 15,000 participants this year. That's huge. The entire General Relief Society Presidency spoke, as did Elder and Sister Oaks. There were a million classes to attend and a million service opportunities.

Have you ever been to Women's Conference? Mother and I had always wanted to go at least once, and we finally found the opportunity this year. We went with Judy, and we all had a great time. I have A LOT to say about Women's Conference, but I won't be starting on that discourse tonight.

Let's just hit the highlights, shall we?

It snowed. This is a major highlight, as I was basically sweating when I was packing and contemplated leaving a coat behind. I'm glad I did not do this. What's wrong with Utah? Snowing in late April?

However, one thing that Utah can do that I've never seen California do is produce absolutely fabulous tulips.

Naturally, in the evenings we went to hang out with Paul and Marissa, where we saw Paul's fancy new rebuilt green engine. We are so proud of him.

Also, as I am in fierce competition to be the Favorite Aunt, I did a little reading to Audrey.
Really, I did some reading to everyone, as it turns out this was a very fascinating book.

Trains and Elder Bednar

I had heard rumors that a General Authority was going to be visiting the area sometime in April.
A few weeks go by, and I find out the General Authority will be Elder Bednar, that he will be speaking on the 24th in Ventura, and only those people who live within an hour of Ventura were invited to attend.


Oh wait, I remember! I was going to visit Elizabeth that weekend!

Problem solved.

So, after leaving very late on Friday evening because Peter needed to participate in the ward talent show, we left for the City of Angles. Or, the City of Pretentiousness. But whatev.

The next morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we rode the rails all over the city. Did you know LA has a subway system?

Well, they do, and it's pretty cool.

This was the station at Hollywood and Vine:

Check out the ceiling!

We went to the Walt Disney Concert Hall,

The Los Angeles City Public Library (which was mega cool),

And we also so a lot of pigeons.

That evening was the fireside with Elder Bednar, and it was awesome. If you want to know more, you will need to call me and we can discuss it at length. It was the best session I think I've ever been to. I think.

Sunday morning Peter left, and I spent the day with Elizabeth. That evening I bought a ticket home on Amtrak. I've never ridden the train, and it was basically a good time. Elizabeth took me to the Camarillo stop to board the train, and did you know there isn't hardly anything there? Nope, just a parking lot, a kiosk, and a boarding information sign. Apparently, that's all you need to make a train station.