Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A little shameless self-promotion

Hey, what's a blog if it isn't a little self-centered?

So, today is my birthday and I thought I would briefly recount some of my memorable birthdays.

The first that I can remember is my 3rd birthday. Back in 1973. And, yes, that really is the year I turned 3. I KNOW! Who'da thought? I don't know if I remember the birthday as much as we have photos of it, so I remember the photos. I had a smiley face birthday. We played games--probably ring-a-round-the-roses, London Bridge, and button-button. We got big, yellow, smiley face suckers. I sort of remember they didn't really have a flavor, other than sugar. My mom made a round chocolate cake with a smiley face on it. It was a fancy birthday.

The next memorable birthday was my fifth. If I could take back one action from my childhood it would be not putting the Kirby vacuum away. You see, a couple of days before my fifth birthday, I refused to put the vacuum away. Not because I was being a bad kid. I think I was just procrastinating. My mom had asked me several times to put it away and I was being slow. She finally told me that if I didn't put it away right then, she would cancel my birthday party. Yeah, right! SO....when she told me she was canceling the party, I remember sobbing, "Look Mom, I'm putting the vacuum away! No mom, you can't do this! Mom look, the vacuum is put away." No luck. No party! I just realized that perhaps some other moms may have been mad--they had to try to return birthday gifts to the store. Some other moms were probably pretty happy--they could use my example to get their kids to clean up.

When I turned eight, I had a pretty good birthday. The theme was a paper doll party and all the kids were supposed to create a paper dress and wear it to the party. Most of the kids had butcher paper tracings of a dress that they had pinned to their regular clothes. My mom was so cool--she sewed (with real thread and everything) a dress for me and my sister out of variegated tissue paper. I think she used a pinafore pattern. We were the best dressed! I still remember my friend Julie Dean brought her uninvited brother--Jason Dean, who gave me a sling shot. I was a girlie girl (hard to believe, I know!) and wasn't too thrilled with a sling shot. My mom told me it was probably what he wanted the most and that's why he gave it to me. My brother, Todd, who had just turned three, gave me a Slinky. He cried when he realized he didn't get to play with it, so my mom had me give it to him. She told me she would buy me another one. Do you think I will get one for my birthday this year?

On my twelfth birthday, I had a swimming party. I got to have more swimming parties than anyone else in my family since I have a summer birthday. Todd's birthday is also in the summer, but he's a boy and for some reason, they don't like swimming parties as much. I think this was the year that Shelly Espersen's hair turned bright green. You know those really blond girls whose hair turns green after a summer of swimming? Well, for some reason, Shelly's hair went from toe-head blond to sea-foam green that after noon. To keep from having everyone see her bright green hair, she would hold her breath and stay underwater as much as possible. I think that only made matters worse. We ended up leaving a little early to save her from too much embarassment.

We moved from Germany to Tucson a couple of weeks before my sixteenth birthday. My mom had a party with all the teenagers in my ward before we moved. It was at the church in the cultural hall on a Saturday. I don't remember too much about it, but I remember it was good to see my friends before moving. Then, on my real birthday, we were staying in the Radisson Inn on Speedway in Tucson, while my parents looked for a house. We would get up, eat breakfast at the buffet (I got sausage links, bacon, french toast, and strawberries every morning), swim to our hearts' content, and watch TV--we were obsessed with multiple channels and commercials (AFN--the military's version of TV consisted of one channel, no commercials, and older programming). The night of my sixteenth birthday, I got to choose where we ate--Pizza Hut or KFC were the choices. I chose Pizza Hut. I think I even got to have the last piece of pizza.

Throughout 1996, I told all my friends they were invited to come to my surprise 26th birthday party. It was my little joke. Well, my friends and family planned a party for me. It was at John and Matt's condo and almost every one of my friends in Tucson was there. It was a great surprise and was so much fun. I should start planning surprise parties for myself again.

The next year, I had moved to Phoenix. My birthday was on a Monday evening and as was the tradition in my ward, the fifth Monday of the month was a dance. My roommate, Arlissa, had made a french silk pie, from scratch--we used to make all sorts of fancy food--and we needed to find people to come over and help us eat it. I asked a few people over, including a guy we had just met--Darrell Lund. He came over and ate his entire piece of chocolate french silk pie and the rest, they say, is history. The funniest part of that story is that Darrell hates: 1-Chocolate; 2-French; 3-Silk; and 4-Pie. Poor guy. I can see it as if it were yesterday. He really was trying to be polite, but I think he may have thrown up a little. :)

Obviously, these aren't all of my birthday memories, but a few that stand out. Thank you all for the wishes that you sent me and allowing me to talk about myself.

a/k/a "The Birthday Girl"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Wordle: ingermanson

Just a quick Happy Father's Day to my dad!
He's the hardest worker I know.
A couple of years ago, he came to my house.
For his birthday.
And worked in the attic.
In May.
In Arizona.
Thanks, Dad, for all you do!
I love you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I need to tell you all that I am an addict and won't be around as much for awhile.

I am breaking away and will complete a twelve-step program.

I hope to be clean and sober when I return.

It won't be easy, but I know that in the long run, my life will be better.

I'll be able to spend more time journaling on my blog.

I'll spend more time with friends and family.

I'll be a better wife.

My health will improve.

I'll conserve more electricity.

I appreciate your understanding and thoughts on my behalf.

PS...I am trying to cut out Bejeweled Blitz and Bouncing Balls from my Facebook activities.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's a miracle!

(Cue: Chorus of angels singing)

A few days ago, as I was listening to the Today Show, trying to wake up for the day, I heard something that proves that scientists must have recently discovered the cure for every disease, ailment, and ill known to man.

You may be asking yourself why you have not heard the same news I did.

Well, if we're being completely honest, I didn't hear it ON the Today Show. It was a commercial DURING the Today Show.

And no one actually SAID that scientists had discovered the cure-all.

The commercial was for a prescription that you can get from a doctor that will change your life.

If you have "eyelash hypotrichosis," the "medical" name for inadequate or sparse eyelashes.

Yes. You heard me correctly. You can now get a topical prescription to make your eyelashes longer and fuller. So now for, get this, a mere $120 a bottle, you can achieve the same result as my $6 mascara. And you can do it by using a drug that was intended to treat glaucoma, a real disease.

I googled "prescription for fuller eyelashes" and came across a real "news story" where the "reporter" interviewed the wife of an opthamologist who is quoted as saying what can only be described as one of the craziest things I have heard in a long time: “And I always wanted longer lashes but eyelash extensions are just too expensive.”

REALLY?!? I didn't even know that was a possibility. So, to find out more about this insane option, I googled "cost for eyelash extensions." Who knew that for only $250 you could get eyelash extensions that last two months and that the "refills" are only $50? That's $500 a year. And it takes about two hours to be extended. And you can't use mascara while the extensions are attached. Well, I would hope not, for all that time and money!

In researching this, I went to the website for the drug. The website also provides valuable information about Juviderm and Natrelle--the latest in Botox and boob jobs. Apparently, those afflicted with "eyelash hypotrichosis" also must suffer from "parenthesis" a/k/a wrinkles and improper "breast aesthetics."

Wow, the website gets better and better! They have the "Evolution of Lash Enhancers," which is a hall of fame of historic moments from 4000 BC--yeah 6000 years ago!--to the present time. There is a before/after gallery, including Brooke Shields' journey from sparse, anemic eyelashes to full, supple, and sexy eyelashes.

Oh. And if you dig deep enough, you will come across the warnings:
Important Safety Information
  • May cause eyelid skin darkening which may be reversible, and there is potential for increased brown iris pigmentation which is likely to be permanent.
  • There is a potential for hair growth to occur in areas where the solution comes in repeated contact with skin surfaces.
  • If you develop or experience any eye problems or have eye surgery, consult your doctor immediately.
  • The most common side effects are an itching sensation in the eyes and/or eye redness.
  • You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
So, just to get this straight, your eyelids can turn dark, your iris can turn brown, you can grow hair anywhere that has contact with the solution (don't accidentally drip some on your upper lip), you can develop eye problems, your eyes will itch and turn red, and Oh-yeah-we-don't-necessarily-know-all-the-side-effects-so-tell-the-FDA-about-anything-you-experience.

Or you can keep wearing mascara. Which, when I searched google, doesn't come with an FDA warning.

It's a good thing the drug companies have this "eyelash hypotrichosis" under control.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's my brother's birthday!

Crap! I forgot to call him....hopefully this will make up for that! Plus, I intend to call him tomorrow so that his birthday lasts longer.

I have honestly been thinking of Todd all week...trying to not forget his birthday. And all day as I wrote the date (a bijillion times at work), I thought, "I need to make sure to call Todd." Well, we all know how the best laid plans work out....

I was almost five when Todd was born. I remember that he was about 10 days overdue. When you are nearly five years old and your brother is ten days overdue, it's pretty traumatic...he is supposed to appear and be your good friend right away. I'm sure my mom REALLY was wanting Todd to make his appearance. I say that he wanted to share his birthday month with me.

I still remember what I wore the day we went to pick Todd up at the hospital. Yep, that's the outfit. It was a hand-me-down from a neighbor girl and I thought it was marvelous!

Jennilyn (my just-younger-than-me-sister) and I really were happy to have a brother. We got to boss him around and play the mom!

But he was a good sport. I remember thinking that his hair grew so fast. My dad usually cut Todd's hair in the back yard. I thought that was so cool...I always had to go to the hair dresser's to get MY hair cut.

He was the biggest of my mom's five kids. He weighed in at 9 pounds and some large amount of ounces. Look how chubby he was! Man, I wish people thought my fat thighs and double chin are as cute as his!

Unfortunately for him, he grew up in a family of four sisters and one brother--him. But he was a good sport. And he would let us dress him up in our dress-ups (and we had LOTS!), including hats, make-up, hair-dos, and fur stoles.

Or sometimes, he was the Easter bunny.

Just look at how well he cleaned up, though.

He has always been able to make anything. He spent hours and hours building huge Lego constructions. He built dioramas that would shame most museums. He won numerous awards for his art projects--from elementary school through high school. He made jewelry, silk screens, silk screen machines. Pretty much anything he wanted. And sometimes, it was edible--like the little man seen here.

Yep! That's an apple man, with kiwi skin for hair, clove eyes, and apple peel lips.

And now, he is the owner of his own custom-made bike shop. You should check out his website. But be prepared to be amazed.

Plus, Todd's girlfriend Jen is an equally amazing woman! Not only does she put up with Todd :) but she also keeps up with him. They have traveled to some exotic and not-so-exotic places and done things most people would only dream of.

I'm glad Todd is my brother! Happy Birthday Todd! I love you tons!