Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring is for sillinesses.

April and Wynne have both requested that we restart the Balderdash game from last year, so here we go! New game, same rules, same gut-busting fun!

If you've never played the game, the point is to make up a fake definition for the word that is convincing, or funny, or both. In the official version of the game you would also get points for knowing the real definition, but that doesn't work well online since it's so easy to Google a word, so we'll just do bogus definitions. Post as many definitions as you like for each word. Feel free to post a definition on any past word that strikes your fancy, even if the person who chose the word has already revealed the true meaning. Also feel free to post your own word once the previous word has had a couple of responses. No points -- just a special commendation to the first player who makes a reader die from laughter.

So give giggles -- the gift that keeps on giving!

P.S. The "Balderdash" link in the sidebar will take you directly to this posting when it's been buried by other posts.

The first new word is.......



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You know it's time to lose the new profile photo...

...when your dad, reading your blog, exclaims,

"Marie! What a great new photo! It hardly looks like you at all!"



On the bright side, though, now that I've gone back to my old photo I can once again make silly comments without people wondering if I'm really trying to be ponderous. To illustrate:

That's when the windmill of my mind was skewered on the jousting lance of his delusions and out poured the whole-grain flour of my fury.


That's when the windmill of my mind was skewered on the jousting lance of his delusions and out poured the whole-grain flour of my fury.

Aaaaah. That feels so much better.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

All the pretty little posies.

Now beginneth the season of technicolor wonder. Here are some of my favorite blooming plants around downtown Salt Lake, though only a few are in bloom at the moment.

Mimosa trees:
--grounds of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum

Weeping pussy willows:
--235 A St
--4th Ave and B St (NE corner)

Dogwoods (one pink, one white):
--2nd Ave and H St (SE corner)

Pink magnolias:
--south side of Canyon Road Towers apartments (Canyon Road and 2nd Ave)
--567 3rd Ave
--215 B St
--681 3rd Ave
--511 4th Ave

White magnolias:
--inside SE wall of Temple Square (also north of South Visitor Center)
--3rd Ave and H St (NW corner)

--400 South and 1300-ish East (north side of street)
--south of Relief Society Headquarters
--2nd Ave and D St (SE corner)
--214 A St

Hydrangea (alas, white only -- the colored ones don't do well in Utah):
--bottom of the cascading fountain on Temple Square

Flowering quince:
--220 A St
--4th Ave and E St (NE corner)

The most fantastic-smelling, large-blossomed white lilac:
--1st Avenue along north side of Gateway Condominiums

Great big fluffy bank of forget-me-nots and bobbily-headed English daisies:
--between Joseph Smith Memorial Building and Church Administration Building (along sidewalk)

Do you have any others I should watch for around town? Or favorite plants from your area that I should search for at my local nursery? Also, there's a parking strip in the Avenues planted with nothing but fantastic red oriental poppies, but I can't remember where it is. Anyone know?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Don't believe everything you read.

It turns out the blog world does intersect with reality. Occasionally.

Y'see, last Pioneer Day I posted about my ancestors, and my great-great Grandpa Hezekiah Thatcher in particular. I told a little about his life of heroism and rebellion as an early convert to the Mormon church, driven west for his faith and then further west for his crankiness. I got a good response from my readers, particularly on the running-off-to-California-against-orders bit. We Thatchers have always sorta prided ourselves on that rebellious streak; we like to be faithful to our creed, but not TOO faithful. You hear the word "maverick" a lot when you sit in a gaggle of reminiscing Thatchers -- you could call it our family myth. We've always assumed that this telling of the Hezekiah Thatcher story was true because 1) we knew that Brigham Young had specifically forbidden his followers to go to the Gold Rush or into mining in general and 2) we assumed that our ancestor must have fallen in the rebellion camp, because otherwise we'd have a family legend explaining his purer motives. Usually family traditions tend to put a positive spin on reality, rather than the opposite. So a negative family tradition is probably true, right?

Then a few months after writing that Pioneer Day blog entry, I was reading about Mormons and the Gold Rush and learned that it was now known that Brigham Young, after telling the general membership of the Church NOT to go to the Gold Rush, took aside a few individual members and asked them to do the opposite: go make as much money as possible in the Gold Rush and bring it back to build up the Mormon communities in the Great Basin.

Oh no, I thought.

I wasn't all that upset to discover that I might have fed my faithful blog readers falsehoods about my family. I was upset to discover that I might come from OBEDIENT stock.

Oh NO.

And not just obedient stock -- super-duper obedient stock. I didn't tell anyone in my family: I feared being stoned for the crime of entertaining heretical historical thoughts. I briefly considered heading up to USU to dig through the Thatcher family papers collection, but when it came right down to it...

I didn't want to know.

Then a few weeks back I'm contacted by a stranger who came upon my Pioneer Day posting from a Google search. He's filming a genealogy show for BYU-TV about great-great Grandpa Thatcher and guess what? It's about this very question. Was Hezekiah Thatcher a rebel or the goodiest of do-gooders?

It would appear that the universe is determined to enlighten me on this point.

They want me to be part of the show: a descendant of Hezekiah to add human interest to their investigation (I'm imagining that History Detectives show, but for the Mormon crowd). So I need everyone to pray for me. Pray like you've never prayed. Pray that at least one of the following will happen:

1) They find nothing new and we Thatchers continue on in blissful crankiness

2) They find an entry in his journal that says, "President Young told me to stick around, and I told him where to stick it"

3) They find out he was acting under orders on the Gold Rush thing but at the same time discover that he was selling national secrets to the Commies (or something equally fabulous but non-anachronistic)

4) They find out that he was nothing but good and obedient and I somehow manage not to burst into tears on camera and/or get banned from all future family reunions

Wishing you and yours safety from the tides of inconvenient history. Over and out.